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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Model-based integrated total project management systems, with an emphasis on materials management Ghanbari, Abdolhamid


This dissertation addresses the field of computer integrated construction (CIC), which encompasses interoperability among architecture, engineering, construction, and facility management (AEC/FM) computer systems for the purpose of improving the efficiency and effectiveness in the AEC/FM industry. It focuses on model-based integrated total project management (PM) systems: a class of computer systems that include a suite of applications that support a wide range of PM functions and can flexibly and openly contribute to and draw from a shared pool of project information (referred to as a unified project object model) irrespective of the type of environment. Over the past two decades, many CIC projects have worked towards developing the basic building blocks of CIC; i.e., the formalization and standardization of AEC/FM project information. While the results are encouraging, they have not yet reached the level of richness and comprehensiveness required by CIC. Among the major problems identified by this research are: lack of coverage of the full range of PM functions, lack of standardization of the processes through which information flows, and lack of integration of business process and information models. The overall objective of the research was to investigate (within the context of CIC) how AEC/FM product and process information could be integrated into a unified AEC/IFM project model that could support a wide range of construction PM functions, with an emphasis on materials management (MM). This was done through a coupling of top-down analytical activities (from high-level conceptual analyses to detailed modeling) and bottom-up activities (from data collection activities to analysis and design). The bottom-up investigations, which were critical in informing, providing the research criteria, and validating the models produced in the top-down activities, include a review of current project and construction management software applications, software prototyping, field data-and- process analyses, and a Process Modeling Practice Workshop. This dissertation includes a comprehensive, critical literature review and a description of the research activities and deliverables. The primary research deliverables presented are: (1) a conceptual AEC/IFM Project Core Model (APCM), (2) a Conceptual PM Functions Framework (CPMF) for classifying PM functions, (3) a classification of PM/MM functions, (4) a model for the integration of AEC/IFM business and software system models, called the Integrated Total Project Management Systems (ITPMS) model, (5) an implementation of the ITPMS model in a CASE (Computer-Aided Software Engineering) tool, and (6) a set of MM domain object models and process models. A special emphasis is placed on the "modeling process" and derivation of information through business process modeling (i.e., explicit linkage of the two types of models) for a better model management. The proposed solutions collectively represent both a proof-of-concept and the means of realization of model-based integrated total PM systems. It is envisioned that they will be informing and will contribute to the CIC initiatives.

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