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Conflict detection in 3D MEP coordination : tools, constraints and cost Subramanian, Ganesh

Abstract

Coordination is an integral part of many activities during the life of a construction project. Traditionally, building systems are parts of the buildings that temper the building environment, distribute energy, allow for communication, enable critical manufacturing process, and provide and dispose water. With increases in the functionality and complexity of buildings, projects now include much more than just the traditional Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) systems. The MEP scope now includes additional systems such as fire protection, controls, process piping, and telephone / datacom. Building system coordination involves the detailed layout and configuration of the various building systems such that it complies with design, construction, and operations criteria. Specialty contractors are typically responsible for the coordination of MEP systems, including checking clearances and identifying routes, fabrication details, and installation locations. The current MEP coordination process used in the industry is highly fragmented between design and construction firms, the level of technology used in different coordination scenarios varies significantly and does not provide a facility model for use over the complete life cycle. The main objective of this thesis is elaborate on the role of constraint-based design in MEP coordination process in conjunction with checking for constraint-based conflicts using the state-of- the-art tool, NavisWorks JetStream (NavisWorks). To achieve this objective the 3D Models of the MEP Systems of University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Chemical and Biological Engineering Building have been analyzed for the constraint-based conflicts and the constraints governing the MEP systems have been classified based on the resulting type of conflict they generate. Also, a quantification of MEP coordination costs sustained in the project and the cost and productivity benefits resulting by implementing 3D MEP coordination for the project have been discussed. The Thesis concludes that using NavisWorks for conflict detection and management does enhance the knowledge on the constraint-based conflicts (e.g. clearance related constraints) in comparison to Autodesk® Building Systems (ABS). The classification of the constraints based on the resulting type of conflicts helps the project participants to have an idea on which constraints have to be given more importance while designing the MEP systems. From the study on the MEP coordination costs and the effect of field generated conflicts on these costs and project productivity, this thesis concludes that the investments in coordination typically pay for themselves by reducing conflicts and field generated change order costs in MEP intensive projects.

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