Frontiers of Engineering Management

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Virtual pre-assembly for large steel structures based on BIM, PLP algorithm, and 3D measurement
Ying ZHOU, Wan WANG, Hanbin LUO, Yan ZHANG
Front. Eng
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The current physical pre-assembly method of large steel structures is time consuming and costly and requires large sites. Thus, the pre-assembly of large steel structures in a virtual way, starting from building information modeling (BIM), is an interesting alternative to the physical one. In this study, an innovative method for virtual pre-assembly is proposed on the basis of BIM, plane-line-point algorithm, and 3D measurement. This method determines the optimal analytical least squares of the various built components. The technique verifies the feasibility of the steel structure assembly and the fulfillment of the design geometries, starting from the real data obtained by an accurate metric survey of the fabricated steel elements. The method is applied to a real case, and obtained results largely satisfy the prefixed research objectives. Suggestions to improve the proposed method are also discussed.

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Analyzing construction safety through time series methods
Houchen CAO, Yang Miang GOH
Front. Eng
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The construction industry produces a large amount of data on a daily basis. However, existing data sets have not been fully exploited in analyzing the safety factors of construction projects. Thus, this work describes how temporal analysis techniques can be applied to improve the safety management of construction data. Various time series (TS) methods were adopted for identifying the leading indicators or predictors of construction accidents. The data set used herein was obtained from a large construction company that is based in Singapore and contains safety inspection scores, accident cases, and project-related data collected from 2008 to 2015. Five projects with complete and sufficient data for temporal analysis were selected from the data set. The filtered data set contained 23 potential leading indicators (predictors or input variables) of accidents (output or dependent variable). TS analyses were used to identify suitable accident predictors for each of the five projects. Subsequently, the selected input variables were used to develop three different TS models for predicting accident occurrences, and the vector error correction model was found to be the best model. It had the lowest root mean squared error value for three of the five projects analyzed. This study provides insights into how construction companies can utilize TS data analysis to identify projects with high risk of accidents.

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Building information modeling and its impact on users in the lifeworld: A mediation perspective
Front. Eng
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Building information modeling (BIM) is expected to have a large impact on users in the lifeworlds in a construction supply chain. The impact of BIM on users in their lifeworlds is explored using the concepts of Heidegger, Habermas, and Ihde from the perspective of technical mediation. This impact is explored by a case study. BIM mediates and shapes the relationship between users and their lifeworlds and can be characterized as either a hermeneutic or an alterity relationship. BIM conflicts with existing work practices in a ready-to-hand work environment. For users that cannot work with BIM, the work environment remains present-at-hand. The many heterogeneous BIM applications and systems used by the various parties involved result in interoperability problems that are a major barrier to enframing the supply chain by BIM. Although invitation and inhibition of certain actions by BIM may stimulate the rationalization of the lifeworlds, the lack of intrinsic motivation and mutual background knowledge inhibits an alignment of BIM and working practices.

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Effect of fly ash and slag on concrete: Properties and emission analyses
Vivian W. Y. TAM, Khoa N. LE, Ana Catarina Jorge EVANGELISTA, Anthony BUTERA, Cuong N. N. TRAN, Ashraf TEARA
Front. Eng
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Recycled concrete is a material with the potential to create a sustainable construction industry. However, recycled concrete presents heterogeneous properties, thereby reducing its applications for some structural purposes and enhancing its application in pavements. This paper provides an insight into a solution in the deformation control for recycled concrete by adding supplementary cementitious materials fly ash and blast furnace slag. Results of this study indicated that the 50% fly ash replacement of Portland cement increased the rupture modulus of the recycled concrete. Conversely, a mixture with over 50% cement replacement by either fly ash or slag or a combination of both exhibited detrimental effect on the compressive strength, rupture modulus, and drying shrinkage. The combined analysis of environmental impacts and mechanical properties of recycled concrete demonstrated the possibility of optimizing the selection of recycled concrete because the best scenario in this study was obtained with the concrete mixture M8 (50% of fly ash+ 100% recycled coarse aggregate).

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Industry effect of job hopping: An agent-based simulation of Chinese construction workers
Jide SUN, Mian ZHENG, Martin SKITMORE, Bo XIA, Xincheng WANG
Front. Eng
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Job hopping affects the development of industries in terms of efficiency and quality of work. It is a problem for the Chinese construction industry, where excessive job hopping is detrimental to meeting the current daunting challenges involved in the industry’s transformation and efficiency improvement. To provide an exhaustive analysis of this effect, game theory is combined with social relationship networks to create an agent-based simulation model. Simulation results indicate that the frequent job moves of Chinese construction workers have a negative effect on their skill development, employment, and worker relationships, as well as results in sharp increase in employer labor costs. The findings point to the need to act for the benefit of workers and employers and maintain the development of the industry.

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A model for the evaluation of environmental impact indicators for a sustainable maritime transportation systems
Lizzette Pérez LESPIER, Suzanna LONG, Tom SHOBERG, Steven CORNS
Front. Eng
Abstract   HTML   PDF (254KB)

Maritime shipping is considered the most efficient, low-cost means for transporting large quantities of freight over significant distances. However, this process also causes negative environmental and societal impacts. Therefore, environmental sustainability is a pressing issue for maritime shipping management, given the interest in addressing important issues that affect the safety, security, and air and water quality as part of the efficient movement of freight throughout the coasts and waterways and associated port facilities worldwide. In-depth studies of maritime transportation systems (MTS) can be used to identify key environmental impact indicators within the transportation system. This paper develops a tool for decision making in complex environments; this tool will quantify and rank preferred environmental impact indicators within a MTS. Such a model will help decision-makers to achieve the goals of improved environmental sustainability. The model will also provide environmental policy-makers in the shipping industry with an analytical tool that can evaluate tradeoffs within the system and identify possible alternatives to mitigate detrimental effects on the environment.

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