Information flow between design and construction in building projects
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In general, a construction project consists of three processes: the process of programming what needs the client has, the process of designing those needs into a series of solutions and finally the process of constructing those solutions into a series of products constituting the building. The design process is usually more complex to manage since it is –in comparison to the construction process- potentially infinite. A design problem has no optimal solution and there exist an infinite number of solutions. The design process can, therefore, be described as an endless reciprocal process. Whereas, the construction which is traditionally viewed as a sequential process. To cope with these situations, different types of managing tools are required. The traditional sequential process can be managed by traditional managing tools like Critical Path Method or a newer, better tool like Last Planner® System. The design process, on the other hand, is difficult to manage with those tools. Although Last Planner has proven to be better than Critical Path, it is not enough to manage the reciprocal dependencies. To manage those, there is a need for more open-ended management tools that can cope with the high team task complexity and the need for synchronous communication. Furthermore, when those two processes happen simultaneously in a fast-track environment, the management is even more chaotic. The need for effective communication in and between each process is, therefore, critical. The main goal of the thesis is to investigate how information flow between design and construction can be improved in the AEC industry. The PhD proposes to use the most suitable communication channel available for communicating information at a given time, meaning that the project needs to plan in a start-up process on how information should be communicated, when information should be communicated, and what type of information is needed at a given time. With that plan, the project participants will have a greater knowledge of what type of communication channel is needed to communicate information at any given time in the project progression. At this point, BIM as a mediating artefact has proven to be most effective for both synchronous and asynchronous communication. Supplemented with a system for standardising the model maturity level of the BIM, like Level of Development (LOD), the project team has a common language for describing what they need from each other at any given time.