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In recent years so many processes have been introduced around. All processes are developed with the essence to captures best in the construction industry, i.e. to achieve cost, quality and time objectives and also sustainability nowadays. Selection of right process has become vital in construction industry as it highly determines the end result of the project, whether it would be declared a success or a failure. This report is an assessment of process options and its' important features relating. It deals with analyzing two process methods: RIBA Plan of Work and The Generic Design & Construction Process Protocol (GDCPP) to the context of CTG project. The current system of work (RIBA plan of work) is mapped out and evaluated critically to identify the benefits and challenges it poses. Process maps are also produced using the GDCPP and the potential benefits and disbenefits if would pose if used in the CTG project outlined. Finally, the report considers an evaluation of the key production activities and how they impact on the project.
2.1 Simulated project
This is a simulated project for the construction of Centre for Technology in Government (CTG) which has the area around 250,000 square feet. It is actually a facility that is exclusively designed to place world class super computers and nuclear weapon design staff. Since working on nuclear weapons is a highly a sensitive task, equally sensitive is the case with the construction of this CTG. This place is aimed to further the previous developments carried out in this field but in a safe and secure environment with professionalism. Since it is a large project that has to cater for the country's current as well as the future needs, it is highly desirable that its construction should be done after pondering upon various aspects and their proper integration or link should be developed. from the point of view of a constructor, by integration I mean that there should be a thorough understanding of the previous needs as well as the prediction of the needs in the times to come
2.1 RIBA plan of work
RIBA work stage is defined by the Royal Institute of British Architect as a standard construction process in UK covering processes from outline design to the constructed stage of buildings (RIBA plan of work 2007). The Royal Institute of British Architects Plan of Work was originally published in 1964 and is widely accepted as in operational model throughout building industry. There are 11 stages in total, namely RIBA stages A to L. In general, stage A and B looks at the project preparation, stage C to E is mainly concerned with the design process, stages F -H concerns the pre-construction process whilst stage J to K is for the construction process and stage L looks at the use of the building.
2.2 Current Method of works
The current method of work using RIBA for the CTG project is explained below.
2.2.1 Appraisal (RIBA stage A)
This is the initial stage where basic questions are raised. The client of the CTG project (Department of Business & innovation and skills) tries to answer the following questions:
ï¿½Is there enough funding to undertake project.
ï¿½What is the maximum amount of money we can allow for this project.
ï¿½How long can the project take.
ï¿½What do I need the building for.
ï¿½What will I want to see in this building The answers to all these questions will from the initial statement of needs. (RIBA plan of work 2007)
2.2.2 Design Brief (RIBA Stage B)
The client, appoints a cross-functional team, made up of architects, engineers, computer scientists and CDM co-ordinator who consider key requirements and constraints based of the client statement of need the roles and responsibilities of each member within the fuctional team is also identified. The initial statement is developed in to the design brief (RIBA plan of work 2007)
Figure 1 Preparation
2.2.3 Concept (RIBA Stage C)
The design brief that has established is further developed, a design concept is prepareds which, within the CTG project is establish the functional and operational requirement (F&ORs)). The F&ORs are grouped according it to room function. The F&ORS will be sufficiently developed to establish broad terms for the developed designs to be prepared by the design and build contractor (RIBA plan of work 2007)
2.2.4 Developed design (RIBA Stage D)
The contractor, G&C Ltd together with his team of consultants reviews the client's conceptual design and produces the developed designs. Design the production of these designs, there continuous review by the cross-functional team to ensure full compliance with clients requirements. The developed designs include the structural designs and the building services layout. As this stage application for detailed planning permission is submitted (RIBA plan of work 2007)
2.2.5 Technical Designs (RIBA Stage E)
This is the last stage in design developments before production information is prepared. The contractual details of the entire CTG projects are produced as well as the choice of materials and standards of workmanship. During this stage also there is continuous review by the client's cross-functional team as the team may be needed to information or comment on finishes, furnishings and equipment. Detailed costs checks are done and health and safety plan file updated by the by the CDM coordinator (RIBA plan of work 2007)
Figure 2 Design stage
2.2.6 Production Information (RIBA stage F)
The technical design made by the contractor and approved by the cross-functional team are translate into precise technical instructions to facilitate construction as required by the designs & build contractor (RIBA plan of work 2007)
2.2.7 Tender action (RIBA Stage G and H)
Stages G and H are combined because within the CTG project, it is a design & build contract tenders are reviewed by the client's agent and the cross-functional team and the contract finale awarded to the winning contractor (RIBA plan of work 2007)
Figure 3 Pre-construction stage
2.2.8 Mobilization (RIBA Stage J)
The client (DBIS) hands are the site over to the contractor (G&C ltd) and the responsibilities of the client, the contractors of the consultants are revised and advised. The contractors also submit his insurances to the client's agent for checking. The pre-constriction meets will be arranged and sub contractors appointed (RIBA plan of work 2007)
2.2.9 Construction (RIBA Stage K)
Under the RIBA, The contract at this stage, binds only the client and the contractor but nevertheless, should the contract administrator fail in the procedural duties set out, this will constitute a brach of contract. This is where the actual construction of the projrct take place to practical completion (RIBA plan of work 2007)
Figure 4 Construction stage
2.2.10 Post construction (RIBA Stage L)
At the completion of the construction, the cross functional team undertake final inspection of the project and handing over is arranged. The contract continuous into the period where the contractor rectifies any defects that may be realized prior to the release of the final certificate (RIBA plan of work 2007)
Figure 5 post construction stage
2.3 Evaluation of RIBA plan of work
RIBA plan of work is very simple to understand and has been used by the construction industry for a very long time. It breaks the project into stages that are sequential. Combining the RIBA with the design and build procurement method in the CTG is very beneficial because it corrects most of the problems of the traditional procurement. The lack of co-ordination and communication that have been argued by many including Kagioglou et al (1998) have been enhanced by the introduction of the cross-functional team by the client. In addition, the argument that RIBA leans towards the architect (Poon et al, 2003) have been improved. The early involvement of the cross functional team within the CTG project aids in a better identification of client requirement and the reviews that have been adopted from the conceptual design stage to the construction stage helps improve teamwork However, there a number of disadvantages identified using the RIBA plan of work in the CTG project, it does not produce a detailed structure of project, making risk evaluation of the project from initial stages to the final stages of the project difficult. It does not also mention key professionals necessary for the success of the project, phases of the project or targets to be reached. This system faces difficulties in making complex projects successful where the critical activities are being occurred in the life cycle process of the project. The plan of work does not also mention od suppliers or subcontractors until late in the mobilization.
3.0 The Process Protocol Map
The Generic Design and Construction Process Protocol (GDCPP) was developed by the University of Salford in 1998 in an attempt to improve the prevailing situation. It is a high level process map that aims to provide a framework to help companies achieve an improved design and construction process (Wu et al, 2001). The system identified the construction activities and the responsible parties on a horizontal X axis and a vertical Y-axis respectively. The responsible parties were named as 'Activity Zone' in this model. The construction activities were divided into four main phases: Pre-Project, Pre-Construction, Construction and Post-Construction. (Poon et al, 2003) as follows
3.0.1 Pre-Project Stage:-
This stage relates to the planned business concern of any possible project aiming to address a client's need, with the aim being to:
â€¢ Determine the need for a construction project solution
â€¢ Secure outline financial authority to proceed to the Pre-Construction Phases
According to The Process Protocol, Pre-Project stage is supposed to clearly state what benefits could be achieved by this project. In the Pre-Project stage of CTG its objectives or goals were identified which clearly mentioned that it would be a place where nuclear weapons designing would be carried out for the sake of country's benefits in a safe and secure environment. It was clearly mentioned that it will be designed in a way that there will be no exception as far as the design, construction or manpower etc will be concerned because such things create problem in practical execution of the plan. In current times, as far as the pre-project stage is concerned, it is understood that the aims and objectives/goals are already well defined and the issue of client's needs is addressed.
The Pre-Project stage comprises of the following phases:
Phase 0 Demonstrating the Need: Identifying the key stakeholders, identifying the key objectives and needs of the client with initial risk analysis of the project are analysed in this phase. (www.processprotocol.com )
Phase 1 Conception of Need: In this phase the identified needs and objectives are developed to a well defined brief and structure of the project is defined with the needs and solutions, revised risk analysis is done. (www.processprotocol.com )
Phase 2 Outline Feasibility: This phase is included with analysis of making solution for the proposed plans and briefs with approvals. Such as examine the feasibility of the project to satisfy the main objectives and needs of the project. (www.processprotocol.com )
Phase 3 Outline Financial Authority: Activities like making analysis on cost plans, conceptual design briefs and making decisions on solution for the provided studies. The financial approvals can be made in this phase. (www.processprotocol.com ) In current times this stage is many times given less importance as it is understood that approaching the Construction Industry, clients have already established 'the need'.
3.0.2 Pre-Construction Stage
After obtaining the outline financial approval, the client's need is developed into an appropriate design solution. It is similar in many ways to the conventional models of developing the design through a logical sequence with the aim of delivering approved production specifications.
According to 'The Process Protocol', pre-construction stage is the next. In CTG Project, the first step taken was the development of a functional team which comprised of the electrical engineers, civil engineers, computer hardware and computer software engineers, building security advisors, architects, stake holders as well as super computer handling specialists. In their joint sessions/ meetings, they highlighted upon various issues which needed integration at the very outset of the construction, for example, the removal of the ACs exhausts or the garbage disposal or its recycling. This team jointly decided to leave a 5-7 feet gallery around the main structure in order to control the heating and cooling system. Although the informal or off the record meetings were hold time to time yet there was a weekly meeting schedule of this CTG functional team where the members used to raise various issues regarding the money utilization, quality of the material, its management and construction etc. After detailed discussions and critique including from the nitty-gritty to the broader aspects, the development of the CTG design was finalised.
The Pre-Construction stage consists of the following phases:
Phase 4 Outline Conceptual Design: Phase which deals with the preparation of solutions for the provided brief and these are reviewed for future development and identifying the resource requirements. (Cooper et al, 2004)
Phase 5 Full Conceptual Design: This phase involves in finalising conceptual designs and final reports of the all briefs and plans will be approved for preparation of schematic designs and other activities regarding finance, human resources, planning, energy issues. (Cooper et al, 2004)
Phase 6 Full Financial Authority: In this phase the coordination activities occurs for the design development and for preparation of final cost plans or estimates, detailed designs of the project, review risk analysis and procurement activities will be initiated for the conformation of the material and resource costs to proceed to the construction activities. (Cooper et al, 2004)
3.0.3 Construction Stage
The Construction Phase is solely concerned with the production of the project solution. It is here that the full benefits of the co-ordination and communication earlier in the Process may be fully realised. Potentially, any changes in the client's requirements will be minimal, as the increased cost of change as the design progresses should be fully understood by the time onsite construction work begins.(Kagioglou et al, 1998). This stage consists of the following phases: Phase 7 Production Information: By this Phase the resources of the project and detailed designs will be finalised for the acquiring the materials and further editing must be avoided in order to increase the efficiency of life cycle of product. (Cooper et al, 2004)
Phase 8 Construction: As this phase occurs with the confirmation of the designs, contracts, specification of the project with all constraints fixed and occurrence of the obstacles will be minimised to make the project successful, safe and secured by efficient management of execution plans and relations with end user. (Cooper et al, 2004)
3.0.4 Post-Construction Stage
Upon completion of the Construction Phase, the Process Protocol continues into the
Construction Phases which aim to continually monitor and manage the maintenance
needs of the constructed facility. Again, the full involvement of facilities management
specialists at the earlier stages of the process should make the enactment of such
activities less problematic. The need for surveys of the completed property, for
example, should be avoided as all records of the development of the facility should
have been recorded by the project's Legacy Archive. (Kagioglou et al, 1998). This
last stage aspires to constantly watch and manage the maintenance needs of the
construction facility. This stage consists of the following only phase i.e.
Phase 9 Operation & Maintenance: This phase include the activities of handing
over the project to end user as per schedule and reviews will be done in phase in
regarding the facilities provided and functionality, satisfying the standards of the end
user and stake holders. (Cooper et al, 2004)
There are eight key principles involved in process protocol for process as follows
which are originated from manufacturing process.
Whole Project view, a consistent Process, Progressive Design Fixity, Co ordination,
Stakeholder Involvement & team work, Feedback, Process Flexibility, Customisable
3.1 Potential benefits/disadvantages of moving towards the use of a generic Process Protocol
The most obvious advantage of using this generic Process Protocol system was that it helped in avoiding confusions with which a constructor sometimes come across during the practical work. Moreover, the bifurcation of the CTG project into various stages following The Process Protocol strategy, made the work easier and more integrated; the attempts made by various people/parties involved were of real use as far as such a complex project was concerned. It turned to be simpler i.e. easily understandable for the workers. Process & Sub-Process in CTG project map that is developed from the constructor's point of view was designed keeping in view its requirements. It was kept as simple as possible keeping in view omitting those activities that do not contribute to the CTG project or do not have any effect on this project The idea of regular feedback and recording of information through the Phase Reviews and in addition the document management system will promote best exercise in the CTG. It will provide a way of implementing control measures and performance systems as the raw information that is currently produced, may be all of it is in an inefficient manner. It will already have been analyzed by the previously mentioned systems. Visibly it has a positive impact on the whole system. But one must remember that it might not speed the construction project i.e. it will at least finish on scheduled time.
The adaptability of the system is another important area that would work well with CTG. It has a space to bring any change, if it is of dire need, as it is a flexible system and this change can be fit within some relevant activity zone.
In the suggested model I have tried to show the information flow cycle in a simple but efficient manner, but I feel it is hard to fully depict how information flows throughout the life of the CTG project. The project process is such a process which has many feed back loops and sharing of information in both unstructured and structured manner. Although in practical terms the gates are Phase Review meetings conducted by senior management groups and representative of the project team yet at this point it must be kept in mind that it required more time in planning and holding meetings; people found it a hard task to come for a meeting every week or sometimes even for unscheduled meetings in order to tackle any issue that came across time to time.
Many times there were occasions when various groups were not agreeing upon the same point, for example according to one expert/party one issue was to be addressed in one way but for the other one it was to be addressed in a different way; in such a case, to come out agreed upon one simple conclusion, was a difficult task which took more time than normal. Moreover the constructor had to take approval before proceeding to the next stage which was more time taking than normal/routine construction.
4.0 Key production activities
Before starting the CTG Project or any other project of this type it is important that a constructor identifies and map the key production activities. By using the word 'key production activities' we mean all those major commotions or doings which were the part of making the CTG Project a reality i.e. its ultimate construction. Following map also highlight them Production activities in CTG project
From the point of view of a CTG Project constructor, the first and foremost task was to read the finally approved plan of CTG thoroughly in order to make yourself more & more familiar with it; it is a fact that more you read the final draft of the plan of any project, the more you are familiar with it and better understanding definitely leads to better results.
The important task being a constructor is the on time completion of the project. Although it is difficult to follow the exact time frame yet roughly, a constructor can devise his own time frame so that the smooth progression could be possible. One of the major activities was the purchase of the building material. This material includes bricks/blocks, cement, iron etc. It was the task of the constructor to put every effort to find the best available quality material (as mentioned in the plan) from the market at appropriate price. It is highly important a task owing to the reason that the strength and durability of the building depends upon the quality of material used in its construction. To a great extent it was a valuable activity but side by side it wasted a lot of precious time of the constructor that he could otherwise spend on practical construction work. Careful selection of the labour is also a key production activity as only in the presence of expert and dedicated labour, the project can be successfully completed. This labour has simple labourers to the mechanics or technical working experts. It is important for a constructor that he arranges the required machinery for construction, for example along with its experts. CTG project required Super Computer installation experts additionally. In order to make the project successful, it was ensured by the constructor that efficient monitoring of proper utilization of the building material should be in practice and minimize the waste. This activity is sometimes taken lightly by some constructors but it was not taken lightly by the CTG constructor.
Meanwhile, the installation of electricity was also carried out in order to harmonize/ integrate the work. At this stage it was extremely important because without it the central cooling and heating systems could not fixed and brought into operation Record maintenance of the quantity of the building material utilized and the project progression report was to be maintained by the constructor which he shared in the weekly meetings. Although it was a lengthy task which took a lot of precious time of the constructor yet it was necessary owing to the involvement of a number of people/parties. Uninterrupted communication was highly desirable and through this report or weekly information, they were well aware of the project's proceedings; moreover, there were many points which needed timely address after these reports.
The report has presented process maps using RIBA plan of work and the GDCPP as well as evaluation of both plans of work. It is clear that traditional procurement methods used with RIBA will certainly cause so many problems within the project but the adoption of the design and build procurement method enhances the performance of RIBA. That not withstanding, we still realize the elimination of some key players until a late stage, the GDCPP on the other hand considers the whole life of the project right from the start meaning that all those that matter are involved ensuring a clearer identification of the client requirement and efficient and effective execution of the entire project. Intensive training is however needed to let the GDCPP be understood and accepted in the construction industry