The Factor Time Within Building Projects Construction Essay

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The factor time within building projects is on high pressure because the need for faster delivery of building is rising. Fast track project delivery technique is designed to leverage the ability to execute Design, Procurement and Construction phases simultaneously to substantially reduce the project schedule. The design phase assumes increased importance in Fast track projects because design and construction are executed almost simultaneously with very little or no lag between design and construction.

The design of Industrial projects involves the designing of complex and interconnected systems in which design teams from various disciplines need to interact continuously and use data from each other to ensure accurate and safe design. The performance of the design phase is dependent on smooth and timely flow of accurate information from a variety of stakeholders from different organizations that come together to execute the project.

This research explores the rationale of applying Fast Track construction in the construction industry, as fast tracking was initially implemented to overcome the problems of long delivery period due to traditional 'over the wall' processing of design, procurement and construction, as the need to bring the product to market as early as possible is the need of the hour.

Initially the research discuss the benefits gain by fast track construction when compared to other technique of project delivery but in later stages focuses on the problem in the overall system of fast tracking and identifies the best practices to achieve improvement .

It has been identified that overlapped schedule is the driver of fast tracking and the successful execution of design process in fast track projects is especially challenging because the compressed schedule interferes with the inherently iterative nature of design, resulting in suboptimal design. The typical lack of time for pre-project planning in fast track projects results in inadequate development of project and design scope, causing costly changes during project execution which result in project cost overruns and schedule slippages and deterioration of quality of the final product. Based on the case analyses of Fast Track design processes it became obvious that design process function poorly in Fast track project.

Thus the research investigate best practices to improve high degree of complexity of structure and work processes, adversarial relationship among project participants and communication to facilitate this high-pressure project delivery processes.

By using qualitative analysis the research determines a statistically significant correlation between the schedule performance of design phase in fast track projects and pre-project planning, alignment, importance of communication, constructability, and change management. The results of quantitative analysis are supported by the qualitative analysis of information, expert opinion and case studies.

The other main output of the research was identification of better sequential tool other than traditional management tool like PERT, Gantt and CPM methods which do not address problems stemming from complex projects schedule as efficiently and to determine overlapping relationship between design and construction is a difficult process. So …………………. tool is been studied and through qualitative research it's feasibility has been checked.

The conclusions presented in this research are based on a comprehensive review of research literature, quantitative and qualitative analysis of the performance of design phase in fast track industrial projects, expert opinion and case studies.

Table of Content




Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

1.1 Construction today

1.2 Current Construction Market Scenario

1.3 Fast Track Construction - Background

1.4 Design Process

1.5 Research Aims and Objective

1.6 Research Methodology

1.7 Study Frameworks

CHAPTER 2: Literature Review I

Fast Track Construction

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Fast Track projects - Importance of Design Phase

2.3 Concurrent design and Construction Activities

2.4 Problems related to Design phase in Fast track projects

2.5 Overlapping process

2.5 Best Practices

2.6 Summary

CHAPTER 3: Literature Review II

Implementation of BPR in Fast Track Projects

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Need for BPR application in Construction

3.3 Practices in Front End Planning Phase

3.3.1 Pre-project Planning

3.3.2 Alignment

3.3.3 Partnering

3.4 Practices in Design Phase

3.4.1 Design Effectiveness

3.4.2 Change Management

3.4.3 Design for Maintainability

3.4.4 Design Review Process

3.5 Summary

CHAPTER 4: Research Methodology

4.1 Overview of the Research Methodology

4.2 Review of Literature

4.3 Questionnaire Survey

4.3.1 Project Information

4.3.2 Factors Affecting Performance of Design

4.3.3 Use of Best Practices

4.4 Case Studies & Interviews

4.5 Summary

CHAPTER 5: Data Collection & Statistical Analysis

5.1 Data Collection and Instrument

5.2 Survey Respondent's

5.3 Characteristic of the Project

5.4 Project Information: Design Phase

5.5 Performance of Design Phase

5.6 Statistical Analysis of Data

5.7 Discussion of Statistical Analysis

5.8 Best Practices for Success of Design: Expert Opinion

5.9 Summary

CHAPTER 6 : Conclusion

APPENDIX A: Questionnaire Survey

APPENDIX B: References


Construction today

"Construction is a large and complex industry comprising many types and sizes of organizations and a diverse range of professional and other representative bodies. Clients, professional practices, contractors and specialist firms all have their own 'agenda' and allegiances explains the complexities of inter-relationships that occur in construction projects between clients and their professional advisors and between the contractors and specialists they engage to construct the project" ; Cooke (2009).

Construction industry is an important sector in any country economy. The Global annual output of the Construction Industry is almost U.S$ 4.8 trillion with almost a range of 5% to 9.5% represent or can say contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the country's economy shown in fig 1.

Source : Roger FALANGAN Fig: 1

Globalisation and the rise in the cross border turnover in global construction market indicates that the globalization is continuing in the Industry. According to a survey conducted among leading international building firms by the American trade journal Engineering News Record, cross-border activity in 2009 rose 25% to 390 billion US$, thus doubling within the space of just four years. Thus the figure shows the need of innovation in process of conceiving the project as, the industry needs to make an radical change to conventional process through which projects are currently delivered to increase the output to the maximum level as it is been symbolic to country's growth and development.

The growth of construction industry depends greatly on wider economic performance. If the economy is strong, there will be a strong demand for construction projects. Demand will fall otherwise during a general recession period. Construction projects vary from small refurbishment work to large, billion pound projects like the channel tunnel (Harvey and Ashworth,1993). The industry is characterized by large number of participants and has a highly fragmented structure. The major stakeholders of the industry represent different organisations including large public listed companies.These organisations also represent different trades and they may be categorised as follows: consultants; contractors; sub-contractors; project managers; suppliers; and specialist

Current Construction Industry Scenario

In today's world where the land cost is sky high and intense competition for space, so it has become an utter necessity of the client to bring the product into market as early as possible to generate revenue and recover the investment he has done and even meet the projection to shareholders and satisfy investor relations. It even gives him the independence to move forward with the next project as it's expand the business, give advantage to eye for new opportunity and keep the money rolling in market.

The parameters of any projects are: on time completion, within specific budget and within requisite performance (technical requirement). In the client's satisfaction survey report published by Construction Clients Forum (Legal Week, 2009) it was found that,

58% of the Clients had experienced delays in their project due to various factors.

32% of the Clients claimed that the project exceeded the contract budget.

10% were happy with the quality output.

32 percent indicated that the project was delayed by defects.

The above report reflect the current situation and concern for the performance of the construction industry and the urgent need to upgrade this situation as it is been a common agenda in all reports and research topics.

The same concern has also been expressed in Construction Task Force Report (Egan 1998), as it argues the same about the dissatisfaction of clients of the overall performance and stress on reduction of time, cost and defects. Secondly it suggests the process to be more explicit and transparent. Quotes from Homer et al. (1989) that lapses in productivity arise from task complexity and organisational failure. Lynn (1996) quoted from Sir John Egan's views in his article which described the construction industry as not only inefficient but also "deaf, to how it has fallen behind its competitors.

Project delays have been major factor influencing cost overruns through additional overheads and potential claims between clients and contractor. In last decade it has been established that performance has been related majorly to cost over and has been a topic of major concern for the whole construction industry, from the research it has been reviewed there about 50% to 80% delays in WORLD BANK sponsored projects, on average 23.2% time overrun on UK government projects and about 17% to 32% in ASIAN Construction Industry.

In a wider context of the construction industry has also been associated with many other weaknesses. One main reason for the inefficiency is the traditional process of project delivery and the highly competitive nature of the industry failed to give a proper platform for close co-operation within the participants as the industry involve large no of participants. In context to improve the aura around the Construction Industry the focus went on to the need of identifying the factors contribution to construction duration, delays and cost overruns but in recent years the focus have been varied as is thought rather than just focusing on the cause it would be more appropriate to derive new positive aspect from faster projects and hence formulating possible strategies for reducing construction duration for various type of buildings.

In response to the weakness and inefficiency in delivering the construction project several effort have been taken like using alternative forms of procurement like design and build; project management contracts, partnering approach, improving the relationships within the supply chain, and increasing reliance on information technology to improve project communication. Still there is a consistained need to investigate the potential alternative approach to deliver the construction project which can substitute the traditional system despite its popularity.

The need for the construction industry to refocus its process toward achieving a more collaborative environment especially in the aspect of integrating the design and construction function is shared both within and out with the industry. This is reflected in the theme of most construction related reports such as Banwell Report (Banwell, 1964), Wood Report (Wood, 1975), Faster Building for Industry (NEDO, 1983), Latham (Latham, 1994), CRINE Report (1994) and Egan (1998). So in response to criticism and with the desire to develop improved work methods within the industry, various alternative approaches from the traditional way of delivering the project have been developed by the industry. Such has Phased construction, Fast track construction, application of concurrent engineering philosophy into construction and lastly concurrent construction a mixture of both concurrent engineering and fast track construction. There were many factors towards this change by the industry such as;

the inefficiency of the traditional work process;

the need to be more competitive locally and globally;

increased use of IT tools to support more efficient communication;

technological advancement in construction method;

increased role of downstream project participants toward project design requirements

to improve profit margin by increasing work efficiency.

The comparative analysis of various execution strategies shows how each method help the project in achieving the reduction of project duration which can eventual help in coping with problem likes cost overrun, delays and defects to become narrower and help in achieving client's satisfaction. The execution are shown in Table 1 reflects an idea of an ideal strategies which is efficient to deliver the construction project having an optimum time gain by overlapping the scheduled work packages. According to research Fast track and Concurrent Construction give the maximum time gain but as Concurrent Construction being new and add complexity to the process has lot of work packages are overlapped .

The industry have been using Fast Track for quite some time as it can shorten delivery time and can cut cost of contractor to the administer the job on the field as well as documentation preparation but can increase initial client cost and need a better study.

Comparison between various Execution Strategies

Strategy No.

Type of Execution Model


Level of Detail


Conventional Method

Design phase is completed followed by construction

Focus at abstract level Entire phase


Phased Construction

After each design package that particular construction starts

Focus at second level work package


Fast Track Construction

Design package overlaps with construction package

Focus at second level work package


Concurrent Engineering

Design activity overlaps among themselves construction follows this shorten design phase

Focus at third level activities


Concurrent Construction

Design activity themselves overlaps and design phase also overlaps with construction

Focus at third level activities

Data of source - Journal of Construction Engineering & Management (ASCE/ MAY 2006)

Fast Track Construction background

Management of engineering and construction projects has unquestionably become more complex in recent years. Technical complexity of project, increased government regulation, spiraling inflation and political pressures have all contributed to the increased "Cost of Construction" which resulted in search of new procedures to ensure faster and more economical project completion. Fast Tracking management techniques have been developed as a part of Professional Construction Management (PCM) approach (Barrie and Paulson, 1984 ) in an effort to meet these challenges.

What is Fast-track project?

Fast track system is a management technique that is being practiced within construction industry with the objective to reduce overall construction time. This is achieved through the integration of work procedure and process (Ashworth 1996). In this system, initial construction will begin before actual facilities design work is finalised (Hendrickson and Au, 1987). Williams (1995) suggest that fast track project should take less than 70% of the time it takes to undertake traditional projects. He further stated that for a fast track technique to be successful better communication, trust and demand for teamwork are essential. All participants, clients, contractors, engineers, suppliers must work together, need to be thoroughly familiar with the scope of work. Any changes made to the completed design work can be a hindrance in achieving the desired time saving.

The Project Management Body of Knowledge defines fast track as follows (Project Management Institute 1987):

"The starting or implementation of a project by overlapping activities, commonly entailing the overlapping of design and construction (manufacturing) activities"

According to Houvilla et al., (1997) Fast tracking is a practically oriented approach, without solid conceptual or theoretical basis. The main objective of fast track projects is to leverage the ability to execute many of the activities of the design, procurement and construction phases concurrently in order to compress the schedule. In a typical fast track project, the design, construction and procurement phases overlap significantly. In many cases, the design and construction phases have more than a ninety percent overlap, meaning that construction starts when the design is as little as ten percent complete. The procurement process begins concurrently with the design phase. In the current highly competitive economic environment, there is a significant business need to get the product to the market as quickly as possible. This has led to the widespread adoption of the fast track project delivery philosophy in industrial projects.

This concept specially pleases the owner and a developer because of its oriented approach to reduce project duration as it is essential to ensure economic and market feasibility.

The key factor on which Fast track construction works are,

Timing of Design activities

Clearly defined work packages

Co-ordination between various shareholder.

However the benefit of time saving gained by using this approach is always offset by the additional cost, normally incurred in the fast track project (Harvey and Ashworth, 1993). Ashworth (1996) argues that despite Fast Track System's ability to shorten the project time, this might be at the expense of the other facet of cost and performance. He further argues that those aspects may be very inferior to those achieved by the use of traditional methods of procurement. Williams (1995) states that one of the major disadvantages of this system is the lack of the opportunity to optimise the design solution. Fast track can support process change and concurrency in the accomplishment of project tasks but the prime aim is the time reduction.

Through years the industry has been following traditional process of project delivery. (Egan, 1998) also termed it as "conventional construction process" which is sequential as well as large separate process namely planning, design and construction


This chapter presents the pros and cons of FAST TRACK CONSTRUCTION and identifies best practices which can be used to minimize the errors in the process and get the best output technique and also the research determines a statistically significant correlation between the schedule performance of design phase in fast track projects and pre-project planning, alignment, importance of communication, constructability, and change management.

2.1 Fast Track Projects- Implementation of Fast Tracking in Construction