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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.
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.
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.
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
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;
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.
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.