Sample Masters Project Management Dissertation Proposal

Project Management & Computer-Aided System – BIM

Exploring the Impact of BIM on Sustainable Construction Processes and its Opportunities in China’s Construction Sector from Project Management Point of View.

Background & Introduction

Over the last decade or so, a considerable amount of research has been performed to improve project management processes and efficacy in the construction industry. Problems such as poor management systems, cost overruns, and time delays have resulted in frustrations and uncertainties among investors and industry professionals.

The lean principles of project management heavily relied on the productivity of the human resource and the management. Moreover, the expectations about sustainability compliance/duties and higher profit levels resulted in the need to develop advanced engineered solutions.

Thus, to ensure optimum project management, maximum productivity, compliance to societal responsibilities, and sustainability in the construction sector, researchers and industry professionals have introduced a range of tools and techniques to tackle the former problems.

However, over the last several years, no other invention in the construction industry has been as fascinating as Building Information Modelling, also commonly known as BIM (Li et al., 2009; Aryaici, et al., 2011).

In developed countries such as the USA and the UK, the importance of using BIM in the construction industry has been vastly recognized. According to HM Government 2012, Relevant government departments and ministries are encouraging investors, project managers, stakeholders, and contractors to emphasize to lead these technological innovations.

“BIM will integrate the construction process and, therefore, the construction industry. But it will also have many additional benefits for the nation. It will enable intelligent decisions about construction methodology, safer working arrangements, greater energy efficiency leading to carbon reductions, and a critical focus on facilities’ whole life performance (or assets). Of even greater importance are the benefits for the economy that will accrue from better buildings and infrastructure delivered by the construction industry.” Graham Watts, OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Construction Industry Council, HM Government UK.

Thus, it is important to note the value that BIM adds to the management of construction projects by increasing the reliability and authenticity of available information/data. In return, this helps project managers make well-informed decisions on building environments based on real-time scenarios.

The role and use of BIM models successfully employed by UK and USA construction companies are therefore of high interest to the Chinese construction market because they will help establish a relationship between BIM technologies and sustainable construction in the region.

The industry of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) was buzzing with the sound and excitement of green construction and enhanced Project Management through BIM. It will not be wrong to say that BIM is the most influential and noteworthy development of the construction industry in the last 10 years, primarily because of its opportunity to improve the efficiency of construction process management.

When it comes to efficiently managing building design and the project data, there is no technology better than BIM, mainly due to its ability to record even the most complex activities and processes. BIM allows for smooth processing of all construction-related information and provides accurate project drawings (CSQ, 2014). Thus, it prevents conflicts that may occur with the use of traditional manual/computer-aided drawing methods (Li et al., 2009).

Research Aim

BIM proficiently conveys project information and has helped tremendously reduce the number of conflicts and errors that generally occur with traditional methods, which require skillful coordination between project teams, which is the most important aspect in Project Management.

It should be noted that before BIM, the construction industry was in desperate need of an information modeling system to reduce time delays, costs, and risks associated with construction and project management activities, as well as to improve collaboration among stakeholders.

Some of the other keys advantages of using BIM are enhanced visualization, design of construction elements harmful to the environment, and improved project integration.

The primary aim of this research project will be to investigate the extent to which the BIM has been able to support project management, and if it has the potential to influence the Chinese construction market and the implications for project managers (It will also review eh extend to which this system is being utilized in this region – if any). Hence, this research study intends to establish whether the use of BIM in the Chinese construction industry can help shape up the country’s sustainable future and explore the opportunities it will present to the stakeholders, as it has presumably done in developed countries?

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Research Questions

1. How BIM has the potential to be the key to Sustainable Future? What is its scope in China?

2. To explore the opportunities it will present to all China stakeholders from a project management standpoint?

3. To understand the causes of its underuse in China when other developed countries have employed it industry-wide to improve their profits and operations.

Literature Review

Building Information Modelling also commonly termed as Building Information Management, is a system to present a building design solution using virtual building information models. BIM also has the capability to maintain complete documentation of the building designs and processes and compare them with industry best construction processes. The definition of BIM as maintained by the Nation Building Information Model is given below:

“Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the digital illustration of both functional and physical features of a certain facility. This is the application of the latest models of information and their application in developing a certain facility that will end up with a reliable solution. The complete life cycle of the constructional process will be defined from existing to the latest solution along with their demolition procedures.”

The idea of sustainable constructions has gained tremendous popularity after higher environmental pollution levels hurt living beings’ lives. Thus, it was imperative to introduce a construction method that could mitigate the risks caused by traditional construction methods to the environment and inspire improvement at the economic and social level.

BIM is indeed a revolutionary creation with the potential to transform the Chinese construction industry. Some other researchers have also looked into the possibility of integrating BIM into Chinese construction projects to improve the projects’ overall sustainability to the desired levels (Ilhan & Yaman, 2014).

Research Methods

The researcher aims to use both primary and secondary data collection methods to complete this research study. The secondary data will be collected through published articles, papers, books, and case studies.

The primary method through which the researcher intends to evaluate the extent to which BIM is employed in the Chinese construction industry will be obtained through questionnaires and/or interviews.

A questionnaire with appropriate questions will be designed by the author of this proposal paper and distributed among project managers, stakeholders, engineers, and other industry professionals who have previously worked with BIM.

Data Sources

The researcher will be collecting the secondary data from various academic sources such as relevant government websites and directories, books from local libraries and electronic databases, journals, research articles, and previously published research papers. On the other hand, the primary data will be gathered from relevant industry professionals and practitioners based in China.

The researcher aims to upload the questionnaire on an online porta such as Survey Monkey and share its URL link with the participants. Some of the participants will also be directly contacted via email or telephone calls if/when required. Interviews will be conducted on Skype, and data will be recorded with a voice recorder. Interview transcripts will be used at a later stage to analyze the data.

Research Expectations

Essentially, the results of this research study are expected to answer whether the use of Building Information Modelling in the Chinese construction industry can lead the sector towards a sustainable future.

The research is also expected to highlight the possible challenges that project managers may have to face regarding the implementation of BIM in China due to the lack of appropriate BIM standards and regulations.

Based on this research’s findings, recommendations and suggestions on how BIM can be successfully integrated into the Chinese market will then be provided.

Research Plan

Research-Plan-2

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References

Arayici, Y., Coates, P., Koskela, L.J., Kagioglou, M., Usher, C. and O‟Reilly, K., (2011). Technology adoption in the BIM implementation for lean architectural practice. Automation in Construction, 20(2), pp. 189- 195.

BIM Task Group, (2017). A UK Government Initiative. Available online from: www.bimtaskgroup.org/ [Accessed 14 February, 2017]

CSQ, 2014. How will BIM impact future construction industry skills, capabilities and workforce profile? [Online] Available at: http://csq.org.au/csq/media/Common/publications/CSQ_Discussion_Paper_BIM_2.pdf [Accessed 2016].

Ilhan, B. & Yaman, H., 2014. BIM and sustainability concepts in construction projects: A Case Study.

Li, H, Lu, W S and Huang, T (2009). Rethinking project management and exploring virtual design and construction as a potential solution. “Construction Management and Economics”, 27(4), 363-371.

Sebastian, R (2011) Changing roles of the clients, architects and contractors through BIM. “Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management”,

Succar, B (2009) Building information modelling framework: A research and delivery foundation for industry stakeholders. “Automation in Construction”, 18(3)

Won, J., Lee, G., Dossick, C. and Messner, J. (2013). Where to Focus for successful Adoption of Building Information Modeling with Organization’. Journal of Construction, Engineering and Management. ASCE 139,11.