Evaluation and development of drainage and pipeline construction processes
In 1974 Dr D M Bramwell published his research work at the University of Aston a part of which was the establishment of an elemental work study data base covering drainage construction. The Transport and Road Research Laboratory decided to, extend that work as part of their continuing research programme into the design and construction of buried pipelines by placing a research contract with Bryant Construction. This research may be considered under two broad categories. In the first, site studies were undertaken to validate and extend the data base. The studies showed good agreement with the existing data with the exception of the excavation trench shoring and pipelaying data which was amended to incorporate new construction plant and methods. An inter-active on-line computer system for drainage estimating was developed. This system stores the elemental data, synthesizes the standard time of each drainage operation and is used to determine the required resources and construction method of the total drainage activity. The remainder of the research was into the general topic of construction efficiency. An on-line command driven computer system was produced. This system uses a stochastic simulation technique, based on distributions of site efficiency measurements to evaluate the effects of varying performance levels. The analysis of this performance data quantities the variability inherent in construction and demonstrates how some of this variability can be reconciled by considering the characteristics of a contract. A long term trend of decreasing efficiency with contract duration was also identified. The results obtained from the simulation suite were compared to site records collected from current contracts. This showed that this approach will give comparable answers, but these are greatly affected by the site performance parameters.