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Title: A model for collaborative engineering the construction industry.
Author: Jones, Barry Kenneth.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3591 9365
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1998
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The research undertaken in this study is concerned with modelling a computer-based environment where design problems that impact architects, engineers and construction managers can be solved collaboratively. The thesis conceptualises a computer-based system in which construction management computer agents work concurrent with design computer agents to assist the principle designer produce the best design that can be efficiently constructed. The focus is on the decision-making processes of architects, engineers and construction managers. A comprehensive literature review and company survey supported the author's own experience that the integrated way of working to produce a constructable design had degenerated to a point where many inefficiencies can now be attributed to the poor collaboration amongst project participants. Data was collected from companies whose expertise lay in one of three areas; competitive bid contracting, design build or companies such as petro-chemical who traditionally managed both design and manufacture. Construction managers, architects and engineers were interviewed. The study concentrates on new concepts and emerging computer-based technologies. It combines theory, technology and application from concurrent engineering, knowledge engineering, distributed computing, object-oriented modelling and the concept of computer agents. Reference is also made to current practice in other manufacturing industries, where the manufacturing process strongly influences design definition. Finally, scenarios of typical design problems were used to measure and compare the effect of making decisions in either the traditional sequential method associated with competitive bidding, in a system where there is some concurrent decision making and in the collaborative computer-based system proposed. The final result is a design process that belongs to a multiple-disciplined team where all contributors have the opportunity to influence the resulting design solution. Much of the construction management problem solving carried out at pre-construction stages of the project can be collaboratively considered. This research has proved that a computer-based environment which facilitates collaborative problem solving among all project participants is possible. The model proposed also ensures that the present geographically distributed structure of construction organisations can be accommodated; it can also be extended to other participating domains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: bidding ; collaboration ; computing ; concurrent engineering ; construction stages ; decision making ; manufacturing ; problem solving ; design process ; interview ; object-oriented modelling