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Digital approach to AEC synchronous co-located collaboration : use of 4D and Lean planning for collective and interactive decision-making

  • Bolshakova, Veronika
Publication Date
Dec 09, 2022
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This research in the domain of Architecture, Engineering and Construction focuses on Building Information Modeling and Management (BIM) and multidisciplinary collaboration. Over the past few decades, the industry has supported various changes through digital work tools and technologies. Moreover, advancements in innovative approaches like BIM, Lean construction and Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) approaches cause paradigm shifts and transformations of the established ways of design, construction and management. A synergy of these approaches frames the research context.The research aims to improve the quality of collaboration for AEC professionals, who would benefit from the development of more relevant and efficient tools, protocols and processes. From a broad perspective, there are issues related to each approach's implementation and to their joint implementation, such as lack of experience, established practices, protocols, skills and tools. Integration challenges come from the financial and organizational impacts, as well as that team members come from different work environments. The efficiency of work on digitally developed construction projects requires a new vision and adaptation of collaborative practices. There is a need for well-adapted and integrated digital tools to collaborate on a project.The study object is 4D BIM (3D + time) and Lean planning collective use for decision-making. AEC professionals would benefit from the development of efficient tools, protocols, and processes that support BIM/4D continuous accessible dataflow, foster integrated team collaboration, foster the use of 4D and lean planning, and present the team members with accessible and easy interactions with nD.Our research methodology combines Socio-technical systems and Activity theory and uses the methods of UCD. Socio-technical systems describe complex environments that use BIM and other digital tools as an intermediary for collaborative work on projects. Activity theory further provides us with tools to describe collaborative activity models. UCD provides usability enhancement methods to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and usability aspects of collaborative tool and scenarios development. The mixed research methods of observation, questions and interviews allowed for both qualitative and quantitative data. This research hypothesis may be summarized by the following:• Co-located synchronous digital collaboration for design and for value engineering would enhance waste control, project team and process integration.• Integration of a digital medium with quality nD visualization and the interactivity of a natural interaction interface into collaborative workspaces for BIM projects would improve collaboration, from an interface design perspective to adapt the visualization of information and interactions to diverse types of project meetings.• A digital tool uniting BIM 4D and Lean scheduling would provide a basis for the integration of the design and construction dataflows and approaches, provide users with a relevant dashboard for every phase, enhance collaboration and construction management.We propose a digital tool uniting 4D BIM and Lean scheduling that would provide a basis for the integration of the design and construction dataflows and innovative approaches. We examine the context of recent advancements in BIM, Lean construction, and IPD approaches, as well as the 4D BIM uses and their impact on collaboration; then we propose and evaluate a solution providing easy access to relevant digital project information for every project team member. Thus, this research also converges with the domains of Human-Computer Interaction and User-Centered Design.

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