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Title: Production planning approach for implementing sustainable building projects
Authors: Ochoa Paniagua, Jose Jorge
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Sustainable buildings have received effective responses for application in recent years and are gradually becoming a part of mainstream in the construction industry. However, the process of delivering a high sustainable-performance building has led to a more complex construction practice by the increment of specialized processes involved. In great extent, the complexities associated are deemed to be related to the different emerging needs that current construction management systems are unable to meet effectively. Whilst a vast of studies exist related to sustainable buildings such as environmental performance assessment and green design, it appears that little study has addressed the implications that the new practice has brought to fundamental and highly important areas like planning and construction site management. In this study, Production Planning Process (PPP) is considered essential in helping to make sure that resources are capable of meeting the planned schedule whilst sustainable practice is implemented. Otherwise the requirements and constraints imposed by sustainable building practice can impact construction sequencing and timing, resulting in workflow variability that can lead to exceed the estimated construction time and cost of the building. A few researchers have opined on the possible implications related to the inefficient response of traditional PPP when subjected to complex projects as sustainable buildings, but little factual data from construction site was adopted to support their conclusions.
This study aims to measure the performance of the PPP with incorporating sustainability attributes and propose a system for its improvement when implementing and delivering sustainable building projects. Multiple research methods are adopted. Firstly, interviews and site visits were conducted for collecting first hand information on the perceived shortcomings and needs of the current PPP when implementing sustainable building projects. Secondly, extensive literature review was conducted for exploring current and newly applied theories in the PPP in the construction industry. Thirdly, a system was developed to measure the performance of the PPP, to reveal how construction activities with relation to sustainable deliverables affect production performance in construction site and to identify the main causes for workflow variability that can lead to its improvement. The system was developed by the integration of Lean Construction principles and metrics and Six Sigma methodology. A comprehensive case study is used to demonstrate how the proposed system works through three main stages, namely, first stage (Define and Measure), second stage (Analysis and Improve) and third stage (Control). The case study consisted in a residential project in Hong Kong which includes two high-rise towers that received Platinum certification according to the Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM). Results from the case study confirmed the importance of effective measures communicating the performance of PPP as these were considerable different from what the managers previously perceived. It was also demonstrated the improvement of the PPP performance by implementing Lean Construction principles and how these were effectively implemented by the integration with Six Sigma methodology. The integration allowed a systematic implementation that provided sufficient information supporting the decision-making process when attempting to improve the PPP. Important improvements in the reliability of the PPP were achieved and successfully controlled over time. The system also demonstrated that the production performance and causes of variability in the workflow of construction activities with relation to sustainable deliverables are different from those activities with no relation. While the difference in the production performance is not considerable significant, the difference in the causes of variability is. It is demonstrated that sustainable building projects present different and unique sources of variability that affect the overall production performance of construction activities. The findings of this study imply the intrinsic importance contained in the reliability of PPP when implementing sustainable building projects and validate the effectiveness of the system proposed in this research for improving its performance.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Production planning
Sustainable buildings -- Design and construction
Pages: xviii, 307 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
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