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Industrial Case Study of Electronic Design, Cost, and Schedule Integration

TitleIndustrial Case Study of Electronic Design, Cost, and Schedule Integration
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsStaub-French, S, Fischer, M, Spradlin, M
Date Published11/1998
Publication Languageeng
Keywords3-D, Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Design Integration, Integration, Project Management, Stanford University
AbstractConstruction professionals face increasing pressure to shorten the project delivery process. To meet these demands, contractors are compressing construction schedules by scheduling more activities concurrently. Consequently, contractors now have less time to execute their project management functions and they have increased demands for coordination as more activities are executed in parallel. Unfortunately, the tools used by construction professionals to manage and coordinate the construction process are still characterized by a paper-based exchange of information that results in inefficiencies and manual duplication of work. If construction professionals could use the electronic design information and integrate that information electronically with their project management software tools, many of these inefficiencies would be eliminated. Such integration would transform the way projects are estimated, planned, managed, and maintained throughout the project delivery process. Our vision is to use 3D CAD models that mirror the actual project, not only for design but also for project management functions. This paper shows the benefits that were realized by successfully integrating electronic design, cost, and schedule information on a construction project for Sequus Pharmaceuticals. The benefits include the automatic generation of quantity take-offs directly from design drawings, improved visualization of construction schedules, improved coordination of construction disciplines, and enhanced communication between design and construction. This case illustrates the status of commercial design, cost, and schedule integration software and highlights the resource requirements necessary to accomplish these tasks on a design and construction project. It also suggests that owners, designers, and builders of facilities will need to develop new skills and implement organizational changes to take advantage of these benefits. Specifically, owners will need to bring a project team together early in the project. Designers will need to focus more on the overall design and coordination of design tasks and less on detailed design. General contractors will need to learn how to manipulate 3D CAD models, work more closely with the designers during design development, and provide input on how to model designs in 3D so that the CAD models are more usable by constructors. Finally, subcontractors will also need to learn design software, as they will be performing more detailed design, working more closely with the architects and engineers through the design process, and addressing coordination issues early in design development.
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