Special Issue "Technology and Management Applied in Construction Engineering Projects"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Civil Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2022) | Viewed by 11526

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Mariusz Szóstak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Building Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Wrocław University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: occupational Health and Safety; modeling of the development of accident situations in construction; analysis of the causes of occupational accidents at work in construction; construction project management; cost analysis of construction projects; value engineering; BIM technology
Dr. Marek Sawicki
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Building Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: technologies and methods of execution of construction works; renovation and demolition works; economics of construction; construction project management; technical life cycle of the facility and construction products; construction scaffolding.
Dr. Jarosław Konior
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Building Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: construction project management and quality management in construction engineering and supervision; cost discount and financial control of construction projects; multi - criteria feasibility studies of investment enterprises; qualitative and quantitative research of engineering buildings by probabilistic and fuzzy sets approach; multidiscipline expertise investigations of non - typological buildings samples.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Construction project management is a process that includes a number of operations, activities, and decisions that are closely related to an executed investment and that aim to create new, or to increase, existing fixed assets in order to achieve utility effects. The utility effect of the construction process may be the construction of a new building, or the renovation or modernization of an existing building. In each construction process, according to the definition of the building object's life cycle, the following four basic phases are distinguished: the programming/planning phase, the implementation phase, the operation/use/maintenance phase, and the phase of decommissioning or demolition. Appropriate planning of the entire construction process is a very important operation, which has a direct impact on whether success is achieved when implementing an investment project.

The construction industry is characterized by a high complexity of implemented construction processes, variability of implementation conditions, diversity of facilities, applied technologies, and methods of work organization. The execution of construction projects is specific and particularly difficult because each implementation is a unique, complex, and dynamic process that consists of several or more subprocesses related to each other, in which various participants of the investment process take part.

Therefore, there is still a vital need to study, research, and conclude engineering technology and management applied in construction projects.

We encourage publishing applied results of research on the following topics:

  • planning and scheduling of construction projects
  • planned, actual, and earned cumulative cost analysis of construction projects
  • technologies and methods of execution of construction works
  • uncertainty, randomness, and fuzziness of construction projects
  • identification of risk sources for the implementation of construction projects
  • risk management and mitigation
  • value engineering and financial monitoring of construction projects
  • full technical life cycle of the facility and construction products
  • procurement of contractors for a construction project
  • occupational health and safety control
  • renovation and demolition works
  • BIM technology.

Dr. Mariusz Szóstak
Dr. Marek Sawicki
Dr. Jarosław Konior
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • engineering technology
  • construction management
  • project cost
  • investment schedule
  • risk mitigation
  • uncertainty, randomness, and fuzziness
  • health and safety control

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
Experimental Method for Flow Calibration of the Aircraft Liquid Cooling System
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 5056; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12105056 - 17 May 2022
Viewed by 306
Abstract
In the process of aircraft operation, the flow calibration of aircraft liquid cooling system has always been one of the research hotspots in engineering. Based on the principle of the differential pressure method, a new experimental flow calibration method is proposed for the [...] Read more.
In the process of aircraft operation, the flow calibration of aircraft liquid cooling system has always been one of the research hotspots in engineering. Based on the principle of the differential pressure method, a new experimental flow calibration method is proposed for the aircraft liquid cooling system in this paper. In the reducer and the square bend of the aircraft liquid cooling system, the pressure difference will be generated. The flowmeter is used to measure the flow of the coolant, and the flow rate coefficient of the aircraft liquid cooling system can be calibrated. The experimental platform is established to conduct the flow calibration of the aircraft liquid cooling system, and the influence of the temperature and imported pressure on the flow will be investigated. Results indicate that the experimental method proposed is very effective, and the flow calibration can be realized without damaging the aircraft liquid cooling system. Full article
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Article
Modelling of Decision Processes in Construction Activity
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(8), 3797; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12083797 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 413
Abstract
Construction activity with a huge variety of structures, forms and conditions underlying the implementation of construction projects, require special management approach. Decisions are most often made at the planning and preparation stage of a construction project. The literature on the subject includes descriptions [...] Read more.
Construction activity with a huge variety of structures, forms and conditions underlying the implementation of construction projects, require special management approach. Decisions are most often made at the planning and preparation stage of a construction project. The literature on the subject includes descriptions of decision support methods and models, including single-criteria and multi-criteria models, operations research and fuzzy models. Different models can be used in different situations. The article contains an analysis of model approaches proposed in the literature, confronted with decision-making processes in engineering practice. The study covered 34 construction projects and 15 companies operating in the construction industry. Several decision situations have been considered. The research carried out in accordance with the seven-stage research process has shown that although the various methods proposed in the cited sources can be used in the implementation of engineering projects, they require modification to suit the specificity of engineering practice. The results of the research are the decision support models proposed by the authors, adapted to the conditions in which construction projects are implemented. In the case of small and relatively simple construction projects, simplified models are usually used, where the use of the last steps of verifying the results and improving the applied model is limited. Large and more complex construction projects were often accompanied by a decision support system consisting of more stages, and in these cases, it turned out to be important to obtain feedback and to refine the decision model accordingly. Research has shown that in large projects it is important to obtain feedback. This is due to, inter alia, from the fact that the implementation of these projects involves much greater financial resources than in small and medium-sized projects. Decision-makers take much more care to verify the correctness of the model, because the effects of wrongly made decisions can be much more severe than in the case of small and medium-sized enterprises. If it is necessary to make strategic decisions related to the future of a given company, attention was paid to models in which the starting point was to clearly define the goal and collect a complete set of information about the decision-making environment. Various analytical and research methods were used, but feedback was always needed to improve the final solution. The observations obtained during the research helped the authors to develop decision support models dedicated to engineering practice that may be useful in the implementation of construction projects. Full article
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Article
Project Risk in the Context of Construction Schedules—Combined Monte Carlo Simulation and Time at Risk (TaR) Approach: Insights from the Fort Bema Housing Estate Complex
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 1044; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12031044 - 20 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 444
Abstract
In this article, we present our own construction process model consisting of 16 stages and eight phases, which is particularly applicable to large investment projects. In the context of each project phase, we examine how the appropriate way of scheduling construction processes affects [...] Read more.
In this article, we present our own construction process model consisting of 16 stages and eight phases, which is particularly applicable to large investment projects. In the context of each project phase, we examine how the appropriate way of scheduling construction processes affects the problem of the risk of prolonging individual phases and the whole project, as well as of not meeting deadlines (which is one of the main problems faced by management practitioners in the construction industry). There are many methods for assessing risk in this context, but they tend to be overly complex and rarely used by construction practitioners. On the other hand, the risks associated with potential schedule delays can be considered holistically. One tool that can serve this purpose is the combined Monte Carlo simulation and Time-at-Risk (TaR) approach, which originates from the world of finance. We show how the implementation of the process model (individual phases) and the whole project can be considered in the context of the covariance matrix between all its phases and how changes in the arrangement of these phases can affect the risk of time extension of the whole project. Our study is based on simulation data for a large development project (Fort Bema/Parkowo-Leśne housing estate complex) in Bemowo, a district of Warsaw, carried out between 1999 and 2012. The entire investment project involved the construction of almost 120,000 m2 of floor space. Full article
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Article
7-Score Function for Assessing the Strength of Association Rules Applied for Construction Risk Quantifying
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(2), 844; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12020844 - 14 Jan 2022
Viewed by 319
Abstract
There are several factors influencing the time of construction project execution. The properties of the planned structure, the details of an order, and macroeconomic factors affect the project completion time. Every construction project is unique, but the data collected from previously completed projects [...] Read more.
There are several factors influencing the time of construction project execution. The properties of the planned structure, the details of an order, and macroeconomic factors affect the project completion time. Every construction project is unique, but the data collected from previously completed projects help to plan the new one. The association analysis is a suitable tool for uncovering the rules—showing the influence of some factors appearing simultaneously. The input data to the association analysis must be preprocessed—every feature influencing the duration of the project must be divided into ranges. The number of features and the number of ranges (for each feature) create a very complicated combinatorial problem. The authors applied a metaheuristic tabu search algorithm to find the acceptable thresholds in the association analysis, increasing the strength of the rules found. The increase in the strength of the rules can help clients to avoid unfavorable sets of features, which in the past—with high confidence—significantly delayed projects. The new 7-score method can be used in various industries. This article shows its application to reduce the risk of a road construction contract delay. Importantly, the method is not based on expert opinions, but on historical data. Full article
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Article
Randomized Estimation of the Net Present Value of a Residential Housing Development
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(1), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12010124 - 23 Dec 2021
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Randomized estimation of the net present value of a housing development allows for the assessment of the efficiency of projects in random implementation conditions. The efficiency of a project is estimated on the basis of primary input data, usually used in project planning. [...] Read more.
Randomized estimation of the net present value of a housing development allows for the assessment of the efficiency of projects in random implementation conditions. The efficiency of a project is estimated on the basis of primary input data, usually used in project planning. For this purpose, random disturbances are identified that may randomly affect the course and results of the project. The probability and severity of disturbances are determined. The primary initial data is then randomized, and a randomized probabilistic index of the project’s net present value is calculated, the value of which indicates whether the project is profitable or whether implementation should be stopped. Based on this data, the expected total revenue, the expected total cost, the expected gross profit, and the net present value of the randomized performance of the project are calculated. The values of these are estimated for expected, favorable, and unfavorable conditions of implementation. Finally, the risks for the total revenue and total cost of the project are calculated and plotted for comparative revenue values in the range [1, 0] and cost in the range [0, 1]. Their analysis makes it possible to make the right investment decisions before starting the investment at the preparation stage. Full article
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Article
Interoperability of Digital Tools for the Monitoring and Control of Construction Projects
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10370; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110370 - 04 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 705
Abstract
Monitoring the progress on a construction site during the construction phase is crucial. An inadequate understanding of the project status can lead to mistakes and inappropriate actions, causing delays and increased costs. Monitoring and controlling projects via digital tools would reduce the risk [...] Read more.
Monitoring the progress on a construction site during the construction phase is crucial. An inadequate understanding of the project status can lead to mistakes and inappropriate actions, causing delays and increased costs. Monitoring and controlling projects via digital tools would reduce the risk of error and enable timely corrective actions. Although there is currently a wide range of technologies for these purposes, these technologies and interoperability between them are still limited. Because of this, it is important to know the possibilities of integration and interoperability regarding their implementation. This article presents a bibliographic synthesis and interpretation of 30 nonconventional digital tools for monitoring progress in terms of field data capture technologies (FDCT) and communication and collaborative technologies (CT) that are responsible for information processing and management. This research aims to perform an integration and interoperability analysis of technologies to demonstrate their potential for monitoring and controlling construction projects during the execution phase. A network analysis was conducted, and the results suggest that the triad formed by building information modeling (BIM), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and photogrammetry is an effective tool; the use of this set extends not only to monitoring and control, but also to all phases of a project. Full article
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Article
Estimating the Probability Distribution of Construction Project Completion Times Based on Drum-Buffer-Rope Theory
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 7150; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157150 - 02 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
Various factors affecting the construction progress are regarded as bottlenecks giving rise to the project duration overrun. The contractor should combine the project schedule with the plan in order to reduce the uncertainty of the project activities. The present research describes the method [...] Read more.
Various factors affecting the construction progress are regarded as bottlenecks giving rise to the project duration overrun. The contractor should combine the project schedule with the plan in order to reduce the uncertainty of the project activities. The present research describes the method derived from the theory of constraints (TOC) attempts to enhance the relationship among activities, to revise and further reduce the uncertainty of construction activities to improve the reliability of project progress. The elements of drum, buffer and rope (DBR) in TOC are added to PERT network schedule; through the identification of schedule in the bottleneck process, the implementation plan of the bottleneck is obtained. By measuring buffer time and calculating network schedule buffer time as well as feeding time, the relationship among activities and uncertainty of duration are also improved. To illustrate the impact of DBR applications on improving project schedule reliability, a case of hydropower station as an example is illustrated to show enhanced reliability of scheduling. As compared to program evaluation and review technique network (PERT) simulation, the simulation results showed that the uncertainty of construction progress could be reduced if the DBR are well cooperated mutually. Full article
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Article
Resilient Scheduling as a Response to Uncertainty in Construction Projects
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(14), 6493; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11146493 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 855
Abstract
Complex construction projects are developed in a dynamic environment, where uncertainty conditions have a great potential to affect project deliverables. In an attempt to efficiently deal with the negative impacts of uncertainty, resilient baseline schedules are produced to improve the probability of reaching [...] Read more.
Complex construction projects are developed in a dynamic environment, where uncertainty conditions have a great potential to affect project deliverables. In an attempt to efficiently deal with the negative impacts of uncertainty, resilient baseline schedules are produced to improve the probability of reaching project goals, such as respecting the due date and reaching the expected profit. Prior to introducing the resilient scheduling procedure, a taxonomy model was built to account for uncertainty sources in construction projects. Thence, a multi-objective optimization model is presented to manage the impact of uncertainty. This approach can be described as a complex trade-off analysis between three important features of a construction project: duration, stability, and profit. The result of the suggested procedure is presented in a form of a resilient baseline schedule, so the ability of a schedule to absorb uncertain perturbations is improved. The proposed optimization problem is illustrated on the example project network, along which the probabilistic simulation method was used to validate the results of the scheduling process in uncertain conditions. The proposed resilient scheduling approach leads to more accurate forecasting, so the project planning calculations are accepted with increased confidence levels. Full article
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Article
Improving Bridge Expansion and Contraction Installation Replacement Decision System Using Hybrid Chaotic Whale Optimization Algorithm
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 6222; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11136222 - 05 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1367
Abstract
Bridge expansion and contraction installation (BECI) has proved to be an essential component of the bridge structure due to its stability, comfort, and durability benefits. At present, traditional replacement technologies for modular type, comb plate type, and seamless type BECIs are widely applied [...] Read more.
Bridge expansion and contraction installation (BECI) has proved to be an essential component of the bridge structure due to its stability, comfort, and durability benefits. At present, traditional replacement technologies for modular type, comb plate type, and seamless type BECIs are widely applied worldwide. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that the research conducted on decision-making (DM) approaches for the technical condition assessment and the optimal replacement plan selection of existing BECIs remain scarce, which results in the waste of resources and the increase in cost. Therefore, a BECI technical condition assessment approach, which contains specific on-site inspection regulations with both qualitative and quantitative descriptions, is proposed in this research, and a corresponding calculation program has been developed based on the MATLAB platform, which provides the basis for the necessity of replacement. Simultaneously, the hybrid chaotic whale optimization algorithm is designed and performed to improve and automate the process of optimal replacement plan selection under the assistance of the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), where both the achievement in consistency modification and the reservation of initial information are perused, and its superiority and effectiveness are verified via the comparative experimental analysis. The improved BECI replacement decision system is established, and the corresponding case study demonstrates that the proposed system in this research proves reasonable and feasible. The improved system can effectively assist bridge managers in making more informed operation and maintenance (O and M) decisions in actual engineering projects. Full article
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Article
Automated Extraction and Time-Cost Prediction of Contractual Reporting Requirements in Construction Using Natural Language Processing and Simulation
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 6188; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11136188 - 03 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1303
Abstract
Due to a lack of suitable methods, extraction of reporting requirements from lengthy construction contracts is often completed manually. Because of this, the time and costs associated with completing reporting requirements are often informally approximated, resulting in underestimations. Without a clear understanding of [...] Read more.
Due to a lack of suitable methods, extraction of reporting requirements from lengthy construction contracts is often completed manually. Because of this, the time and costs associated with completing reporting requirements are often informally approximated, resulting in underestimations. Without a clear understanding of requirements, contractors are prevented from implementing improvements to reporting workflows prior to project execution. This study developed an automated reporting requirement identification and time–cost prediction framework to overcome this challenge. Reporting requirements are extracted using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML), and stochastic simulations are used to predict overhead costs and durations associated with report preparation. Functionality and validity of the framework were demonstrated using real contracts, and an accuracy of over 95% was observed. This framework provides a tool to rapidly and efficiently retrieve requirements and quantify the time and costs associated with reporting, in turn providing necessary insights to streamline reporting workflows. Full article
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Article
Methodological and On-Site Applied Construction Layout Plan with Batter Boards Stake-Out Methods Comparison: A Case Study of Romania
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4331; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11104331 - 11 May 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1130
Abstract
The layout or stake-out is one of the most important assignments of the surveying engineer, and it is of vital importance in the building process, as the designed geometries of the structure ensure the verticality and the correct positioning inside the terrain. The [...] Read more.
The layout or stake-out is one of the most important assignments of the surveying engineer, and it is of vital importance in the building process, as the designed geometries of the structure ensure the verticality and the correct positioning inside the terrain. The mission of the surveying engineer involves both legal and technical aspects, and the correct planning of the layout process must take into consideration aspects regarding the site conditions, instrumentation used, the required and achievable accuracies, network design and survey methods used. Given the vast applications of geodesy and topography in different domains and industries, the study incorporates general notions and technical aspects regarding the workflow in cadastre and construction surveying, guidelines for an efficient design of site layout plan with on-site applicability, as well as a novel comparison between four methods of construction lines geometry layout on batter boards. The results of this study aim to further consolidate the importance of accurate and efficient construction layout projects, with comprehensive design plans, methods and instrumentation selection, as well as recommendations. The presented discussions and conclusions are of interest to the geodetic community as well as the construction industry, and due to the pragmatic and experimental nature of the research, incorporates technical notes and original results of professional and academic importance. Full article
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Article
Monitoring of Time and Cost Variances of Schedule Using Simple Earned Value Method Indicators
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(4), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11041357 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 927
Abstract
The Planning and implementation of construction projects are difficult processes and are burdened with many risk elements. The budget spread over time, which is developed on the basis of the schedule, presents the expected distribution of costs throughout the duration of the works, [...] Read more.
The Planning and implementation of construction projects are difficult processes and are burdened with many risk elements. The budget spread over time, which is developed on the basis of the schedule, presents the expected distribution of costs throughout the duration of the works, which during the implementation of the project is subject to constant changes resulting from time, cost, and organizational factors. Managing construction contracts requires managers to be able to analyze on an ongoing basis the variances of production costs-from the values calculated in the offer cost estimate and assumed in the Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled. The article attempts to analyze the emerging time and cost deviations using proprietary time variances from the schedule (T/S) and variances from planned costs (T/C) monitoring, based on simple indicators of the earned value method (EVM). An example of construction of a multi-family housing development was used to study the variances of planned and incurred costs. Full article
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