Project & Construction Management

Photo Credit: Buckland

Research Activities

Research in Project and Construction Management is focused on the development, use, and exchange of Building Information Models (BIM). BIM involves a new approach to project delivery that focuses on developing and using an information model of a facility to improve the design, construction and operation of a facility. Two themes guide the research program, as described below.

Information Sharing and Data Integration through BIM

Research in this area focuses on information sharing and the integration of project functions throughout the design, construction and facilities management life cycle. Active topics include designing standardized data models for describing fundamental project information (such as construction activities, resources, or project costs), using standard models to support communication and information exchange among various stand-alone computer applications (such as planning and scheduling, cost estimating, cost accounting, or CAD), developing flexible coding structures that allow one project management function to be mapped onto another (e.g., estimating to be integrated with planning and scheduling and vice versa), and integrated systems to support facilities life cycle cost analysis and maintenance management.

BIM for the Project Lifecycle

Inside the BIM Trailer
Inside the BIM Trailer

Research in this area focuses on developing tools and techniques to: support multi-disciplinary coordination with BIM, represent construction and operations knowledge in relation to a BIM, and interact with BIM data as part of a collaborative design process. The goal of this work is to help project teams make more informed decisions by identifying the cost, constructability, and operational implications of their design decisions, and by better managing the model-based coordination process. This is accomplished through the development of knowledge-based tools that allow designers and builders to “test out” different design and construction options virtually prior to construction. Our research aims to formalize the underlying knowledge required for such decision support systems. This work is typically carried out through extensive collaborations with industry working on and studying BIM projects in practice, which is facilitated by our BIM Trailer (a construction trailer outfitted with large-screen interactive displays. For more information, visit BIM TOPiCS.

For more information on Project and Construction Management studies, please contact Dr. Sheryl Staub-French.