Construction virtual prototyping : a survey of use

Huang, Ting, Li, Heng, Guo, Hongling, Chan, Neo, Kong, Stephen, & Skitmore, Martin (2009) Construction virtual prototyping : a survey of use. Construction Innovation : Information, Process, Management, 9(4), pp. 434-448.

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Purpose –The introduction of Building Information Model tools over the last 20 years is resulting in radical changes in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry. One of these changes concerns the use of Virtual Prototyping - an advanced technology integrating BIM with realistic graphical simulations. Construction Virtual Prototyping (CVP) has now been developed and implemented on ten real construction projects in Hong Kong in the past three years. This paper reports on a survey aimed at establishing the effects of adopting this new technology and obtaining recommendations for future development.

Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey was conducted in 2007 of 28 key participants involved in four major Hong Kong construction projects – these projects being chosen because the CVP approach was used in more than one stage in each project. In addition, several interviews were conducted with the project manager, planning manager and project engineer of an individual project.

Findings –All the respondents and interviewees gave a positive response to the CVP approach, with the most useful software functions considered to be those relating to visualisation and communication. The CVP approach was thought to improve the collaboration efficiency of the main contractor and sub-contractors by approximately 30 percent, and with a concomitant 30 to 50 percent reduction in meeting time. The most important benefits of CPV in the construction planning stage are the improved accuracy of process planning and shorter planning times, while improved fieldwork instruction and reducing rework occur in the construction implementation stage. Although project teams are hesitant to attribute the use of CVP directly to any specific time savings, it was also acknowledged that the workload of project planners is decreased. Suggestions for further development of the approach include incorporation of automatic scheduling and advanced assembly study.

Originality/value –Whilst the research, development and implementation of CVP is relatively new in the construction industry, it is clear from the applications and feedback to date that the approach provides considerable added value to the organisation and management of construction projects.

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ID Code: 29463
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Construction planning, Communication, Process simulation, Virtual prototyping
DOI: 10.1108/14714170910995958
ISSN: 1471-4175
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Deposited On: 04 Jan 2010 04:48
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:03

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