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Alenazi, E O N (2018) Using BIM for delay management in public sector construction projects in KSA, Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering, Loughborough University.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: building information modelling; casse study; delay analysis; interview; productivity; public sector; Saudi Arabia
  • URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2134/35914
  • Abstract:
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is not an exception in relying on the advancement of its construction industry to support rapid population growth. However, its need for infrastructure development is constrained by low productivity levels and cost overruns caused by factors such as delays in completing projects. Delays in construction projects are a global issue, and while theories such as optimism bias can explain some aspects of delays, in KSA, client-related causes of delays are endemic in public sector projects. These have negative consequences on national development as well as public trust and expectations. Although several studies on delays in construction projects have been carried out globally, these problems have not been comprehensively tackled due to limitations in existing project management techniques. Therefore, to address this research gap, the aim of this study is to examine a new approach to reducing and managing delays in construction projects through building information modelling (BIM), especially with regard to eliminating optimism bias and reducing the cost consequences that such delays have on Saudi public-sector projects. To achieve this aim, a qualitative approach has been adopted for data collection using multiple case studies to investigate how BIM would help the analysis and management of delays in specific kinds of projects. Three public sector organisations in KSA were selected for collecting case study data, viz: Ministry of Education (MOE); Ministry of Health (MOH); and Ministry of Municipality and Rural Affairs (MOMRA). The case studies comprising 37 recently completed projects drawn from these ministries, have all experienced delays and cost overruns and served as the basis for archival analysis. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 experts (i.e. clients, contractors, and consultants) who were involved in these public-sector projects in order to obtain their reflections and current perceptions about using BIM for delay management. Six propositions were established to help guide the research and its outcomes. These propositions led to findings that demonstrate the advantage which BIM has over traditional methods of delay management in construction projects. Based on the objectives of this study, five critical delay factors directly linked to the Saudi public sector client (i.e. government), which were identified as candidates that can directly benefit from the capabilities of BIM. These delay factors are: ineffective planning and scheduling of the project; changes during construction by the client; delay in progress payment; slowness in decision making by the client; and poor communication between clients and other stakeholders. These delay factors were then ranked and ordered according to the level of difficulty and their impact on the timely completion of the project before each one of them was mapped with potential BIM solution(s). Among the key findings that emerged, the lack of knowledge, qualification and experience in BIM by individuals managing projects was found to be an important factor of construction delay in KSA. The use of such unqualified professionals (as well as the compromised quality of work) further aggravates the five types of delay identified in this study. Moreover, lack of qualification, knowledge or capability of the individuals inevitably leads to poor communication, which in turn is the primary cause of inadequate planning and scheduling. These eventually slow the decision-making process for variations in design or change orders. The study suggested that these issues could have been managed better using cloud-based collaboration platforms which have the capacity to manage requests for information (RFIs) and change orders by the clients. The study also reveals that BIM has the potential to eliminate optimism bias (which leads to underestimating of the cost or duration of the project) due to the accuracy of estimated quantities, advanced coordination of building systems and the visualisation of complex construction activities. The interviews data suggest that adoption of 4D and 5D BIM in KSA could solve over 90% of the delay problems at the design stage as well as over 70% of the cost and time estimation problems in the construction stage. Based on the six propositions, a critical discussion on BIM adoption in public sector construction projects led to new knowledge on the measurable benefits of BIM against the associated client-related causes of delays. Finally, this study proposed a number of recommendations for: policymakers and decision making; public sector clients; the construction sector; delay management education and research; as well as project management practitioners.