Integrated structural and construction engineering – A study of project team performance in Swedish bridge design
Doctoral thesis, 2019

The Swedish Transport Administration (STA) ambitiously strives to increase the level of productivity and innovation within its operations while meeting and surpassing national sustainability objectives. In this effort, the STA has concluded that climate gas emissions from construction, operation, and maintenance of the infrastructure must be reduced for Sweden to maintain its position as a pioneer and to reach both national and global climate goals. Emissions from road, rail, and other civil works is mainly related to the production of construction materials, such as construction steel, concrete and reinforcement in bridges, retaining walls, and other structures. For bridges, normally designed for a long service-life, the environmental impact of all stages after realization is greatly dependent on and constrained by decisions made during design and construction of the structure. To succeed in realizing effectiveness in bridge construction project is only possible by close cooperation between all project participants, i.e. client, consultant(s), and contractor(s).

The construction industry is often described as complex, multidisciplinary, and project-focused but with no clear boundaries of who actually owns processes and, consequently, the development of them. The overall purpose of this research is, therefore, to contribute to framing a systematic and holistic design approach fostering many kinds of project-settings and pre-requisites. This research aims to further understand how to introduce construction knowledge in the early design stages through utilizing an approach with integrated projects teams. The thesis is based on several studies exploring how integration is related to the bridge construction process and the key features are for such integration. Further, this thesis explores the prevailing interprofessional dialogue in the Swedish bridge construction process and how this may both support and hinder knowledge and experience transfer in the interprofessional interface.

Given the complexity in construction today, all participants involved, individually, will lack some pieces of the puzzle, but that collectively, they can gather their knowledge and resources to achieve success for all parties involved. When integration is seen from this perspective, the following key features crystallize; skills to collaborate and communicate; interdependency between the parties; importance for the structural engineer to receive feedback from, and to have a dialogue with, the contractors; teams to be provided with the right people.

The contribution of this thesis is that it provides further knowledge to develop and improve the contemporary approach in the design and construction of bridges.

constructability

project competence

integrated project teams

conceptual design

sustainability

interprofessional dialogue

project culture

collaboration in construction

bridges

integration in construction

concrete structures

integrated design

pre-construction indicators

performance

structural design

inter-disciplinary

buildability

SB-H3
Opponent: Professor Ola Laedre, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, NTNU, Norway.

Author

Daniel P T Ekström

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering

Ekström, D., Rempling, R., Plos, M. (2019). Study of approaches to meet the ends in bridge design and construction – It’s time to walk the talk

Integrated project team performance in early design stages – performance indicators influencing effectiveness in bridge design

Architectural Engineering and Design Management,; Vol. 15(2019)p. 249-266

Journal article

Ekström, D., Rempling, R. (2019). Closing the knowing-doing gap in the feedback loop – A study of experience and knowledge transfer in bridge construction projects

Predicting project performance using pre-construction performance indicators - A case study evaluation

2019 IABSE Congress New York City, The evolving Metropolis, September 4-6 2019,; (2019)p. 1438-1443

Paper in proceedings

The Swedish Transport Administration (STA) ambitiously strives to increase the level of productivity and innovation within its operations while meeting and surpassing national sustainability objectives. In this effort, the STA has concluded that climate gas emissions from construction, operation, and maintenance of the infrastructure must be reduced for Sweden to maintain its position as a pioneer and to reach both national and global climate goals. Emissions from road, rail, and other civil works is mainly related to the production of construction materials, such as construction steel, concrete and reinforcement in bridges, retaining walls, and other structures. For bridges, normally designed for a long service-life, the environmental impact of all stages after realization is greatly dependent on and constrained by decisions made during design and construction of the structure. To succeed in realizing effectiveness in bridge construction project is only possible by close cooperation between all project participants, i.e. client, consultant(s), and contractor(s).

The construction industry is often described as complex, multidisciplinary, and project-focused but with no clear boundaries of who actually owns processes and, consequently, the development of them. The overall purpose of this research is, therefore, to contribute to framing a systematic and holistic design approach fostering many kinds of project-settings and pre-requisites. This research aims to further understand how to introduce construction knowledge in the early design stages through utilizing an approach with integrated projects teams. The thesis is based on several studies exploring how integration is related to the bridge construction process and the key features are for such integration. Further, this thesis explores the prevailing interprofessional dialogue in the Swedish bridge construction process and how this may both support and hinder knowledge and experience transfer in the interprofessional interface.

Given the complexity in construction today, all participants involved, individually, will lack some pieces of the puzzle, but that collectively, they can gather their knowledge and resources to achieve success for all parties involved. When integration is seen from this perspective, the following key features crystallize; skills to collaborate and communicate; interdependency between the parties; importance for the structural engineer to receive feedback from, and to have a dialogue with, the contractors; teams to be provided with the right people.

The contribution of this thesis is that it provides further knowledge to develop and improve the contemporary approach in the design and construction of bridges.

Ibridge - Efficient industrial bridge construction by integrating structural design and construction process

Swedish Transport Administration, 2013-09-01 -- 2018-08-31.

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance

Transport

Production

Subject Categories

Civil Engineering

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Construction Management

Infrastructure Engineering

ISBN

978-91-7905-188-4

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4655

Publisher

Chalmers University of Technology

SB-H3

Opponent: Professor Ola Laedre, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, NTNU, Norway.

More information

Latest update

9/27/2019