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authors Hitchcock, Robert John
year 1996
title Improving life-cycle information management through documentation of project objectives and design rationale
source University of California, Berkeley, Department of Civil Engineering
summary Fragmentation is a defining characteristic of the US building industry that has evolved with increased specialization in building disciplines, and is exacerbated by the present industry business model. While the industry has agreed that productivity and product quality can be dramatically improved by information integration and communication, it has not agreed what information is most important to share to achieve these improvements. Traditional documentation in drawings and specifications captures only the final product of building design decisions. Yet, reported building failures indicate that a lack of understanding between project participants regarding their diverse objectives may be a key factor in failure. This deficiency leads to an inadequate understanding of the rationale behind the myriad design decisions that must work in concert to achieve a global set of project objectives. This information is routinely lost under current information management practices as the building moves through its life cycle. The dissertation develops an innovative information framework intended to effectively structure and manage building life-cycle information. The framework contains a product model that represents the details of a building design that are traditionally documented for sharing between project phases. Two additional elements are integrated with this product model to document key information that is currently lost. Explicit Global Objectives define the overall purpose of a building project by explicitly identifying its intended performance and the criteria for evaluating their achievement. Design Rationale Records capture the associations between individual details of the product model and the objectives that these details are meant to achieve. This information is linked within the framework so that it can be archived, reviewed, and updated in an integrated fashion as a building project moves through time. Example applications of the framework are given. Documenting this key information has benefit across the building life cycle. Participants can more clearly specify project objectives. Multi-criteria evaluation of alternative design solutions and construction methods can be better supported, and the resulting decisions better documented for sharing amongst participants. Comprehensive commissioning can be more cost-effectively performed. During operations, evaluation of the actual performance of a building and detection of maintenance problems can be enhanced.
series thesis:PhD
email RJHitchcock@lbl.gov
references Content-type: text/plain
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