Biotto, Clarissa, Kagioglou, Mike, Koskela, Lauri and Tzortzopoulos, Patricia (2017) A consideration of Boundary Objects as a means of Integrating Design and Construction – A Case Study. In: 5th International Workshop When Social Science Meets Lean and BIM, 26-27 of January 2017, Aalborg, Denmark.

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Integration between Design and Construction is a common topic discussed in the literature in construction. The impacts of construction industry fragmentation are quite well known: poor design quality, lack of standards and constructability, suboptimal design solutions, high number of change orders, high rate of rework in design and construction, low value delivered for clients, design and construction delays and higher project costs. In the case of construction projects in which the design stage overlaps the construction stage, the industry fragmentation increases the projects’ risks and in some cases it nullifies the gains in cost and time which come about when using the strategy of overlapping.
Although researchers tried to address the problem of industry fragmentation by implementing new tools and methods to integrate project stakeholders, for example, using Building Information Modelling (BIM), Integrated Concurrent Engineering, Big-Room, and so on, the literature is still lacking in concepts and theories about how to integrate planning and controlling of both Design and Construction stages.
The purpose of this paper is to present the use of some concepts, such as production batch and work package, in order to create a common ground among Design, Construction and Costs simulations using BIM and line of balance. The case study is a retrofit of a set of social housing in Antrim (Northern Ireland) which aims to improve the energy efficiency of solid wall houses, at the sametime as reducing the disruption for end users. The study is part of the research project entitled S-IMPLER (Solid Wall Innovative Insulation and Monitoring Processes using Lean Energy Efficient Retrofit) funded by the Innovate UK, which aims to develop a retrofit solution for social housing built with solid walls to achieve 60% reduction in monitored energy costs, with less disruption for end users, keeping quality and safety at high levels.
The use of these concepts allowed the creation of different scenarios for design solutions and production system organization which were presented in a What-if Matrix. The costs changed as a consequence of the crossing scenarios. Adding to it, the definition of production batch and work package was essential to develop the BIM models (3D, 4D and 5D), as well as the line of balance used to plan the retrofit works and measure the end users disruption.
The research findings show that the common definition of production batch and work packages between Design and Construction stages used in the retrofit study worked as a boundary object in the development of BIM models and scenarios simulations. These concepts created the basis for the integration between design and construction, especially, in projects using BIM.
The results are not limited to the context of retrofit and further research is currently undertaken by the researchers to examine its validity and applicability in different settings.
Keywords: BIM; Line of Balance; integration design and construction


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