ASC 2021:Papers with Abstracts

Abstract. Low back injuries are a major concern in the construction industry. Rebar workers develop lower back injuries as a result of prolonged awkward positions and repetitive motions. Exoskeletons can be an effective intervention for preventing back injuries. However, little is known regarding the potential impacts of their use on physical demands of construction work. This study presents an evaluation of the effects of a commercially available exoskeleton during simulated rebar work. Assessment of the exoskeleton was based on muscle activity and range of motion of the back during placing and tying subtasks of the rebar work. With the exoskeleton, muscle activity reduced in the erector spinae group by 10–30% during placing subtask. Latissimus dorsi muscle group showed a reduced muscle activity of 7-31% during the placing subtask but increased by 1-14% during tying subtasks. The back range of motion reduced by 17.15% during placing subtask and increased by 23.41% during the tying subtask. The reduction in muscle activations and range of motion during placing subtask agrees with the intended design of Laevo. However, the increased muscle activities and range of motion are indicative of increased discomfort and fatigue. These results could be helpful in redesigning exoskeletons to significantly reduce injury risk in construction.
Abstract. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are a major concern in the construction industry. The back is the most commonly affected body part, accounting for about 43% of construction cases. To reduce back loading, exoskeletons has been introduced in the workplace. Back-support exoskeletons are potential interventions to reduce physical demands on the back. Successful application of the exoskeleton will require an assessment of user acceptance and comfort with the device. The objectives of the study were to capture subjective evaluations of the impacts of exoskeleton use, including usability and discomfort. The participants perceived the exoskeleton as user-friendly, by providing moderate-to-high ratings of ease-of-use and ease-of-learning, and reduced time for donning and doffing. Using the exoskeleton reduced discomfort in the lower leg, lower back, and thigh by 28%, 21.74%, and 3.13% respectively, suggesting the potential of the exoskeleton for reducing low back injuries amongst floorers. However, an increase of discomfort in the chest region (111.11%) reveals the unintended consequence of the exoskeleton. Overall, the exoskeleton has the potential of being accepted as an intervention for flooring work. Future work is needed to better assess the exoskeleton among actual construction workers.
Abstract. The construction industry has experienced a significantly rapid integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), (known as drones) within multifarious construction applications due to their prevalent stature in accessibility, reliability, accuracy, and low-cost. Given the dynamic nature of the hazard-prone construction sites, the rapid proliferation of UAVs potentially incorporates additional operational complexities, hazards, and associated safety risks. These safety implications are emerging in the absence of construction-specific UAV-standard guidelines and strategies for effective risk mitigation. Despite the remarkable benefits, UAVs can expose workers to a wide range of unwarranted workplace hazards, especially when operating around densely populated construction sites. This study aims to (1) explore the current understanding of the UAV-associated safety risks and (2) identify the potential risks to which construction workers are exposed. Collisions with workers and properties have been found to be the key safety risks of UAV adoption. In this context, due to the scarcity of studies, there is a substantial lack of construction-based safety understanding relevant to UAV applications. It is expected that the industry professionals and practitioners can benefit from the presented information to effectively address the safety risks and develop appropriate control measures to ensure safe operation by preventing accidents.
Abstract. Using environmentally friendly concrete materials can help improve the sustainability of the concrete industry. However, the effects of such materials on concrete properties must be fully understood before sustainable concrete can be widely applied. Previous research showed limited applications of statistical methods in analyzing the effects of sustainable concrete materials on fresh concrete properties. This study applies multivariate regression analysis to modeling properties of fresh concrete (i.e., slump, air content, and density) made with multiple sustainable raw materials based on variables in mixture design. Different regression models were tested to explore the best-fit model(s) that can capture and predict how these variables affect fresh concrete properties. The regression analysis showed satisfactory results in predicting air content and density, but not in predicting slump. The regression analysis, as a statistical tool, can provide deep insights into how the selected independent variables affect fresh concrete properties and the degree of the effects.
Abstract. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of supply chains to unexpected disruptions, including the construction industry procurement process. Construction projects face new challenges arising from these disruptions of material supply chains. As disruptive events continue to occur, there is a need for construction professionals to collaborate to understand the workings of local material supply chains. This study seeks to examine one of these supply chains from the perspective of a commercial roofing system. A case study approach focusing on a thermoplastic polyolefin (T.P.O.) system is used to determine if any supply chain disruptions affect this roofing system in Colorado during the COVID-19 pandemic. This case study focuses on a local project, drawing upon previous research, project documents, and interviews with key project stakeholders to better grasp what impacts affect the supply of T.P.O. roofing systems in the state. Discussions with project stakeholders also reveal potential roofing supply chain impacts outside the scope of the T.P.O. system. This study provides insight into the varying degrees to which the construction industry is experiencing material supply disruptions and project cost impacts because of the pandemic. This study shows how the complexities of a crisis are likely to impose challenges on material supply chains.
Abstract. The purpose of this study is to assess three Class A roofing materials (asphalt shingle, synthetic shake, and metal), which are typically used on residential homes in wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas. A series of tests were conducted by incorporating many aspects of the ASTM E108 burning- brand test while also analyzing the change in room temperature and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions. Since these tests were conducted at 7,500 feet in elevation, a higher elevation than all other U.S. testing facilities, results provide a unique insight into fire behavior and performance of residential roof systems built-in high elevation WUI locations. Tests included placing a burning- brand at the top of a roof deck specimen. The resistance to flame impingement of the roofing material was recorded along with temperature changes and CO emissions. Results indicated no differences in temperature and emission for all three materials. However, the area of charring on the plywood underlayment was the smallest on the metal sample. The charred plywood was approximate twice the size of the metal roofing area in the synthetic shake tests, and approximately three times the size of the metal roofing area in the asphalt shingles test. Based on these pilot results, asphalt shingle roofing on residential homes in high fire danger WUI areas should be avoided, while metal roofing should be encouraged. If noise or appearance is a key issue for a homeowner, synthetic shakes could be used. Future tests should be performed on other Class A materials at higher elevations to evaluate material costs, insulation ratings, and noise resistance of residential roofing systems installed in mountain regions of the U.S., such as the Colorado Rockies.
Abstract. As the construction industry continues to grow, there is an increased demand for recruiting students from construction management programs. Many companies implement effective recruiting strategies and company branding at career fair events. However, there is no definitive research that objectively identifies the characteristics a company portrays at career fair events for construction management programs. This research identifies how companies define their character by: (1) the visual materials they select to display and (2) the use of space and surfaces they have available at a construction career fair. In order to accurately identify these characteristics, photographs were taken during two career fair events of each company participant’s booth space. In the Spring 2019 and 2020 career fair events, 107 total photos of 80 companies and 159 photos of 97 companies were analyzed respectively. The analysis identified six categories of display materials with examples in each category. The six categories include: vertical surfaces, horizontal surfaces, industry related props, technology related props, information handouts, and giveways. The analysis also identified how companies differentiate themselves by the written content and images they choose to display on the vertical surfaces and the use they make of horizontal surfaces.
Abstract. Based on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, businesses throughout the US were affected by closures, by status as essential or nonessential businesses, and by other new and unforeseen regulations which were implemented with little notice. In order to understand how these changes affected construction contractors, a short survey was created. The survey was initially distributed in May 2020, so responses are based on initial reactions to the pandemic. The survey questions included both yes/no and long-answer response types. Additionally, virtual focus group discussions occurred through a university industry advisory board and the local AGC chapter. The multiple data sources provided an opportunity of the triangulation of the data to produce a more robust view of the issue. From the survey long-answer questions and the focus group discussions, a thematic analysis was performed. Many themes were found in all three sources demonstrating the most common responses in regards to safety and operations.
Abstract. This paper analyzes the job postings in the construction sector to identify the nature and demand of the soft skills that the construction industry is looking for in the employees. The construction industry, like other industries, is witnessing rapid change in the working environment because of factors such as increasing cultural diversity of the workforce, advancement in information technology and introduction of automation and artificial intelligence to perform routine jobs. Because of these changes, individuals need soft skills to succeed in the 21st century workplace. The job postings on the Job Bank Canada website in 2019 that were related to the construction sector were analyzed to identify the soft skills that are in demand in the construction industry. Out of the top 12 skills extracted from the job postings, seven skills are identified as the soft skills. “Team player” is the most sought-after skill in the construction industry, which appears in 56.4% of the job postings. Other soft skills in demand are “effective interpersonal skills,” “excellent oral communication,” “attention to detail,” “reliability,” “flexibility,” and working in a “fast-paced environment.” The analysis shows that the interpersonal and intrapersonal soft skills are in high demand in the construction industry.
Abstract. In today’s rapidly changing market, effective organizational change adoption has become a core competency for many Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) organizations to maintain competitiveness. Many barriers and hindrances stand in the way of the successful adoption of an organizational change initiative, with employee’s resistance to change being primary among them. The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between utilizing specific change management practices for achieving a successful change adoption and favorable employee reaction to that change. A data set of 428 change initiatives from numerous AEC organizations across North America was analyzed. The results show that certain practices such as utilizing change agents to support the change adoption, providing a realistic timescale of the change to the users (and keeping them updated with the progress of change), utilizing the practice of communicating the benefits of change, and providing training resources to the employee, can contribute to both a successful change adoption and favorable employee reaction. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by analyzing an under-researched dimension of change adoption in the AEC industry. This study also helps industry practitioners by identifying key organizational change management practices for successful adoption of change and favorable employee reactions to change.
Abstract. The architecture, engineering, and construction industry is introduced to a lot of innovations in various areas such as technology, management process, and business structure. The industry is rapidly adopting changes to cope with the current market. Many change initiatives fail to achieve their intended outcomes due to multiple barriers such as employee resistance to change. The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between various employee reactions to change initiative and successful adoption of that change, using a continuum of eight observable employee reactions. The study collected a data set of 447 cases of organization-wide changes from AEC firms across North America. The results showed that a more favorable employee reaction to change is positively correlated with successful adoption of change. Further analysis considered each reaction separately to find which behavioral responses are most associated with successful change adoption. A key finding was that reactions of reluctant compliance, passive avoidance, and lack of participation were most strongly associated with negative change adoption. This leads to an interesting contribution for practitioners, because this finding suggests that organizations may need to be wary of these more subtle behavioral reactions than more overt opposition, argumentation, obstruction, and undermining actions.
Abstract. The major objective of this research is to investigate construction job market for developing multiskilled labor in the construction industry using web scraping and text mining techniques. The construction industry has been suffered from the skilled labor shortage. To resolve the shortage and pertinent problems, multiskilled labor utilization strategies have been presented in construction. Although extensive research has been conducted over multiskilling strategies, it is still uncertain what skill sets are desirable to foster and utilize multiskilled labor efficiently in construction projects. To fill the gap, this research investigates skill sets for multiskilled labor development in construction using web scraping technique. We analyze texts of companies' job openings and provide the latest trends in what skill sets are beneficial for workers to get employed. The results provide skilled labor with the information of what kind of skill sets required to meet industrial needs. This research will contribute to the body of knowledge by expanding the multiskilling strategies through the data-driven analysis of real construction job market.
Abstract. Operational staffing is an ongoing concern for the built environment industries. The proper staffing of maintenance personnel at hospital facilities to ensure optimal operations in the event of emergencies and disasters is an issue that has been the focus of continuing research. While a fair amount of scholarship has been dedicated to healthcare staffing in hospitals, such as nursing, there is a lack of research on identifying proper staffing for facility management related professions in hospital facilities. Numerous utilization metrics, such as admissions, and facility metrics, such as Gross Square Feet (GSF), have been proposed as potential predictive measures for making staffing allocations. This study was conducted to identify predictors of maintenance Full Time Equivalents (FTEs) using publicly published data by the Washington State Department of Health. A linear regression was performed on maintenance FTEs at these healthcare facilities using the predictor variables, GSF, admissions, available beds, and Plant, Property, & Equipment (PPE), R2 = .625, F (3,84) = 46.59, p = .000. This research suggests that benchmarking efforts can be supplemented through regularly published hospital data to utilize a wide variety of predictor variables. Future research should focus on developing models that can be applied at a national level.
Abstract. The construction market is playing a massive role in the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Among various industries, construction is a significant sector responsible for 4-8 percent of GDP. Like other sectors, construction markets are susceptible to demand fluctuations, which the economic recession can cause, political decisions, natural disasters, or outbursts of pandemics. The ability to predict the demand rate in the construction market could give the contractors and owners a better understanding of what they need in their short-term and long-term programs and make them more competitive by predicting the needs in workforce demand. The research selected Texas employment data as the focal point due to the size of the construction market and its workforce diversity.
Furthermore, Texas has been a hotspot for dozens of hurricanes, also affected by many political bills and economic Turmoil, making results more capable of further generalization. This research used three different methods to predict the total construction employment. Univariate models are applied to the datasets to forecast them based on their previous quantities. Three methods such as autoregressive integrated moving average time series models (ARIMA), supervised learning regressors, and the long-term-short-memories (LSTM), were applied to the construction hiring data extracted from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Generally, LSTM models had the most accurate predictions in most cases, except for Austin, where ARIMA models predicted the dataset accurately.
Abstract. The cost of deconstruction increased dramatically after the deconstruction ordinance in the City of Milwaukee went into effect on January 1, 2018. This study focused on comparing the cost of deconstruction from 2015 to 2018 and look at reducing the cost of deconstruction. Rising costs of deconstruction caused an increasing backlog of vacant and blighted buildings to remain in place across the City of Milwaukee. The purpose of this study was to analyze the costs associated with the deconstruction of structures in the Milwaukee area and to find areas of cost efficiencies. This study defines the labor and process costs required to deconstruct a structure defined as worker hours per square foot, identifies the environmental regulations and constraints that affect the costs of deconstruction, classifies the economic landscape that benefits deconstruction, defines the marketplace for material salvaged from deconstructions and the best practices for deconstructing houses. Contractors that specialize in deconstruction can benefit this research by creating a lean deconstruction process. Traditional demolition companies that focus on mechanical demolitions can use this research to expand business opportunities into deconstruction work and find the value in a material that has historically been landfilled. Municipalities will be able to control the contract bidding process by understanding the economics of deconstruction and the end market of salvaged materials.
Abstract. Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects have become popular during the last 30 years due to the need of new infrastructure and/or renewal projects to be built with limited public resources.
PPP scheme has been implemented for public infrastructure such as in transportation, energy, and healthcare in developing countries, developed countries focused on renewals and improvements. Although developed countries have an extensive knowledge in healthcare PPPs, developing countries have been procuring large-scale hospitals through PPP as a new concept. Hence, the lack of know-how and experience in healthcare PPP implementations in developing countries needs to be fulfilled for a successful implementation. The objective of this research is to identify the key challenges experienced in healthcare PPPs in developing countries. The case study research methodology is used to investigate the experiences of stakeholders in large hospital projects. Structures interviews were conducted to collect both primary and secondary data. The results showed major challenges such as the lack of bankable project agreement, lack of institutional capacity and adequate risk allocation, lack of environmental and social impact assessment, incomplete PPP project medical scope, and the short-term vision in terms of investment. Mitigation strategies were recommended to address those challenges for more successful PPP implementation.
Abstract. Anecdotal evidence exists claiming the benefits of technology regarding efficiency and overall competitiveness of contractors. However, there is lack of empirical evidence demonstrating that technology improves contractors’ efficiency, especially as it relates to their bidding success. This study explores the association of a specific BIM application that automates the extraction of quantities from virtual models to bidding successes on public projects. Information from public projects in the state of Texas that used the BIM application in 2016 were analyzed. The contractors who used the application showed an overall increase in their success rate in public bids. Analysis indicates that the success rates of winning bids using the application are not equal for all public project types. Additionally, the results suggest that the odds of winning bids are higher for projects under $100 million as opposed to projects valued in excess of $100 million. The empirical evidence presented suggests that the use of the BIM application is related to winning Public work in Texas; however due to the limitation of the data it cannot indicate causation. Nevertheless, the results should encourage contractors to use the BIM application during bidding.
Abstract. The COVID-19 virus ravaged the United States population and economy. In March 2020 almost every state went into a self-mandated lockdown. States began reopening in May and June of 2020 with different safety protocols and restrictions in place. Most Department of Defense (DoD) construction sites were considered essential, therefore did not have to shut down. To keep their personnel safe, contractors quickly began adopting additional safety measures as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One of the most widely used safety measures was social distancing or staying 6 ft away from other individuals. This paper summarizes the impacts of COVID related delays on construction activities based on survey data. Results indicate that several issues caused construction delays including labor shortage, social distancing, COVID-19 protocols and material supply delays. The data also showed that delays were noticed in all aspects of construction including concrete, MEP, masonry and finishes.
Abstract. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the world and has affected all aspects of personal and professional life. Many construction projects were deemed “critical” during the pandemic and were cleared to proceed with increased safety measures in place to protect employees. Many companies have shifted regularly scheduled meetings from in person to video and/or audio conference when practical to facilitate physical distancing and reduce the spread of COVID-19. This shift to virtual meetings has facilitated continued communication among construction stakeholders. This research addresses the changes in construction communication since the onset of COVID-19 along with the positive and negative outcomes associated with these changes. A survey was completed by a variety of construction professionals, including project owners, architects-engineers, subcontractors, and suppliers. Results of the survey include data on changes in meeting attendance, positive and negative outcomes of virtual communication, and recommendations for improving virtual communication going forward. The study focuses primarily on verbal communication during typical construction meetings.
Abstract. Project management organizational structure plays an important role in state highway agencies as part of a network of complex relations that links a project management unit (PMU) and subject matter experts (SMEs) to tasks and resources for project development and aligns the functions for project management strategy. However, there is a lack of studies that studied the project management organizational structure of state DOTs in terms of the relative position of the dedicated PMU with other functional offices and the authority level of project managers (PMs). Thus, the primary objective of this paper is to analyze the state DOTs’ project management organizational structures and recommended practices of organizational structures for project management. This paper conducted, a survey, an extensive content analysis, and interviews with PMs and SMEs in state DOTs. The primary contribution of this study to the overall body of knowledge is the insights of state DOTs’ organizational structures by conceptualizing the relationships among the PMU and functional offices within the organization and identifying the state of practices in project management organizational structures.
Abstract. NASA announced its anticipated dates to send humans to an asteroid in year 2025 and to Mars in 2030s which requires the preparation of habitats on space for human accommodation. Due to the high cost of shipping construction materials to space, it is required to utilize in-situ materials for the development of concrete mixes. In this research, cement matrix using regular portland cement, and stucco will be tried. In addition, martian and lunar regolith will be utilized as aggregate due to their high availability. Utilized aggregates were sieved and grouped into different sizes to find the optimum aggregate size for concrete properties. Research findings proved that smaller regolith particles tend to produce concrete mixes with higher strength due to the improved packing order. The findings of this research present a step forward into producing economic concrete mixes, using local spatial materials for the development of space habitats.
Abstract. The objective of this study was to identify the contingent payment language that subcontractors could take advantage of when executing contracts in the Northeast and the Southeast United States. Data for this study was collected from court cases and statutes to analyze court interpretation of the language contained in contracts. The prime beneficiaries of this study were subcontractors who learned the specific contingency language that affected their potential payments from a contractor not paid by an owner and the varying impact of that language in each state. The results of the study indicated that some states followed a pay-when-paid interpretation, others pay-if-paid and still others enacted statutes that deemed such clauses unenforceable as a matter of public policy. States considered in the study included Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. While the vast majority of southeast states do not enforce pay-if-paid clauses, more mixed results are found in the northeast.
Abstract. A common component in construction litigation in the United States and throughout the world is the use of expert witnesses typically by both the plaintiff and defense. In the U.S., construction-area faculty often may be asked to serve as experts in these construction disputes. While many construction-area faculty members are aware of this practice area, due to a lack of understanding of requirements for experts, they may have not fully considered the benefits of being an expert in terms of career development, industry contact, and other areas. Interviews were conducted with several construction-area faculty members that serve as experts in construction disputes possessing significant experience in this area. The goal was to examine both requirements and benefits for the faculty member who acts as an expert witness. These requirements include verbal/written communication skills, background knowledge, research/analytical ability, and presentation ability before arbitrators, judges, and juries. The benefits besides obvious financial compensation include continued industry experience and contact along with keeping abreast of industry practices. The expert experience of these faculty members in construction litigation disputes was centered on construction safety/accidents, construction defects, construction contracting issues, construction scheduling issues, and construction cost issues.
Abstract. Since the release of CFR Title 14, Part 107 in 2016, the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems or drones, has significantly increased in the construction industry. This paper discusses the results of a survey of over 50 construction professionals with the goal of better understanding how drones are used, the perceived benefits and barriers, and how an Applied Drone Technology course offered through Clemson University address those barriers. The survey found that over 80% of the respondents used drones for progress photos and marketing. However, less than 10% use drones for thermal imaging, quantity take-offs, safety, and quality control overlays. The respondents indicated that the most significant benefits of drone use were to provide improved documentation, the perception by their clients and communication. The lowest perceived value was related to increasing efficiency, safety, cost control, and BIM modeling. The most significant barriers to using drones included earning an FAA remote pilot certificate, uncertainty about regulations, the liability of drone operation, and the lack of flight skills. Each of those barriers is addressed in the drone course and evaluated favorably by the contractor group.
Abstract. Embedments (embeds) are commonly used when dissimilar construction materials such as steel and concrete or wood and masonry need to be anchored together. The embed serves as a structural connecting point for different materials. Construction managers are aware of the significance in terms of lost time and cost overruns when these embeds are not properly installed. Missing embeds require extensive structural re-work that is costly and involves a significant amount of time to remedy. The inspection process directly impacts the success of a project when missing embeds can be identified early. This research analysis expands on a past research study involving the use of an augmented reality headset to assist inspectors in the process of examining a simulated embed installation. This paper will identify shortcomings from the original study that were used to further develop and refine the augmented reality inspection process. While the use of improved equipment helped to stabilize the virtual image when viewed through a head-mounted augmented reality headset, newly discovered visibility issues turned out to be problematic for its use. The researchers found that virtual image opacity and image drift were problematic in the follow-up study, resulting in inaccurate inspections. As a result of these findings, the researchers recommend adjustments to the virtual overlay presented by the head-mounted augmented reality headset in a future iteration of this study.
Abstract. Various research work has recently investigated the utilization of Machine Learning for automating the process of clash resolution during design review and coordination of BIM models on construction projects. Literature review shows that current research work focuses on using Supervised Learning for automation of clash resolution. Individual implementation of Supervised Learning has its drawbacks. The automated model trained through Supervised Learning will only be able to resolve clashes similar in nature to those clashes used to train the model. This paper proposes a new approach that integrates Supervised and Reinforcement Learning to overcome these limitations. Reinforcement Learning will assist in overcoming the dependency of Supervised Learning on training data, while Supervised Learning will reduce the time for Reinforcement Learning by eliminating iteration with low rewards or illogical solution. The proposed approach will be able to assist industry practitioners in resolving clashes efficiently and effectively.
Abstract. Facility management involves a variety of processes with a large amount of data for managing and maintaining facilities. Improved and emerging technologies available to facility managers have provided opportunities for easier access and management of the data allowing for more effective and efficient operation and maintenance. The concept of big data can help with extracting meaningful and valuable information from the available data. Current facility management practices and processes have many data management challenges, including data loss, time wasted for searching information, lack of interoperability, and so on. Lack of proper decision-making approaches and lack of maintenance planning can increase the cost of operation, influencing the quality of facility management. To effectively overcome these challenges and gaps, proper data management approaches and tools should be implemented. A structured literature review was conducted to identify challenges and gaps in three key facility processes: processing work orders, timely access to relevant data during field maintenance operations, and quality control/quality assurance of field tasks. This paper provides an overview of the three key processes, summarizes the challenges and gaps identified for each key process and proposes a framework to improve on the execution of these processes and enhance facility management decision making.
Abstract. Current as-built BIMs generated during design and construction and delivered to owners at project handover do not fulfill all FM needs. To provide value, an FM-Capable BIM is required that is optimized for operations and maintenance. Two of the requirements of an FM-capable BIM is that it serves as a central repository for accurate, complete, and reliable data, and it provides accurate and complete representation of building components and systems. This paper reports on a collaborative project to evaluate the usability and effectiveness of the Hololens with the VisualLive HoloLive platform to test the accuracy and completeness of model graphical and non-graphical information. A Navisworks as-built BIM of the mechanical room of a classroom building was used. The paper also outlines current Mixed Reality (MR) features, compares two MR platforms, HoloLive and Trimble Connect, and provides future research direction. Results indicated that the usability and effectiveness of MR technologies are adequate to verify model data and test quality of the BIM graphics. However, the users had difficulties with typing, dependency on WiFi signals, visibility of distant objects, objects in low lighting areas and objects with dull colors. Concerns regarding the wearability and safety of the glasses were highlighted.
Abstract. This paper introduces a set of analyses using location specific GIS data to inform certain preconstruction and construction activities performed by contractors. Five types of GIS assessments whose output provides information for project risk analyses, site logistics, site security, and safety are discussed. The results from these analyses show that the information obtained could be beneficial for contractor’s decision making and construction planning. Additionally, a hypothetical project was created to provide context for the integration of BIM and GIS to support the operations and maintenance of mechanical equipment. A practical workflow is proposed that includes specific building information and steps in the process to import BIM project data into GIS software for visualization of a building asset location. As proof of concept, Air Handling Units (AHUs) data was input to the Revit® model element, which was then exported as a text file and imported to ArcMapTM. The workflow can be applied to a single building or several buildings in a broader site like university campuses. This paper contributes to the literature with 1) its application of GIS data for preconstruction and construction analyses, and 2) a workflow that integrates BIM and GIS data using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software.
Abstract. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been utilized as an alternative medium to human workers in data collection processes in various industries. The capabilities of UAVs are now being extended from passive tasks of data collection to active tasks of interacting with the environment by equipping them with manipulators and robotic arms to function as Unmanned Aerial Manipulators (UAMs). Research on UAMs has been growing in the last few years. The applications of UAMs have been studied including sensor installation, inspections, door opening, valve turning, pick and drop, etc. for the oil and gas industry and civil applications. However, there is a lack of studies in understanding the potential applications of UAMs and their capabilities in construction and in augmenting construction activities. The goal of this research is to identify potential opportunities and challenges of the application of UAM in construction projects. The study undertakes a literature review followed by semi-structured interviews with industry experts to identify the potential areas for the UAM application and possible challenges towards the adoption of technology in the field. This study contributes to the introduction of a new research area in contact- based UAV-guided technologies in construction processes.
Abstract. Progress monitoring in the construction industry is mostly a manual process through in-person visual inspection and it leads to inconsistent, time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone data acquisition. The key in progress monitoring is accurate, timely, and regular data collection and analysis during the construction process. Automating the process of regular data collection in progress monitoring can enable systematic recording of construction progress. To achieve this goal, mobile robots with autonomous navigation and high-performance locomotion capabilities can potentially navigate dynamically changing construction workspaces to perform regular data collection. This study identifies fundamentals of robot-enabled procedures for automated construction progress monitoring and explores the opportunities and challenges of utilizing a legged robot in this process. Through collaboration between academia and industry, this study conducts a set of experiments with a four-legged robot equipped with a 360° image capture technology to automate data collection in construction progress monitoring. The results of these experiments have identified the opportunities and operating procedure for robot-enabled image capturing. The study has also discussed current limitations in the automated construction progress monitoring including safety limitations, operation limitations, and mission limitations.
Abstract. Smart buildings use technologies to interconnect different building systems’ data for performance improvement. These buildings can improve the user experience, decrease operation and maintenance costs, and elevate productivity, to name a few. With the advent of information technology, the market for smart building technology is increasingly expanding. Smart buildings and relevant synonyms are becoming prevalent in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries (AEC); however, it is not widely taught in construction education programs. This study aims to determine the current understanding and perception levels of construction management students of the aspects of smart buildings. To do this, two groups of construction management students from Japan and the U.S. were surveyed before and after a smart building workshop. A quantitative research method was used to collect and analyze the data. The results showed similarities and differences between the two groups’ attitudes toward different aspects of smart buildings, the workshop’s role in changing students’ perceptions of smart buildings, and construction education institutions’ role in promoting the smart building concept. This study helps education programs by shedding light on the current knowledge of a sample of students about smart buildings and highlights aspects of the concept that need a focus in educational settings.
Abstract. This study has been conducted to explore the feasibility of using Fleet Telematics Systems (FTS) to identify truck hauling cycle-times and optimize trucking power in earthmoving operations. Aftermarket telematics control units and a web-based telematics application were utilized to autonomously monitor and collect cycle-time information on multiple tandem-axel dump trucks. Trucks were monitored during a four-day period of work while performing the same task through the duration of the data collection. The information was then analyzed to determine if inefficiencies in the earthmoving operations could be identified strictly through the collected cycle- time data. The key finding of this study was that information collected through FTS units and applications provided a beneficial understanding of the on-site earthmoving equipment through the data associated with the hauling cycle-times. The authors believe that the telematics technology being introduced to hauling machinery and vehicles provides a low-effort and inexpensive means to autonomously monitor and manage earthmoving operations from anywhere in the world.
Abstract. McKinsey Global Institute (2017) in its report states that construction-related spending accounts for 13% of the world’s GDP, but the sector’s annual productivity has only increased 1% over the past 20 years. As with all other industries, as years pass innovation is intended to increase and introduce much higher productivity levels and safer work environments. It has been more than a decade of BIM utilization in construction jobsites. The introduction of three-dimensional modeling was supposed to serve as the turning point regarding technology in construction, but have we truly seen the effective utilization of BIM in construction process? So, what are the roadblocks to a smoother transition from paper-based 2-D to electronic 3-D Models in construction job sites? Utilizing both a questionnaire survey and an in-depth interview technique, this study explored the reasons behind the slow adoption and apprehensions in adopting 3-D Models in construction projects. Ineffective and lack of training in BIM was found to be one of the reasons for less than slower adoption of the BIM in construction job sites.
Abstract. The objective of this study is twofold: (a) To investigate the magnitude of errors introduced by a typical georeferencing procedure when it is applied to a relatively large (five acres), non- georeferenced, but still accurate point-cloud model. The modeled area is a commercial site, and its model was generated via static terrestrial LiDAR. (b) To complete practical, hands-on service- learning activities that benefit not only members of the local community, but also graduate and undergraduate students whose learning is enhanced through experiential practical opportunities offered by our engineering and construction programs. The resulting 3D virtual models were donated to the property owners and serve as virtual surveying tools for the design of future modifications or additions to the involved buildings, parking lots, and landscaped areas. Distance comparisons between the non-georeference and the georeference models were completed. Their resulting statistical analysis indicated that even an accurate georeferencing approach introduced discrepancies in distances when they were measured from a virtual georeferenced 3D point-cloud model or from a non-georeferenced one. The comparison involved a total of 1016 distances from each of the two involved models. Those distances ranged from 4 to 700 ft. The Standard Deviation and Root Mean Square values of all discrepancies in distances were equal to 0.037 ft (1.1 cm). The resulting georeferenced model did not produce distance discrepancies larger than 0.111 ft (3.4 cm) with respect to the non-georeferenced one. This conclusion is valid for the case presented in this study and could be extrapolated to other cases with similarly accurate models.
Abstract. Construction workers are usually faced with many safety and health risks due to the hazardous nature of the construction work environment. The application of emerging safety technologies such as wearable sensing devices (WSDs) and the Internet of things (IoT) has been identified as one of the most effective means of predicting future performance and preventing these risky events. In spite of the benefits of these devices, their implementation on construction sites to protect workers and improve their safety performance is still limited. Several IoT-based wearable sensing devices are being used in other industries to monitor metrics that are similar to those that can be monitored to manage workers’ safety on construction jobsites. Hence, there is a need to develop some criteria for evaluating these devices for their applications in construction. The main purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual decision-making framework that stakeholders can use to select Wearable Internet of Things (WIoT) devices for applications in construction. The research approach involves a review of literature on WIoT devices and the development of a decision-making framework using the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). This study presents an initial attempt geared toward providing stakeholders with an effective decision-making tool that can be used to select WIoT devices for implementation in the construction industry.
Abstract. Among the goals of the accreditation process are to ensure a high level of degree program quality to students and the public. One mandate of accreditation requires a process of continuous improvement based upon the collection, analysis, and resultant action plans of Student Learning Outcome (SLO) assessment data. Because degree programs have a limited number of curriculum hours available for degree-specific learning, an educational unit must determine how to efficiently utilize this resource for student success to demonstrate mastery of specific SLO skill sets. This paper outlines a methodology that includes ranking the SLO’s by priority, determining the number of classroom hours taught per SLO, and creating a comparative baseline of the alignment. Analyzing this data creates an opportunity for an educational unit to make data-driven decisions justifying future actions of curriculum changes and fulfills the continuous improvement requirement. The results of using this methodology identified multiple misalignments in SLO priority ranking versus the classroom hours taught, and corrective actions were taken. This successful outcome indicates that this methodology is a viable process to create a framework for analyzing current curriculum time commitments compared to the input of faculty and industry support members ranking the importance of various mandated skill sets.
Abstract. Instructors develop courses to promote student learning and a multitude of strategies to measure if learning occurs through exams, projects, and other assignments. However, the measurements may also be an indication of how well the students cheat. In the classroom, proctors and multiple versions of an exam help to deter cheating, and comparing right and wrong answers among students helps to detect it. Video proctors for Online exams prove effective at preventing cheating, but they pose privacy and other issues. Comparing right and wrong answers between students remains a useful tool to detect online cheating. We propose analyzing learning management system (LMS) data to support and possibly replace other detection methods. LMS data have the potential to reveal cooperating students through a statistical analysis of student answer times. The proposed methodology is accessible to instructors without involving administrators in data collection.
Abstract. The objective of this paper is to evaluate differences and similarities of construction programs across various countries in order to encourage international cooperation of construction training and study abroad programs. The information illustrated in this paper was collected through a survey that was administered to construction programs from 11 different countries. The survey was divided into the following four categories: Program Structure, Curriculum, Industry Involvement and General Program. The study identified challenges and opportunities for students in construction programs to study abroad, with specific reference to financial funding at institutions, funding support from industry, lack of understanding around international articulation platforms, wide variation across internship requirements, and the importance of industry recognized certifications. The study demonstrated that 64% of the surveyed programs receive industry support and that all the surveyed programs are engaged and familiar with articulation agreements. In addition, besides programs in Australia and Portugal, internships are a requirement in all other countries surveyed. Also, among all surveyed countries, only Malaysia and South Africa require students to obtain industry certificates during the course of the program.
Abstract. As Universities attempt to elevate the student experience, one approach has been the formalization of a series of effective educational practices, termed High Impact Educational Practices (HIEPs). This study considers one university in the Southeastern U.S. that measures the quantity and quality of HIEPs based on the experiences of graduating undergraduate construction management (CM) students. The study addresses four different types of HIEPS: study abroad, internships and co-ops, undergraduate research, and e-portfolios. 145 graduating students were surveyed based on their self-selected HIEPs for the 2019-20 academic year. Results indicate that internships and co-ops are the most selected HIEP while undergraduate research is seldom student selected. Students note few opportunities to make formal presentations of their experiences in HIEPs. Data points toward the second and third internship or co-op as providing a deeper educational experience than the first internship or co-op. Finally, study abroad seems to provide the greatest opportunity for students to have deep impactful engagement with others.
Abstract. Over the years university educators and philanthropic organizations have strived to come together to achieve the goals and objectives of both. Construction management programs are often seen as a prime potential partner to assist with community construction projects which benefit non-profit organizations. At the same time, construction management educators have strived to provide their students with service-learning opportunities that are construction related, interdisciplinary, and project-based. This paper presents and describes the origins and functionality of a new model which integrates a university construction management senior project program with an international non- profit organization to provide design, engineering, and pre-construction services to international community construction projects in third-world countries. This case study was developed through accounts provided by the authors (originators of the program) and a series of student evaluations and surveys from twenty-three construction management students who participated in the program over a four-year-time period. The results and analysis describe a highly successful program through a model which benefits both the non-profit and educational institution through interdisciplinary collaboration and service learning. This paper is beneficial to educators and non-profit organizations who are looking for new and effective ways of achieving similar goals and objectives for both institutions.
Abstract. Higher education learning occurs through activity in and out of the classroom, whether it is physical or online. Instructors lecture, demonstrate, discuss, explain, and question students in the classroom and assign homework to reinforce learning outside of the classroom. Incorporating proven pedagogy into this process begins with exploring current approaches, the first step of benchmarking. This paper presents a small part of a broader scientific inquiry that sought to understand how construction management students learn best and examine current methodologies and how they compare to evidence-based practices. The initial survey results illustrate the coherence between students and instructors on course delivery and reveal discrepancies between the time instructors plan and students spend on homework. The data are essential for course planning and improvement, especially if homework continues to be part of the learning process.
Abstract. Standardized testing scores are often used as one element in the admission process however, they tend to be used to predict success in lecture-based courses. The Building Construction Science program at Mississippi State University follows a problem-based pedagogy that has experienced enrollment exceeding capacity. Little research exists to determine whether standardized testing scores are a valid predictor of success in a problem-based pedagogy. This could be useful if future enrollment in the program is limited and competitive. The study first analyzed whether a correlation exists between ACT composite score and the degree completion rate. Secondly, the study analyzed whether ACT composite scores and ACT sub-scores are valid predictors of success for students who complete the degree requirements, as measured by the grade point average of students in the problem-based courses. The results indicate that ACT composite score, when combined with admit type, is a more reliable predictor of the likelihood of degree completion than ACT composite score alone. With regard to predicting degree of success among those who complete the degree requirements, ACT composite score alone was a weak predictor while ACT sub-scores of Science, Math, and English were all moderate predictors of grade point average in problem-based courses.
Abstract. Site development activities are crucial to construction projects, yet construction management (CM) programs typically focus instruction on building structures rather than the associated site development. Previous studies have evaluated key skills and topics being taught in CM programs yet these studies have failed to examine instruction as it relates specifically to site development. This study bridges the gap in research by evaluating the perceptions of CM academics regarding site development instruction. A survey was administered to CM faculty teaching in Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) affiliated programs in the United States. The survey included eighteen site development topics and was validated by four general contracting industry professionals and three site development industry professionals before distribution. Participants were asked to classify each of the topics within the six levels of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. The survey was completed by 35 respondents representing all seven ASC regions in the United States. When aggregating results of all the site development topics, the majority of respondents felt that students should achieve the “understand” level (Level II) of cognition by the time they graduate. The highest ranking and lowest ranking topics are also identified along with recommendations based on the findings.
Abstract. The traditional lecture method is commonly used to teach Construction Management students. But most of the construction management concepts are hard to convey using this method, and students face obstacles to learning some of the ideas due to the difficulties in visualizing the concepts learned. This research aims to evaluate the influence of using three-dimensional models (3D) as a visualization tool in the construction management undergraduate program. The technique was implemented in three courses at different levels in the curriculum for one semester, and data were collected at the end of the courses. The results showed a strong influence of using 3D modeling in the materials and methods course and construction graphics with less effect in the estimating course. The results encourage expanding the use of 3D modeling and including it in more courses.
Abstract. With the advancement of web technology, the flipped classroom model has become a frequently discussed topic in academic circles at all levels. However, there are only a few research articles available for measuring the effectiveness of the flipped teaching model. This paper reports a feasibility study of implementing the flipped classroom approach in construction engineering and management (CEM) education. For this study, the authors designed the flipped classroom course modules and carried out the case study experiment. Also, a survey was performed for this study to observethestudents’perceptionsonthereversedteachingmodelinCEMeducation. Thisstudy found that the flipped classroom may have more benefits than the conventional classroom model. The survey confirmed that students may accept the reversed teaching model to learn course content in CEM education. The authors believe that this study makes a contribution to the existing body of knowledge by providing evidence to promote a larger, more controlled study to further investigate the efficacy of the flipped classroom approach.
Abstract. When students initially begin their pursuit of a degree in Construction Management (CMGT), the first CMGT courses they take address a wide breadth of foundational concepts. At the time of taking these entry level courses, most of these new CMGT students have little to no experience in the construction industry. This lack of experience presents a significant challenge for these students to understand the relevancy and real-world application of the concepts they are being taught. Often times these entry level courses utilize a traditional teaching method, where the instructor delivers the concepts to students via lectures. In turn, students focus on memorizing the delivered information, with little understanding of how the information they are taught is used in the construction industry. In this paper the author will demonstrate how a social constructivist approach was used in an entry level CMGT course to design a group project. This group project required students to relate the concepts taught in class to an actual construction project, resulting in improved student understanding of the concepts taught. This study is significant in that similar social constructivist approaches can be used in other entry level CMGT courses to greatly improve the quality of student learning.
Abstract. The course syllabus is a staple document in virtually every higher education classroom. Studies suggest that given appropriate attention to contents, the syllabus has opportunity to elevate student engagement and performance in a class. However, research on syllabi components in construction management (CM) is minimal to date. This paper presents an introductory exploration into the inclusion of syllabi components within CM that informed a larger body of research currently ongoing. Couse syllabi from 34, 4-year CM programs were evaluated for the presence of 26 specific components. These results were compared to a previous study of 350 syllabi in higher education and current recommended practice by selected teaching and learning centers to determine the areas where CM syllabi exceed or fall short of other disciplines. CM syllabi exceeded other disciplines within higher education in most categories. Details related to course assignments, instructor contact information, events specific to CM, and motivation of learning tactics were the key areas where CM syllabi had potential to enhance educational effectiveness within the CM discipline.
Abstract. Today’s work environment, regardless of career, is experiencing an unprecedented number of generations working together. Specific to the construction management industry, in order to effectively manage a team in such a generationally diverse workforce, a construction manager needs to increase their awareness and empathy of the varying modes of communication. Working in teams, 29 undergraduate construction management students completed a quantity take-off estimating project where a series of communication constraints were implemented (simulation) within each team that mirrored the ‘preferred available mode of communication’ of different workplace generations. Likert scale questionnaires were administered throughout the course to collect data to determine if a student’s awareness and empathy of generational communication changed through the simulation experience. The results from the simulation indicate promotion in workplace generational communication awareness and the role of empathy within the construction industry. However, these promotions do not appear to have a statistically significant correlation with each simulation. Furthermore, while students generally favour their own generational ‘preferred available mode of communication,’ they overwhelmingly rate face-to-face communication as the most effective communication style in the construction management industry.
Abstract. Online education has seen rapid growth through teaching and learning in university degrees. Higher education faculty have identified challenges while transitioning from face-to-face to online because of time management issues and the different instruction modalities. This study analyzes how construction faculty feel about the delivery of online instruction. A survey was developed to determine construction faculty expertise in delivering online content and their level of expertise after the changes due to the pandemic. The survey was conducted during the pandemic (May/August 2020). We asked faculty to reflect on the pre-pandemic vs pandemic perception course delivery method. The relevant survey questions focused on teaching experience, different delivery types, online teaching experience, course management resources, and proficiency of online teaching. While most responding faculty indicated traditional lecture was typically used for content delivery, the remaining faculty indicated “project-based learning, experimental laboratory course, or computer lab studio," as the content delivery method. From the faculty responses, there are challenges in delivering online construction courses having components of project-based learning, experimental laboratory course, and computer lab studio. The survey responses identified specific concerns about online courses from construction faculty members. Online delivery is difficult for teaching hands-on or experimental lab types of construction courses. Some construction faculty also identified concerns about academic integrity in the online delivery of construction courses.
Abstract. The number of catastrophic natural disasters is on the rise. Also escalating is the movement for universities to include high-impact educational practices. This case study explores the recent development of a course in a construction management undergraduate program and the efficacy of student learning from such. The course interweaves the complex disaster recovery process and a high-impact experiential learning opportunity through an extended “Study Beyond” short-term trip. The study provides a detailed account of the development and execution of the course for three consecutive semesters. Additionally, the study encapsulates multiple data points from students and faculty to assess the efficacy of such a uniquely developed course. The results indicate the students ranked serving others, the hands-on components, and working as a member of the collaborative team as the top three strengths of the course. Findings from the student learning assessments included acquiring and strengthening vital skills the industry desires of construction managers including time management, communication skills, and conflict resolution. Dissemination of this case study may be useful in starting similar courses at other institutions.
Abstract. The reality of COVID-19 public health concerns and increasing demand for distance education have forced educators to move to online delivery of their courses. Particularly in construction education, the majority of physical location-based educational activities (e.g., labs, site visits, or field trips) have been canceled during the pandemic that results in reducing students’ engagement, learning motivation, and cognitive achievement. Virtual Social Spaces (VSS) with innovative interaction affordances and immersive experience are well poised to supplement current online construction education. This paper discusses the potentials of VSS for construction education while focusing on the common applications of VSS, the communication and collaboration affordances of VSS, and design principles of this technology based on 15 popular VSS platforms. Overall, VSS applications are mainly found in education, entertainment, and socializing. The main communication and collaboration affordances of VSS include avatars, multi-user support, asynchronous commenting, synchronous chat, and visual-sharing affordances. These technical features illustrate the potentials of VSS for improving online construction education quality, eliminating the challenges associated with geographical dispersion of students, and decreasing the students’ lack of engagement.
Abstract. COVID-19 dominant academic year witnessed unprecedented educational environments. Enforced transitions to online commenced with concerns for lower quality education. This involuntary shift ironically provided grounds for bold approaches to overcome expected educational weaknesses. Addressing unfavorable circumstances of an online construction plan reading course, 3D modeling using Revit was adopted. This course initiated with low cognitive tasks, understanding construction drawings and memorizing associated terminology, which culminated in a high cognitive task, applying what is learned to building a 3D model, for both of which flipping the class, a proven educational strategy in face-to-face classrooms, was implemented. This experimental course implementation was proven successful in the survey performed after the course completion (n=99, response rate = 13%). Students understood how 2D drawings are created showing the ability to illustrate details: what materials the wall is made of, which is expected to remove the need for shop drawings and to reduce the number of RFIs. Based on the proof that Revit and flipped class helped students learn better, this study suggests a more developed course design for construction the plan reading course which is a prerequisite for higher-level construction education courses.
Abstract. The construction industry creates a vast quantity of data each year. As the industry moves to Construction 4.0, this data will be leveraged to improve stakeholders' overall outcomes. The construction industry seems poised and interested to capitalize on data capabilities. Research suggests that data literacy provides a feasible approach to prepare students for professional careers in this digital age. However, little is known about data literacy programs specifically for undergraduate construction engineering and management (CEM) students. The purpose of this detailed literature review aimed to define and describe a data literacy framework for CEM education. The study's primary goal was to establish a conceptual framework of data literacy education specific to undergraduate CEM programs. The resulting conceptual framework included five modules: (1) statistics, (2) data collection and processing, (3) data analysis, (4) ethical use and communication, and (5) publishing with data. The modules provide a comprehensive yet flexible set of modules for teaching data literacy. Ultimately, the study contributes to the body of knowledge of CEM education by presenting initial steps and proposing further discussions related to construction discipline-specific data literacy.
Abstract. This paper discusses students’ perspectives about the instructional delivery methods they preferred and found effective in four courses at a major university. Different teaching modalities were used, including asynchronous course delivery and a hybrid format which utilized synchronous virtual meetings for lectures and in-person face-to-face hands-on building activities. A survey was conducted, and results indicated that students both preferred and found most effective hands-on and lab activities over all other methods. The results of the student surveys are presented and discussed. The learning laboratories were designed to complement and enhance student learning in fundamentals, building information modeling, residential, and commercial construction courses, and provided opportunities for students to build and virtually design assemblies outside the classroom by applying knowledge first learned through reading and lecture. The laboratory exercises have been designed to reinforce course comprehension by combining them with additional instructional delivery methods allowing students to “learn by doing.” Each hands-on experiential exercise incorporated concepts learned in lecture (recorded or virtual); these exercises included hand drafting, virtual design, framing, exterior systems, door and window flashing and installation, and concrete. This information may assist educational programs that are interested in developing hand-on experiential laboratory exercises to enhance other course delivery methods.
Abstract. The fast-growing adoption of sensing technologies in the construction industry has necessitated a demand for workforce with technical skills. This study explores the current state of sensing technologies in the industry and sensing technology education in construction engineering and management programs. The study investigates the agreeability of industry and academia’s perceptions of the integration of sensing technologies in construction engineering and management curricula. The study employs online surveys to capture industry and instructor perceptions of the skills required of graduating construction engineering and management students and the extent of sensing technology education respectively. Comparison of the survey responses reveals differences between sensing technologies and applications deployed in the industry and those taught in construction engineering and management programs. While reinforcing the need for technical skills in the industry, results provide highlights to well-structured sensing technology courses based on required competencies to prepare students for a relevant and successful career in the industry.
Abstract. The Construction Industry plays a critical role in the construction and maintenance of the national infrastructure. However, the industry faces numerous challenges, one of which is the labor shortage. One way to alleviate the challenge is to encourage high school students to pursue careers in construction industry programs. Historically, summer experiences have been utilized by educators to facilitate career choices among high school students. However, limited literature exists on the use of Transformational Leadership and Constructivism (TLC) for Construction Summer Experiences. Therefore, the study discusses the development, delivery, and assessment of the Construction of Transportation Infrastructure Academy – Summer Experience grounded on TLC theories. The targeted population of the study was the economically disadvantaged high school students in the inner cities. Four Key Performance Indicators (KPI) were used to assess the summer experience's effectiveness based on TLC. Utilizing an online survey at the end of the summer experience among the participating high school students, the study found that the participating students' perception of careers in the construction of the transportation industry improved considerably.
Abstract. The construction industry is confronted with a critical shortage of skilled trade workers, which greatly hampers its growth and labor productivity. This shortage of workforce mainly stems from a lack of effective strategies for recruiting and retaining students in construction programs, which can be addressed by fully understanding major factors that influence student decisions to pursue a career in the industry. This study investigated the perceptions and opinions of students on developing a long-term career in the construction industry. The study data were gathered by surveying students enrolled in construction trade programs at three institutions in Texas. A total of 154 responses allowed for specific examination of the impact of family units and social media on student career decisions, factors leading participants to select a construction program, and participant perceptions of the construction industry. For unbiased analysis, the collected data were stratified by socioeconomic descriptions such as demographics and family household composition. The results revealed that skilled trade students have a positive perception of the construction industry. The findings of this study can provide planners and decision-makers with effective strategies for student retention and recruitment in construction trade programs.
Abstract. The number of Hispanic workers in the construction industry is more than any other industry in US, but they are under-represented in management position. In an attempt to grow the number of Hispanic construction managers, there should first be a growth in Hispanics obtaining construction science degrees. Retention of Hispanic students who could be the future construction professionals is a problem in Construction education. The objective of this study was to explore which of the factors reported by the literature, have the strongest positive effect on Hispanic students in undergraduate construction education programs. In order to identify which factors, have the strongest impact to assist undergraduate construction programs in determining where best to focus retention strategies to enhance Hispanic student success, this study employed the Delphi method. The results of the study showed that “financial aid”, “academic advising”, and “mentoring programs” were the topmost important factors. Additionally, it was found that “Construction-related student organizations” as the least important retention factor on the list. Research in the area of Hispanics in construction education is limited. This study can serve as a basis for future research in Hispanic students’ retention.
Abstract. Industry experience is desired by construction management education program chairs and advisory boards and required by the construction management accreditation board. This paper based on extensive literature review explores the expectations, challenges, and motivations for early career faculty who transitioned from private industry to academia. New faculty are expected to understand how to teach, be prepared to research and publish academic work, and be oriented to academe. New academics face various challenges in the early transitional years such as a lower starting position, lower starting salaries than in industry, removal from hands-on practice, doctoral degree requirements, and stress and heavy workloads. However, practitioners are also motivated to decide to make the move to academia by factors such as a second career after retirement, having a calling to teach, wanting a better work-life balance, and giving back to education. As universities are challenged to hire faculty with industry experience, administrators must be aware of the expectations, challenges, and motivations facing new faculty from industry. The existing literature regarding factors for transitioning to academia seem to be limited, particularly regarding the construction industry. Future research will seek to develop a set of training resources for early career construction management faculty that have transitioned from industry.
Abstract. The U.S. construction industry lacks diversity in respect to female and minority populations. This lack of diversity presents a threat and an opportunity for construction firms and the industry as a whole. Undergraduate construction management programs can support the industry by recruiting and retaining a diverse student population. Previous studies indicate that sense of community is positively related to recruiting, student satisfaction, academic achievement, and retention for underrepresented populations in higher education. The researchers compared sense of community to investigate differences between demographic groups. The findings indicate a significant difference in sense of community based on gender and no difference based on race. The study provides insights on the experience of underrepresented populations within construction programs. The findings will assist construction programs as they seek to support underrepresented populations and measure the impact of interventions over time.
Abstract. Disparities in bachelor’s degree obtainment and academic success as evidence of “opportunity gaps” between underserved racial-ethnic minority, low-income, and first-generation students and their peers is well documented in the United States higher education system. However, academic literature addressing the opportunity gap in construction management education is limited. This study investigated the academic success of Latinx, Pell Grant eligible, and first-generation students as compared to White (non-Latinx), non-Pell Grant eligible, and continuing-generation students at a large U.S. based construction management program for the years 2008 to 2017. Findings indicate that statistically significant differences in grade point average and construction management program eligibility exist between White (non-Latinx) and Latinx students at the construction management program of interest for this study.
Abstract. In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, much of higher education experienced a shift to virtual teaching and learning, requiring instructors to swiftly adapt their teaching methods. Within a construction education context, faculty interviews were conducted to discover some of the innovations and teaching strategies that were implemented. Using this data, a questionnaire was developed and delivered to students, who indicated their perceptions of these strategies and noted what they found to be helpful and what they found to be counterproductive. In general, students responded well to innovations such as virtual interactive elements and providing recorded lectures for review. Many students expressed frustration with slide-based lecturing and a loss of hands-on opportunities, a particularly poignant concern in construction education. Many teaching strategies had mixed reception, sometimes depending on the effectiveness of application. Organization and communicating expectations were emphasized by more than half of the students. In addition to discussing general strategies, anecdotal evidence is provided for construction-specific student experiences that were either successful or challenging. The contribution of this work is in providing a timely survey of construction-specific teaching strategies from faculty who experienced the transition to virtual and in directly collecting student responses to these strategies.
Abstract. When the pandemic hit the United States shores in early 2020, higher education institutions started to revise their instructional delivery methods accordingly in such a short period. It was a challenge for instructors to find a way to offer classes in a remote version online using asynchronous and synchronous digital platforms. The problem occurs when some classes focus on a hands-on approach that needs to be utilized in disciplines like Construction Management (CM). The question becomes, 'how to offer an effective and safe learning environment?' This paper presents a new approach to a CM class with a lab component that was created during the pandemic. 'Construction Systems' is a core CM course that students need, and it was assigned to be offered with a face-to- face element during the summer term of 2020. Detailed instructional planning was carried out in implementing a Project-Based Learning (PBL) approach considering student health and safety using educational technologies. In the paper, details of the planning for the PBL, implementation process, creating an active learning environment are detailed based on a real experience. As primary research findings, a new PBL approach was introduced and tested during the pandemic, and the results are promising. Therefore, this approach can be used by other CM programs around the country for future necessities.
Abstract. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, traditional university classes, and any associated experiential hands-on learning laboratory, adapted to comply with safety standards for public health, transitioning from a traditional classroom environment to a virtual one. This paper discusses the creation of a hands-on building kit to continue experiential hands-on learning activities in the virtual environment, transitioning from the construction of a small wooden structure to a roughly two-foot square wall section. Each hands-on experiential exercise was completed after first introducing the material in a virtual class setting through recorded online lectures and readings. Pre- and post-surveys were conducted during each term to identify how students’ confidence in building abilities, tool use, and quality control measures changed over the term, along with their confidence in identifying items for inspections. The results of the student surveys are presented and discussed, with additional analysis, providing insight into the types of learning activities that can be performed in a virtual environment, and the impact it has on student confidence as it pertains to building abilities and inspections. This information may assist construction management programs that are interested in developing hands-on experiential laboratory exercises in either the virtual or online environment.
Abstract. To alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on academia, numerous countries transitioned to electronic or online methods for education delivery. Within the US, during March and/or April 2020, numerous institutions transitioned to Online Learning Environment (OLE). However, very little is known about how the transition to OLE impacted the educators. Thus, the research aimed to determine the impact of OLE transition on AEC educators as per the academic ranks and gender. The study utilized an online survey method with the study emailed to 1,880 educators across the US during May-August 2020. The study presents the findings of 179 educators. The study found that with the transition to the OLE, proficiency with online content delivery was reported to have increased considerably. The majority of the respondents indicated that the transition to an OLE negatively impacted their productivity. Different faculty ranks perceived productivity impacts on "Research," "Service," or "both research and service" differently. Tenure-track balance faculty indicated that the "Research" productivity was negatively impacted, whereas part-time faculty and full-time non- tenure-track faculty indicated the "Service" productivity to be impacted negatively. Transition to an online environment also resulted in negative productivity across educator genders, with men reporting slightly higher negative productivity impacts than women.
Abstract. Given the growing environmental awareness, this paper intends to provide an updated picture on the relationships between 1) demographic factors and number of residential sustainable features (mainly appliances), 2) demographic factors and energy consumption (for all fuels), and 3) house size and energy consumption in American households. Using data from the 2015 Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), this study applies descriptive and inferential statistics (poisson regression, spearman correlation and analysis of variance) to evaluate those relationships. The results indicate that income influences the number of sustainable appliances in a home, while education does not; on the other hand, the findings also indicate that education has a significant relationship to energy consumption (measured in thousand BTUs) per area of home, while income does not. Additionally, a significant moderate correlation between size of home and energy consumption was confirmed. This information is important given the steady but constant rise in home sizes in the U.S. since 1970s. Outcomes of this study can help understand the impact of demographic factors have on sustainable housing choices and on energy consumption while using a recent data set with large sample size.
Abstract. Over the last few decades, many countries around the world have adopted urban regeneration to solve social problems, simulate local economy, create better environmental and cultural conditions, and enhance the city’s competitiveness. A holistic and critical review of the themes of these research, research methods, evaluation criteria of sustainable urban regeneration projects is needed for current and future research. Based on the journal and conference papers about sustainable urban regeneration in the SCI, EI and A&HCI database between 1989 and 2019, this paper presents a critical review of recent studies on sustainable urban regeneration. This review focuses on the methods universally or locally employed to evaluate the sustainability of urban regeneration projects in different contexts. The key terms concerning urban regeneration, sustainability of urban regeneration, brownfield redevelopment and urban rehabilitation are clarified. The behaviours of core stakeholders and their relationship are also explored in this review. Finally, this paper discusses the future research trends for researchers to explore the field of sustainable urban regeneration.
Abstract. To decarbonise the current building stock, action is required in order to utilise natural resources as retrofitting tools. This research paper uses bio-based insulation samples in combination with an earth mortar in order to create a hygric buffer to improve thermal comfort within residential properties and select the best performing bio-fibre. Three different bio-fibres were used (Saw Mill Residue and two different types of sheep wool: Wool 1 and Wool 2) in addition to 2 different mix designs and a plain control sample. Bio-fibres were characterised using SEM imaging to define surface morphology as an indication of the materials characteristics. Moisture buffering value (MBV) (where samples were exposed to step changes in relative humidity of 75% and 53% for 8 and 16 hours respectively) was also conducted to give a greater understanding of the dynamic way in which water is transported through the panel. Capillary action was also measured as an indication of the short, medium and long-term deformation water has on earthen-based construction. From 8 different mix designs, M1 SMR was selected for further experimentation.
Abstract. The purpose of this research is to analyze the perception of sustainability-related issues among construction students. The perceived importance of sustainable construction is analyzed based on students’ source of knowledge, university education, and future aspirations toward sustainability goals. This study involved conducting surveys from construction management students to determine their perception of the following eight options: environmental sustainability, societal sustainability, economic sustainability, energy sustainability, water sustainability, material choice sustainability, zero-emission sustainability, and lean zero-waste sustainability. The survey aimed to explore construction students’ perception of sustainable design and construction, and what role education plays in this perception. To support these aims, survey evaluation includes both quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Students are best equipped to explain their understanding of the listed options, based on their individual experiences. The results show that most students think water sustainability, environmental sustainability, and energy sustainability are “extremely important”. In addition to providing insight into students’ perception of the relative importance of these sustainability approaches, analysis of the survey responses offers key findings on the source of students’ sustainability knowledge, the degree to which students have made decisions about their career paths, and the potential relationship between knowledge gained and students’ perception of the impact of sustainable design and construction options. Analysis of these perceptions is a crucial tool for educators in improving students’ understanding of sustainability goals.
Abstract. As construction continues to alter the horizon and cities continue to expand, increased emphasis has been placed on construction materials. Concrete, a widely used material in the construction industry continues to increase the temperature of urban environments in what is called heat island effect. Stored heat on a concrete surface can negatively impact the temperature of stormwater runoff by transferring heat to water running over the heated concrete. This research study showed that impervious concrete retained heat longer after simulated rainfall when compared to comparable pervious materials. Results from this study also indicated that pervious test cells with an infiltration rate above 3,000 in/hr offered greater transfer of heated water (as leachate) away from surface flows. Within this research both 4” and 6” thick pervious concrete test cells (12”x12”) were compared with respect to leachate water temperatures. Leachate water temperature from 6” pervious concrete was cooler than that from 4” pervious concrete due to the 6” cells having a larger thickness of concrete in which to absorb and retain more heat. The ability of pervious concrete to leach stormwater provide greater opportunity for site-specific, sustainable options comparable to comparable impervious materials.