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CETI Award 2014


  • Barbara Migl, Dow – Chair
  • Ted Blackmon, Construct-X
  • Jim Barrett, Turner Construction
  • Allan Chasey, ASU
  • Tim Embley, Costain
  • Jennifer Garfield, ExxonMobil
  • Ming Lu, University of Alberta
  • Derek Murray, Mott MacDonald
  • Tom Sawyer, ENR
  • Todd Sutton, Zachry Construction
  • Ted Weitzman, Southern Company
  • Steven Wolf, Target Corporation

2014 Recipients

Automated Design

Mott MacDonald for Bergen Light Rail Stage 3, Norway

Bybanen Utbygging and Mott MacDonald carried out a major project to provide Norway’s second largest city, Bergen, with Stage 3 of a new light rail system using innovative design and construction techniques across a globally dispersed team from 7 countries. Contractors used design models to determine construction sequence and efficient, safe construction processes, while also facilitating manufacture from design, maximising off site fabrication and minimising waste.

For Stage 3, Bybanen Utbygging had a clear understanding and vision of the advantages that would be offered from planning, designing and constructing from a fully coordinated BIM design. They required that all design work was carried out in 3D from the ground up.

Mott MacDonald’s design team comprised key members who had successfully delivered projects using BIM, such as Crossrail in London, UK. A BIM execution plan was prepared at the start of the project which defined the project standard CAD and design processes. Bentley ProjectWise was configured to provide the compliance and controls, to meet the client and project requirements, and to facilitate information sharing between parties.

To deal with a tight project program, the design and construction stages overlapped and construction was spilt in various elements and sections. This led to approximately 16 separate significant construction contracts with a total value of NOK 3.6bn (€450m). This contractual complexity required very detailed and careful planning of the overall project construction program and interfaces, with a carefully balanced series of penalty milestones to ensure the required interface handovers were achieved.

The use of BIM provided the client with a high level of confidence in the design. Virtual construction was used for constructability reviews before undertaking anything onsite. This allowed the team to mitigate potential problems in advance of construction, enabling solutions to be systematically thought through in a controlled way, avoiding costly delays onsite.

One of the key success stories on this project has been the uptake of the models and their use during construction. Surfaces contained within the models were loaded directly to the construction plant, used for major build work from blasting tunnels, rock, and earthmoving to laying the finished pavement surfaces. All trenches, utilities, and pipelines were also set out and laid directly from the models. The “desk to digger” approach is seen to be setting a new standard in how infrastructure projects are delivered in Norway.

Integrated, Automated Procurement & Supply Network 

MobiBiz UK Limited in collaboration with Costain Group PLC EnableMyTeam: Supply Chain Collaboration Platform

Supply chain complexity is rising due, in large part, to globalization. For the supply chain professional, this means working with more global suppliers, reaching out to more global customers, and dealing with truly global competitors. In today’s cost-constrained business climate, companies are continuing their journeys towards outsourced supply chains. In such a process outsource-intensive environment, with responsibilities spread throughout the network, it has become difficult for companies to stay informal and in control of every stage of their supply chain. This is why lack of executive visibility is top of mind for executives.

EnableMyTeam focuses on multi-enterprise processes which automate multiple areas within the supply chain ex: planning, supply chain innovations, supply chain execution (mainly underground rail logistics, warehousing) and collaboration.

To validate the technology, establish the right work flows, and assess potential productivity gains, the MobiBiz development team with Costain PLC established a pilot project. This collaboration was instrumental as it allowed the team and Costain PLC, as potential first adopters, to understand the business value and benefits of mapping their entire supply chain and to test different criteria for risk assessment.

Many large enterprises are beginning to change their thinking about supply chain strategy from linking processes across multiple silo enterprise applications and aggregated data warehouses to an integrated business network model. The EnableMyTeam model is characterized as evolving, aligned to supply chain segmentation strategies, and real time send and demand. The platform within the past 7 months has established a network of over 120 different partners for Costain PLC, with over 100 innovations submitted, and more than five already converted to best practice and actively tried on live projects.

Intelligent & Automated Construction Job Site

DPR Construction for Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Sunnyvale Canter

DPR worked with the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) in an integrated project delivery (IPD) approach to replace an existing 55-year-old building with a fully modernized, 120,000-sq.-ft., three-level medical center. Since the project was located in a residential area, noise and traffic were major concerns for the community. The owner wanted to accommodate the community, and minimize noise, traffic and disruption as much as possible. From that challenge, the construction team decided to implement another process that would enforce delivery restrictions and make sure that the entire team (delivery drivers included) understood the challenges of the project location.

The collaborative nature of IPD and building information modeling (BIM) created an innovative environment. Because of the close collaboration between the owner, design team and construction team, the project finished at $1.8 million below its validation cost.

Using IPD, the entire team was able to structure itself early on to work together as efficiently as possible and clearly define expectations. In one instance, that team collaboration helped save eight weeks on the schedule and save a quarter of a million dollars by sequencing the structural steel before pouring the podium concrete. The team also used BIM as a tool to save cost, maintain quality, and help with scheduling and safety.

The QR Code Delivery Tracker helped the team adhere to the just-in-time method, where inventory was not stored on site, and no worker had idle time either waiting to receive or hand off information or materials. On the PAMF jobsite, the limited space allocated meant that just-in-time delivery was especially important; there was simply no space to store unnecessary materials, and trucks could not sit idle in residential streets.

Drivers eagerly accepted using the QR Code Delivery Tracker system because it guaranteed that proper unloading equipment and personnel were available on site for their deliveries. Using the system, the team had better control over delivery schedules and it helped with coordinating and controlling the entire delivery process. The scheduling component of the application helped reduce the number of concurrent deliveries at the jobsite, and more efficient time-slot allocation, which resulted in less idle time for the drivers and more effective use of unloading equipment.

New Materials, Methods, Products & Equipment

Mott MacDonald for Heritage Protection by Carbon Modified Geopolymer

Cathodic Protection (CP) is a long established technique, dating back to 1824. CP employs the electrochemical nature of corrosion to control it by providing a small DC to the steel by means of either a consumable galvanic anode or an inert anode connected to a low voltage power supply. Application of CP to historic steel-framed structures is a far more recent development.

Mott MacDonald’s Materials Section, as recognized world leaders in CP systems, have developed an innovative CP technology combining synthetic stone in the form of a geopolymer with carbon fibers to produce a simpler, more durable and structurally sympathetic solution for the repair and protection of vulnerable historic structures worldwide.

Mott MacDonald, working with CP and material specialists C-Probe Technology, were able to apply this technology to the main entrance to a historic Kansas City building. Due to the complex structure of the entrance, including integral vaulted ceilings, a 3D model was developed to assist with the design of the system. The system employed a highly durable mixed metal oxide coated titanium feed wire.

By preserving the life of historic steel-framed structures, this new materials and methods work will ensure that buildings continue to fulfil their functional purpose and re-affirm their place in our local and national cultures. Without this innovative work, structural deterioration will occur and result in major maintenance works, disruptive to occupants and negatively impacting the look and feel of our cities. In addition, the cost of major maintenance or traditional CP applications far outweighs the benefits of preventative measures through this innovative, non-disruptive approach.


Technology & Knowledge-Enabled Workforce

DPR Construction in collaboration with ACCO Engineered Systems, Inc., Fluor Corporation, Long Electric Company and Superior Automatic Sprinkler for CCP2 Return to Service

This project is a renovation to return a cell culture manufacturing facility, located in Vacaville, CA, back to service after several years of dormancy. The overall project included 43 different scope packages for various forms of construction throughout the building including piping modifications, refinishing epoxy flooring, lighting retrofits, HVAC efficiency upgrades and new airlocks.

This project faced significant quality and schedule challenges, which stemmed from conditions that were unique to the pharmaceutical industry. When this project began, design was at the schematic/early design development stage. The challenge was to help speed up the completion of design, secure permits, coordinate all essential utilities to fabrication level, and start installation of metal stud framing all within the span of four to five weeks.The customer knew it had a list of things needed in the room and needed the space to be operational within a short time frame.

Without accurate as-built information, the team laser-scanned the space to create a 3D AutoCAD as-built model and the design intent documents were developed by Fluor using Bentley MicroStation and shared with the project team every two days. As the architect was developing the design, construction teams were developing fabrication level models in Revit Architecture and AutoCAD MEP, while also providing constructability feedback.

This parallel process of modeling, feedback and communication allowed the design team to work towards permitting documentation while simultaneously allowing the construction team to perform coordination and mitigate any field constructability challenges.

It was imperative to get the design right the first time to meet the FDA’s timeline and requirements. The stainless steel monorail was one complex critical path item that could not have been delivered in time without 3D modeling and laser scans. The curved design of the monorail was completely custom and it had a long procurement lead-time. The monorail had to be coordinated first so that it could be fabricated in time. The technology used on this project made it possible to more effectively leverage the knowledge of the project foreman, who had over 25 years of experience. The construction drawings, 3D models from laser scans, and 2D spool sheets for fabrication were all available to the foreman on his mobile tablet. With little training and support, he was able to perform tasks efficiently using BIM 360 Glue for reference during construction.

Life Cycle Data Management & Information Integration

ProStar Geocorp Inc. in collaboration with Enbridge Pipelines Inc. for ProStar Cloud and Mobile Solution

In October 2014, following one year of development and testing, Enbridge Pipelines Inc. successfully deployed, in a production setting, the ProStar cloud and mobile solution to improve its damage prevention and asset management practices. The ProStar solution provided the real-time ability to aggregate vast amounts of information from multiple sources and seamlessly and securely made this information readily available to field and office workers where and when it was most needed. Workers captured and recorded new data as well as viewed historical records, assessed this information in realtime and immediately made informed business decisions and provided feedback when updates or revisions were required.

Enbridge Pipelines Inc. operates in a very complex and highly regulated environment. Change into this environment is challenging both from the business processes and the information technology (IT) perspective. Another challenge of a mobile and cloud solution was to ensure the inherent safeguards of the ProStar applications met security standards and guidelines.

The strategic goal of the project was to implement a comprehensive, open and integrated management solution that provided interoperability between internal and external data sources including engineering, One-Call, construction, land services, projects, and maintenance.

The implementation of the ProStar Solution leveraging industry standards accelerated interoperability throughout the enterprise and meant asset information was captured in accordance with regulatory requirements, including the ISO 15926 standard for data integration, sharing, exchange, and hand-over between computer systems. Other benefits resulting from implementing the ProStar Solution include more efficient business processes, reduction of paper forms, improved location accuracy and the timely delivery, collection and sharing of information.

Outstanding Student Research Project

Youngib Ham

Advanced sensing and analytics for monitoring the as-is condition are key enablers for achieving sustainable built environments. While thermography has proven itself to be a prodigious non-destructive tool for capturing visual representation of the as-is condition of built environments, current energy diagnostics practices are challenging on two fronts: (1) sensing—scaling 2D visual assessments to real-world built environments and (2) analytics —interpretations are still subjective and lack reliable quantitative assessments.

To fill the gaps-in-knowledge in underlying theories and practices, Ham’s research is one of the fi rst attempts to fi nd scientifi c solutions from the interdisciplinary line of research with combined expertise in Building Science & Construction Management and Computer Vision & Mobile Computing for addressing fundamental challenges in achieving sustainable building environments.

The demand for rehabilitation and renovation is rising for the existing building stock in the U.S. According to 2011 U.S. DOE buildings energy data book, 87% and 74% of residential and commercial buildings were built before year 2000 when rigorous energy regulations were not established. To meet current energy standards, it is anticipated that around 150 billion S.F.—roughly half of the entire building stock in the U.S.—will require retrofi ts over the next 30 years.

Several experiments were conducted on two real-world residential buildings and instructional facilities in Virginia and Illinois, and four hypothetical cases in Minnesota and Florida. Through validation of each method, it is shown that the current challenges in visual sensing and analytics can be addressed, and inexpensive digital and thermal images can be converted into ubiquitous reporters of the as-is energy performance of built environments. Through a comprehensive survey from energy auditors, it is also shown that the method has potential to improve the reliability of BIM-based energy performance modeling and analysis.

The main product of this research (e.g., generating 3D thermal profi les of built environments and analyzing energy performance) is gaining attention from industries in that several building energy diagnostic companies have already contacted Ham for licensing the technology and seeking collaboration.

Outstanding Early Career Researcher

SangHyun Lee

Dr. SangHyun Lee is Associate Professor and John L Tishman CM Faculty Scholar at the University of Michigan. He received his PhD from MIT in 2006 and has been a faculty member at the University of Alberta (2007–2010) and the University of Michigan (2010 to present). His doctoral work enabled the quantification and management of the impact of iterative error and change cycles on project cost, schedule and quality in large-scale concurrent design and construction projects using a computer simulation technology.

Dr. Lee’s work has improved automated and real-time control, construction safety and health, and communication and coordination in mega projects among many others. First, as high-quality and real-time data with a low cost becomes available during construction due to recent advancements in automatic data capture technologies (e.g., RFID), a door opens toward automated and real-time project control. However, current practices for project control have not kept up with the recent advances in data capture technologies.

First, the automated and real-time control research enabled the automation and integration of project monitoring and control, minimizing the time used for decision making on performance discrepancies. This cuts down on the significant cost and time loss caused by lagging decisions for corrective actions, as proven by the case study conducted with Waiward Steel Fabricators. Secondly, a computer-vision-based markerless motion capture approach allows us to keep track of workers’ actions and biomechanics so we can provide feedback that will help workers avoid accidents and injuries. This can save not only the considerable cost and time loss caused by potential accidents, but also workers’ lives and health. In addition, the system is very economical due to the use of a typical video camera, allowing it to be widely deployable.

Dr. Lee’s research work greatly contributes to diverse organizations in many ways. His safety and health research has had a significant impact on our industry developing a new non-invasive means to understand construction workers. Dr. Lee’s research work implies a need for cultural shift in the construction industry. A markerless motion capture approach encourages the industry to take preventive actions before accidents and injuries happen (e.g., providing workers with feedback on their possible accidents and injuries). This tremendous cultural shift can create positive and safe cultures in the organization and industry.