ASCE has honored the writing team of Ibrahim S. Abotaleb, Ph.D., EIT, A.M.ASCE, and Islam El-adaway, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, with the 2020 Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for the paper “First Attempt Toward a Holistic Understanding of the Interdependent Rippled Impacts Associated With Out-of-Sequence Work in Construction Projects: System Dynamics Modeling Approach,” published in the September 2018 issue of Journal of Construction Engineering and Management.
Out-of-sequence (OOS) work during construction is a major cause of productivity losses, cost and schedule overruns, and quality decline, either directly or indirectly. Given the complexity of construction projects, such impacts could be linear, nonlinear, sudden, delayed, direct or rippled. Despite that realization, the construction literature falls short in studying how OOS is interrelated to the different project complex processes; thus, it is not possible to quantify the impacts of OOS on construction projects.
The goal of this research is to develop and test an advanced model for analyzing the dynamics of OOS work. To this end, the authors used a multistep interdependent research methodology that involved (1) forming a dynamic hypothesis that explains the dynamics of the feedback structure of the problem in hand; (2) developing an advanced simulation model that captures the quantitative aspects of OOS and its corresponding relationship with progress, productivity, rework and staffing, respectively; (3) developing a multistage calibration heuristic that enables users to calibrate the model to their projects to perform tailored and accurate analysis; (4) running verification tests on the model to ensure structural and behavioral validity; and (5) validating the model and its industry application using data from a mega-construction project of around $500 million. Among other findings, the model demonstrated that not only the total magnitude of OOS work, but also the timing of such OOS work, has impacts on the project performance.
The Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize recognizes papers whose author describes in detail accomplished works of construction or which are valuable contributions to construction management and construction engineering.