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School of Building Construction

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 133
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    Visualization enhancements to facilitate the use of digital demonstrators for instructional applications
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-07) Kangisser, Steven ; Shankar, Abhishek ; Irizarry, Javier ; Sharma, Harnish
    This paper investigates a novel approach to instruction in the use of complex instruments. A laser scanner is employed as a test bed for lessons which can then be more broadly implemented. Laser scanners use optical signals from reflected light. These signals are then processed to create a 3D point cloud of the scanned object or environment. The point clouds can be used to derive accurate information about the mapped area's dimensions. Laser Scanners are widely used in aerospace, manufacturing, law enforcement, agriculture, and construction industries to capture details and create models of existing structures and objects. Many universities teach students the theory and process of laser scanning. Laser scanners are typical instruments for which instruction on their application requires students to apply theoretical knowledge through hands-on exposure to technology. Limited access to instructional scanning instruments presents a challenge when class sizes are large, or courses are offered remotely. In these cases, access to the equipment required can impede the accomplishment of the stated course objective. As a means of negating the limited access to a physical instrument, a digital demonstrator was developed. This digital prototype can augment or replace a physical artifact, such as a laser scanner. To accomplish this task, the researchers examined the current method of scanner instruction at undergraduate and master's degree levels. A simulated scanner was then developed and tested in actual courses at three universities' graduate and undergraduate level courses. Student performance was measured using a mixed methods approach. Testing confirmed that a digital representation of a complex instrument could be an effective teaching tool, even to the extent of replacing a physical artifact. Having established the utility of a digital demonstrator, the researchers incorporated additional visualization capabilities into the digital scanner interface. These interface enhancements are not found on the physical scanner and are intended to facilitate student understanding of scanner theory rather than instrument operation alone. Such visualization enhancements had to be offered in a way in which the absence of the added visualization component would not be critical to the student's ability to operate an actual physical scanner. User testing confirmed that visualization additions to the interface facilitated an understanding of the theory behind the instrument's application and that students could later operate a physical scanner without these enhancements. The authors conclude by offering a set of principles for visualization enhancements to a digital interface that others may apply when designing demonstrators for instructional use.
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    Blockchain-enabled Smart Contract System for Creating System-based Trust in Subcontracting Process
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023-03-27) Yoon, Jong Han
    The unethical practices of bid shopping and peddling during the subcontractor procurement process can reduce trust between the general contractor (GC) and subcontractors (Subs) and lead to low-quality work, claims and disputes, schedule delays, and cost overruns. Despite the adverse impacts of these unethical practices on construction projects, the construction industry still lacks an ethical and trustworthy subcontracting process to prevent bid shopping and peddling. Furthermore, the transactional relationships between the GC and Subs in construction projects make profit-driven pursuits tempting, thereby increasing opportunistic behaviors. This dissertation contributes to the body of knowledge by developing a framework based on a blockchain-enabled smart contract system to address these unethical practices, thus establishing the subcontracting process grounded on system-based trust. Blockchain provides tamper-proof and decentralized data storage, and smart contracts enable an automatic contract execution by leveraging the data stored in Blockchain. The proposed framework employing the above advantages is demonstrated through a pilot test, and its feasibility and effectiveness are validated through a survey with nine professionals who had sufficient years of experience in the construction industry. The validation results show that the framework can prevent the aforementioned unethical practices and enable Subs to fairly compete for bid awards with proper budgets. In addition to the development of a subcontracting process leveraging a blockchain-enabled smart contract system, this dissertation contributes to the body of knowledge by providing a game-theoretic framework that the GCs and Subs can use to quantify and evaluate the outcomes of their strategic behaviors (e.g., trust-driven vs profit-driven behaviors) in the subcontracting process. Game theory in the framework enables mathematically analyzing and comparing the payoffs of strategic behaviors, using Nash Equilibrium. This dissertation also contributes to the body of knowledge by empirically verifying the effects of system-based trust created by a blockchain-enabled smart contract system on GCs’ and Subs’ strategic behaviors by conducting role-playing simulations. The developed game-theoretic-framework-based analysis of the simulations demonstrates that the blockchain-enabled smart contract effectively promotes trust-driven behaviors by enhancing system-based trust, thereby leading to a win-win game for the GC and Subs in the subcontracting process. These valuable findings establish the foundation for a transformative subcontracting process that is more ethical and grounded on system-based trust. Moreover, the findings can help the construction industry deepen its understanding of the significance of trust-driven behaviors in the subcontracting process. The findings also promote the enforcement of trust-driven behaviors by enhancing system-based trust through blockchain technology.
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    Analysis of the State of the Art of 5D BIM for lifecycle cost estimation, cost control, and payments
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-12-23) Onungwa, Ihuoma
    The creation of an integrated system for cost estimation, cost monitoring, cost control, and payments in the construction development life cycle has become critical due to rising expectations for efficiency in the execution of construction projects and the adoption of lean production processes in construction. Existing 5D BIM tools are mainly used to estimate the cost of projects during the preconstruction period. There is a lack of integration between the 5D BIM models, existing progress monitoring tools, and payment systems used in construction. This leads to a lack of interoperability in cost estimation during the preconstruction stage and cost-control during construction. With 5D BIM, the construction delivery process can be standardized to enhance the monitoring and management of cash flow in a project’s delivery lifecycle. Lack of standardization in the use of model elements through the project lifecycle has also been identified as one of the factors limiting automation in 5D BIM. Construction project monitoring can be automated by combining modern technologies that allow for visualization of building progress (Laser scanners, computer vision) with 5D BIM cost estimation tools. These project monitoring tools can be combined with Artificial Intelligence (AI) to develop an integrated lifecycle system for cost management in construction. This paper examines existing systems used in 5D BIM to develop integrated practices and systems that will streamline the process of cost estimating, cost monitoring, cost control, and cash flow in the construction supply chain. This will reduce the inefficiency that exists today with traditional contracts and payment applications that do not interact with the 5D BIM application. By leveraging a standardized classification ID system throughout a project life cycle and applying AI and smart contract, features like cost estimation cost control, and payments can be fully streamlined, integrated, and automated. A case study of an existing construction project utilizing 5D BIM was examined. According to the study, 5D BIM is currently used primarily in the pre-construction stage of a project for cost estimation. The case study also revealed that 5D BIM improves project cost visualization and budget control. This paper focuses on the State of Practice for 5D BIM through literature review and case study. The study has some limitations due to the use of only one case study. The proposed workflow still needs to be validated. It will be applied in future research.
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    Identifying The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on The Sleep Quality of Aging Adults With MCI: A Comparative Study
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-12-15) Ismail, Aliaa
    Aging adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) are underrepresented in built environment research, specifically studies that mainly focus on low socioeconomic status and racial minorities. Part of this thesis is a part of a larger study conducted by the Cognitive Empowerment Program that is investigating the built environment of aging adults with MCI. The aim of this thesis is multifold: first, to provide a clearer understanding of the differences in the sleep environment related to socioeconomic status in aging adults with MCI and investigate if these differences affect their sleep health. Second, this thesis also aimed to evaluate which home environment factors, such as lighting, noise, temperature, air quality and housing insecurity affect sleep health for aging adults with MCI. Lastly, this thesis aimed to empower underprivileged aging adults with MCI and give back to this community that is not represented enough in research. Affluent and underprivileged aging adults with MCI were surveyed in Atlanta Georgia, using mental health measures, cognitive health measures, sleep quality measures and a built environment survey that asks questions about their sleeping environment. This study was able to suggest an association between socioeconomic status with sleep quality, depression, and stress. The findings of this study also suggest a relationship between sleep health and the satisfaction with the current living arrangement, homeownership, wanting to move out of current living arrangement and moving frequency. Lastly, this study was also able to identify gender differences in sleep health. This study is a preliminary investigation on the home and sleeping environments of underprivileged aging adults with MCI. Since there is a lack of literature about this presented topic, future research should investigate the indoor environmental conditions and its relationship with sleep health of racial/ethnic minorities, low socioeconomic status groups, and cognitive aging adults to allow these vulnerable populations to age-in-place in their homes peacefully and independently.
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    Use Of XR Technologies to Trigger Interest in High School Students in a Construction Management Career
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-12-08) Oliveira Spitzer, Barbara
    The construction management skilled workforce in the United States is shrinking as a big number of its employees approach retirement and are not being replaced quickly enough by younger generations. According to the literature, pre-college educational programs can help address this issue by attracting a broader and more varied pool of students into Construction Management and related programs. The literature also indicates that the application of Extended Reality (XR) modalities generates student benefits such as increased engagement and self-efficacy that could be derived from bringing these modalities into educational settings. These benefits, in turn, help recruitment efforts for these domains. Georgia Tech’s School of Building Construction developed a Building Construction Summer Camp in 2022 using the Model of Domain (MDL) educational framework and its theory on triggering situational interest in students, to recruit students to the Bachelor of Science in Building Construction program. To trigger interest, memorable situational activities must be incorporated. As such, all camp activities were carefully selected to be engaging and memorable and included hands-on activities such as building a masonry wall with professional masons and use of advanced technology, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology such as REVIT and Masonry iQ, infrared cameras, laser scanners, and various XR modalities. Pre- and post-surveys for the entire summer camp and shorter surveys after three specific activities using XR modalities were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the camp in triggering interest in the participants into pursuing a career in construction management. This thesis summarizes the evidence-based research results on the impact of these specific activities that used XR modalities as well as the overall camp on triggering situational interest in students. The post-camp survey results show a significant increase in the participants’ interest in a career in Construction Management after the camp. The findings contribute to the body of knowledge regarding the use of hands-on and XR-technology-based educational activities, specifically in the context of a summer camp for student recruitment purposes. Moreover, the findings provide an empirical foundation for developing a pre-college educational program to intrigue high school students' interests in the construction management domain. Analysis of the results also presents findings and recommendations useful to academia with respect to proper selection of XR modalities when different educational objectives and priorities are considered, such as student comfort. A limitation of the study is the small sample size, but data from future camps will be used to verify these findings.
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    Net-Zero Water Buildings & the Air Force
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-09-06) Lambert, Jacob L.
    The Department of Defense has tasked the uniformed services to make a percentage of their installations net-zero waste, water, and energy. The purpose of this study is to determine if United States Air Force can make 10% of their large sized installations net-zero water installations and what building types are best suited for net-zero water operations. To accomplish this, existing building floor plan data for 14 different building types on Air Force installations was collected and replicated in Building Information Modeling software. These models were then analyzed in software to determine estimated water usage and the amount of rainwater harvested per building. The models were tested for four different installations in the continental United States to account for different climate areas. The results of the 56 tests were then analyzed for trends to determine which installations and building types were most relevant for net-zero water operations. It was found that installations that experience higher average rainfalls each year are more likely to have successful net-zero water buildings. Installations in the Atlantic Ocean & Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are installations to target. Additionally, with the parameters selected for the procedure – it was found that 8 of 14 building types simulated at Eglin AFB, FL, are net-zero water positive as they harvest more rainwater than they are estimated to use. With additional floorplan data for all buildings on an installation, it would be possible to completely verify if an entire installation would be net-zero for water operations – however, the tests ran are a good indicator if net-zero water is possible or not.
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    Barriers and Potential Solutions to Gender Diversity in the Construction Industry
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-08-04) Washington, Candace H.
    The construction industry faces significant challenges filling vacant jobs to match supply with demand. With 20 percent of the construction workforce not returning after the pandemic within a booming housing market and the "Great Retirement" of the baby boomers, the construction sector's current and forecast labor shortage has worsened. Making the construction-related jobs more attractive and welcoming to women and other demographic groups underrepresented in the industry is imperative for the construction industry's future workforce. However, there are persistent barriers to achieving such diversity. This research focuses on the factors influencing women's decision to enter the construction industry. Female middle and high school students aged 11-17 were invited to participate in the survey. The survey questions and results were structured to categorize responses into five categories: Career, Perceptions, Diversity & Mentoring, and College Interest. Survey results with indicators above 50 percent were considered outliers and more significant in understanding females' perceptions and barriers to entry into the construction industry. Based on the survey findings, recommendations to establish a framework for developing strategies for attracting and retaining women into the construction industry focuses on the following: 1. Female students aged 11-17; 2. Academic institutions 3. Female practitioners. The recommendations further suggest that early intervention and introduction of construction management in STEM programs in elementary and middle school programs would demystify the negative perceptions and helps visualize and provide paths for viable career and educational options. In turn, academic institutions can identify strengths and weaknesses inherent in recruiting and retaining female students in construction management programs. Additionally, implementing strategies of industry mentors and role models for new female entrants into the construction industry and the students in construction programs in higher education can strengthen the pipeline of women in construction.
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    Enhancing Organizational Transformation for Design-Build Infrastructure Projects: Design Liability, Construction Quality Assurance, and New Engineering Leadership Requirements
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-07-29) Lee, Jung Hyun
    Major transportation infrastructure projects have used alternative project delivery, such as design-build (DB), to streamline and expedite project delivery, transferring many roles and responsibilities from state departments of transportation (DOTs) to private actors. One challenge that state DOTs face in their major DB projects is ensuring that the DB team upholds the highest standards of design and construction quality in the integrated design and construction environment. The overarching objectives of this study are to support decision-makers in streamlining project delivery by identifying challenges related to understanding gaps between public owners' expectations and the industry's perception and suggesting recommendations to mitigate the gaps. Most specifically, this study addresses issues found in DB transportation infrastructure projects and recommends innovative solutions to overcome those issues in the following areas: (1) design liability, (2) construction quality assurance, and (3) a new engineering leadership requirement on the DB team. This study utilizes a mixed-method research methodology, combining quantitative and qualitative techniques to identify key areas of variances in the integrated DB infrastructure projects. The data in this study come from a survey and semi-structured interviews. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the research, it is necessary to capture several viewpoints from a wide range of subject-matter experts (SMEs) from multiple domains, including design consultants, highway contractors, public owners, owner representatives, insurance and legal advisors, and construction engineering and inspection (CEI) specialists. The results show that SMEs had considerably different perceptions regarding the frequency and severity of design claim sources in the DB environment. Inconsistencies between CEI perceptions and DOT requirements for quality assurance roles and responsibilities are identified. The results also highlight that a new engineering leadership requirement on the DB team will add value to large and complex projects. This study contributes to the body of knowledge in proactive design and construction quality management by providing decision-makers insights into design liability issues and opportunities to reduce them, providing guidance on reinforcing the quality assurance program for current and future DB projects, and mitigating gaps between the DOT's expectations and the industry's perceptions. The findings of this study have important implications for future practice and offer constructive guidance on streamlining project delivery in the DB transportation infrastructure market.
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    Analyzing the evolving trends of the sustainable built environment
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-05-03) Zeng, Qinghao
    Sustainable buildings have been accepted as one of the most effective solutions among stakeholders in the construction industry to achieve the goal of promoting environmentally friendly, economic responsible and social harmonious built environment. Throughout the approximately thirty-year-evolving period, the notion of sustainability in building design has shifted from simply focusing on dealing with environmental issues to not only handling with energy, resources, and materials insufficiency but also fostering people’s well-being by accomplishing net-zero energy goals and promoting human-building interaction. As a result, numerous sustainable building assessment standards and rating tools have been created in the United States. As various differences existed among those certification standards and tools, it is of great necessity to conduct research targeting at analyzing the evolving trends of these significant tools and establishing a decision-making support framework to ease the standard selection process for responsible stakeholders, which are the two main research goals for this thesis paper. Besides, predictions of several sustainable building assessment standards and tools are summarized in this thesis, served as the forecasting vision for futuristic development of sustainable built environment.
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    Human-building interaction: Supporting students’ performance and wellbeing through built environments on campus
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2022-05-03) Kim, Yujin
    Facility management aims to ensure buildings' quality and components to support occupants in achieving their goals and objectives. Campus environments play a vital role in student success by providing supportive spaces for learning, living, resting, and socializing. However, studies about the built environment of higher education have mainly focused on the ways of learning and teaching instead of physical components, and built environments on campus and their effects on students have been little studied. This study aims to 1) propose and investigate a theoretical framework on the relationship between built environments and students’ outcomes (i.e., academic performance and wellbeing) in higher education and 2) identify the preferred physical and functional environments on campus depending on student activities. This study proposed a theoretical framework based on the socio-materiality theory to explain the complex relationship between materiality and social practice in built environments. The proposed framework was tested in three-fold. First, study 1 investigated how students’ space usage of a library changed after the COVID-19 pandemic and was related to indoor environmental features. Data were collected via survey with 66 responses in pre-pandemic and interviews with 12 students during the pandemic. One of the main findings was that, even though students used the library less during the pandemic, they expected to use it as much as pre-pandemic or even more after the pandemic. Furthermore, students required different environmental features depending on their purpose of space usage, and the physical environment cultivated a sense of belonging and community. Second, study 2 tested the restorative effect in indoor settings using an eye-tracking device. Data were collected through a true experiment with 34 students randomly assigned to biophilic vs. non-biophilic design settings. The findings indicated that biophilic design itself was not decisive to restorative effects. Students in both settings selectively looked at nature-like (natural material) and views of nature and reported restoration effects. Lastly, study 3 analyzed how multi-dimensional environments (i.e., physical and functional environments) affected students’ outcomes in dormitories. A total of 128 self-reported survey responses revealed that the physical and functional environments were related to each other and directly and indirectly affected students’ perceived learning performance and wellbeing. In conclusion, this thesis provides a theoretical framework to explain the iterative process of physical and functional environments on campus and empirical evidence of the importance of built environments for enhancing student experiences and supporting different activities, such as learning, collaborating, socializing, and resting. For this, academic leadership, building managers, and designers should actively adopt the evidence-based design approach to provide appropriate environments and support student activities.