CII Research

For over 35 years, CII has delivered rigorous research that supports the businesses of companies in the capital project industry. The CII advantage in research is its ability to combine credible, quantitative, university-based research with expert guidance from personnel from CII member organizations. This unique combination results in world-class research that has helped to establish CII as the principal national forum for the engineering and construction industry.

CII research is distributed across overarching programs, sector-specific topics, and technology topics. This page summarizes ongoing and past projects, and the link below takes you to the potential future research ideas gathered in the CII Research Clearinghouse.

CII Research Programs

CII's overarching research is framed within research programs. Each program drives a long-term goal that will improve CII members' businesses and bring innovation to the delivery of capital projects. The research programs bring together standing committees, sector committees, and Communities for Business Advancement (CBAs) to work toward common goals.

AI Engine to Optimize Projects through Advanced Work Packaging

logo for AI Engine to Optimize Projects through Advanced Work PackagingThere is substantial evidence that the current production approach for the capital project industry has had shortcomings in terms of cost and schedule performance. RT-272 set the foundations for the development of an alternative production model by laying the framework for Advanced Work Packaging (AWP). This research program leverages the momentum around AWP in the capital project industry and aims to transform AWP into a next-generation production system. (For more on this subject, see Stephen Mulva’s article in The Voice : Next Generation Advanced Work Packaging.)

The Workforce of 2030

logo for The Workforce of 2030Workforce-related topics have been common in CII research and continue to challenge the capital projects industry. Rather than reacting to workforce issues faced today, this program aims to address workforce issues in terms of the needs, demand, and supply envisioned for 2030. This vision of the future, rather than current workforce challenges, should drive this research program. In essence, the program will develop a model for the 2030 workforce, including drivers associated with technology, the impact of modularization, increased offsite manufacturing, trends toward additional virtual work components, and other industry changes to be addressed by other/separate programs. This program will ultimately help companies to perform better strategic workforce planning.

Integrated and Collaborative Delivery for Better Business Results

logo for Integrated and Collaborative Delivery for Better Business ResultsIntegration and collaboration have been recurrent research topics across CII (see RT-341 and RT-362). The FSC’s Future of the Built Environment project also identified collaborative business models, or the lack thereof, as a key factor playing in the capital project industry in the next 1-15 years. Along with increasingly integrated and collaborative approaches, significant changes can be anticipated in the ways organizations communicate and share information. Therefore, this program will address collaborative business models, along with the communication and information (and data) flow that will required in the next 10-15 years.

Thriving in a Circular Economy

logo for Thriving in a Circular EconomyCircular economy is defined as “an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Circular systems employ reuse, sharing, repair, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling to create a close-loop system, minimizing the use of resource inputs and the creation of waste, pollution and carbon emissions. The circular economy aims to keep products, equipment and infrastructure in use for longer, thus improving the productivity of these resources.”

In capital projects scenarios, a circular economy should create efficiencies in the operations and maintenance of facilities and, most critically, in the decommissioning phase of projects. There are potential business opportunities related to the idea of a circular economy applied to the capital projects industry. This research program aims to unveil these opportunities and, by doing so, drive innovation and improve business outcomes of capital projects.

Cultivating Change

logo for Cultivating Change

Companies in the capital projects industry (owners and contractors alike) have experienced the impact of changes in the business environment on their organizational structures. These changes may be a result of mergers and acquisitions, divestments, fast-changing technological environment, all in the context of an increasingly adversarial and low-margin environment that is expected to change at an increasing pace. This program aims to develop actionable information and strategies for CII members to prepare their organizations to realistically and systematically identify, plan for, and manage changes in the business environment of the future.

CII Ongoing Research

CII ongoing research teams fall into three categories, based upon which committee provides funding and oversight:

Overarching Research Teams

RT-370 – Modeling the Composition of the 2030 Workforce
RT-371 – Onsite versus Offsite Construction – The Impact of Offsite Construction on the Workforce
RT-372 – Smart Model-centric Life Cycle Approach to Collaborative Execution of Capital Projects
RT-380 – Value and Opportunities of a Circular Economy on Capital Projects
RT-381 – Adapting through Organizational Agility
RT-382 – Technologies to Prevent Serious Injuries and Fatalities Related to Last-minute Work Changes

 Sector Research Teams

RT-DCC-05 – MCPI – The Business Case for Modular Chemical Process Intensification
RT-DCC-06 – Updating Project Delivery and Contract Strategies
RT-DCC-07 – Capital Efficiency Scorecard for Downstream and Chemicals Projects
RT-FHC-02 – Lifecycle Cost Estimation for Facilities and Healthcare
RT-PUI-02 – Quantitative Validation and Deployment of Industrial Integrated Project Delivery

Technology Research Teams

RT-TC-06 – Material Tracking Tagging Standard and Guidelines


CII Past Research

The Sunset Research Teams page lists most of CII’s past research teams, and it links from most teams to their respective listings in the CII Knowledge Base.

You can find examples of Technology Committee developments above and examples of past technology projects (Fiatech) here.

Daniel P. Oliveira, Associate Director for Funded Studies
(512) 232-3050
Kristi Delaney, Project Manager
(512) 232-3002
How to Get Involved