Document Detail

Title: RR222-11 - Best Practices for Design in Fast-Track Projects
Publication Date: 4/1/2008
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 165
Salem, Miller, Univ. of Cincinnati
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Fast-track project delivery has become a standard operating procedure for construction of industrial projects. There is inherent overlap between design, procurement and construction phases in a typical fast-track project. The design phase is essentially driven by the requirements of the construction phase. The success of the design phase and the project itself depend upon the accuracy and timeliness of the information available to the designers from various stakeholders, the efficiency of the flow of information, and participation of all the stakeholders.

The conclusions and recommendations provided in this report are based on a comprehensive research project into the best practices for managing design in fast-track. The conclusions are derived from review of research literature, questionnaire surveys and statistical analyses of the collected data. The results of statistical analysis were corroborated by industry practitioners and academic experts through interviews and discussions. The research team studied various practices adopted in 31 fast-track projects comprehensively to reach the conclusions presented in this report.

The correlation between the performance of the design phase and the use of various Construction Industry Institute (CII) Best Practices (BPs) was evaluated in the statistical analysis of data. Partial correlation was used to isolate the effects of external confounding factors on the performance of design. Statistically significant correlation was found between design schedule performance and the following four CII Best Practices:

  1. Pre-Project Planning
  2. Alignment
  3. Constructability
  4. Change Management

The correlation between these BPs and design schedule performance meant that the more faithfully these practices were implemented in the projects, the better the schedule performance of the design phase in these projects. When asked to identify the top best practices for success of design phase in fast-track projects, an overwhelming majority of industry practitioners identified these practices.

Other important findings in the area of design work force management, procurement, and use of computer aided models are also presented in this report. Case studies presented in this report highlight innovative use of new IT tools (4D models) and cutting-edge management techniques (lean design). Many of the fast-track projects are additions/expansions to existing facilities. Unique challenges are faced when designing in fast-track projects particularly those to be constructed in close proximity to an operating facility. The extensive use of constructability for successful design in one such project is highlighted in the third case study presented in the report.