Document Detail

Title: SD-85 - Constructability: Program Assessment and Barriers to Implementation
Publication Date: 1/1/1993
Product Type: Source Document
Status: Reference
Pages: 179
O'Connor, Miller, The Univ. of Texas at Austin
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While general acceptance of the usefulness of constructability exists, constructability programs for the most part evolve through trial and error and without a comprehensive approach. Data on comprehensive implementation requirements and successes is limited in nature. Few informational tools exist for assisting in implementation efforts. Organizational barriers hinder efforts but go unrecognized and untreated.

The Construction Industry Institute Constructability Implementation Task Force was given the objective to develop tools to aid in constructability implementation efforts. The research presented here, performed to support the Task Force, endeavored to:

  • Determine current constructability implementation practices, identify elements that contribute to successful implementation, and develop program evaluation tools for use by industry to enhance constructability implementation efforts;
  • Assess the existence and severity of barriers to constructability implementation and provide a tool for industry to determine the presence of common barriers identified; and,
  • Propose methods for overcoming common barriers to constructability and evaluate preferable barrier breakers.

Data collection and analysis are described fully in the text of this document. Primary data collection involved interviews with personnel from 62 companies currently performing constructability. Major conclusions are briefly described below.

Constructability Program Assessment – Research identified fifteen significant corporate and project parameters required for effective constructability implementation. These fifteen parameters are consistently implemented by successful constructability programs. Parameter implementation may be characterized by five levels of constructability program maturity. The Constructability Program Evaluation Matrices provide a method for evaluation of the maturity level for each parameter at both the corporate and project level. The Matrices are used for Step One analysis, a broad-based qualitative assessment of program performance. Step Two analysis involves in-depth quantitative assessment of selected high-value ideas to support certain Step One parameters.

Barriers to Constructability – Research identified eighteen prevalent barriers to constructability. The four most significant barriers identified were: (1) Complacency with the status quo; (2) Reluctance to invest additional money and effort in early project stages; (3) Limitations of lump-sum competitive contracting; and, (4) Lack of construction experience in the design organization. These barriers affect owner, designer, and construction organizations at both the corporate and project levels. The barriers are classified by cause, and described by symptoms that indicate their presence. The Constructability Barrier Assessment Checklists provide a tool for determining the presence of significant barriers identified.

Constructability Barrier Breakers – The researchers developed barrier breakers for the seven most common barriers to constructability implementation. The tactics recommended are considered to have a high impact on the barrier and to be relatively easy to implement. The barrier breakers are effective for both corporate- and project-level programs.

Key study recommendations include the following:

  • For benchmarking and metrication of implementation efforts, the industry should be periodically reassessed based on the Constructability Program Evaluation Matrix.
  • Industry-wide assessment of constructability barriers should also be repeated periodically.
  • Pilot project studies should focus on implementation of constructability barrier breakers.

This research fully supports the development of the new Constructability Implementation Guide (CII 1992). With the tools presented here and in that Guide practitioners are well-equipped to vigorously pursue successful constructability practices.