Construction Management Research

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) – KTP: Ostick & Williams and QUB (£126,277.00)

Queens University Belfast (QUB) and Ostick & Williams Architects (O+W) have recently combined resources through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) led by Dr. John Spillane to aid in the development and implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM). The aim of this partnership between QUB as a research base and O+W as an architectural practice, is to evaluate the process of BIM and its implementation in the construction industry. In doing so, a strategic framework is devised to embed this approach within O+W; to compliment and to push forward their current practices and protocol in the emergence of an overarching BIM ethos. To address this aim, O+W have begun a pilot BIM scheme with QUB estates, on a project based around the renovations of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. This is a highly serviced area where the design team are looking to explore the efficiencies that can be achieved the use of BIM from conception through to construction. They have already commissioned a laser scan survey of the existing fabric and have begun to use it as a basis for accurate 3D modelling. To methodology used in addressing the aim relates to a number of BIM related goals being developed, which include Record Modelling; 3D Coordination; Improve Design reviews; Phase planning; Digital Fabrication; Cost estimation; Digital Fabrication and Asset Management. The results are of significant interest to industry and to academia through the mass adoption of BIM tools and techniques, not just in the architectural remit, but also to engineering and construction disciplines alike. Through the integration of both industry and academic partners, this project illustrates the breadth and depth of applicative knowledge than can be disseminated and applied within the field of BIM.

Dr. John Spillane, Dr. Debra Philips & Dr. James Lim

Building Information Modelling (BIM) – KTP: WDR & RT Taggart and QUB (£127,737.00)

Queens University Belfast (QUB) led by Dr. John Spillane and WDR & RT Taggart (Taggart) have recently begun collaborating through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to supplement the heavy investment in BIM and its integration into the supply chain. In order to benefit fully from BIM integration within the partnership, and more particularly with Structural and Architectural departments, there is a need to ensure seamless and effective communication between structural engineering software (analysis and drawing), and between architecture software (Revit). This partnership will address one of the core impracticalities which have been identified with the rollout of BIM. There still lie interoperability issues between software packages; particularly with Revit and SCIA. This is providing a significant limitation and resulting in significant rework in overcoming such impracticalities. This partnership will result in addressing the need to ensure the seamless transfer of data during engineering design and drawing production, and also from one department to the other (Structural to Architectural), as well as improving the efficiency of the resultant models. Through such movements of models from one software to another, experience has indicated that information becomes distorted and misaligned. This results in the time consuming and labour intensive task of identifying and correcting anomalies within the models, particularly where data is omitted during the transfer process.

Dr. John Spillane & Dr. Debra Philips


Fusion Project (Intertrade Ireland)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) – Fusion Project: 3rd Dimension and QUB (£28,500.00)

3rd Dimension and QUB have developed a partnership with QUB’s Dr. John Spillane, in conjunction with Intertrade Ireland, to develop their core skills architectural and product 3D Visualisation. The 3D Studio have serviced the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector producing a range of 3D products and services and has played a key role for clients in the construction industry from early design and feasibility stages of a project right through to planning and marketing. 3rd Dimension has identified a gap in the market that will rebuild and strengthen the business, make it more sustainable, highly profitable and create new jobs. This gap in the market is in the area of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and 3rd Dimension have partnered with QUB and Construction Management staff to support the development and integrated of BIM competency which will aid in developing a sustained competitive advantage over their peers.

Dr. John Spillane

Building Information Modelling (BIM) – Kilcawley Construction and QUB (£42,750.00)

Kilcawley Construction and QUB have developed a partnership with QUB’s Dr. John Spillane, in conjunction with Intertrade Ireland, to develop Building Information Modelling (BIM) within the AEC sector; particularly in Ireland. This collaborative approach envisages the development of BIM and underlying protocols for use in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction sectors, with a view to a more streamlined and efficient process in stakeholder engagement.

Dr. John Spillane, Paul Tansey & Dr. Ashwini Konanahalli


British Council

Vietnam - Sustainable Construction Management Practices: Collaborative initiate between Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) and the National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE), among others. (£31,000.00)

To develop research and teaching within Vietnam through an innovative, construction management (sustainability-related) program at the National University of Civil Engineering (NUCE); in partnership with Queen’s University Belfast (Dr. John Spillane), Institute of Construction Economics (Ministry of Construction), Institute of Construction and Urban Economics (Federation of Civil Engineering Associations - Vietnam) and the Research Centre of Construction Investment – NUCE (RCCI). With the continuous development of the Vietnamese construction sector, comes the need to address the subject of sustainability in construction management. This proposal and subsequent program aims to address this shortcoming within the industry. Through a collaborative approach incorporating academic (NUCE, QUB), industry (ICUE, RCCI) and governmental partners (ICE), the realisation of a high-quality engineering degree at National University of Civil Engineering emerges. It is envisaged that 50-60 students per year will benefit from this program resulting in professionals of the future being well-grounded in the subject of construction management (sustainability-related). The consequence of which is the ability of construction management professionals to proactively manage and control the built environment in terms of sustainability in Vietnam. Graduates from the program will be well positioned to advance to further study in Vietnam, the UK and other potential markets. The benefits of the successful proposal and the resulting program will further reinforce the already strong links with the various partners in Vietnam and the UK. This proposal provides grounding on which further detailed collaborative projects are under development, thus providing a platform on which to develop the subject of sustainability in construction management beyond this program.

Dr. John Spillane & Dr. Quan Nguyen


Technology Strategy Board

Supply Chain Collaborative BIM System for Minimising Construction Waste in Design (£650,736.00)

This is a collaborative, industry led research project on the development of a collaborative supply chain system to assist in the minimisation of construction waste within the design process using Building Information Modelling. Working under the guidance of Professor Lukumon Oyedele, the overall aim is to develop a BIM software tool that would enable designers (architects, structural engineers, etc.) and contractors to simulate, predict and identify sources of construction waste at an early design phase of a building project.

Professor Lukumon Oyedele, Dr. Paul McMullan, Dr. John Spillane & Dr. Ashraf Ahmed