Supply Chain Collaborative BIM System for Minimising Construction Waste in Design
In May 2014, University of the West of England (UWE) and the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) commenced a 3-year research project in partnership with Balfour Beatty CSUK to develop BIM-based software solutions to help the UK Construction Industry reduce construction waste during the design phase of a project’s lifecycle. The project is partially funded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Boards (TSB), now Innovate UK, grants award scheme under the “Rethinking the build process” initiative.
The aim of the project is to create a holistic BIM system that uses Early Supply Chain Involvement (ESCI) to assist in minimising construction waste during the design stage. The BIM system tackle waste holistically using Data Mining and Knowledge discovery techniques with heuristic-based search optimisation. The project emphasises collaborative waste minimisation during design and not end-of-the-pipe management after waste has occurred. Therefore, to assist in developing the knowledge base required for the BIM system,
the project involves the active engagement of industry practitioners such as architects, engineers, contractors, project managers, site waste managers, building materials manufacturers/suppliers, demolition engineers, LEAN practitioners and supply chain managers of construction firms. Accordingly, expert engagement workshops were organised using Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) with various teams of Balfour Beatty’s supply chain to understand the expectations of the stakeholders and to have in-depth understanding of the problem. The results of the FGDs have been published in referred conferences and peer-reviewed journals.
With the use of waste data record from several projects. a BIM-based tool for construction waste prediction and minimisation was developed. The final tool is available to designers and engineers as a plugin to Autodesk Revit. The tool is the first to integrate designing out construction waste with BIM in the industry. The impact of the final tool was evaluated through rigorous testing by the design teams using demonstration workshops.