Innovation in Vertical and Horizontal Construction: Lessons for the Transportation Industry
Appendix C - Framework for Data Collection
The members of the Scan Team prepared a set of questions that were provided to the Local Organizers in each city ahead of time. These questions allowed the Local Organizers to identify key participants and to prepare presentations and collect documentation to assist in the primary areas of information-gathering that the Scan Team was interested in. The questions that were prepared are as follows:
1 - Moving Innovation into Practice
In addition to the fact that the vertical construction world is predominantly private sector, what other 'environmental' differences are engendered by the vertical construction marketplace that facilitate innovation?
2 - Improving Design and Construction Productivity
In the vertical construction world, what factors exist that facilitate greater efficiency and productivity in developing buildings?
3 - Meeting Facility Performance (including business performance) and Quality Objectives over the Life-Cycle
How in the vertical construction world do the participants ensure their decisions are contributing positively to the life-cycle quality and performance of the facility?
The highway and bridge community is seeking answers to the following more detailed questions:
- In the vertical construction business, what are the key factors in stimulating innovation that results in better, faster, and/or cheaper in:
- Installed equipment and systems
- Use of technology for design process and construction process enhancement
- Means and methods of construction
- Regulatory compliance
- Workforce teamwork and efficiency
- Durability and reliability of materials, systems, and equipment
- How does including aesthetics in building construction contribute to the value of the project?
- How do you establish aesthetic enhancements which have a public consensus for being valuable?
- What are the candidate acquisition strategies typically examined for construction projects in your business?
- What drives the process of selecting a strategy?
- Do you standardize on one approach, such as Design-Bid-Build, and only deviate as special conditions dictate?
- How much is the final design aggregated with the construction in one contract and what approaches are used to defining the parameters of this approach? Is the preliminary design team deliberately separate?
- How much do you use fixed price lump sum bidding?
- Is operation and/or maintenance ever included in the construction package and if so, what objectives are established and what would drive such decisions?
- To what extent is qualifications-based selection used for construction contracting?
- How do you look for faster.....cheaper.....better? And do you really achieve all three?
- Participants in our scanning study include agencies with portfolios of bridge and highway projects typically much smaller than the average State DOT projects. For smaller projects, what factors are different in the approach to planning, acquisition, design and construction, commissioning, and maintenance, in the vertical construction business?
- In the design and construction phase(s) of project development, how does the vertical construction sector keep the project objectives before the stakeholders and participants, including:
- facility business model and life-cycle parameters
- maintenance objectives
- sustainability objectives
- aesthetic objectives
- commissioning requirements
- maintenance of capacity during construction (in and around the construction activity)
- warranty requirements of owners
- How, in the vertical construction sector, do the owner and contractor teams define their respective roles and responsibilities in the following activities:
- Plans and specifications
- Quality Assurance and quality control
- Contracting (including comment on 'lowest price', 'A+ bidding', and 'incentives and disincentives'
- Leased versus owned
- How is the new focus on security and safety affecting the vertical construction business?
- How are you handling the new threats of terrorism and the indeterminate nature of the probability and character of potential attacks?
- Are you planning additional expenditures on hardening the facilities?
- Are you planning to handle the perceived increased risk with added operational security (staff and CCTV, for example)?
- How are you integrating the scenario-planning for security with the risk assessment of other hazards or vulnerabilities?
- What influence is your insurance underwriter having on the decisions you make in this regard?
To handle the inevitable up and down cycles in your business, how do you achieve the necessary flexibility in staffing and labor, across the industry participants: managers, architects and engineers, construction managers and trades, operations and maintenance professionals and staff?
- We all understand how critical good project management and honed project management processes are to the whole development and construction cycle. In the vertical construction business how do you secure the right skills and shape them into meeting your specific needs?
- Invest in standard certification processes (eg. PMI) or build in-house certification and training programs?
- Invest in standard (Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software or COTS) software and systems or build your own?
- Provide incentives for staff performance - how?
- Do you practice a womb-to-tomb assignment of managers vis-à-vis specific projects? Or do you have the special teams approach? Or other?
- How has the separate activity of 'commissioning' caught on in the vertical construction world?
- Are you retaining specialty consultants or systems integrators to perform this function?
- How well are the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) stakeholders responding to this new approach?
- How otherwise are you achieving success (or not) in this critical phase of the construction cycle?
- In the planning, programming, and financing stages of your construction projects:
- Who are the participants; do they include your maintenance and operations teams; your construction teams, your architects and design engineers?
- How much emphasis is on life-cycle cost?
- What role does sustainability play in decision-making?
- How well is the business model for the facility itself disseminated among the team members involved in this stage of decision-making?
- How far-reaching is the search for financing, and does it typically include all the participants, including the construction team as a potential investor?