Use of configuration information in construction projects to ensure high performance of healthcare facilities
Abstract: The transfer of information between the different phases of construction projects is limited, which complicates the quality assurance of configurations. Functional requirements on the building configuration are often ambiguous and lack measurable acceptance criteria. Vaguely described criteria provide an insufficient basis for the design and verification acceptance values. The contractor is often the first to consider the feasibility just before or during the production phase. However, feasibility including production methods should be considered with the establishment of each design solutions. Costs or time consequences are often the basis for change decisions, while the investigations of the impact on the building configuration and functionality are insufficient. A continuous flow of information with functional requirements as a controlling factor is required to control configurations. Functionality that ensure high quality patient care are essential in health care facilities, therefore the control of the configurations are particularly important.This licentiate thesis shows how configuration information in healthcare construction projects can ensure necessary building functionality. The following information areas are identified as necessary for control of configurations: function, verification, design solution, production and change control. All information is related and changes in one area affect the others, directly or indirectly during construction projects. The studies that are the basis of this licentiate thesis show that the management of configuration information was deficient in healthcare construction projects, especially regarding availability and interconnectivity. In addition, the information was not available at the right time during the construction process, which impaired configuration control. For example, verification methods were not available until the end of production. This precluded verification of intended functionality through large parts of the construction project. Detailed change information from digital models of buildings can significantly improve control of configurations, but this requires standardisation of input data.In the manufacturing industry, configuration management is practised to ensure that products fulfil the required functions throughout their entire lifecycle. Development of new technologies, such as digital processes and industrialised construction, require that construction projects develop working processes similar to those of the manufacturing industry. The risk of unnecessary rework with subsequent cost increases, delays and environmental impact decrease with increased control of the configuration. In construction projects, systematic management of configuration information can ensure delivery of healthcare facilities with intended functionality.
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