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Assessing information management as a tool for the ongoing maintenance of built assets

Fillingham, V. L. (2018) Assessing information management as a tool for the ongoing maintenance of built assets. EngD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Much attention has been made of optimising information modelling in the construction sector. Government bodies have mandated collaborative working environments as a means of enhancing the process of delivering assets that not only meet user expectations, but also reduce project costs and enhance timely completion. An impetus is being placed on the need to reduce total lifecycle costs – 33% by 2020 (Construction Leadership Council, 2013) – so, more emphasis needs to be placed on the acceptance and use of information for the ongoing operation and maintenance of our built assets. Central to this concept is breaking down the disparate silos that constrict the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and asset management (AM) industries. This research project attempts to explore the phenomenon of whole-lifecycle asset information management, from the perspective of those critical to the process, the asset managers. Using cases from the UK Higher Education (HE) sector, individuals at all levels of the organisational structure (i.e. managerial through to technician) were engaged and an understanding of the varying roles and responsibilities used as a starting point for discovery. A grounded theory approach is adopted, iteratively collating qualitative data from four universities, as well as concurrent thematic analysis of said data, finally validating the theoretical findings against a fifth university. Working a cross-section of universities through semi-structured interview sessions allowed for a fluid approach, capturing the true narrative of the individual whilst adapting one’s understanding of the overarching phenomenon. Findings highlighted: - The wasteful model of information management, as currently exists within HE AM departments; roles, timeliness, accuracy, duplication and missing information all contribute towards delays and costly resource demands. - Inefficient and ineffective handover from the capital AEC teams to the AM teams, at the point of practical completion; greater preparation was requested by means of pre-planned site visits at scheduled intervals. - AM subjects were generally unwilling to adapt to the increasing demands of digital technologies and visual displays; the process was therefore found to be superfluous activity. - AM subjects’ experiential knowledge was underutilised and not captured / incorporated within project development; cyclical lessons were not learned. This thesis contributes to knowledge by way of a theoretical framework, developed in response to the findings from the interviews. The PPTC Lifecycle Framework introduces the concept of ‘channels’ as an additional project dimension to the pre-existing ones of ‘people’, ‘process’, and ‘technologies’, linking each to key activities and their respective lifecycle stages. The framework highlights the necessity for a ‘softer landing’. It also provides the means for asset managers to be more inclusive in the end-to-end development of built assets, so that they can ensure the successful preparation of all asset management information for ongoing operation and maintenance.

Item Type:Thesis (EngD)
Thesis Supervisor:Gulliver, S.
Thesis/Report Department:School of the Built Environment
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:84845

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