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Forensic Schedule Information Modeling for Analysis of Time Claims in Construction Projects

  • Author / Creator
    Muaz Fagiar
  • A review of state-of-the-art research and practice has revealed that while the incidence of claims in the construction industry is increasing, current analysis practices are failing to accurately analyze and evaluate contemporaneous project data. The most common types of construction disputes relate to schedule impacts, or time claims caused by various controllable and uncontrollable events that prevent projects execution from being performed as originally planned either positively or negatively. Yet, they are the least understood and most complex disputes in the construction field. In an attempt to overcome the issues, various analytical methods were developed and used, nevertheless there are shortcomings to these methods that remain unresolved. A key element in connection with time claims analysis is that project information is often scattered in various contemporaneous records such as daily progress reports, meeting minutes, diaries, emails, etc. This information is required to verify and assess time claims; however, the inadequate organization and overload of information often lead to inaccuracy and discrepancy in progress timelines as well as inefficiency in the process to reach accurate analysis results and claim conclusions. Driven by the author’s practical experience in construction claims analysis, this research identified various administrative and technical shortfalls associated with the practice of time claims analysis from theoretical, technical and professional literature. The identification of these deficiencies led to the formation of a new forensic schedule information modeling framework, abbreviated as ForSIM, for analysis of time claims. ForSIM framework focuses on integrating impact of events with the schedule to reflect the changes on activities durations and the overall schedule. It utilizes the principles of window-based analytical techniques and employs time-step simulation approach to model project data, achieve the automated data processing, analyze time claims, and quantify both acceleration and time extension award along with detailed demonstration of causation. ForSIM proposes a novel data organization scheme, schedule of events (SoE), for documenting details of project evens that have potential impact on a project schedule. The structure of the event schedule is standardized to facilitate automated retrieval of information and analysis, and it can be implemented in any computer interpreted format, including spreadsheets and database formats. Along with the SoE, ForSIM relies on existence of a mutually agreed upon planned schedule and schedule updates, if available. ForSIM models the dynamic of schedule changes through an entity information model that records all the schedule relevant data, and an entity lifecycle model that imitates the possible routes an entity instance might maneuver through in a schedule network model, simultaneously responding to schedule logic and invoking duration changes. ForSIM can be described as “data-centric” as it places emphasis on events data and how it impacts project schedules. This entity-centric approach facilitates the analysis of time claims in ways that current approaches do not. A prototype of ForSIM was developed and tested for concept validation, with different case studies used to demonstrate its merits over existing analytical methods. The study reveals that application of ForSIM would significantly improve industry practice and help achieve more efficient and accurate assessment of time claims in construction projects. The benefits of ForSIM framework are also discussed, along with directions for future research.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2019
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-7cw1-p520
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.