Designing for Construction Procurement: An Integrated Decision Support System for Building Information Modelling
Babaeian Jelodar, M; Wilkinson, S; Kalatehjari, R; Zou, Y
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Purpose: Many applications of Building Information modelling (BIM) are already integrated into project management processes. However, the construction industry is suffering from poor decision-making, especially during procurement where fundamental decisions are made. To make the best decisions at earlier project stages, such as design, large amount of information needs to be processed and classified. Therefore, this study seeks to create a Decision Support System (DSS) for construction procurement through the application of existing informatics infrastructure and BIM applications. Design/methodology/approach: Literature review expert interviews and case studies with complex procurement considerations were used to identify and validate attributes and criterions for procurement decision-making. Accordingly, Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) methodology was used and mathematical models were driven as the foundation for a DSS. Findings: Five major criterions of time, cost, relationship quality, sustainability and quality of work performed was identified for complex construction procurement decision-making. Accordingly, a DSS structure and mathematical model was proposed. Based on this a model architecture was developed for the integration of the DSS into Autodesk Revit as a BIM platform, and assist in pre-contract decision-making. Practical implications: The results can be used in pre-contract selection processes via currently used BIM applications. The model architecture can integrate DSS outputs to nD models, cloud systems and potentially virtual reality facilities to facilitate better construction operations and smarter more automated processes. Originality/value: This study formulates and captures complex and unstructured information on construction procurement into a practical DSS model. The study provides a link to integrate solutions with already available platforms and technologies. The study also introduces the concept of designing for procurement; which can be expanded to other challenging decisions during construction.