Date of Award

Fall 2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Saeed Karshenas

Second Advisor

Christopher M. Foley

Third Advisor

Sriramulu Vinnakota

Abstract

Sound project management is an important pillar of success for a construction company. Project schedules are the primary tools for communicating the thinking and planning by the management team to all the stakeholders in a construction project. Traditional project scheduling software have become an indispensable tool for managers in various project oriented industries for tracking the schedule, the budget and resource requirements of a project as well as for preparing reports, providing on-line access to project information and communication with the members of the project team. However, these benefits are realized only after the project information is entered into the computer and updated periodically. Setting up a computer schedule for a construction project requires entering into the computer not only all project activities and their durations and resource requirements but also organizing and sequencing of project activities. This requires considerable time and effort and consequently a full-scale time study is not usually performed for all projects.

New parametric CAD software is revolutionizing the way architects, engineers and contractors work and can significantly increase construction management productivity by substantially reducing the manual work necessary for computerized construction scheduling. The data model of new parametric CAD software allows easy exchange of building design information among various software systems during design, construction and service life of projects. Research is underway at Marquette University to investigate how new parametric CAD software such as Autodesk Revit can improve construction scheduling and project control functions. The main objective of the research is to find a simple and intuitive way for transferring the necessary project information from an architectural CAD model to scheduling software and streamlining sequencing and organizing project activities. Achieving this objective will eliminate one of the most tedious and time consuming steps in creating a construction project schedule.

The study proposes a visual approach to extracting project information and transferring them to scheduling software. In this approach, first a 3D model of the project is created using project's digital Revit CAD files. Extraction, organizing, sequencing and transferring of project elements to scheduling software is performed during a walkthrough of the 3D model. During a walkthrough, the user can select a building element by pointing to the element. This capability allows the user to select both an element and its predecessors before executing a command that sends the information to the scheduling program. This approach reduces the tedious task of listing, organizing, sequencing, and transferring construction project information to scheduling software to a simple expedition inside the building.