An exploratory system dynamics model to investigate the relationships between errors that occur in construction documents in Saudi Arabia and their possible causes
Mohammed, Rukn Eldeen
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The aim of the thesis is to reduce the occurrence of errors in construction documents by developing a theoretical model to capture the dynamics of processes that define the relationship between the factors causing errors in construction documents. The research justified a mixed-mode research approach and the use of system dynamics as the modelling tool. Different types of errors in construction documents were identified that can be classified as follows, starting with the most serious: the erroneous; omissions; failure to conform to design parameters; failure to follow procedures; coordination problems; failure to address operability and constructability issues; and finally, the difficulty of biddability. Also factors affecting the occurrence of errors in construction documents were identified and classified. The classification was based on individual and includes project management, designer, client, and project characters. Using System Dynamics modelling tools each factor has been concluded, with experts’ validated causal analysis diagrams that explain the highly dynamic relationship between the factors and the element(s) having a direct influence on the occurrence of errors in construction documents, using prior theoretical knowledge extracted from the literature, case-study projects and interviews. The developed model simulated the occurrence and behaviour of errors while producing construction documents. The focus of the model is based on an understanding of the internal mechanism of the occurrence of these errors, to avoid placing blame in favour of finding the true, long-term solution to a problem. Measuring the model's behaviour and using sensitivity tests for the correctly solved errors revealed two types of behaviour: one where the model shows reasonable behaviour up to a certain drop in the value of the factors, and the second where the model is under full control of the value of the factors when this value drops below 10%. Among the most sensitive factors were the designer’s previous experience, the designer’s education, the experience of the designer with similar projects, and the factor of the designer’s reputation. These findings were validated and supported by case study projects. The model can be used as a valuable tool in communicating the impact of complex structures on the behaviour of errors in construction documents, and has created opportunities for expanding the study of project dynamics in several potentially valuable directions. This research points to ways of improving performance through improved understanding of the occurrence and structure of errors in construction documents.