A Scoping Review for Cybersecurity in the Construction Industry
Abstracts:The 4th industrial revolution and its inherent digitalization are changing every aspect of the construction industry. However, these technological transformations bring new challenges, including cybersecurity. Although a number of studies in recent years have aimed to analyze cybersecurity issues in the construction sector, further research investment in this area is vital. The first step towards identifying needed and promising research directions in this domain is to systematically analyze the existing body of knowledge and detect knowledge gaps. This study addresses this need through a systematic scoping review designed based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis extension for Scoping Review (PRISMA-ScR). To synthesize the existing knowledge, the extracted information is mapped with multiple benchmarks, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework for cybersecurity management. The outcomes of the scoping review indicated that, from the construction perspective, the existing literature mainly focuses on a few areas, including Building Information Modeling (BIM), while other digital systems such as construction robots and prefabrication platforms need to be considered in future works. In terms of cybersecurity management, most of the existing studies focus on identifying risks and protecting assets. Other aspects of cybersecurity management, including detecting intrusions, responding to threats, and recovering from cyber-attacks need to be addressed in future studies. Regarding the technology-mediated countermeasures, the existing studies have explored only a limited number of potential solutions with a considerable focus on Blockchain-based systems, while the application of other countermeasures such as network virtualization can be a basis for future studies. Finally, the existing studies focused on procedural guidelines lack systematic solutions for areas including integrated cyber risk management and organizational change.
Defining the Success Status of Construction Projects Based on Quantitative Performance Metrics Thresholds
Abstracts:Despite the high spending and high employment, the construction industry struggles to agree how to go about project performance assessment and what constitutes a successful project. This does not allow stakeholders to address the issues in and drawbacks of their respective projects. Hence, this research outlines performance metrics upper limits, which can be used in defining a successful project. Data were collected from Construction Industry Institute (CII) members and multiple construction firms through University of Wisconsin–Madison active research projects. Two classification and regression tree (CART) models were developed using 4-fold randomized cross-validation to provide the metrics thresholds of success with a classification accuracy of 81% and 85%, respectively. CART models revealed that a successful project can be defined as having construction schedule growth less than 10.4%, construction cost growth less than 9.8%, requests for information (RFIs) per $million less than or equal to 8.6, and RFI processing time less than or equal to 7 days. Additional thresholds showed that a high-performing successful project would have a change orders per $million of less than 0.39 and rework of less than 1.5%. These thresholds can serve as a step toward a quantitative definition of success by translating qualitative success status into quantitative success status. Additionally, the established thresholds can be used as benchmarks for acceptable construction performance, which can then be adopted as risk thresholds or tolerances during project planning.
Identifying Critical Dispute Causes in the Construction Industry: A Cross-Regional Comparative Study between China and the UK
Abstracts:Construction disputes have long been identified as epidemics in the construction industry worldwide, which has become a more serious problem due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies on the dispute causes have primarily focused on country- or region-specific contexts and hence the results cannot be generalized in solving this chronic problem in a broader construction project worldwide. This study aims to explore and evaluate the critical dispute causes in construction projects through a comparative study between China and the United Kingdom. A total of 33 common dispute causes were identified through a comprehensive literature review and further consolidated by pilot surveys in the two countries. An online questionnaire survey was administered among construction professionals in China and the United Kingdom, with 170 valid responses returned for data analysis. Principal component factor analysis, mean score ranking approach, quartile analysis, and Mann-Whitney
testing were employed to identify the most critical dispute causes. Similarities and differences were mapped between the two countries. It was found that the five most critical categories of dispute causes in the two territories are: delay-related problems, lack of communication, contractual problems, site conditions, and design problems. The importance of variation in quantities, breach of contract, misinterpretation of contractual terms and conditions, and poor contract management was perceived significantly differently by the respondents in China and the United Kingdom, whereas design defects and failure to make compensation for additional work were the most critical common dispute causes in both countries. The research provides important findings for both academics and practitioners to holistically understand the similarities and differences of dispute causes in China and the United Kingdom and aids in preventing disputes more effectively in the global construction industry.
Determining the Most Economical Work Zone Lengths for Rural Highway Rehabilitation Projects
Abstracts:Despite the wealth of research that has sought to understand the effects of highway work zones, very little definitive information is available concerning the determination of work zone length (WZL) of rural highway rehabilitation projects. Despite its significant impact, adaptive models that holistically estimate reasonable WZLs are very rare. To fill this gap, this study first created a high-confidence data set through a series of scheduling and traffic simulations and subsequently identified critical factors affecting WZL through a descriptive factor analysis. Based on these data sets and findings, a novel decision support framework was developed to determine the most economical WZL in a balanced trade-off between motorists’ inconvenience level induced by traffic disruption and their opportunity cost. The practical applications of the WZL determination framework were then demonstrated through a systematic eight-step procedure, followed by an illustrative use case of an actual project. The results revealed that traffic loading and work zone duration are critical factors, with an important benchmarking point being traffic loading at approximately 41,000 vehicles per day. As the first of its kind, this study will help state transportation agencies devise sounder construction phasing plans by providing a means of establishing WZL that strikes a balance between travelers’ inconvenience and constructability.
Space–Time–Workforce Visualization and Conditional Capacity Synthesis in Uncertainty
Abstracts:Workspace, project duration, and workforce are three critical resources for construction projects. Project managers need to expend time and effort reviewing, comprehending, and coordinating these resources. However, the space–time–workforce interactions and their impact on decision-making in project scheduling are not fully known. Therefore, the objectives of this research were to understand the impact of workforce shifts on space, time, and labor cost performances, develop a three-dimensional (3D) visualization tool to reveal activity-level resource dynamics, and associate the risk aftermath with the occurrence probability to balance subjective risk tolerance and objective system reliability. This research developed a simulation model based on a case project to compare the workflow of five major specialty trades (i.e., bar placer, carpenter, scaffolder, pipefitter, and concreter) in 267 scenarios. A resource-oriented 3D visualization tool was developed to help project managers monitor project schedules. The research established a risk control framework using value-at-risk (VaR) and conditional value-at-risk (CVaR) approaches to associate extreme outcomes with their occurrence probability. Simulation results indicated that pipefitters significantly affected workspace overlap, whereas bar placers and carpenters predominantly impacted project duration. The scholarly contributions are (1) the creation of an intelligent system to generate a project schedule from workforce assignments specified by project managers, (2) development of a tool to visualize the three-way resource dynamics of workforce, time, and space on a 3D model for all possible scenarios, and (3) development of a framework for project managers to balance planning strategies between subjective risk tolerance and objective system reliability. This research provides project managers with a dynamic 3D visualization of space, time, and workforce utilization and interaction in uncertain environments, further facilitating reliable project scheduling decision-making.