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New cost- efficient construction industry model developed in Finland to meet clients' requirements

The Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT has developed a model for the construction industry, which improves the requirements of management process for buildings. This is the first time a model links building's requirements and its design information together. This reduces construction errors and construction can be completed faster due to the reduced number of modifications, repairs and delayed installations.

Jukka Pekkanen, director of the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT (left) and Arto Kiviniemi, Chief Research Scientist at VTT have studied requirements for construction projects.
High resolution image (589 Kb)
Photo: Katja Eriksson

Complete modelling of construction projects is still unusual but rapidly increasing. The model based process provides significant benefits compared to the current practice. One of the advantages is, that it enables linkage between requirements and their target objects in the design models, which is the basic idea behind the requirements model developed at VTT. It is crucial that the design objects and requirements are independent elements so that losing the original requirements if, for example, a space is removed in the design phase can be avoided. Links between the requirements and design objects can reduce frequent construction errors caused by changes in the design and construction phases. These errors can inhibit efficient use of a building and cause financial loss to its owner.

The main beneficiaries of VTT's requirements model are property developers, designers, contractors and especially the end-users of buildings. In the VTT's requirements model the project information is broken down into four sub-models, requirements, design, construction and maintenance models. The requirements model divides requirements on several levels, such as, project, site, building, storey and space in the design model and the systematic structure helps project participants to manage clients' requirements in different phases. In addition, the model automatically links higher level requirements into cascading system level requirements, such as, requirements for partition or external walls, electrical and HVAC systems, etc.

Using the integrated requirements model, clients and designers can co-operate in modifying the requirements for the building as the design progresses and document the changes. This helps to facilitate the development of requirements in the design phase. With the current methods the reasons behind the changes made in the design and construction phases are usually not documented and changes may be implemented without a clear understanding of their relation to the clients' requirements or their implications to the use of the building. This may lead to a building which is very different than the originally approved specifications defined.

To enable utilisation of the VTT's requirements model specification in construction projects the next step is to develop software tools which will link the requirements, design, construction and maintenance models of the building in practice.

Doctoral dissertation publication:

Further information:

VTT Building and Transport
Arto Kiviniemi, Chief Research Scientist
Tel. +358 20 722 6814
The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT
Jukka Pekkanen, Director
Tel. +358 9 129 9253, +358 50 527 6966

Feel free to use all news. Photographs copyright Kalle Heiska.
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