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Translating building information modelling: A study of the BIM implementation process at a large Swedish client organisation
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management, Project Communication.
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2016, Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2016, p. 123-132Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is currently widely discussed within both the construction industry and the academia. There is a view that it is a new paradigm presenting possibilities to address the slow increase in productivity currently perceived in the construction industry. Around the world many governments and public client organisations are developing their implementation processes for BIM. In this paper the largest infrastructure client in Sweden is studied. Based on a Case study, the BIM implementation process at this actor is described. These results serve as an empirical example of how BIM is being implemented in order to improve both productivity and innovation in the construction industry. These results have been analysed inspired by theory of 'sociology of translation'. This study concludes that the main tool used to enrol actors into BIM use is demanding model based delivery of project information. However, less emphasis is put on how these models will influence work practices for both the client's project organisation and contractors and consultants in the projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2016. p. 123-132
Keywords [en]
BIM, Building Information Modelling, Implementation, Sociology of translation, Construction industry, Information theory, Management science, Productivity, Project management, Social sciences, Implementation process, Model-based OPC, Project informations, Project organisations, Public clients, Work practices, Architectural design
National Category
Economics and Business Environmental Analysis and Construction Information Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-201977Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84991694120OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-201977DiVA, id: diva2:1078365
Conference
32nd Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2016, 5 September 2016 through 7 September 2016
Note

QC 20170303

Available from: 2017-03-03 Created: 2017-03-03 Last updated: 2019-04-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lost in Translation: A case of BIM implementation at a large public client
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lost in Translation: A case of BIM implementation at a large public client
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The technology of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being introduced to the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. This industry is generally perceived as being fragmented, having low productivity and with a low rate of innovation. BIM is presented as new paradigm within this industry, enabling inter-organisational collaboration, overall increasing quality while simultaneously lowering costs. But widespread BIM implementation has not yet taken place. In order to increase adoption, public client organisations have been argued to be the actors needed to initiate and drive the implementation of BIM. However, the client perspective of such implementation initiatives has not been the main focus of earlier research.

In this licentiate thesis the BIM implementation process conducted by the largest infrastructure client in Sweden is analysed. This organisation implements BIM both to benefit their own organisation but also to increase productivity and innovation within the whole infrastructure branch of the AEC-industry. With the purpose of increasing the understanding of technology driven change processes at public client organisations, the BIM implementation at this organisation is analysed as an empirical example. 

The case study is analysed by a theoretical framework taking inspiration from Actor-Network theory and Sociology of Translation. Based on this analysis the translation process, where key actors are identified and enrolled into using BIM are described. The analysis reveals a complex network of actors linked to the implementation in question. Instead of a single BIM concept, several different and sometimes conflicting interpretations of BIM are simultaneously being translated.

This licentiate thesis problematizes the role of client organisations in initiating change within a network of actors. The main ways of enrolling actors into using BIM have in the studied case been the development of new demand documents. This strategy has however been problematic as the new demands for BIM have not been accepted as intended within many construction projects. Instead, the results of this thesis argue for the importance of client organisations as negotiators, not only needed to establish demand for a new innovation.

Abstract [sv]

Tekniken Byggands Informations Modellering (BIM) introduceras just nu i byggbranschen. Denna bransch beskrivs ofta som varande fragmenterad med låg produktivitet samt bristande innovationskraft. BIM beskrivs som ett nytt paradigm för denna bransch, möjliggörande interorganisatoriskt sammarbete, ökad kvalitet och samtidigt minskande kostnader. Däremot har BIM ännu inte anammats på bred front. För att öka implementeringstakten har statliga beställarorganisationer beskrivits som de aktörer som behövs för att initiera och driva implementeringen av BIM. Dock har tidigare forskning inte fokuserat på beställarperspektivet kring sådana initiativ.

I denna licentiatavhandling presenteras en fallstudie av BIM implementeringen på den största infrastrukturbeställaren i Sverige. Denna organisation implementerar BIM både för att gynna den egna organisationen men också för att öka produktiviteten och innovationstakten i intrastrukturbranschen som helhet. Med syfte att öka förståelsen kring beställarrollen i förhållande till teknikdrivna förändringsprocesser studeras denna förändringsprocess som ett empiriskt exempel.

Denna fallstudie analyseras utifrån ett teoretiskt ramverk med inspiration tagen från Actor-Network Theory och Sociology of Translation. Utifrån denna analys beskrivs översättningsprocesser där nyckelaktörer identifieras och försöks knytas till att använda BIM. Analysen visar på ett komplext nätverk av aktörer kopplat till implementeringen i fråga. Istället för ett enskilt BIM koncept hittas ett flertal samtidiga, och stundtals motsägelsefulla tolkningar av BIM som alla samtidigt översätts i organisationen.

Denna licentiatavhandling problematiserar beställarrollen i relation till initiering av förändring inom ett aktörsnätverk. Det huvudsakliga sättet genom vilket aktörer knyts till att använda BIM har i det studerade fallet varit genom utveckling av nya kravdokument. Denna strategi har däremot varit problematisk då dessa krav inte accepterats som tänk inom ett flertal byggprojekt. Istället visar resultatet av denna studie på vikten av beställarorganisationer som varande förhandlare, inte endast viktiga för att upprätta efterfrågan för en ny innovation.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. p. 52
Series
TRITA-FOB ; LIC-2017:5
Keywords
Technology driven change, Building information modelling, BIM, Sociology of translation, Implementation, Innovation, Actor-Network theory
National Category
Construction Management
Research subject
Real Estate and Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-208636 (URN)978-91-85783-80-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-08-31, B23, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm, 11:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170614

Available from: 2017-06-14 Created: 2017-06-09 Last updated: 2017-06-19Bibliographically approved
2. BIM in Translation: Exploring Client Organisations as Drivers for Change in Construction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>BIM in Translation: Exploring Client Organisations as Drivers for Change in Construction
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

New technology is constantly being developed, presenting new opportunities and enabling innovative solutions to both known and unknown problems. Most industries place a large amount of trust in the opportunities offered by digitalisation. Information technology is being developed to enable new work practices and thereby drive change. However, the use of technology often drifts away from the developer’s intentions when it is introduced into an organisational setting. The management of such technology implementations is thus complex, both in terms of the technology itself and the organisational context in which it is implemented.

In the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, the technology ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) is currently being introduced. This industry is often described as fragmented, having low productivity and being reluctant to innovate. BIM is presented as new paradigm for this industry, as it is able to drive change towards inter-organisational collaboration, increase overall quality, and simultaneously lower costs. The industry has, however, been tentative towards BIM and widespread implementation has not yet taken place. To influence the industry towards adopting this new technology, public client organisations have been argued to play a vital role as innovation champions, demanding BIM-use through procurement. Still, there is a lack of studies exploring such implementation initiatives from the client perspective.

In this thesis, the case of BIM implementation at the largest infrastructure client in Sweden is presented. This case shows how the client has undertaken an implementation process to both benefit its own organisation and increase productivity and innovation within the whole infrastructure branch of the AEC industry. With the purpose of problematising and contributing with reflective perspectives on the role of client organisations as drivers for industry change by implementation of information technology, the BIM implementation at this organisation is viewed as an empirical example of how information technology is introduced to influence an inter-organisational network of actors and establish change. 

The case is analysed from the perspective of an analytical framework, taking inspiration from actor-network theory and sociology of translation. Thus, the implementation is viewed as a process of translation, where key actors are identified and enrolled into using BIM. Viewing BIM implementation as a translation reveals a complex network of actors linked to the implementation in question. The implementation is developed as a sequential translation, where project managers are intended to act as delegates, demanding and promoting BIM in their projects.

This thesis problematises the role of client organisations in initiating change through the implementation of technology. Enrolling actors into using BIM has, in the studied case, primarily been done by the development of new demand documents. This strategy has, however, been problematic as the demands have not been accepted as intended. Instead, the results of this thesis argue for the importance of client organisations as negotiators, and that they are not only needed to establish demand for new technology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. p. iii-viii, 83
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1913
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-249977 (URN)978-91-7873-197-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-05, F3, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20190425

Available from: 2019-04-25 Created: 2019-04-24 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved

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