Identification and Assessment of Risks Out of Contractors’ Control in the Saudi Construction Industry
Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been playing an essential role in building construction projects in recent years. It was used to automate many tasks such as cost estimation and structural analysis. However, BIM interoperability is still lacking in many fields across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) domain. This paper studies the interoperability between architectural design and structural analysis. The goal is to explore BIM-based structural analysis through data transfer between different software via three types of paths: (1) direct link using native file, which is the direct link between software programs from the same provider; (2) direct link using application programming interface (API), which is the direct data transfer with a BIM platform through its APIs; and (3) indirect link, which is the indirect transfer of information through third-party software or methods/algorithms, with a particular focus on the use of industry foundation classes (IFC) data. IFC is an ISO-registered, open, and neutral data exchange standard for BIM. Although IFC was designed to be comprehensive in supporting all disciplines and phases of a building construction project, the authors found that IFC exports from architectural design software usually lack essential information elements needed for structure analysis such as loads information.
Contractors' Knowledge and Understanding of Design Assist Contracting Risks
Complex building projects with critical schedule demands call for early collaboration by the building team. Using a form of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) known as design-assist, this collaboration now includes the specialty subcontractor with expert knowledge that provides timely input on a variety of critical factors, including key design decisions. Recommendations and decisions pertaining to design by the specialty subcontractor may place various forms of risk on the subcontractor. Courts have ruled performing design-assist “blurs the line” between designer and builder. This blurring of the line can lead to the specialty subcontractor taking on design liability. The purpose of this study is to understand how contractors define design-assist, seeking to better understand what scenarios contractors feel represent design-assist. The research used a mixed-methods approach, using an anonymous survey followed by a semi-structured interview process. Results from the sample revealed consistent attitudes towards the definition of design-assist as well as consistent views of what scenarios accurately describe design-assist. Research also showed a difference in attitudes between general contractors and subcontractors with regard to the transfer of design liability. Interview discussions revealed the need to augment contract language and perhaps create a design-assist insurance program on projects which utilize this method.