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  • Predicting on-site environmental impacts of municipal engineering works

     Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    Environmental impact assessment review
    Date of publication: 2014-01
    Journal article

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    The research findings fill a gap in the body of knowledge by presenting an effective way to evaluate the significance of on-site environmental impacts of municipal engineering works prior to the construction stage. First, 42 on-site environmental impacts of municipal engineering works were identified by means of a process-oriented approach. Then, 46 indicators and their corresponding significance limits were determined on the basis of a statistical analysis of 25 new-build and remodelling municipal engineering projects. In order to ensure the objectivity of the assessment process, direct and indirect indicators were always based on quantitative data from the municipal engineering project documents. Finally, two case studies were analysed and found to illustrate the practical use of the proposed model. The model highlights the significant environmental impacts of a particular municipal engineering project prior to the construction stage. Consequently, preventive actions can be planned and implemented during on-site activities. The results of the model also allow a comparison of proposed municipal engineering projects and alternatives with respect to the overall on-site environmental impact and the absolute importance of a particular environmental aspect. These findings are useful within the framework of the environmental impact assessment process, as they help to improve the identification and evaluation of on-site environmental aspects of municipal engineering works. The findings may also be of use to construction companies that are willing to implement an environmental management system or simply wish to improve on-site environmental performance in municipal engineering projects.

    The research findings fill a gap in the body of knowledge by presenting an effective way to evaluate the significance of on-site environmental impacts of municipal engineering works prior to the construction stage. First, 42 on-site environmental impacts of municipal engineering works were identified by means of a process-oriented approach. Then, 46 indicators and their corresponding significance limits were determined on the basis of a statistical analysis of 25 new-build and remodelling municipal engineering projects. In order to ensure the objectivity of the assessment process, direct and indirect indicators were always based on quantitative data from the municipal engineering project documents. Finally, two case studies were analysed and found to illustrate the practical use of the proposed model. The model highlights the significant environmental impacts of a particular municipal engineering project prior to the construction stage. Consequently, preventive actions can be planned and implemented during on-site activities. The results of the model also allow a comparison of proposed municipal engineering projects and alternatives with respect to the overall on-site environmental impact and the absolute importance of a particular environmental aspect. These findings are useful within the framework of the environmental impact assessment process, as they help to improve the identification and evaluation of on-site environmental aspects of municipal engineering works. The findings may also be of use to construction companies that are willing to implement an environmental management system or simply wish to improve on-site environmental performance in municipal engineering projects.

  • Sistemas inteligentes de gestión energética de edificios: el proyecto ENCOURAGE

     Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Pérez Dueñas, Lara
    Congreso Edificios Inteligentes
    Presentation's date: 2013-10
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    La mejora de la eficiencia energética en el sector de la construcción es un reto. La gestión de edificios permite la implementación de distintas estrategias para mejorar su eficiencia energética. En este contexto, el proyecto europeo ENCOURAGE tiene como objetivo el desarrollo de un sistema inteligente de tecnologías integradas que permita la optimización directa de la energía utilizada y producida en los edificios, constituidos como microrredes, además de una participación activa en las futuras Smart-Grids. La mejora de la eficiencia energética en este proyecto se pretende conseguir mediante tres estrategias complementarias: mediante sistemas de monitorización en tiempo real, desarrollando un sistema de supervisión y control, y mediante un sistema de negociación energética. La presente comunicación se centra en el módulo de inteligencia de negocios que permite analizar fácilmente la gran cantidad de datos capturados por el sistema ENCOURAGE transformando una serie de de datos brutos inexplotables en conocimiento entendible de un solo vistazo. Como consequencia de esta transformación y análisis inteligentes, se obtienen indicadores clave de desempeño (KPIs) y métricas mediante cuadros de mando dinámicos e informes que puede utilizar fácilmente el gestor para tormar decisiones de alto nivel. De esta manera, el gestor energético del edificio puede detectar qué zonas del edificio son susceptibles de ser mejoradas energéticamente o detectar en qué zonas se pueden aplicar algoritmos de control. También se describen estos algoritmos que se implementarán en la plataforma y que deben permitir conseguir reducir el consumo energético del edificio. Se mostará el caso práctico en un demostrador concreto: el edificio TR5 del Campus de Terrassa de la Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya. Para dicho demostrador se presentan los sistemas de control instalados, los algoritmos de control qe pueden ser implementado, los potenciales ahorros de la implementación de cada algoritmo y los ahorros comprobados mediante la prueba piloto de los algoritmos que han podido ser testados hasta el momento.

  • An environmental impact causal model for improving the environmental performance of construction processes

     Fuertes Casals, Alba; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Roca Ramon, Xavier
    Journal of cleaner production
    Date of publication: 2013-08-01
    Journal article

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  • Assessment of residential defects at post-handover

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Love, Peter E.D.
    Journal of construction engineering and management
    Date of publication: 2013-04
    Journal article

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    In Spain, the Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación (Building Regulation Act) has established compulsory warranties to ensure that buildings meet basic requirements with regard to functionality, general safety and structure, fireproofing, and use and habitability. Despite the requirements of this regulatory body, defects in newly built dwellings remain a pervasive problem, which has resulted in a plethora of complaints to the Instituto Nacional del Consumo (National Institute for Consumers¿ Protection), which deals with consumer protection in Spain. In this paper, a total of 2,351 post-handover defects derived from four Spanish builders and seven residential developments are classified according to their location, subcontract, and element. The research reveals that the most common defects identified by customers at handover were incomplete tile grouting and incorrect fixtures and fittings in toilets. In addition, failure to apply second coats of paint to walls was deemed a problematic issue. Typical surface/appearance defects were found to include floor or wall unevenness, stains, mess, and small cracks and marks, primarily caused by lack of protection. In areas where fixtures, fittings, and finishes were of a similar nature, such as the kitchen and bathroom, defect types also arose. Determining the location, subcontract, and element where defects occur in residential buildings can provide invaluable knowledge about areas where builders are likely to make errors or mistakes or take deliberate shortcuts during construction. Thus, emphasis on quality control and supervision of subcontract trades, especially in the identified areas, and during the final stages of residential construction, are critical to ensure that defects are reduced.

    In Spain, the Ley de Ordenación de la Edificación (Building Regulation Act) has established compulsory warranties to ensure that buildings meet basic requirements with regard to functionality, general safety and structure, fireproofing, and use and habitability. Despite the requirements of this regulatory body, defects in newly built dwellings remain a pervasive problem, which has resulted in a plethora of complaints to the Instituto Nacional del Consumo (National Institute for Consumers ’ Protection), which deals with consumer protection in Spain. In this paper, a total of 2,351 post-handover defects derived from four Spanish builders and seven residential developments are classified according to their location, subcontract, and element. The research reveals that the most common defects identified by customers at handover were incomplete tile grouting and incorrect fixtures and fittings in toilets. In addition, failure to apply second coats of paint to walls was deemed a problematic issue. Typical surface/appearance defects were found to include floor or wall unevenness, stains, mess, and small cracks and marks, primarily caused by lack of protection. In areas where fixtures, fittings, and finishes were of a similar nature, such as the kitchen and bathroom, defect types also arose. Determining the location, subcontract, and element where defects occur in residential buildings can provide invaluable knowledge about areas where builders are likely to make errors or mistakes or take deliberate shortcuts during construction. Thus, emphasis on quality control and supervision of subcontract trades, especially in the identified areas, and during the final stages of residential construction, are critical to ensure that defects are reduced.

  • Standardizing housing defects: classification, validation and benefits

     Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Fuertes Casals, Alba; Roca Ramon, Xavier
    Journal of construction engineering and management
    Date of publication: 2013-08
    Journal article

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    Defects produce economic and temporal deviations in construction projects. Although learning from past experiences can help reduce defects and their consequences, usually data is not easily available, or is poorly structured and difficult to analyze. Several structured classification systems for defects exist, but regionally specific construction activities make the data unviable for research use. This paper presents the development and the validation of a defects' classification system for the Spanish housing sector. From the analysis of the existing defect classification systems, a first draft was developed to be discussed and improved in a series of workshops done by a panel of experts. Afterwards, the final classification was validated by experts' interviews. The experts evaluated the epistemological adequacy and reusability of the proposed classification system. The results demonstrate the suitability of the classification system. In addition the validation revealed that the classification can be implemented in tracking systems, and it can be used to analyze defects in the Spanish housing sector. Finally, the classification was used in a case study to analyze the real use and it demonstrated the potential uses of the classification.

  • Contributions to rework prevention in construction projects.

     Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    Defense's date: 2013-12-17
    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    La literatura sosté que les empreses del sector de la construcció poden reduir els costos derivats dels ¿rework¿ implementant sistemes de gestió de qualitat. Els reptes i obstacles més comuns als que s¿enfronten les empreses del sector de la construcció durant la implementació i operació dels sistemes de gestió de la qualitat estan relacionats amb ¿com¿ la informació pot ser enregistrada d¿una manera eficaç, i ¿què¿ es pot fer amb aquesta informació enregistrada. La tesi té com a objectiu millorar el procés d¿enregistrament de defectes en les empreses del sector de la construcció, i proposar mètodes i eines per utilitzar els defectes enregistrats en obra per tal de prevenir i reduir els ¿rework¿ en les empreses del sector de la construcció. La tesi s¿inicia amb el desenvolupament d¿un mètode conceptual per caracteritzar defectes. El model proposat està basat en models preexistents, però tenint en compte el context del sector residencial espanyol. El model es basa en l¿enumeració d¿una sèrie de paràmetres que permeten caracteritzar els defectes. El model final inclou 6 paràmetres, cada un d¿ells inclou un llistat de paraules estandarditzades amb les corresponents definicions.Els llistat de paraules estandarditzades estan basats en estudis previs, però adaptant-los al context espanyol. Cal destacar però que en termes de defectes, no existeixen llistes estandarditzades. Per aquesta raó, aquesta tesi inclou el desenvolupament d¿una taxonomia de defectes pel sector de la construcció espanyol. Aquesta taxonomia consta de 15 categories principals i 19 subcategories. La tesi continua amb el desenvolupament d¿una metodologia per capturar defectes en el sector de la construcció. La metodologia es implementada en una eina informàtica, anomenada MoBuild. El sistema es basa en la captura d¿imatges i en l¿etiquetatge d¿aquestes. D¿aquesta manera la informació es captura de manera estructurada, fet que possibilita el posterior anàlisi estadístic de la informació capturada. La nova estratègia implementada en l¿aplicació MoBuild permet als professionals reduir el temps del procés d¿enregistrament, facilitant la implementació de sistemes de gestió de la qualitat, tals com la ISO 9000 en empreses del sector industrial. La recerca proposa també una metodologia quantitativa per identificar els riscos de qualitat derivats de la construcció d¿edificis residencials durant les etapes de pre-construcció. El punt fort d¿aquesta metodologia rau en el fet que ajuda als dissenyadors a considerar explícitament la qualitat del projecte constructiu durant el procés de disseny. Els dissenyadors poden comparar diferents alternatives de disseny, i quantificar els riscos de qualitat d¿un projecte de construcció sense que les seves aptituds creatives es vegin restringides. La metodologia és especialment valuosa per als dissenyadors amb menys experiència, als quals els hi manquen les habilitats requerides i el coneixement per a reconèixer els riscos de qualitat derivats de la construcció dels seus dissenys. La metodologia també serveix com a eina d¿assessorament per a empreses constructores. Aquestes poden utilitzar la metodologia per a determinar i quantificar els riscos de qualitat derivats dels projectes constructius que aquests duguin a terme. D¿aquestes manera les empreses constructores poden preparar i planificar els seus projectes constructius i optimitzar els seus recursos i activitats.Finalment, aquesta tesi analitza la qualitat percebuda pels usuaris finals dels edificis residencials un cop aquests en comencen a fer ús. La tesi utilitza diferents mètodes estadístics per mostrar la utilitat de les dades de qualitat enregistrades per les empreses del sector de la construcció. L¿objectiu és ressaltar el rol essencial que tenen les dades enregistrades en les activitats d¿una empresa, en particular donant evidències de quins beneficis poden aportar els sistemes de la gestió de la qualitat.

  • Knowledge management perceptions in construction and design companies

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Fuertes Casals, Alba; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    Automation in construction
    Date of publication: 2013-01-01
    Journal article

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    Knowledge management (KM) has been studied extensively in recent years. Some consider knowledge to be the most strategically important resource for any company, but the fragmented, project-based and task-oriented nature of construction work makes it more difficult to implement KM in this sector. This paper presents a survey of perceptions of KM implementation in the Spanish construction sector and compares the results obtained from design and construction firms. Data were collected from the leading civil engineering companies in Spain. The survey found that the Spanish construction industry is aware of the benefits of KM but that systematic KM is not generally implemented. The findings clearly demonstrate that changes in organizational culture are critical to successful KM. The survey also revealed some distinctions between the KM perception of design firms and that of construction firms.

  • Post-handover housing defects: sources and origins

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Fuertes Casals, Alba; Roca Ramon, Xavier
    Journal of performance of constructed facilities
    Date of publication: 2013-12-01
    Journal article

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    In Spain, the high levels of inexperienced workers and the long chains of subcontracting contribute to poor quality of dwellings. Although the Ley reguladora de la subcontratación en el Sector de la Construcción (Subcontracting law) has established quality measures, the number of customer complaints is still increasing. In this paper, a total of 2351 post-handover defects derived from four Spanish builders and seven residential developments are classified according to their source and origin. The research reveals that the most common defects identified by customers at post-handover were derived from bad workmanship, and were related to construction errors and omissions. Typical defects were found to include incorrect installation, appearance defects, missing item or task mainly related to finishing and considered to be minor. No defects were caused by poor design as they are mainly detected and resolved during construction, or become apparent after some years of use. This study demonstrates the negative impact of re-doing defective work during the final stages of construction, and provides knowledge to define measures to improve the quality of the finished buildings, such as understanding customer expectations and preferences, training programs for workers, specialization of subcontractors and tighten the external controls prior to handover.

  • Tracking construction defects based on images

     Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Kubicki, Sylvain
    European Conference on Product and Process Modelling
    Presentation's date: 2012-07-25
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Influence of building type on post-handover defects in housing

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Fuertes Casals, Alba; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Roca Ramon, Xavier
    Journal of performance of constructed facilities
    Date of publication: 2012-08
    Journal article

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    Clients’ lack of involvement in defining quality requirements for dwellings built by developers leads to a perception of poor quality at the time of purchase. The research presented in this paper aims to broaden previous research on defects by analyzing the defects that remain in the post-handover stage, which usually lasts 12 months after the handover period, and identifying the factors that influence the appearance of these defects, determining whether a significant difference exists in the quality of the two main residential building types built by developers: flats and detached houses. It also analyzes and discusses the areas and elements in which the defects were detected. The data were obtained from client complaint forms completed after the handover of 95 dwellings in Spain. The data were then statistically analyzed using a t-test analysis, a Pearson’s parametric correlation, and a chi-square test. The research reveals that clients detect more defects in flats than in detached houses. The lower quality of the materials used in flats and the tighter schedule to which flats are subject may cause these differences.

  • Non-conformities management survey for construction companies

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta
    Date: 2012-06
    Report

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  • Validation protocol of the ¿process failure¿ classification for Mobuild

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Casals Casanova, Miquel
    Date: 2012-06
    Report

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  • Defects¿ taxonomy for Mobuild

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Casals Casanova, Miquel
    Date: 2012-03
    Report

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  • Process failures¿ taxonomy validation for Mobuild

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta
    Date: 2012-07
    Report

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  • XXVIII CONVOCATÒRIA DE BEQUES PER TESIS DOCTORALS

     Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    Award or recognition

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  • Parameters of ¿cooperative processes¿ defects¿ for Mobuild

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    Date: 2012-04
    Report

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  • Mapping construction defects for Mobuild

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    Date: 2012-02
    Report

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  • Identifying potential health and safety risks at the pre-construction stage

     Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Roca Ramon, Xavier; Fuertes Casals, Alba; Macarulla Marti, Marcel; Vilella, Quirze
    CIB World Building Congress
    Presentation's date: 2010-05-10
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Previous researches have demonstrated that decisions made during the pre-construction stage have a big influence on the construction worker safety. This paper introduces a systematic approach for dealing with health and safety risks during the pre-construction stage. The developed methodology helps designers to calculate the safety-related performance of their residential construction designs, providing a consistent basis for comparisons between them. In order to avoid a typical shortcoming in the evaluation of health and safety risks, indicators are based on quantitative data available in the project documents. Significance limits are statistically obtained with the analysis of 25 new-start construction projects

  • A Web-based system for quality inspection and defect management of industrial building construction

     Forcada Matheu, Nuria; Margalida, Elisabet; Fuertes Casals, Alba; Casals Casanova, Miquel; Gangolells Solanellas, Marta; Roca Ramon, Xavier; Macarulla Marti, Marcel
    International Conference on IT in Construction & International Conference on Managing Construction for Tomorrow
    Presentation's date: 2009-10-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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