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Integrated Project Management Framework for a Pipe Spool Fabrication Shop Open Access


Other title
Construction Project Management
Pipe Fabrication Shop
Labour Cost
Integrated Framework
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Supervisor and department
Lu,Ming (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Amin Hammad (External from Concordia University)
Yongsheng Ma (Mechanical Engineering)
Aminah Robinson (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Mohamed Al-Hussein (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Alireza Bayat (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Construction Engineering and Management
Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-06:Spring 2017
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Modularization of heavy industrial construction is generally employed in Canada’s oil and gas projects. The concept of modularization is becoming increasingly popular, but this type of work demands accuracy and quality to ensure overall productivity improvement and avoid re-work on site. Construction of industrial modules involves a considerable amount of pre-fabrication of piping spools. The availability of actual labour cost and productivity data is important to accurate pricing and profitable billing but also provides a valid basis for cost estimating on similar projects and for shop production scheduling. Yet of date, the current practice is still largely to utilize industry benchmark data and personal experiences to estimate new jobs, price products and prepare invoices. Visibility into actual labour costs in a timely fashion lends a competitive edge to project planning and control throughout engineering, pricing, estimating and billing activities. The objective of this research study is to automate the collection of actual labour costs which ensures the accuracy of the cost data and improves productivity by eliminating manual paper-and-pen based procedures. A radio frequency-based indoor positioning system was developed and employed for real-time localizing and tracking pipe spool fabrication processes inside a pipe spool fabrication shop. With the enabling technology available, we propose a research framework intended to integrate fabrication process planning and tracking with the drawing and document control system, the materials management system, the labour costing system and the production progress control system. Experiments were conducted inside the fabrication shop of a partner company in order to evaluate the potential and limitations of the proposed research framework. The proposed system is not only able to automatically track actual labour-hours and thus actual labour cost in real-time, it can also provide estimators with precise and accountable labour productivity norms for project cost estimation , if used over a long enough period of time. Moreover, the availability of real-time actual labour-hour information enables us to assess and improve the construction company’s competitiveness through labour productivity benchmarking and production progress measurement. The results from this study will help owners and contractors to understand the variability in process piping estimates and the importance of calibrating existing methods before applying them on real-world projects. This information can also be useful in analyzing the risk associated with the project’s capital costs and resolving estimating issues.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
Citation for previous publication
Soleimanifar, M., Shen, X., Lu, M., and Nikolaidis, I. (2014). Applying received signal strength based methods for indoor positioning and tracking in construction applications. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering. 41: 703-716

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