Towards a Generalized Value Stream Mapping and Domain Ontology to Support the Enabling of Industry 4.0 in Construction

  • Author / Creator
    Abdelghani, Mohammad
  • Construction projects have temporary fragmented supply chains that face many challenges, such as lack of trust, inadequate knowledge management, and poor communication. These challenges led to poor performance in terms of low productivity, high cost, schedule delay, and poor quality. Construction is a conservative industry resists changes to its structure and adoption of technology and new management principles. The study aims to develop a value stream mapping and information management frameworks for construction projects. The developed frameworks can support the elimination of wastes and facilitate the integration of the construction supply chain, which ultimately reduce the project’s cost and lead time. It can also support the current shift towards Industry 4.0, which targets the enabling of Construction 4.0. Surveys and interviews are conducted to determine existing tools to exchange information, the extent of value stream mapping (VSM) adoption, and the key performance indicators in Alberta. The results show Alberta’s industry mainly depends on face-to-face discussions, phones, and emails to exchange information. The knowledge most likely stays at the individual levels and neither shared nor stored and poorly managed. This hinders knowledge capitalization, as well as the integration of the value chain network. Alberta’s construction industry hasn’t adopted lean management tools yet, and no common key performance indicators (KPIs) are established. Case studies are completed to implement VSM in procurement case studies. The results show traditional VSM can efficiently identify wastes in the current state of repetitive construction processes and eliminate them in future ones. The study proposed a new VSM framework for non-repetitive processes, which is more suitable for onsite construction activities. The framework is implemented in case studies. The results show significant improvements in terms of reducing wastes and the project’s lead time. The construction industry lacks standard methodology for ontology development. The ontologies that have been developed in construction have a deficiency in a philosophical basis and built for a specific use, and for certain project types and phases. To support knowledge management, which can facilitate information flow in the construction supply chain, an ontology for construction knowledge is developed using the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) structure, ISO 12006-2 recommendations, and input from industry experts. BFO is a mature upper ontology. It provides a framework to build a complete ontology based on philosophical basis. An ontology for the VSM framework is also developed using the BFO structure, so it can be integrated with the construction knowledge ontology. The developed frameworks can also support the industry’s current efforts to promote more collaborative project delivery approaches

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2021
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. 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.