3RD CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING WORK IN PALESTINE November 3-5, 2009 A collaborative approach to project life cycle definition based on the

Spanish construction industry Ali Alshubbak1, Eugenio Pellicer2, Joaquín Catalá3 School of Civil Engineering Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Abstract Construction projects suffer a feeble initial definition which has disastrous consequences on the final product and results in undesirable conflicts (disputes) between the project agents. At the same time, construction projects have a complicated nature related to their long duration, multidisciplinary, cost, cultural value, environmental allegations, legal aspects, and much more. Thus, a precise and suitable initial project definition is essential. The project definition corresponds to the exact delimitation of its scope, details that improve the understanding of what is to be designed, needs to be fulfilled, product classification, definition of the involved agents, etc. This article focuses on the significance of the project owner (promoter), and presents the elaboration of a new methodology toward complete and advanced collaboration of the promoter in the project definition through the identification of its needs (requirements) at different phases and stages of the project life cycle. In the methodology, we present how the project life cycle is to be discomposed in phases and stages to simplify its analysis in order to trace the promoter’s needs along the project duration. Also we explain the design of an interactive questionnaire which captures the promoter’s needs before the initiation of any of the project phase and stage; the two parts of that questionnaire are the promoter from one side while the other side could be a consultant or a contractor. The motive why this study concentrates in the promoter’s needs refers to various reasons: on the one hand, its importance and interaction in the project initiation, project finances, the contractual procedure, the total quality management, etc; on the other hand, the promoter is always involved in most of the of possible disputes in construction. Keywords: construction industry, owner/promoter, needs, Spain. project life cycle, project definition,


Civil Engineer, PhD candidate at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Email: alisubbak@yahoo.com alalshu@doctor.upv.es Tel.: +34 649 311 380, +34 963 879 562, Fax: 0034 963 877 569 Universidad Politécnica de Valencia Camino de Vera, S/N C.P.:46022, Valencia Valencia, Spain. 2 Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. 3 Professor in Civil Engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia.


1. Introduction Construction industry has a great importance anywhere, it affects and interrelates with industrial, commercial and services activities. Its importance makes it one of the principal economical motors, and it is considered as an indicator for the economical stability. As long as the construction industry grows, the majority of the economical indexes such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the employment situation, income, etc. improve. Construction industry forms the nation’s physical infrastructure, provides home, shelter, and transportation facilities. Construction industry can be characterized as heterogeneous. On the one hand it is complex and non-transparent (multiple activities, agent’s communication natures, documentation size, measuring parameters, and legislation), on the other hand, it is flexible and dynamic. At the product level, it has the doubled characteristic of the temporality and the uniqueness [1], so that, construction investigations can be a complex activity. Construction management is project-based [2]; a number of different participants are involved in that managerial activity. So that, for a comprehensive and effective construction project management, all agents should be incorporated. To achieve that, a collaborative approach which considers each agent is needed. This article presents a research which aims to identify the owner’s needs in the construction projects, specifically building projects. The development of the research leads to an interactive collaboration model between the contractor (consultant) and the owner, where the first obtains certain information from the second to use it as specifications for the work to be carried out. The model involves the owner in decision making and selection processes in order to identify its needs at different stages of a project life cycle. A series of interactive questionnaires forms the data source for the model; these questionnaires are elaborated following a special classification system designed for obtaining crucial information of the project. The structure of this article consists of terminology aspects; a revision for the most related expressions coined with this research such as facility life cycle, project life cycle, phases of project or facility life cycle; involved agents in the construction industry; a literature review of the collaboration in construction, the owner’s organization and the studies related to the owner’s satisfaction; the research methodology and its approach; the interactive questionnaires design; and finally the conclusions. 2. Terminology aspects Within the construction industry, many activities take place in accordance with a certain practical and logical sequence and scheduling. The evolution of the construction industry has generated several terminologies to refer to the construction reality; “project” is one of them. Much of the literature discussions explain the “project” and many have defined it in several ways. Wideman [3] defines the project as “a process or undertaking that encompasses an entire set of activities having a definable starting point and well defined objectives the delivery of which signal the completion of the project…to be accomplished within limited resources.” The PMBOK [4] states that a


project is “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service.” Cleland [5] defines the project as a combination of human and nonhuman sources pulled together in a temporary organization to achieve a specified purpose. Construction industry can be characterized with the cyclic behavior along the project duration; this is expressed by the term “life cycle”. This “life cycle” term corresponds to all the phases of the project from the point of conception to the closeout [6]. In addition, the life cycle within the context of the project is a series of major steps in the process of conceptualization, designing, developing and putting in operation the project’s technical performance [5]. A more generic definition of the life cycle is “the series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between successive recurrences of a specified primary stage” [7]. Project life cycle is a widely used expression to refer to the main phases of the project. According to Cleland [5] these phases are: conceptual, definition, production, operational and divestment. Archibald [8] says that the main generic phases are four: conception, definition, execution, and the closeout. As a result of the immense use of ‘life cycle’ expression in different fields, many authors may get confused and confuse in the adaptation of this concept to their works. Wideman [9] alerts for the misapplication of the terms of corporate business life cycle, facility/product life cycle, and project life cycle. He explains the common phases and their corresponding ones between corporate, product and project life cycles that imply the high possibility of confusion for authors. As stated before, project, as a term, represents a general description of activities and phases not only in the construction industry, but also in other sectors, like the commerce, industry, services, etc. Hence, we are to use another term that will precise the context within the construction scope, and refers directly to the construction industry. Product concept should not be used here because it is a term coined with the manufacturing industry. It could be an ‘infrastructure’, but this term is somehow limited to certain types of construction that can be of transportation, sewerage systems, and sometimes hydraulic constructions; moreover, it is not widely used. It is known that infrastructures and buildings are the main construction products. A term that includes both types is ‘facility’. Many discussed the facility as a term. Kang et al. [10] define facility as “a final product of civil engineering projects.” Facility is “any building, plant, installation, structure, mine, vessel or other floating craft, location, or site of operation, owned, leased, or supervised by a contractor or subcontractor, used in the performance of a contract or subcontract” [11]. For now on, we are going to use the term ‘facility’ because it fits well for all the ‘products’ of the construction industry (infrastructures and buildings) and it is already used by some authors. ‘Life cycle’ implies a period of time for a series of events with a repetitive feature, but Wideman [9] argues the inappropriateness of the ‘life cycle’ term and proposes the ‘life span’ for certain cases. Even that, we are not to use ‘life span’, since it implies the duration more than the cyclic action. The term ‘process’, which is widely used in many sectors such as the manufacturing industry or business [12] not only in construction, can create a context confusion. Inside a single phase of the facility life cycle exists at least one process. More over, ‘life cycle’ implies the iterative and repetitive action of the included activities which we are looking for to express the behavioral sequence of the phases. So, herein we are to use both ‘facility life cycle’ and ‘project life cycle’ according to the context to be described in the next section.


3. Facility life cycle 3.1. Phases of the facility life cycle Facility Life Cycle (FLC) consists of several phases [5, 13, 9, 6, 8 and 14]. The configuration of these phases depends on several factors, such as the contractual policy [15]; cooperation and collaboration between different agents [16]; participating agents to carry the facility; the facility type; the factors which affects the construction phase; scheduling, etc. We consider that a project or facility life cycle principally consists of five phases: 1. Feasibility phase: herein, previous studies are carried out, such as those related to economical issues [17], safety of involved personnel in the cycle, technical perspective, certain aspects and basic information to be dealt which concerns all the phases in advance [18], etc. 2. Design phase: it comprises not only the design, but also the elaboration of the project dossier with all its components, recommending initial tests, calculating structural elements, drawings, technical specifications, budgeting, checking, etc. 3. Construction phase: represents two sub-phases, execution and inspection, the execution phase is the period within the facility life cycle through which the constructing work of the facility is carried out. In the other sub-phase, continuous checking and control for the right execution, safety implementation, quality control, and environmental assuring to be carried out. 4. Exploitation phase: use and maintenance are the basic activities in this phase with the possibility of other alternatives of activities [18], and post-completion evaluation [6]. 5. Dismantling phase: considers the demolishing or removing the facility from the service after a certain time depending on its use. The cyclic phase of maintenance or rehabilitation can be considered as a ‘feedback’ process. It can take place in various situations, depending on the agreed contractual conditions. The contractual policy is the most controlling factor for the determination of the main phases of the facility life cycle and the involved agents. Contract represents the legal document which mentions the needed phase to be carried out.

Figure 1: general scheme of the FLC

3.2. Agents of the facility life cycle Herein, we are to distinguish between the main agents who are responsible of carrying out one or more of the FLC phases depending on its specialization and capability. Different expressions deliver their functional nature; some call them as parties [19] or stakeholders [5]. For us, basic agents are those who correspond to the basic phases of the FLC, which are the owner (or promoter), consultant, and contractor.


Owner and promoter terms in construction describe to the same agent, but there is a slight difference between them. An owner of a project is the agent who pays whole project and exploits the final product in for its own use; moreover, it is coined more with the private sector. But, a promoter is the agent who finances the project, interacts in the project phases through the collaboration or partnering methods, usually exploits the final product in commercial purpose or for self use, and it can belong to the private or public sector. Regardless of of that difference, in this article, both terms serve our context, they can be used equally, but they are different from the ‘client’ term. Almost all authors use the word ‘client’, which is generally defined as “a person who engages the professional advice or a service of another” [7]. In addition “client is the party to a contract who commissions the work and pays for it on completion” [19]. Following the last two definitions, let us make the following question: who is the client of a highway facility? Is it the vehicle, the driver, the passenger or the public administration? Client refers to the first three. Meanwhile the public administration finances and may own the facility. Therefore, it is no longer the facility’s client but the ‘owner’, and this is the intended functionality in our context. Tang et al. [20] say: “The employer, developer, promoter, owner or the client-as they maybe called in different places-is responsible for the initiation and financing of new construction projects”. Promoter and developer are used less than ‘owner’ worldwide, but in Spain, promoter is the term more used than any other to describe the agent who initiate, finance a construction project. For that, in this article, both ‘owner’ and ‘promoter’ are used synonymously. Owner is the one, group or the ward that will finance, promote and pay the bills of the FLC [3, 21, 22, 23 and 14]. Cleland [5] defines the owner as “the agency or the organization that carries the project on its budget and whose strategic plans include the project as an essential building block for future growth or survival.” For us, the owner is the one or the organization that will finance and pay the FLC in order to own the produced facility. Consultant is a specialized, qualified, and professionally prepared one who offers specialized services within the construction industry. Contractor is the “one that contracts to perform work or provide supplies or one who contracts to erect buildings” [7]. The owner has a strategic turn in the FLC. It represents the impelling agent to the entire project. His/her need to reach to the facility plays the FLC’s trigger. For that, this article is devoted to present more perspectives of the owner’s needs and presents a new methodology for that reason. Characteristics of each agent like the capabilities (financial, economical and technical), needs, experience, etc. play an important role in its functionality. Interaction between different agents affects the overall performance. This forms fertile investigation field. For example, the owner-contractor relationship and how an owner will choose the contractor. Holt et al. [24] present five factors affecting that selection process, which are the contractor’s working load, experience, management resource, weather and year seasons and past works. Another study shows the ineffective working relationship between the owner and the contractor and the incapability of the owner to consider the needs of the stakeholders [14]. In the same rhythm, the relationship between the owner and manager is studied [16, 25 and 15], also between the owner and the consultant [26]. 4. Collaboration in construction In any construction project more than one agent is involved; the owner always is the principal one. The relationship between the owner and other agents forms the base for


many project’s endeavors such as the communication, collaboration, partnering, etc. which aim to lead for a successful project. Collaboration is the interaction between the owner and other agents to reach a certain objective. The owner’s organization is proposed to collaborate in different phases of the project; in the conceptual one the specifications which the owner should provide are essential, and these specifications can modulate the owner’s needs. Both collaboration and partnering between the owner and other agents have formed a wide investigation field over the last decades. Hu [2] studies the improvement of the collaboration performance within construction and says that the “efficient construction collaboration among all participants and construction lifecycle is crucial to improve construction management performance”. Partnering within construction has been processed in several ways according to the intended aim, the most relevant definition to the present context is the one cited by Manley et al. [27]: “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) defines partnering as: the creation of an owner-contractor relationship that promotes the achievement of mutually beneficial goals. It involves an agreement in principle to share the risks involved in completing the project, and to establish and promote a nurturing partnership environment”. The collaboration level depends on the owner-contractor relationship, which is controlled by the trust. The low trust level means that the owner-contractor relationship is at risk and disputes may arise, and when that relationship is an unhealthy, then project success possibilities decreases [28]. A project briefing also can be fomented through enhanced owner-contractor collaboration scenarios. It was found that collaboration provides suitable solutions and adaptations for the project, augments the project overall control and creates clear decision-making processes [29]. Moreover, factors which affect the implementation of collaboration systems in construction projects are listed by Erdogan et al. [30]. These factors are: poor capture of user requirements; lack of strategic approaches; lack of proper planning/project management; user resistance to change; and lack of user and technical characteristics. The aim of this short revision about the owner-contractor collaboration in construction projects is to emphasize two main ideas; the first is the essentiality of the engagement of the owner to identify its needs as project’s specification input to all project phases; the second is to show the insisting demand for a practical framework which identifies the owner’s needs along project life cycle. This article aims to present a new framework which incorporates the owner to respond a series of interactive questionnaires to identify its needs. 5. Literature review 5.1. Owner’s organization and owner’s needs Owner’s organization can be private or public. A private owner can be a person or a corporation. Meanwhile the public administration represents a governmental ward [31]. The owner’s organization can include senior, profit-center or manufacturing managers [5]. Owner’s contributes directly to the FLC success through different contributions [32]. Soetanto et al. [33] study the contribution of the client performance in the contractor satisfaction. The client organization also interacts strongly with other agents’


organization and this seeks the improvement of their communication and collaboration [16]. Owner-agents relationships, trust and loyalty also were studied [25]. Owner forms the first agent who initiates the FLC [22, 34]. Even in the case that it appears at this early stage just as needs, demands or requirements to reach the facility. Owner requirements are its objectives, needs, wishes and expectations that describe the facility that satisfies the owner business needs, user requirements and other interest groups [23]. Wideman [3] defines the needs as “the owner’s or user’s requirements to be satisfied by a proposed facility.” The contextual difference implies a careful selection between requirements, needs, and demands of the owner. Requirements’ have a doubled significance that reveals ambiguity. Are they the criterions that should qualify a person or an organization to be able to own a project? Or are they the owner’s hopes and expectations from the intended facility? In addition, it is widely used in many other fields. Meanwhile, ‘demand’ deals more with economical issues that in turn reveals ambiguity too. ‘Need’ is the concept more apt to express the owner’s expectations and hopes to be reached through the project. In addition, it reveals psychological and physiological aspects [7] that also deal with the owner’s satisfaction. For that, we use ‘need’ in this article. Upon the owner’s characteristics, needs could be characterized. Owners’ level of experience affects their ability to express their needs. Sometimes they cannot express the needs in a design terms [23]. Alternatively, some owners cannot determine a correct process for specify their needs. These needs may have implicit or explicit character [22]. Generally, owners concentrate in three global needs: shorter duration, lower cost and high quality product [23]. The entire owner’s need should be fulfilled by other agents’ work scope [22]. The efforts of others agents should reach the facility that meets the needs of the owner and satisfy it [23, 34]. The task is not only establishing these needs, but also achieving their fulfillment for the owner’s satisfaction. 5.2. Previous studies dealing with the owner satisfaction Owner satisfaction is the complete fulfillment of owner’s needs in the FLC. To study this field, it is crucial to establish what is to be fulfilled, which are the owner’s needs. Owner satisfaction has been emerged in many investigation fields, like the quality measurement. Many consider the owner satisfaction as a total quality management element and philosophy [21, 35] and project success criteria [32]. Owner satisfaction is the grade of the accomplishment and fulfillment of the owner’s needs. It can be more effective after the establishment of the owner’s needs in each single contract or activity to be carried out in the FLC. Figure 2 shows this graphically.

Figure 2: owner’s need-satisfaction within a single contract


One of the most dedicated studies about client or owner needs were developed by Kamara et al. [36, 23, 24 and 34]. These authors designed a model called CPRM (Client Requirements Processing Model). This model starts by receiving the client requirements through different procedures (questionnaires, group consultations, etc). Then it analyzes them into different requirements categories. The final stage of the model is the translation of the client requirements to traceable expressions to the design attributes. Several investigations concentrate in the owner/client satisfaction of the construction industry. For example, Syed et al. [21] analyze the factors of client satisfaction within the contactor organization through a 101 questionnaires to the same number of client companies. Meanwhile, Tang et al. [35] study the owner’s satisfaction within the context of the engineering consulting firms through a questionnaire to 47 senior and experienced professionals. Another context of client needs is the large-scale engineering facilities [37]; they used a questionnaire for 90 European client organizations with a disappointing 17% responding percentage. 6. Methodology and approach elaboration The development of the present investigation is based on the axiom that a construction project is a complex information system. Many of the construction data sources were less intensively studied due to their complex data structures [38]. Information within a construction project should be structured in a certain way that enables us to identify the owner’s needs. The methodology aims to establish, determine and capture the owner’s needs in different phases of the FLC. It depends on interactive questionnaires chronologically allocated along the FLC’s real progress. For a comprehensive coverage of the owner’s needs, a superposition strategy to classify the information in each project phase is adopted. The first approximation to the classification system is the traditional phases presented before; this forms the first classification’s level. The second one is to take place within each phase where a dissection procedure should be applied; this procedure should generate a classification level which traces the logical progress of the included works within the phase. For that, it is supposed that to carry out any work it is needed a starting point which is the owner (need), a transforming process (materialization) and a final point (result). Also it is supposed that the materialization process should include a logical chain for any work progress which consists of the stages of the preparation, contracting, execution and the delivery of works in each phase. It is presented in figure 3.

Figure 3: justification of the stages within each phase


According to what is explained previously, each project phase is divided in the previous four stages. The application of this classification generates figure 4.

Figure 4: stages allocation along the project phases

Project phases and the applied stages form, respectively, the first and second levels of the information classification system. An easier representative way for this methodology is a matrix where rows correspond to the phases and columns corresponds to the applied stages. The resulting matrix is shown in table 1.

Table 1: project phases and stages classification matrix

The third classification level is denominated field; it is a farther dissection of each stage. In this level, it is pretended to categorize the information in groups of the same nature, also to enable us to reach posterior classification levels. The fourth level is denominated sub-field; it is the development of each category information group included in the previous level. Each sub-field of the classification is structured and presented in a way which meets a questionnaire structure. Two more levels are developed, fifth and sixth, are denominated question and answer respectively. Figure 5 displays the classification levels.

Figure 5: classification’s levels


This breakdown structure permits a better graphical representation for each stage separately; a single scheme till the fourth level is designed for each stage, this way, the design and presentation of the questionnaires found to be more effective. Moreover, it forms an efficient tool toward the theoretical implementation of the approach. Figure 6 shows the developed scheme for the feasibility preparation stage until the fourth level. See the appendix 1 for the classification schemes for four stages of the feasibility phase.

Figure 6: graphical scheme of the feasibility preparation stage

7. Approach design The collaborative approach aims to involve the owner in each element (phase-stage intersection) of the previous matrix. This involvement is formed through a collaborative relationship between the owner and the contractor via an interactive questionnaire. This questionnaire is elaborated in function of the classified information en each element of the last matrix and allocated in the corresponding element. This process is displayed in figure 7. In each stage, the owner’s needs are to be captured by an interactive questionnaire, at the end of that stage (finishing of carrying out works and activities included in that stage). Checking for the expectations accomplishment is carried out based on the checklist. When the accomplishment is measured, the difference is calculated, and upon its value a decision is to be taken by the owner organization, to pass to next stage or to redo the same stage. The second decision has certain allegations which should be already reflected in the contract (guarantee and reparation conditions). The approach theoretical design consists of various elements; each one of them integrates with the others to identify the owner’s needs en each stage. The following parts form the approach:


Figure 7: graphical presentation of the approach design

Initial interactive questionnaire (Cij): is the elaborated questionnaire for each stage; it is to be responded by the owner before the stage initiation. The response is the selected options and introduced input. In this questionnaire the owner’s needs are captured and are denominated by expectations. Feedback: is the process by which the obtained response in the initial questionnaire is to be extracted and transferred to a checklist. Checklist (Cfj): it is formed as a result of the feedback process. By this list, the accomplishment obtained during the stage is measured considering the transferred expectations from the initial questionnaire. Phase-stage i´j: the allocation of the initial questionnaire in function of the project’s phase and stage. Auto-regulation: a controlling system of the approach which aims to measure the difference between the accomplishment and expectations in each stage. The difference is calculated and analyzed as follow: Difference=accomplishment-expectations It may have one of the following values: 0: ideal situation or accomplishment (full accomplishment of the expectations) -ve: unfavorable situation or deviation (expectations are not fully accomplishment) +ve: infrequent situation (accomplishment more than expectations) Depending on the difference value the adjustment is to be carried out or not. Adjustment: the calibration or modifications which are to be carried out on the following initial questionnaire based on the auto-regulation process. 8. Interactive questionnaire design 8.1. Content Basically, questionnaire’s content is formed by the information classified according to the methodology presented previously. Each questionnaire is composed by a series of record sheets, each one of them corresponds to the fourth classification level. In the fourth level the information was presented in such way that the owner can decide on between different options and/or establish others as response to certain queries elaborated in function of the fourth level.

8.2. Codification system A problem always appears in the construction industry data. It is the ‘data-rich, information-poor’ [1]. This problem appears when there is massive amount of data exists, meanwhile there is a scarcity of a fundamental model of data representation. This makes information overload in the construction industry management and control [1]. We have figured out the necessity of a codification system for the huge number of variables to arrange and interrelate them according to the project phases, stages and the subsequent classification levels. The codification system assigns a code that consists of ten digits in the labels X, Y, Z, A, B, C. The code explanation is the following: X: phase’s sequential number (one digit), just one digit since the number of the project phases is limited with a maximum number of five. Y: stage’s sequential number (one digit), just one digit since the number of the stages is limited with a maximum number of four. Z: field’s sequential number (two digits), two digits were reserved for the field for the possibility of including till 99 different fields in a single stage. A: sub-field’s sequential number (two digits), two digits were reserved for the subfield for the possibility of including till 99 different sub-fields in a single field. B: question’s sequential number (two digits), two digits were reserved for the question for the possibility of including till 99 different questions in a single subfield. C: answer’s sequential number (two digits), two digits were reserved for the answer for the possibility of reaching 99 different answering options for a single question. Figure 8 explains the codification system.
Code form
X PHASE P 1 digit Y STAGE S 1 digit C Z FIELD C 2 digits S A SUB-FIELD S 2 digits Q B QUESTION Q 2 digits A C ANSWER A 2 digits

Figure 8: codification system

8.3. Presentation As it is said before, record sheets are to present the interactive questionnaires. Its format includes: the classification levels till the fourth level and its codification; an explanatory section; question and its possible answer options; and the final code. This is presented in table 2.
Code till the 4th level Content- till the 4th level PHASE/ STAGE/ FIELD/ SUB-FIELD

In this space, the following aspects are explicated close to the card sheet content: What?- Definition of the combination of the four classification levels and the proceeding information to be included according this combination Why?- The reason why that information to be included according to the real project life cycle progress For what? - The objective of including the proceeding information and how it shall form an owner’s needs source.

Final code QUESTIÓN (5th level) ANSWER (6th level) Table 2: record sheet presenting the interactive questionnaire parts


The questionnaires design and presentation follow a criterion which can be computerized to be executed online or on a local net. 8.4. Sample of elaborated questionnaire Appendix 2 presents a single record sheet from the interactive questionnaire which corresponds to the feasibility preparation stage. It corresponds to the technical specification field and functionality sub-field. The methodology application on the feasibility phase has generated 87 record sheets which form the four interactive questionnaires corresponding to the preparation, contracting, execution and delivery. This means that the complete methodology application on the five will generate close to 450 records. But thanks to the superposition strategy which permits a flexible use of these records since each stage’s records group are to be responded autonomously. 9. Conclusions Within the construction industry, the terminology reveals a great confusion, which sometime leads to misunderstanding and uncertainty. This is produced when expressions that may have multi-significance or inadequacy as used in the context. So, it is important to avoid the ambiguity in the used terminology. Client, owner and promoter are terms close in their significance. Many authors are using them to point at the same agent in a construction project. Nevertheless, it is very important to distinguish between them within the construction industry. The same with the concept of requirements needs and demands. For us the most adequate are ‘owner’ and ‘need’ within the construction industry. Then, owner satisfaction is achieved through a systematic and comprehensive capturing and fulfillment of the owner’s needs. Identifying the owner’s needs should take place in each project phase. Owner’s needs form a continuous chain along the facility life cycle; it is difficult to capture all of these needs at once. It is more effective to apply the superposition technique on the FLC’s phases then employ a certain methodology to capture these needs. Collaboration and partnering between a project’s agents are essential for the project success, communication, trust, performance, real time control, etc. It is found that the owner is a clue for these aspects which can be improved by a comprehensive identification of the owner’s needs. For that, it is proposed a new collaborative approach between the owner and the contractor; it facilitates the identification of the owner’s needs at different project phases adopting an information classification system to elaborate interactive questionnaires to identify the owner’s needs. Questionnaire is always one of the most used tools to capture the owner’s needs. The elaborated interactive questionnaire provides a continuous information flow about the needs and considerations of the owner organization, which are always important to the FLC carrying out. This questionnaire presents also a new information representation that can be also used to come over the problem of ‘data-rich, information-poor’ and data visualization.


A project life cycle in construction includes intensive and complicated information size, but not all the information is an owner’s needs source, so that, an information mining for these needs should be carried out. For that, a first mining process is done within this research by the investigation group though intensive meetings; the definite information mining is being carried out through Delphi method application. 10. Acknowledgments The research described in this article was partially financed by the Spanish Ministry of International Affairs through the program MAEC-AECI and J. Goméz Cerezo Foundation in Valencia-Spain. The authors want to thank both organizations for their support. 11. Correspondence Eng. Ali Alshubbak, Ph.D. Candidate School of Civil Engineering – Universidad Politécnica de Valencia Phone #: 0034 649 311 380; email: alisubbak@yahoo.com Eugenio Pellicer, Ph.D., Associate Professor School of Civil Engineering – Universidad Politécnica de Valencia Phone #: +34.963.879.562; fax #: +34.963.877.569; e-mail: pellicer@cst.upv.es 12. References [1]. [2]. Songer, A.; Hays, B. and North C., “Multidimensional visualization of project control data”, Construction Innovation, Vol. 4, pp.173-190, 2004. Hu, W. “Improving construction collaboration performance through supply chain control and management”, International Conference on Information Management, Innovation Management and Industrial Engineering, 2008 Wideman, R. “Cost control of capital projects”, BiTech Publishers Ltd, Richmond, BC, Canada, Http://www.maxwideman.com/ (May 15th, 2008), 1995. Project Management Institute, “A guide to project management body of knowledge ("PMBOK®"), Project Management Institute, Atlanta, 2004. Cleland, D.” Project management. Strategic design and implementation”, McGraw-hill, New York, 1999. Archibald, R. “State of the art of project management: 2004”, Keynote Presentation, PMI-Sáo Paulo 4th International Seminar on Project Management, Sáo Paulo, 2004. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Http://www.m-w.com/dictionary, (October 10th, 2007). Archibald, R. “State of the art of project management: 2005/2010”, Keynote Presentation to the PMI Milwaukee/ Southeast Wisconsin Chapter. Professional development day, Milwaukee, 2005. Wideman, R. “The role of the project life cycle (life span) in project management”. Http://www.maxwideman.com (May15th, 2008), AEW Services, Vancouver, BC 2003. Kang, S. and Paulson, B. “Information management to integrate cost and schedule for civil engineering projects”, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, Vol. 124, pp.381-389, 1998.

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Appendix 1: the four schemes of information classification in feasibility’s stages till the fourth level



Appendix 2: record sheet sample Code Content Feasibility/ Preparation / Technical specifications/ Functionality The information which corresponds at the functional characteristics of the facility; these characteristics include: utility life, users capacity, users, comfortability, special services, and use change possibility. Because this information, once it is identified by the owner/promoter, it is considered as input to develop the project feasibility from a technical ward considering the owner needs. In order to be able to develop the feasibility phase considering the identified technical specifications by the owner/promoter; these specifications are to be reflected in the results. UTILITY LIFE _________ years USERS Age: from_______ to ________years Profession: Handicaps : types______ CAPACITY Total: _______persons COMFORTABILITY Moving Sanitation Use of installations Car parking Other: INSTALATION FOR HANDICAPPED Ramps for wheelchair access Electrical ramp Hands pass Bathroom Kitchen Sleeping room Others: TEMPERATURE CONTROL Air conditioning Heating Others: INTERIOR AMBIENT Sanitation Extractors Illumination Sound isolation Thermal isolation Others: EMERGENCY AND SECUIRITY Fire Evacuation Alarm Extraction Others: VERTICAL TRANSPORT Elevator: Number: Capacity: Others: MAINTENANCE Façade Installations Structure Floors Wood works Plastic works Metal works FUTURE USAGE CHANGE No changes Possible change to: OTHERS:


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