CEPM research aims to be at the forefront of a dynamic, face-paced industry. Faculty and students participate and lead a wide range of research projects. Topics include: information technologies integration, management of critical infrastructure systems, and project supply chain management.

Examples of recent research are listed below:

High Impact Research: Advanced Work Packaging

CEPM faculty led this research effort by the Construction Industry Institute (CII) and the Construction Owners Association of Alberta (COAA). Owners and constructors want to increase productivity. The engineering and construction industry has tried for years to employ best practices, vary work shifts, use incentive packages, and much more. This is all in an effort to make gains in productivity and safety, worker retention and morale, improved schedules, and more reliable predictability for project success. No definitive process has dramatically improved construction's productivity rate, and the problem of increasing productivity continues even after decades of trying.

Rework is often encountered in construction projects because of poor field planning and coordination between engineering and construction. If a work packaging process is implemented properly, however, lost productivity can be avoided through improved project planning and collaboration. Early work planning integrates work packaging with engineering, procurement, construction, and project controls.

High Impact Research: AutoCodes Project, Phase II

CEPM faculty are guiding the AutoCodes Project, Phase II, research sponsored by Fiatech. This project ultimately will demonstrate the ability to develop automated code-checking rule sets. The objectives of Phase II are to: (1) expand development of rule sets for other occupancy classifications and construction codes from Phase I research; and (2) develop training materials to aid jurisdictions in transitioning from traditional to electronic plan review and ultimately to automated code checking.

The long-term objectives of the AutoCodes project include development of an extensive, open-source rule set library that will be approved and adopted by industry and regulatory bodies alike. The rule sets are to be used by technology developers in commercial applications and by code officials for the next generation of design, construction, and facility management.

High Impact Research: Computer Vision-Based Model for Productivity Analysis

CEPM faculty are collaborating with a researcher from another university on developing a model to interpret videos of construction operations automatically into productivity information. The research could improve current data collection methods and change how video is used in analyzing construction practices.

CEPM's Approach to the Research - Minimizing waste and ensuring a smooth, efficient flow of construction resources are the goals to increase productivity. Gathering productivity information at sites, however, is difficult because of the dynamic and complex nature of construction activity. Recent research has been centered on sensing systems for automated onsite productivity data collection. Previous systems have collected information on equipment hours and labor hours, the two most common resources that measure productivity. The problem there is the measurements do not differentiate between effective and non-effective hours. Video monitoring, however, provides a means to automatically measure how equipment and labor work hours have been spent, whether productively or not.

Infrastructure Management

CEPM faculty are leading efforts to understand infrastructure interdependencies, human-infrastructure interactions, and how infrastructure systems response under chronic and acute stresses. This research assesses the management, operations, and physical alternatives to improve the provision of services for communities. Such efforts include enhancing the understanding of how to provide efficient service during dynamic conditions, such as population dynamics, behavioral changes, technological changes, or natural stresses (disasters or climate change) from a systematic approach. As construction engineers, we are one group of individuals responsible for providing safe and cost-efficient services (e.g., water, wastewater) offered through our built environment throughout the life-cycle of the infrastructure, from planning, through construction, maintenance, rehabilitation and decommissioning, constrained by policies and human-needs. Our objective is to improve the resilience, robustness, and sustainability of the critical services necessary for the livelihood of our communities.