Digital Design Productivity Assessment in Construction

To conduct preliminary productivity (cost and benefit) analysis of digital design information, in particular, building information modelling being provided by building software industry.

Department: Construction Management & Engineering

Supervised by: Dr Llewellyn C.M. TANG

The Placement Project

A better understanding of productivity within a design-led organisation will improve the effectiveness of design activities and enhance design quality for the lifetime benefit of users. The work will form part of the ongoing EPSRC Industrial CASE grant working on “Design Productivity Assessment in Construction”, in collaboration with Halcrow, a leading design and engineering consultancy operating mainly in civil engineering, infrastructure and property sectors. The student’s role is to contribute to one stage of Work Package 1 of the project, that is to do a preliminary productivity assessment using cost and benefit analysis of digital design information, in particular, building information modelling being provided by packages from Halcrow such as Autodesk and Tekla. The student will have the opportunity to work in close collaboration with the Principal Investigator and his PhD students. All sources of data and its analysis must be systematically recorded so that the CASE PhD researcher can validate and use their findings.


The student will closely work together with the PI, the CASE PhD student (Mr. Mohammed Shah who started in Jan 2011) and the industrial supervisors from Halcrow. The industrial partners will provide the digital design models necessary to be assessed in terms of cost and benefit when using them. Therefore, the student will start with a literature search on the topic on digital design, building information modelling (BIM) and techniques on cost and benefit analysis (20% of the placement time). Subsequently, the student (in cooperation with the CASE PhD student and industrialists from Halcrow) will critically assess through the use of cost and benefit analysis the design productivity of those chosen digital BIM models as a case study (60% of the placement time). At the end of the placement, the student will be required to summarise his/her outcomes, in an effort to extend the project in future and to publish the learning outcomes as a international refereed conference paper (20% of the placement time).

Skills, knowledge and experience required

-Basic design knowledge is essential (e.g. CAD and Revit, a building information modelling software developed by Autodesk). -An interest in cost and benefit analysis, the history of construction and/or software development is desirable.

Skills which will be developed during the placement

At the end of the placement, the student will have learned skills in working as part of a research team. Specific areas of training will include: - developed knowledge about the current building information modelling software tools - technique of cost and benefit analysis used to assess the productivity on using these tools and their associated models - developed research skills in using a number of databases for archival work - usage of word-processing, BIM software, such as Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Excel, endnote, Revit etc. The experience indeed will provide knowledge on digital practices and technologies that is relevant to work in the construction sector or software industry, archival research skills and an opportunity to experience the research community for those thinking of going on to do postgraduate research.

Place of Work


Hours of Work


Approximate Start and End Dates (not fixed)

Saturday 11 July 2020 - Unknown

How to Apply

Please apply by letter + CV to

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