Biological cell theory based interventions and the impact on quality: the case of a tower project

Shelke, Mayur and Abeysekera, Vasantha (2017) Biological cell theory based interventions and the impact on quality: the case of a tower project. In: 9th International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century: Revolutionizing the Architecture, Engineering and Construction Industry through Leadership, Collaboration and Technology (CITC-9), 5-7 March 2017, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


Inspired by the almost defect-free proliferation of biological cells, authors have explored the notion of ‘construction as biological cells’ metaphorically to develop new insights on how to manage quality. Three concepts, namely, ‘transient cell cycle arrest (TCA)’, ‘readiness check’, and ‘embedded design’ were used as interventions to manage quality in a large transmission tower project taking a participatory approach with action research method and the participant observer method underpinning the investigation. Three cells which were part of the core activities and had a high potential for problems were selected for application of these concepts. TCA was triggered by non-compliance reports (NCRs) connected with the Excavation cell (all resulting in rework) which lead to the improvement of quality as evidenced by the reduction in a number of subsequent NCRs though raising questions on how, when, and why. The ‘readiness checks’ worked well with the Concrete Supply cell not reporting any NCRs. The ‘embedded design’ for the Steel Tower Assembly cell displayed the following features ‘prototyping prior to cell propagation, embedding lessons learnt, cell readiness checks and assessments, constant surveillance mechanisms during cell growth, feedback and feedforward loops, and product traceability systems’ which resulted in only two NCRs but no TCAs were initiated raising the question whether the first NCR should always lead to a TCA. These issues will be explored further in due course while noting that these interventions may have played a role in keeping rework costs below the threshold level and for the project been declared as the winner of the contractor’s national award for project excellence.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 33900
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright © 2017 by CITC-9, Greenville, North Carolina, USA. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without written permission from the editors.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2018 05:04
Last Modified: 23 May 2018 04:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: biological cell theory, embedded design, transient intervention, quality management
Fields of Research : 12 Built Environment and Design > 1202 Building > 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only