A Decision Support System for Efficient Utilization of Overdesign as a Fast Tracking Technique in Modular Steel Pipe Racks

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Abstract To effectively address today’s aggressive schedule demands in the oil and gas industry, engineering and construction activities are usually overlapped to some extent to attain schedule compression. Overdesign is one of the techniques used in a project’s engineering phase to reduce the information dependency between activities, which results in overlapping. When there is insufficient design information, designers usually adopt more conservative assumptions in their designs than would normally be the case. This overdesign means successor activities can start and progress well ahead of and long before accurate details can be determined. Although this helps to reduce the overall schedule, it is not a risk-free process on its own. One of the major concerns in overdesign is the lack of design optimization, which will be directly translated to extra costs and increased materials wastage. Likewise, the assumptions made might not be conservative enough, necessitating rework. A review of the overdesign literature pointed to a lack of explicit research about overdesign as a schedule compression technique. This research study was designed in a way to address some of the gaps in the current overdesign literature. The purpose of the research presented in this thesis was to develop a decision support system for choosing the best opportunities to apply overdesign in oil and gas projects that provide the greatest schedule compression for the least incremental cost. The scope of the research is limited to the modular steel pipe racks. A mixed methods approach was taken to conduct this research. The purpose of the qualitative part was to build the overdesign conceptual framework, which further formed the basis for formulating the overdesign time-cost trade-off problem. This helped model the overdesign problem using stochastic decision tree principles. The entire process laid the foundation for developing the decision support system. The quantitative part of the research involved gathering real project information, which was used to relate the degree of conservativeness of the assumptions in overdesign to the probability of rework associated with any overdesign decision. This research provides contributions in four distinct categories: theoretical, literature, methodological and finally industry contribution.
Khoramshahi, F. (2012). A Decision Support System for Efficient Utilization of Overdesign as a Fast Tracking Technique in Modular Steel Pipe Racks (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/24705