University of Twente Student Theses


Geotechnisch falen : Een verkenning naar de risicoperceptie onder professionals in de bouwsector ten aanzien van geotechnisch falen.

Ronhaar, Adam (2011) Geotechnisch falen : Een verkenning naar de risicoperceptie onder professionals in de bouwsector ten aanzien van geotechnisch falen.

[img] PDF
Abstract:As part of my master thesis, I conducted a research to explore the risk perception among professionals in the Dutch construction industry. This research project was carried out on behalf of Geo-Impuls, a collaboration between various prominent and leading companies in the Dutch construction sector. Based on this research Geo-Impuls gained insight of the perspectives by the Dutch construction sector on the subject “geotechnical failures”. With these results, Geo-Impuls has a much better understanding of the subject. This enables Geo-Impuls to work more goal-oriented towards suitable solutions in order to reduce the amount of geotechnical failures and the negative effects of those failures. Building with steel, concrete or wood is usually doable. However building in, on or with the ground in the Netherlands seems to be more complex in practice. Problems often occur in areas where the ground contains thick layers slack soil. Examples of slack soils are peat and clay. This results regularly in major problems during or after the construction phase of civil engineering projects. These problems express themselves mostly in extra costs (failure costs). Besides this, there are also other negative effects as a result of geotechnical failure. Such as insecurity, damages to surroundings, consequential loss (delays) and damaged reputation. Recent geotechnical failures during several projects increased the sense of urgency among the relevant stakeholders, which led to this collaboration program Geo-Impuls. All involved parties have stated a clear goal to deal with geotechnical failures, which is: “The reduction of geotechnical failure within civil engineering projects with 50% in 2015” (Geo-Impuls, 2009). This research provides results which make the stated goal measurable. The central research question can be stated as follows: what are the perceptions towards geotechnical failures at civil engineering projects among professionals in the construction industry? To measure the perceptions an online survey is used, based on the most recent literature and practical experiences from experts. There are different components which are mentioned in the survey, starting with the causes of geotechnical failures and several control measures. Furthermore, there are several propositions formulated regarding geo-engineering and geotechnical risks. The survey is distributed on several ways. First among the associated stakeholders of Geo-Impuls. At the same time the survey was placed on several websites and published in different newsletters. The results of the survey lead to the following conclusions. The most frequent cause of geotechnical failure is the fact that the geotechnical designer does not get the opportunity to explain the design during the construction phase. Furthermore, errors during the construction of the geotechnical construction are perceived as having the most negative impact on the project. Some causes occur often, and have large negative impact on the project as well. Examples of these causes are: errors during the construction of the geotechnical construction and a to positive image during the decision making process related to geotechnical issues. The most frequently applied control measure during the projects of the respondents is, the setting of preconditions and appointing of risks complied with the design by a geotechnical engineer. This control measure seems to have a positive impact on the project too. The same counts for the control measure which encompasses an experienced and sufficient educated design- and constructionteam. A comparison between the largest groups from the sampling (advisors and contractors) shows some interesting differences between perceptions related to the causes of geotechnical failures. For the cause “geotechnical designer does not get the opportunity to explain the design during the construction phase” the advisors state exactly the opposite of the contractors. The first group indicated that the cause occurs “often up to always”, but the last group, the contractors, state on the contrary that the that the cause occurs “almost never”. The opposite result is achieved for the cause ‘insufficient coordination among the project organization. Now the contractors state that this cause occurs “often” and the advisors state “almost never”. In addition to these two contrary findings, there are more contradictions when it comes to the negative impact on the project as a result of these causes. For the cause ‘geotechnical designer does not get the opportunity to explain the design during the construction phase’, advisors indicate that this has a large impact and the contractors say that it has a small impact. Besides that, there are two causes where advisors are of the opinion that the impact is small and the contractors say large. These causes are “insufficient communication by the principle/designer of the risks” and “insufficient geotechnical analysis”. Respondents also classified several negative effects of geotechnical failures. The effect that was ranked as “most important” is injuries. A comparison between the main actors shows that the principles perceive lead-time and physical damage as most important, but injuries and quality less important. Contractors show as only stakeholder a clear preference towards injuries which they classify as most important. Inconveniencies and reputation are perceived as less important. Advisors also rank injuries as most important, followed by quality. Besides the conclusions, this study/report provides for several recommendations. Based on the survey there are some (see conclusions) frequently occurring causes that have a large impact as well. These elements are crucial and important. Based on the survey some control measures appear to be frequently applied and have a large positive influence. A recommendation is to discuss these causes and control measures during the Geo-Impuls meetings, in order to evaluate to what extent the existing workgroups match with these findings. By making a comparison between advisors and contractors, some contrary findings are observed. The results of the comparison do confirm the gap between designers and construction in the building sector. A recommendation to Geo-Impuls would be to use the results of this research in the negotiations to restart the workgroup “quality in design and construction”. It could be a trigger for participating parties to work together in the future to reduce the gap between designing and constructing parties.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Construction Management and Engineering MSc (60337)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page