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Analyzing traffic nuisance requirements during the construction phase of Dutch civil works

Zahri, H. (2020) Analyzing traffic nuisance requirements during the construction phase of Dutch civil works.

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Abstract:More and more attention is paid to limiting traffic nuisance during the construction phase. In order to limit traffic nuisance, the client can request certain traffic objectives or set traffic nuisance requirements for road work. Examples of traffic nuisance requirements are: guaranteeing a certain speed, road capacity, travel time or accessibility, etc. Limiting traffic nuisance used to be a task of the government, now it is increasingly being transferred to the market, and it becomes a task of the contracting industry. Limiting nuisance is more and more part of tendering procedures, in which a contractor can have an advantage if they can fulfill certain promises regarding traffic nuisance. Quality assurance is part of the entire quality management process. Fulfilling traffic nuisance requirements is linked with the quality assurance system of an organization. The definition for quality assurance in the construction sector is the set of measures and activities where the quality of the to-be-delivered end product is tested, monitored and demonstrated. In case requirements are not met, it is likely there could be deficiencies in their quality assurance system. Iv-Infra is an infrastructure consultancy agency that regularly gets hired by contractors and governments for contractual and/or traffic-related advice. Iv-Infra has expressed having difficulties fulfilling the traffic nuisance requirements during the construction phase in the past. Situations where these requirements are not met can cause uneasy situations where the contractor is forced to alter their traffic nuisance promises. The research problem is defined as: “Managing traffic nuisance during the construction phase is getting more and more important in the infrastructure industry in the Netherlands. Iv-Infra believes their quality assurance system regarding traffic nuisance requirements is insufficient, since they experience difficulties in fulfilling these requirements.” The aim of this study is to assess Iv-Infra’s quality assurance system, detect possible insufficiencies and suggest improvements to their current system. The research is divided into three parts: the framework, the case study analysis and the recommendations. The developed framework is based on System Engineering (SE). SE is a commonly used tool in Dutch civil works for structuring and securing the quality within projects. The objective of SE is providing a quality product that meets the users’ needs. In our case, it is to fulfill the traffic nuisance requirements and wishes. Due to the scarce research on traffic nuisance during the construction phase requirement fulfillments, the framework is based on requirements of infrastructure projects. The framework is divided over three main components: requirement, design and system. Each main component has a set of characteristics that define the patterns in road infrastructure projects in accordance to the Systems Engineering (SE) methodology. Since this research specifically analyzes the quality assurance system of Iv-Infra, a research of exploratory nature, a case study analysis seems appropriate. Based on selection criteria, three cases were selected for this research. The cases were analyzed based on the project documentations and in total of 10 interviews with key players of the cases. The earlier mentioned framework, was used to assess and structure the outcome of the within-case analysis. Afterwards, a cross analysis was used to compare the outcomes of the cases and try to identify possible patterns. In all cases the client and contractor state the requirements were (mostly) met. It seems that the current internal quality assurance system of Iv-infra works properly regarding reaching the project goals, fulfilling of requirements and satisfying the stakeholders. The quality assurance system does not follow the System Engineering protocol at all times, however, this did not cause any problems. Nevertheless, there is a lack of (structured) documentation and system verification in the quality assurance system. It seems that the internal 6 quality assurance system is effective and reaches its goals. The deficiencies in the external quality assurance system had no consequences so far. These deficiencies in the quality assurance system were tolerated due to the client trusting the contractor and low amount of complaints from the other stakeholders. It is recommended to properly document and perform the verification in case there will be a client that is strict about demonstrating quality. Properly carrying it out can ensure that a system is built according to the client’s and users’ requirements and needs, thereby preventing possible fines and discussions. Being familiar with this protocol is useful in case a client is stricter or deems the traffic nuisance very important. This research recommends to develop clear agreements or set obligates if and how the traffic nuisance requirement fulfillments need to be demonstrated. Other recommendations are to perform System verifications, carry them out regularly and document it. Changes to the System should be officially documented and there should be a new verification to assess if the changed System complies with the set requirements. This research provides examples how to carry out the System verification. It depends how important the requirement is, how intensive it needs to verified and how much effort the contractor should/wants to put into it. The most objective way is to measure the traffic, simpler ways are performing visually verifications or perform test runs. This research also recommends to carry out a Validation plan to ensure the output satisfied the users’ needs.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/80677
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