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Systems for construction: Lessons for the construction industry from experiences in spacecraft systems engineering

Emes, MR; Smith, A; Marjanovic-Halburd, L; (2012) Systems for construction: Lessons for the construction industry from experiences in spacecraft systems engineering. Intelligent Buildings International , 4 (2) pp. 67-88. 10.1080/17508975.2012.680428. Green open access

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Abstract

Construction projects are becoming ever more ambitious in terms of the size of structures, the number of requirements, the number and influence of stakeholders and the extent to which technology is integrated into buildings. Although great buildings may historically have been designed and built by a single guiding mind - 'the architect' - modern buildings require teams of specialists to work together to develop ideal solutions. In these circumstances, to ensure that construction projects are delivered on time, to budget and to the requirements specified by the customer, the construction industry could benefit from adopting a systems' engineering approach to design. Based on 45 years of spacecraft instrumentation research and development and over 10 years experience teaching Systems Engineering in a range of industries, University College London's (UCL's) Mullard Space Science Laboratory has identified a set of guiding principles that have been found to be critical in delivering successful projects in the most demanding of environments. The five principles are: 'principles govern processes', 'seek alternative systems perspectives', 'understand the enterprise context', 'integrate systems engineering and project management' and 'invest in the early stages of projects'. Underlying these principles is a will to anticipate and respond to a changing environment with a focus on achieving long-term value for the enterprise. These principles are applied in both space projects and nonspace projects (through UCL's Centre for Systems Engineering), and are embedded in UCL's teaching and professional training programme. These principles could contribute to the successful delivery of complex building projects.

Type: Article
Title: Systems for construction: Lessons for the construction industry from experiences in spacecraft systems engineering
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/17508975.2012.680428
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17508975.2012.680428
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Intelligent Buildings International on 8 May 2012, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17508975.2012.680428.
Keywords: construction management, project management, systems engineering
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1365921
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