Integrated Change and Knowledge Management for Energy Efficient Retrofit Projects

Open Access
Liu, Fangxiao
Graduate Program:
Architectural Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
August 21, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Chinemelu Jidenka Anumba, Dissertation Advisor
  • John Messner, Committee Member
  • James Freihaut, Committee Member
  • Gul Kremer, Committee Member
  • Change and Dependency Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • Building Information Modeling
  • Integrated System
  • Energy Efficient
  • Retrofit
The importance and benefits of knowledge management (KM) and change management (CM) have been increasingly recognized in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry. A large proportion of the problems on construction projects emanate from the lack of appropriate mechanisms to effectively manage knowledge, changes and dependencies. Changes can alter service or product variables, and it is challenging to manage the impacts of changes and the associated dependencies. Traditional manual methods of managing changes are inefficient and do not fully engage all team members or adequately capture the rationale for changes. In energy efficient retrofits, inadequate management of changes could have negative impacts on building energy performance. In addition, knowledge is often generated as part of the change management process. Given that knowledge has become a fundamental resource for organizations and can provide organizations with competitive advantages, it is imperative that any new knowledge generated from change management is captured and disseminated. The aim of this research is to investigate the feasibility of an integrated approach to managing change and knowledge in energy efficient retrofit projects. In order to understand theoretical perspective and similar work in change and knowledge management, a detailed review of literature was conducted. The review was based on the most important aspects of knowledge management, change and dependency management, and their applications in construction. Two case studies were undertaken using individual interviews, focus group interviews and questionnaires to investigate challenges and current practices of managing changes, dependencies and knowledge in the AEC Industry. An Integrated Change and Knowledge Management (ICKM) approach was developed to address the challenges of change and knowledge management, and provide an effective mechanism for simultaneously managing changes and knowledge in energy efficient retrofit projects. The integrated approach established a systematic way to facilitate change and dependency management, capture lessons learned during change management processes, and support information exchange between different disciplines in change and knowledge management activities. To demonstrate the feasibility and potential benefits, the ICKM approach was implemented in the overall construction workflows and Building Information Modeling (BIM), and two case studies were conducted to investigate current challenges and the need for an integrated approach, and validate the feasibility of the ICKM approach. Based on the ICKM approach, a prototype system - the Integrated Change and Knowledge Management System (ICKMS) was developed to automate the ICKM process. System requirements, use cases, components and techniques were identified in the research. The prototype was developed as a Web-based system for easy access and maintenance, which is composed of two sub-systems: a change management system (CMS) to support CM processes and a knowledge management system (KMS) to support KM processes. was adopted as the KMS in the prototype. The use of the integrated system in energy efficient retrofit projects is expected to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of simultaneously managing changes and knowledge.