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PROCEEDINGS OF THE EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CIVIL AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING COMPUTING
Edited by: B.H.V. Topping
A Quality Management Tool for a Public-Private Partnership Highway Project
J. Rankin+, A.J. Christian* and B. Lundrigan$
+Construction Technology Centre Atlantic, *Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, Canada
J. Rankin, A.J. Christian, B. Lundrigan, "A Quality Management Tool for a Public-Private Partnership Highway Project", in B.H.V. Topping, (Editor), "Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering Computing", Civil-Comp Press, Stirlingshire, UK, Paper 4, 2001. doi:10.4203/ccp.73.4
Keywords: quality management, information system, distributed system, web solutions, data models, standards.
A software application of a Quality Management Tool (QMT) was designed and developed to support the information management needs of the Maritime Road Development Corporation's (MRDC) quality management system for a 650 million dollars (Canadian) highway construction project. The QMT was based on several ongoing projects being developed utilising Internet technologies for the centralization, collaboration, and distribution of construction project information and documentation in a secure environment. The QMT is a web-based collaborative system founded on the concepts of previously developed systems while focusing primarily in the support of quality, safety, and environmental construction information for a public-private partnership project.
As the developer and operator of this highway construction project, one of MRDC's contractual obligations linked the implementation of a quality management system with progress payments from the public owner. To measure MRDC's quality management system, a Quality Performance Score  was used. This score was tied to a Quality Management Performance Payment of approximately 4% of the Guaranteed Maximum Price for this project (i.e. approximately 24 million dollars). Therefore, the motivation to formally develop an effective solution to support the quality management system was clear. A detailed needs analysis for this specific application was performed from which the system was designed in terms of its process, data, and interface structure.
The results of the QMT project have contributed to improving the development and implementation capabilities of web-based collaborative project tools for quality. The development demonstrated a successful and practical implementation of maturing information technologies. Ongoing work includes extensions to the system to support additional information requirements for highway operations and the exploration of wireless handheld computer solutions as an alternative interface. Handheld computers have the potential to provide a powerful interface for on-line database applications for a construction project. Real-time information on a handheld computer can easily be transferred to the project database for use by the project team and transferred from this database to the field.
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