MSU receives $350K contract from the National Academy of Sciences

Last month, the MSU Construction Management Program was selected by the National Academy of Sciences Airport Cooperative Research Program to conduct research on "Integrating Collaborative Partnering into Traditional Airport Construction Projects."

June 22, 2017

View from above of the San Francisco International Airport.

To help integrate collaborative partnering into airport construction projects

Last month, the Michigan State University (MSU) Construction Management Program was selected by the National Academy of Sciences Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) to conduct research on “Integrating Collaborative Partnering into Traditional Airport Construction Projects.”

The objective of this $350K research project is to develop guidelines on integrating collaborative partnering into airport projects. The guidance will be applicable to airports of differing governing structures, procurement methods, and size and complexity of projects. The project timeline is 14 months.

The reason this type of publication will be beneficial is because construction at airports is complex and, as with any construction project, prone to cost overruns, delays and claims. Traditionally, owners of construction projects have sought to minimize, mitigate, manage and/or transfer risks associated with these through a variety of different methods.

Collaborative partnering can be layered on top of the contracting and project delivery methods to manage and mitigate risk and improve outcomes. This type of structured process brings the owner, the designer, construction teams and stakeholders together, face-to-face, throughout the life of the project by a neutral third-party.

Under the guidance of CM Associate Professor Sinem Mollaoglu, the team will address within the guidebook:

  • The benefits of partnering;
  • The collaborative partnering process;
  • Best practices;
  • Metrics of success and benchmarks;
  • Lessons learned
  • Roles and responsibilities of internal and external stakeholders, including best practices for educating stakeholders on their responsibilities;
  • Resources that airports needs prior to and during the partnering process;
  • Criteria for selecting a facilitator, as well as discussion of utilizing a neutral third-party or other means;
  • Case studies that demonstrate successful application of collaborative partnering, as well as measures of success;
  • A list of external resources; and
  • Sample partnering specifications and other key documents.

Project collaborators include experts from academia and industry leaders: Drs. Brian Polkinghorn from Salisbury University, Douglas Gransberg from Iowa State University, Carla Lopez from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez; and Roddy Boggus from Suffolk Construction Inc., Duane Boreham from Q&D Construction Inc., Joe Jackson from RS&H, and Kurt Dettman from Strategic Enterprise Technology Inc.

“This study will produce evidence-based guidelines for airports,” said Associate Professor Mollaoglu. ”It will justify the need for adoption of collaborative partnering, help catalyze key stakeholder support, and provide guidance in implementation by various types and sizes of airports.”

Collaborative partnering is an innovative project delivery practice in the construction industry that helps create integrated teams and improve project outcomes. However, it comes with additional up-front costs, which might make it difficult for airport owners to adopt.

Mollaoglu elaborated, “Owing to our years of preliminary work in this area, externally funded by private institutions, we are proud to now be leading a large team of nationally recognized professionals for this project.”

She continued, “Most importantly, we are excited about the potential impacts of this study in catalyzing the construction industry’s adoption of integrative practices.”

For more information about this study, please contact Sinem Mollaoglu at sinemm@msu.edu.  

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