Recent Question/Assignment

This Assignment consists of two parts:
Part A - 70 marks – students to answer both questions.
Part B - 30 marks - students are to answer any 3 questions.
• The Questions contained in this Assignment should be read in conjunction with the relevant sections of the Module notes and Bulletins that will be posted from time to time on the Blackboard for this subject that which will contain additional information that students should find useful.
• All submissions should be spell checked, and all references should be correctly notated in accordance with SUT requirements.
Question 1 – 35 marks
What is a ‘Linear Project’? Outline examples of the various types of Linear Projects. (5 marks)
An Asian Pacific capital city proposes to design, construct and operate a new double track railway from the city to connect to its major airport. Prefeasibility studies that included geotechnical engineering investigations considers that ground conditions are such that the double track railway will need to be constructed both at grade or be elevated on a viaduct as detailed below for the various lengths of line:
0-3km - on grade
3-6km - on viaduct
6-8km - Estuary Viaduct
8-10km - on viaduct
10-15km - on grade
Construction time estimates have been prepared for Stage 1 of the project which will consist of the construction of the viaduct section of the line from 3km to 10km. (An example of a recently completed similar project is on a new high speed railway from Erfurt to Leipzig/Halle in Germany – the ‘Saale-Elster Viaduct which is 6.5km in length – reference below).
Following completion of the viaduct section a separate contract will be let for the installation of the track components where it is proposed to use prefabricated/precast concrete slab track sections (PCSTS) that will be erected in sections for each of the two tracks. For the purpose of analysis, the FFB Slab Track ‘Bogl’ system that has been used successfully in Germany and China will be considered.
It will be necessary to construct PCSTS fabrication plant/s located at a strategic point/s along the length of the viaduct section of the route. Fabrication plant/s of modular construction will take an estimated 3 months to construct and commission and be ready to produce the PCSTS sections. Work on this activity will need to start at contract commencement following a 1-month period of mobilization by the contractor.
Each modular plant should be capable of producing an estimated 75 off, PCSTS sections per day of operation. The PCSTS sections are to be stockpiled at the fabrication plant after manufacture for 2 months prior to the track laying operation on the viaduct commencing.
Sections of 60kg/m rail will arrive at the start of the viaduct section (3km point) on special flat wagon trains, to complete the track laying operation, and once installed will need to be site welded to ensure that there is continuous welded rail installed over the whole length of the route. It is assumed that on grade sections of line will have been completed and track laid.
On each side of the proposed viaduct route it will be possible to construct vehicular access tracks except for the estuary section that will be over water i.e. no roads can be built.
b1. Prepare a step-by-step, detailed methodology for how you would propose to construct the double line of track work for the length of the viaduct. Include a list of construction plant and equipment that will be needed for the operation. (6 marks)

b2. Prepare a construction schedule for the track installation contract on the viaduct (commencing at the 3km point) in Time-Chainage Diagram (TCD) format using XL or AutoCAD or other graphical means showing all activities that need to undertaken for the construction of the double line track including site establishment, and equipment set up. Include all assumptions and calculations for estimating construction duration. (12 marks)
b3. Prepare a second TCD, assuming that construction activity is undertaken from the 3km and the 10km simultaneously. Include all assumptions and calculations for estimating construction durations. (6 marks)
b4. Prepare a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) or JSA for the lifting equipment that would be used on the viaduct including working at height.
(6 marks)
Useful Material:
For students who maybe unfamiliar with modern concrete viaduct structures:
Rohleder WJ, Segmental Bridge Technology – Established and Evolving, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 2011.
• ‘The Saale-Elster Viaduct project’
• Amberg Technologies, Project Report GRP1000, Slab Track ‘Made in China’, Olympic High Speed Line Beijing-Tianjin, (accessed 10/2/16).
• (accessed 10/2/16)
• ‘Slab Track China’ FFB Max Bogl (accessed 10/2/16).
Question 2 - 35 marks
Subject Modules covered by this Question: 1-7
Merrow notes that data from more than 300 global megaprojects shows that 65 percent of industrial projects with budgets larger than $1billion in 2010 US dollars failed to meet business objectives’. Current data suggests that the figure of 65 percent maybe higher and be of the order of 80 percent in some industries such as the oil and gas and mining project areas.
Most of the failures on such projects occur because insufficient time and resources are devoted to meaningful upfront planning (or front end planning). Failures generally relate to on time completion of projects, meeting budget (cost), quality (specified requirements and performance) and site safety. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the failure mode for smaller projects may not be dissimilar.
Project ‘failures’ and particularly their impact on clients in terms of capital cost and the profitability of operations have led to the development of what is called Front End Engineering Design (FEED) activities that are performed during the initial stages of the project to determine the feasibility of the project, initial cost estimates and risk assessments.
Ecosea, a newly established Australian company proposes to develop a large-scale microalgae production plant in Victoria, followed by similar developments in other states of Australia.
The Ecosea business and financial plan sets out to establish itself as a producer of value added ‘algae’ products initially for the pharmaceutical and aquaculture feed industries and in a later production stage as a supplier of biofuels.
Ecosea have selected technology developed by an Austrian company - Ecoduna Produktions AG. (EP) – refer website in references below. This company has developed an algae growing process using reactors (photo bioreactors) powered by energy from photovoltaic’s from which valuable oils and bio fuels are obtained. The process is claimed to be extremely energy efficient and sustainable.
Ecosea’s Business Plan states that EP will supply Ecosea with the following:
• Manufactured photo bioreactors ready for installation in purpose built buildings (supplied by Ecosea through and Australian contractor)
• The provision of a technical expert to supervise the installation of the reactors and associated services.
• The technical know how to test and commission the plant and to ensure that it is operating in accordance with the suppliers performance specifications
• EP will supply general arrangement (GA) drawings of the process building to house the photo bioreactors and Ecosea will appoint a consulting engineer to design the buildings and all associated services and process inputs.
• The entire project is likely to be managed on an EPCM project delivery basis.
It is proposed that as product demand expands that additional photo bioreactors and value-adding processes would be installed in new buildings.
CO2 gas will be supplied in a pipeline to buffer storage tanks on the site from an adjacent heavy industrial plant. Potable water and electricity will be supplied from supplies nearby, and the land on which the plant is to be built is capable of generally unlimited expansion.
The project in Australia is to be funded by a new market development fund, the power station and a pharmaceutical company.

As part of the funding requirements Ecosea are to ensure that the plant is completed on budget (cost), schedule and to specified quality and operational (production) requirements. To this end, it is proposed to utilize the SASOL Business Development and Implementation Model (SBDIM) requirements for ‘small engineering projects’ (see reference to Pillay below).
Outline in detail your understanding and limitations (if any) of the following concepts:
• FEED (Front End Engineering Design)
• Front End Loading (FEL)
• Stage Gates? (10 marks)?
Using the SBDIM framework, establish at what point that you consider the project to be in the ‘stage gate’ process and what activities and actions Ecosea management would have to undertake to ensure that the project is brought to completion to time, budget, and schedule and so ensure that the entire plant is functionally operating and meeting specified performance outcomes. (13 marks)?
Merrow notes on page 253 of his book that:
‘we tend to exaggerate the importance of the contracting approach to project success or failure. No contracting approach guarantees success, most contracting approaches can succeed. Contracting is a second-order concern’.
Is the ‘EPCM’ project delivery method the most appropriate way of undertaking this project or are their alternatives?
(12 marks)
Merrow EW, Industrial Megaprojects, Concepts, Strategies and Practices for Success, Wiley, 2011. (accessed 10/02/16).
Merrow EW, Industrial Megaprojects, Concepts, Strategies and Practices for Success, Wiley, 2011.
Pillay S, ‘Key Success factors for Small Engineering Projects: A Study at Sasol’, University of Pretoria, South Africa, Final Report-11th December 2011.
Answer any three (3) questions. Each question carries 10 marks
Question 3
Subject Module covered by this Question: 6
What is meant by the term ‘modular construction’?
(2 marks)
From your understanding of the term, do you agree/disagree with the statements made in Paragraph 2 of the reference below?
(4 marks)
As discussed in the reference, why is it necessary to make decisions about ‘modular construction’ early on in the project?
(4 marks)
Question 4
Subject Module covered by this Question: 7
Outline your understanding of construction ‘rework’.
(3 marks)
Undertake a literature search, to verify (or otherwise) whether the cost of construction ‘rework’ that takes into account time (schedule), cost and quality has changed over the years. Your research should include international references as well as any references from Australia.
(7 marks)
Useful Material:
‘Moore P, ‘Contractors confront the growing costs of rework’, Engineering News record, 28/11/2012.
Question 5
Subject Module covered by this Question: 9
Outline your understanding of the following:

• Quality Assurance
• Quality Management Systems (QMS)
• Inspection and Test Plan (3 marks)
Over the last 20 years, it is estimated that some 50% of all the concrete ever produced in the world has been utilized. Yet, concrete quality can still be a major issue on projects.
Currently small modular nuclear reactors used for providing steam to drive turbines in power stations are being constructed in China and India and other locations around the world. The quality of concrete in the construction of nuclear power stations needs to be of a very high standard to ensure nuclear radiation containment over vastly long periods of time.
By reference to the paper prepared by The Royal Academy of Engineering below outline what additional measures need to be put in place on a project to ensure high-end integrity of concrete in a reactor and other components of a nuclear power station.
(7 marks)
Useful Material:
Ansto, Latest Developments in Small Modular Reactors, Dr Adi Paterson, Annual Meeting of Four Societies (2015)
The Royal Academy of Engineering, ‘Nuclear Construction Lessons Learned, Guidance on best practice: concrete, London, February 2012.
Question 6
Subject Module covered by this Question: 10
With regard to Occupational Health and Safety in the construction industry outline your understanding of:
• Lagging indicators
• Leading indicators and
• Lost Time Injuries (LTI) (3 marks)
Do these indicators provide an accurate assessment of whether construction contractors and sub-contractors are likely to have safe systems of work in place on the projects that they undertake?
(7 marks)
Hinze J, Thurman S, Wehle A, Leading indicators of construction safety performance, Safety Science 51 (2013) p23-28
Issues in the measurement and reporting of work health and safety performance: A Review, Safework Australia, International Governance and Performance (IGAP) Research Centre, Macquarie University, Australia, November 2013.
Zou, PXW & Sunindijo RY, Strategic Safety Management in Construction and Engineering, 2015, Wiley, UK
Question 7
Subject Module covered by this Question: 11
Pre-commissioning and commissioning of plant and equipment that has been installed is a crucial part of the project execution phase regardless of whether the project is being undertaken in the oil and gas, chemical or pharmaceutical industries, infrastructure project or buildings. Ensuring that plant and equipment operates in accordance with specified requirements is of great importance for project success.
Outline your understanding of the following terms:
• Pre-commissioning
• Testing
• Commissioning
• Operability (3 marks)
At what part in the project should detailed planning for commissioning of plant and equipment be undertaken, who should be in involved in the commissioning process, and how can the time the process takes be assessed for scheduling purposes. (7 marks)