Description: Description:

The Construction Industry Research and Education Center (CIREC)

School of Planning, Design and Construction


CIREC was conceived in June 2006 as a result of mutual interest between the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations (OVPFO) and the Construction Management Program faculty, part of the School of Planning, Design and Construction at Michigan State University.  The center provides the following three main functions:


·         Research, outreach, and education services to all stakeholders associated with the construction industry at MSU and beyond

·         Research experience for graduate students in the Construction Management Program

·         Research, outreach, and education services to all stakeholders in the construction industry.


The Center’s research activities are guided by the tenants of Lean Construction, which views construction projects as project-based production systems.  Our definition of Lean Construction is:  “the pursuit of concurrent and continuous improvements in the entire supply chain (design, procurement, construction, operations, and maintenance) to enable reliable workflow on a construction site and the delivery of value to owners, as agreed upon by all project participants”


The Center’s overarching aim is to investigate and develop efficient and effective construction processes that result in a built environment with maximum value to both the construction client and participants.  Specifically, this refers to value viewed as follows:


1.     Product Value:  Client satisfied with performance on the time, cost, and quality dimensions (Zero Cost Overruns; Zero Time Slippages; Zero Punch List Items; Zero RFIs, Zero Design-Error Change Orders;)

2.     Process Value: Participants leaving the project healthier, with a sense of accomplishment and learning, and with a positive outlook to next job with the same or a different client.

3.     Sustainable Value:  The facility and its construction process leave a positive impact on the environment, with first construction costs that are equal or lower than those used in conventional construction.


The center research activities focus on developing and implementing the Lean Project Delivery System™, as introduced by the Lean Construction Institute.  Examples of what we broadly focus on are as follows:


§  Assessment of adopted project and production management processes and construction ‎administration procedures, with recommendation for improvements.‎

§  Development of forms of contract, management tools, processes, and ‎techniques for maximizing value, increasing the reliability of performance to ‎budgets and schedules, and eliminating the unproductive use of resources ‎‎(defects, rework, idle time, and accidents), and ‎

§  Benchmarking to validate the benefits of new developments in integrated project ‎delivery systems such as lean project delivery as well as changes in the market, ‎including new projects, price trends, and capacity constraints.‎


Professor Tim Mrozowski is the Outreach Director and leads the outreach/service/educational engagements of the center.  Dr. Tariq Abdelhamid is the Research Director and leads the research engagements of the center.  The center Lead Investigator is Mr Don Schafer.

Center Investigators include:  1. Current: Naveen Nerwal, Ali Lahouti, Jeremiah Williams, Kim Nguyen, Ankur Desai, and Federico Steinvorth.  2. Former: Samarth Jain, Sagata Bhawani, Yash Singh, Surabhi Rao, and Steve Lung.


Faculty Affiliates

§  ‎Dr. Mohamed El-‎Gafy – School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University

§  ‎‎Dr. Sinem ‎Korkmaz – School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University

§  ‎Professor Matt Syal – School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University

§  Dr. Ossama (Sam) SalemYabroudi Chair of Sustainable Civil Infrastructures at Syracuse University, Professor of Infrastructure Systems and Construction Engineering

§  Dr. Panagiotis (Takis) Mitropoulos – Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University

Founding Sponsor

§  Michigan State University - Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations

-          Ongoing support of $100,000 per year since September 2006

Partners and Affiliates

§  Lean Construction Institute

§  Project Production Systems Laboratory – University of California – Berkeley

§  AIA Mid-Michigan

§  Walbridge



Joining CIREC


During its early years, the center activities will be funded by the OVPFO. Selection of projects, through research or outreach/service engagements, will be made collaboratively with OVPFO staff (and with future member contributors).


We invite you to become a contributing member of the center.  Contributing members are essential to the Center’s efforts and activities.  Funding provides the means for CIREC personnel to conduct research and outreach programs that benefit the construction industry.  Contributors will provide insight and assistance for current and future research projects.  Having industry input is imperative for the research and educational agendas at CIREC.  Several benefits come from being a part of our organization.  As a contributing member of CIREC, you will:


§  Serve on the Center Advisory Board (CAB) to develop guidelines and plans to operate the Center and its research and outreach endeavors.

§  Have member-only access to the results of core research programs, technology reviews, market studies and overall activities of the Center.

§  Listing on CIREC’s website with a link to member site along with contact person.


Selection of Lean Construction related research projects will be made collaboratively with contributing companies.  We ‎expect our members to be full participants in the research projects we conduct.  Members will ‎provide input on projects they wish to see launched.  One of the primary responsibilities of ‎members is to provide data concerning practices and outcomes, and also provide us access so ‎data can be verified.  Members will also be a primary source for data concerning future changes ‎in the regional construction market. ‎


Contributions may be made as unrestricted gifts to CIREC by making checks out to Michigan State University and sending it to Dr. Tariq Abdelhamid, 116 Human Ecology, School of Planning, Design and Construction, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.


Contributor Categories

Ø  Corporate Contributor- $10,000 per year

Ø  Research Sponsor - $17,500 for each research initiative in which a company wishes to directly participate and engage the center

Ongoing Research Projects

§  Post Occupancy ‎Evaluation of Educational Buildings

§  An MSU Construction Project Procurement Manual – The MSU Way

§  Development of a Benchmarking System for Project Management Performance at Institutions of Higher Education

§  Phase II:  MSU Performance Scorecards Assessments

§  Construction Management Project Delivery Model at EAS

§  Understanding Cost Overruns on MSU Construction Projects.


CIREC Funded Master Thesis and PhD Dissertations (ongoing)

§  Don Schafer:  PhD Candidate; dissertation title: " Managing The Unexpected in the Built Environment – A Resilience Engineering Approach"  - Expected graduation Summer 2010.

Publications and presentations – in Progress:

                                 i.    El-Gafy, M. and Abdelhamid, T.S. (2008). “Lean Work Structuring Using System ‎Dynamics ‎Modeling.”  Submitted to the Housing and Building National Research Center, ‎Cairo, Egypt‎.‎

                                ii.    El-Gafy, M. and Abdelhamid, T.S. (2008).  "Construction site layout Using ‎Simulated Annealing.”  Submitted to the Construction Research Journal.‎

                               iii.    Singh, Y., Abdelhamid, T.S., Mrozowski, T., and El-Gafy, M. (2008).  ‎‎“Investigation of State-of-the-art Performance ‎Measurement Systems for Production ‎Management of ‎Renovation Projects.”  Submitted to the Lean Construction Journal.‎

Completed Research Projects


·         Wood Staging Area Design Project for Bio Fuel Production Facility at Michigan State University (2008) - (download report)

·         Assessment and Improvement of Construction Project Closeout (2006 – 2008) – (download report)

·         Construction Vendors Performance Evaluation (2006-2009) –  (download report)

·         Construction Vendors Performance Evaluation (2010) –  (download report)

·         Development of a Change Order Management Process for Use on Construction Projects at Michigan State University –  (download report)


·         White paper series

                                  i.    Relational Contracting

                                 ii.    Lean Construction – A Promising Future for MSU

                                iii.    Development of a Decision Making Framework for Minimizing ‎the Life Cycle Impacts of Buildings at Michigan State University

                                iv.    Building Information Modeling at MSU

                                 v.    Implementation of Post-occupancy Evaluation  at MSU


·         Master thesis dissertations:

                                  i.    A Production Management Framework for Renovation Projects (Dec 2007) – Yash Singh

                                 ii.    Influence of Organizational Behavior on Construction Project Closeout (August 2008) – Surabhi Rao

                                iii.    Percent Plan ‎Complete:  Exploring the Relationship ‎between Production Delay Factors and ‎‎Construction Site Performance (December 2009) – Samarth Jain

                                iv.    Post Occupancy ‎Evaluation: An ‎Investigation ‎‎Instrument to Improve Performance and Indoor Environment Design and Operation of Buildings- (December 2009) – Sagata Bhawani


·         Journal Publications:

                                  i.    Mitropoulos, P., Nichita, T., and Abdelhamid, T.S. (2008).  “Sources of Workflow Uncertainty and Variation in Residential Construction Projects.”  HBRC Journal (April), Housing and Building National Research Center, Cairo, Egypt‎.

                                 ii.    Abdelhamid, T. S., El-Gafy, M.A., and Salem, O. (2008).  “Lean Construction:  Fundamentals And Principles.”  The American Professional Constructor Journal, American Institute of Constructors – Fall 2008.

                                iii.    El-Gafy, M., AbdelRazig, Y., and Abdelhamid, T.S. (2009).  “Environmental Impact Analysis Using Hybrid Decision Support  Framework:  A Transportation Project Case Study.”  Accepted to the ASCE Journal of Urban Planning and Development

                                iv.    Abdelhamid, T.S., El-Gafy, M., and Mitropoulos, P. (2009). "Selection Of Roof Casting Formwork Systems For The Bird Island Project:  A Case Study.  ASCE Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, 14(4), pp. 224-241.

                                 v.    Sobeih, T, Salem, O., Genaidy, A., Abdelhamid, T. and Shell, R. (2009).  “Psychosocial Factors and Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Construction Industry.”  The Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 135 (2), 267-272

·         Conference presentations and papers:

                                  i.    Schafer, D.‎ ‎, Abdelhamid, T.S.‎ ‎, Mitropoulos, P.‎ ‎, and Howell, G.A (2008).‎ ‎ “‎Resilience ‎Engineering:  A New Paradigm For Safety In ‎Lean Construction Systems.”  Proceedings ‎of the 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 16-18 ‎July 2008, Manchester, United Kingdom.‎

                                 ii.    El-Gafy, M. A., and Abdelhamid, T. S. (2008). ‎ “Using System Dynamics ‎Modeling AS a Lean Construction Work Structuring Tool.”  Proceedings of the 16th ‎Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 16-18 July 2008, ‎Manchester, United Kingdom.‎

                                iii.    Ilozor‎, B. D., Egbu, C. O., and Abdelhamid, T. S. (2008).  “Designing And ‎Building To Minimize ‎Construction Waste.”  Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference ‎of the International Group for Lean Construction, 16-18 July 2008, Manchester, United ‎Kingdom.‎

                                iv.    Jayaraman, V., Abdelhamid, T. S., and Ilozor, B. D (2008).  “Assessment Of ‎Uncertainty Management ‎Approaches In Construction Organizations.”  Proceedings of ‎the 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 16-18 July ‎‎2008, Manchester, United Kingdom.‎

                                 v.    Abdelhamid, T.S., and Patel, B. (2008).  “Assessment of occupational safety and ‎health competencies using signal detection theory”.  Proceedings of the 18th Annual ‎Construction Safety Conference, 12-14 February 2008, Rosemont, Illinois.

                                vi.    Abdelhamid, T. S. and Mitropoulos, P. (2008).  "Quantifying Workers’ Hazard ‎Identification Ability Using Fuzzy Signal Detection Theory".  Accepted, 2008 National ‎Occupational Injury Research Symposium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania., 21-23 October 2008.

                               vii.    T.S. Abdelhamid, Don Schafer, Tim Mrozowski, Jayaraman, V., Howell, G. and Mohamed A. El-Gafy (2009).  “Working through unforeseen uncertainties using the OODA loop: an approach for self-managed construction teams.” Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 15-17 July 2009, Taipei, Taiwan.

                              viii.    Abdelhamid, T. S. and Xi, L. (2009). “The Validity Of Data Dependent System Modeling to Predict Relative Physiological Workload During Construction Work.” Proceedings of the 2009 Construction Research Congress.

                                ix.    Schafer, D., Abdelhamid, T.S., and Mitropoulos, P. (2009). “Resilience Engineering: A New Approach For Safety Management.” Proceedings of the 2009 Construction Research Congress.

                                 x.    Abdelhamid, T.S., Narang, P., and Mitropoulos,, T.  (2009).  “Hazard Identification Using Fuzzy Signal Detection Theory”.  Proceedings of the 19th Annual Construction Safety Conference, 17-19 February 2009, Rosemont, Illinois

                                xi.    Abdelhamid, T.S., Xi, L., and Mitropoulos,, T.  (2009).  “Predicting Relative Workload During Construction Work Using Data Dependent Modeling”.  Proceedings of the 19th Annual Construction Safety Conference, 17-19 February 2009, Rosemont, Illinois.

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