Dr. Al Hussein is NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction
Dr. Al-Hussein’s research has proffered a number of contributions to the industrialization of the building construction process through the development of modular and offsite construction technologies. This has included construction automation for equipment selection and on-site utilization; 3D- and 4D-modelling and automation; optimizing construction operations (from the initial planning stage to project completion, including scheduling, budgeting, and general project management); automating the design and drafting process; minimizing construction material waste through intelligent 3D-design; quantifying and reducing CO2 emissions during the construction process, improving invoice processing for construction organizations through the application of lean and post-lean principles, conducting evidence-based studies to reduce health and safety hazards in the built environment through improved design, and improving the health and well-being of construction site workers and the quality of life for the public/users of completed projects.
Industrialization of construction with a focus on building information modelling (BIM)
Dr. Al-Hussein’s ongoing research has led to the establishment of an NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction through which research on building manufacturing systems is pursued. Recently, a unique application has been Dr. Al-Hussein’s work on optimization of invoice processing for construction organizations. Through the holistic application of BIM to the construction process from start to finish, this research aims to reduce project time lag as well as improve communication among the various stakeholders involved. BIM technology has been utilized in a number of Dr. Al-Hussein’s recent research initiatives, including the automation of drafting and design for manufacturing, estimating and scheduling, material waste reduction and optimization, quantity takeoff, interior design and material selection, quality control, and automation of the framing process.
CO2 quantification, alternative energy sources, and building performance
Dr. Al-Hussein’s research into the industrialization of construction has laid the foundation for leading edge work on CO2 emissions quantification and reduction and the use of alternative energy sources in buildings, including research on NetZero-energy homes, nano energy storage, and the use of solar photovoltaic technologies in residential construction. Other research focuses on the use of wood and bio-based products in midrise residential construction, as well as in innovative applications to improve building energy performance from design to building operation.
Dr. Al-Hussein has made notable contributions in the domain of urban planning, particularly with respect to the impact of population aging on urban development. Contributions in this area have included planning of age-restricted communities; assessment of neighbourhood accessibility and level of service, including public transit accessibility; improving the financial sustainability of open space distribution in urban centres; and regional analysis of population aging. Other recent research in this domain includes automation and productivity improvement in condition assessment and preventive maintenance of municipal infrastructure.
Process improvement in industrialized construction
Dr. Al-Hussein’s research successfully applies lean theory, simulation, and visualization techniques in order to model work methods and improve productivity for homebuilding operations, with a focus on construction manufacturing. Recently, Dr. Al-Hussein’s research on the deployment of advanced technologies such as RFID, barcode technology, and Internet of Things for production control purposes has been successfully applied to panelized/modular construction. This approach tracks various building elements throughout the fabrication, logistics, and on-site assembly phases in order to improve productivity.
Ergonomics, safety, and the built environment
Another key area of research explores avenues for enhanced safety both of the construction process and of the built environment. Dr. Al-Hussein’s studies in ergonomic risk assessment evaluate the degree of ergonomic hazard posed by construction activities for the purpose of proposing risk mitigation measures. This research considers ergonomic risk in terms of worker health and safety, construction productivity, and cost, advancing the hypothesis that ergonomic design of construction tasks and work stations can secure health and safety of workers while improving productivity. Other safety-related research has targeted safety of crane operations on construction sites.
Principles of building, heavy and bridge construction; wood and formwork design, stability during construction, economics of equipment selection, movement of material on construction sites, safety, and constructability issues. Students work in teams on a design project. Prerequisites: CIV E 303 and 372. Note: Restricted to fourth-year traditional and fifth-year co-op engineering students, or by consent of the Department.Winter Term 2021