Six key components of Collaboration in Higher Education buildings: a case study of Stakeholder Engagement at the University of Washington
Malachira, Achaiah Ramesh
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Collaboration has taken on an important role in the construction industry lately with the inception of project delivery methods like Integrated Project Delivery that promotes interaction of multiple stakeholders cohesively to deliver high performance and good quality buildings. A vital aspect of collaboration is engaging the stakeholders especially when the project is complex such as a Life Sciences Building (LSB) that requires minute details pertaining to end users/building occupants such as space utilization or power infrastructure needs. Through a detailed literature review, they key components of Stakeholder Engagement are determined which include Stakeholder Identification & Analysis, Stakeholder Consultation, Information Disclosure, Stakeholder Reporting, Grievance Management, Stakeholder Involvement in Project Monitoring, Negotiation & Partnerships and Management Functions. The purpose of this thesis is to determine which of these components of Stakeholder Engagement are more prevalent in construction of complex projects involving multiple stakeholders. For this purpose, two sources of data have been used - firstly the Capital Initiative workshop notes that included discussions regarding the importance of implementing the various key components of Stakeholder Engagement mentioned earlier for best results as far as University Buildings construction was concerned were analysed and secondly, a case study has been conducted on a Life Sciences Building (LSB) currently being constructed on the University of Washington, Seattle campus. The components of Stakeholder Engagement which were found to be important through the analysis of the workshop notes were then used as part of the interview of the various stakeholders on the LSB project to determine the extent to which each of those components were being implemented and followed on the project. Key components such as Stakeholder identification & Analysis, Stakeholder Consultation, Stakeholder Involvement in project monitoring and Information Disclosure were found to be followed and implemented well on the project site which contributed to the overall project success so far. A graphical representation and truth table analysis further reinforced the results. By identifying aspects of Stakeholder Engagement like Grievance Management and Stakeholder Reporting which were not found to be implemented as well as some of the other components on the project, awareness can be spread to implement these in a better manner and ensure a much smoother and effective project execution. The research is also a pilot study for implementing the key components of Stakeholder Engagement that can be used as critical identifiers not just for higher education buildings but all projects that involve multiple stakeholders and especially a project delivery method such as IPD that promotes multi-party collaboration.