Management of the Building Process in Constructions
Management of the Building Process in Temporary Constructions: Case Study of the Unicaja Exhibition Pavilion
Abstract Temporary constructions demand further research in the management of their building process, as standard procedures are not able to give an adequate response to their special characteristics, in terms of their short completion schedule, their highly specialized construction systems and the obtaining of both building permits and public activity licenses. The authors present their on-going research in this field through the superb example of a 700 m2 temporary exhibition pavilion commissioned by the Spanish Savings Bank UNICAJA. Having been installed in representative locations in 6 Andalusian cities, this structure welcomed more than 150,000 attendees during 8 months, from 2010 to 2011. Through the continuous work as part of a multidisciplinary team, the leading role of building engineers and architects, as effective managers of these sorts of commissions, has been proved. Innovative management schemes are hereby presented, with which the authors strive to pave the way for appropriate management procedures for these types of constructions.
Integrated management of the building process is a field of work of renewed importance in the last years. Within our field of work, temporary constructions represent a little explored area. Their management process is substantially different from that for a permanent building. Specific construction techniques, obtaining permits and licences, coordination of all the professionals and planning schedules, require very specific working techniques. This research, based on a case-study that has been put into practise, explores new schemes of work for the management of the building process, and it is proposed as a model that can be extrapolated to a high proportion of temporary architectures.
2 Case Study and Multidisciplinary Workteam
Based in a methodology developed by the authors, the results of research into a real case study are presented: The travelling temporary exhibition pavilion for the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Unicaja. To manage its operation, an interdisciplinary committee was formed, composed of visual communicators, architects, building engineers, publicists, museology specialists, graphic designers, historians, image advisors, cultural managers and representatives of Unicaja.
The role of the technicians in the intermediate levelof decision making, became clear, channelling the dialogue between the organising committee and the specialist service providers.
3.1 Field Work and Selection of Project Locations
Whereas in a permanent building the site is a parameter that is already decided, in temporary constructions it has to be chosen, according to several criteria. The most restrictive is the topography of the site, as public spaces always have a gradient ranging from 3 to 10 %, which implies further adaptation of the structure. Last but not least, necessary supplies -water, sewing system and electricity-, coming from supply network infrastructure, are not always available; the last one represents a particular problem, as the network is not always able to supply the required power.
3.2 Legislative Framework
Building management is directly influenced by the legislative framework, as it defines the duties and responsibilities of each professional. In Spain the two main legal enactments related to this field, both the Building Technical Code (CTE)  and the Enactment of the Building Management (LOE), exclude temporary constructions from its field of application. Our research, consequently, set a starting point in trying to build a framework where these constructions could be included; technical standards for our country and the neighbouring ones were compared, using the comparative methodology. Here the most remarkable results are highlighted.
Firstly, we can quote the only Spanish technical regulation UNE-EN 13782:2007
, referring to loads in temporary structures; but, due to a legal vacuum, it is not mandatory to fulfil its requirements. Another law not related to building industry, is the “public entertainment events” enactment. A diffuse and vague framework, which mixes national, regional and local regulations, exists for the installations and supplies.
France enacted its first technical code covering temporary constructions in 1985
, which was also amended in 2010 : The CTS (Chapiteaux, Tentes et Structures) covers all sorts of them, establishing a classification in terms of maximum occupancy, duration of the activity held within it and the number of floors. Technical requirement comprises all parts of the building. A detailed procedure for obtaining opening permits and technical approval is also given, avoiding controversies among different local regulations as those ones in Spain. A single certificate that covers all aspects has validity thorough all the country.
Germany has also a long tradition of temporary constructions, ranging from 1950. From its legislative framework, we selected the state of the art technical code, the DIN 1055 and DIN 1412 standards, which provides accurate hypothesis for structure calculations. This code is widely recognised as the standard for temporary structures, and providers amongst Europe certify the quality of their products by means of DIN 1055 and 1412.
3.3 Construction Systems
In permanent constructions, the eligibility criteria for constructions systems has been widely investigated, according to compliance with construction laws, price and feasibility, mainly. In temporary constructions, however, these criteria are different. Our methodology for choosing these systems has been settled based on the following criteria. The budget for the different materials is based on the cost of the material itself, the labour force (mounting and dismantling) and the transport; these last two combined often surpass the first one. The budget is also established after an economic study, which contemplates two possibilities: purchasing or renting the materials. Feasibility of every material is also strongly related to its maintenance cost, as, due to the numerous assemblies and disassembles; some have to be replaced, representing additional costs.
3.4 Implementation Schedules
As well as assuming the responsibilities for building management tasks in the very strict sense, the architects and the building engineers are responsible for other duties that, rather considered as additional, are essential in order to achieve success in the building management of these types of constructions. The occupation of the public space in central busy areas of the city requires detailed traffic plans for the circulation of heavy vehicles; moreover, the environmental impact of the activity requires specific studies to assure that the area is not affected by excessive noise or pollution. A detailed implementation schedule has to be designed for every location, combining a general approach that embraces all these tasks and bearing in mind, at the same time that local regulation differs considerably among the cities where the exhibition is going to be settled in.
4 Results and Discussion
4.1 Final Project and Locations
For each location technical advisory was given in form of technical reports for each location, delivered to the committee 8 weeks prior to the first installation; they combined technical facts presented in methodology and the desire of Unicaja to open the exhibition in representative locations in each city, where affluence of visitors was guaranteed.
Based on the former reports, the committee decided to finance the installation of two temporary pavilionsin the historic centres of 6 Andalusian cities: One of 500 m2, which would house 5 thematic modules. The second, semi-open, would be a multipurpose sports track.
4.2 Implementation of the Legislative Framework
The technical management decided to set the Spanish CTE as the required standard, which was certified by CE label for all products and systems, as well as UNE and Din standards. Besides, this standard was improved in specific areas. The integrity and stability of the structure and the skin of the building was guaranteed by French Standard CTS, as there were no temporary structures available that met German standard.
In each city, a technical project was carried out. In addition to this, several documents as public activity license, reports to the fire department and certificates of integrity of the structure, were delivered in order to complete a legal framework (Fig. 2).
4.3 Suitable Construction Systems
To adapt to the variable topography of diverse locations it was finally decided to opt for a floating floor system on adjustable pivots braced by means of ST-37-2 steel profiles. Since drilling the public thoroughfare was not viable, the foundations were made with a system of dead weights. A flooring of DM fireproof panels was laid over this system and hid the installations. The supporting structure on this base consisted of a system of T6 type aluminium pillars, beams and purlins measuring 210 × 110 mm for the pillars, 120 × 80 mm for the beams and 70 × 70 mm for the roof purlins.
The envelope (facade and roof) combined the principles of lightness and stability against exterior forces. The facades consisted of a double layer which combined an exterior layer of 40 mm thick cellular polycarbonate and an interior layer of taut
PES polyester fabric with a double sided PVC covering; a 20 cm thick air-chamber was arranged between these layers to cushion thermal oscillation. The roof consisted of a system of taut PES polyester canvas covered with PVC on both sides, with an added mineral fireproofing treatment.
The level of finish had to be of a very high standard, besides being combined with a profusion of audio-visual and interactive systems. The exhibition housed artistic elements belonging to Unicaja, such as original works of Antonio Machado, exhibited in a controlled atmosphere, and original paintings by Pablo Picasso.
4.4 Schedules and Maintenance
In each one of the cities, an exhibition space composed of two modules had to be mounted, with a total volume of 3500 m3, in 11 days, employing an average of 25 workers. The implementation schedules were very tight and non-negotiable, as the inauguration in each place involved the presence of the local authorities and chairpersons of the different committees from the promotional organisation, who would be appearing at previously arranged press conferences.
Finally, during the 24 days in which the exhibition remained open in each location, the technical team was in charge of coordinating the possible maintenance tasks for the pavilions, and during dismantling a new disassembly coordination plan had to be undertaken, resulting in the management of two operations in one.
We also carried out a monitoring report in order to repairing or replacing elements before each disassembly assembly process and maintenance operations throughout the exposure life been guaranteed performance, quality and safety (Fig. 5).
From the experience presented here, we can conclude that a state-of-the-art does not exist in the field of temporary constructions. Therefore, it is necessary to establish suitable schemes of work for types of commissions, adapted to the specificity of these buildings.
Time management has to consider tasks such as additional permits of capital importance, as a delay in the opening in one location implies the delay of the whole itinerary.
Budget control has to consider always two options for material: renting or purchasing. Indirect costs imply assembling and disassembling, as well and transport costs, so that, from our experience, they can represent up to 80 % of the cost for the material itself.
The maintenance or replacement must be always under the technical management field of competence, as they can represent important deviation in budget execution.
A detailed study for each location of the event must be made before conceiving any idea of the temporary building, as the local regulations for each city differ widely; a prototype that adapts to every location is the ideal for this task.
In relation to the legislative framework, the main conclusion is that a technical standard for temporary constructions must be set in Spain, covering three main aspects: Structural integrity, fire protection and public security measures. Local regulations should be harmonised in basic aspects to avoid gaps in many security aspects.
Our professional environment (institute of building engineers and architects, civil liability cover…) must adapt to these new field of work, as we have found many difficulties when trying to “classify” this kind of commissions.
Finally, and as a final conclusion derived from this professional experience, we can affirm that, although this field represents a challenge for our profession due to misconceptions assumed by many, our professional validity as technicians capable of coordinating large multidisciplinary teams for temporary constructions has been amply demonstrated, as the success of this Exhibition has proved.