Evaluating the effectiveness of modern building engineering studios to deliver design for safety (DfS)

Graham Richard Hayne, Bimal Kumar, Billy Hare

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Whilst research into Design for Safety (DfS) has been undertaken in the past, little of this work has focused on how DfS is being impacted by the changing environment of engineering design studios. Following the advent of digital technologies, it is now common place for graduates and engineers to utilise complex 3D analysis suites of software which are linked to parametric BIM models. During this period the requirement of site experience to become chartered has also reduced. Final year Civil Engineering undergraduate students at a UK university and a second group of practising engineers were tested to determine their ability to
    identify hazards within the structural design of an office development utilizing 2 and 3D mediums. Additionally, a series of interviews were undertaken with a purposeful sample of
    practitioners who have witnessed the evolution of design studios. The students were typically able to identify some generic hazards but struggled to distinguish hazards generated by
    construction processes with only a small percentage able to suggest safer alternative forms of construction. The practitioners were better able to identify process hazards but noticeably
    highlighted some errors in the design. The test results are cross-referenced with the outputs of the interviews to provide a synopsis of the developing environment within design studios. The
    findings of the research identify that with the increasing emphasis on technology and less on practical site experience, the principles of DfS are becoming difficult to actualize in the modern design studios. This phenomena is intensified as inexperienced engineers with only 2 or 3 years' experience are making significant input into the early stages of design.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the CIB W099 International Health and Safety Conference 2015
    EditorsMike Behn, Ciaran McAleenan
    Place of PublicationDownpatrick, UK
    PublisherEEI Publishing
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print) 9781909854017
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2015


    • design for safety
    • hazard identitfication
    • site experience
    • training
    • design studios


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