developing infrastructure for evolvability integrating modularity and safeguards in design nuno gil
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Developing Infrastructure for Evolvability: Integrating Modularity and Safeguards In Design Nuno Gil . Manchester Business School (on sabbatical) Global Research Awardee (Royal Academy of Engineering) CRGP, Stanford University (visiting scholar).

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developing infrastructure for evolvability integrating modularity and safeguards in design nuno gil

Developing Infrastructure for Evolvability: Integrating Modularity and Safeguards In DesignNuno Gil

Manchester Business School (on sabbatical)

Global Research Awardee (Royal Academy of Engineering)

CRGP, Stanford University (visiting scholar)

© Nuno Gil MBS 2006

© Nuno Gil, Manchester Business School NUS, 2009

victorian sewerage system london
Victorian sewerage system, London
  • 19th century, River Thames was practically an open sewer
  • After The Great Stink (cholera epidemic) of 1858, Parliament decided to create modern sewerage system
  • Joseph Bazalgette, civil engineer, designed system that diverted waste to Thames Estuary, totalling almost 160 km underground sewers fed by 720 km of main sewers
  • 20th century, major improvements made to system
bridge over river tagus lisbon
Bridge over River Tagus, Lisbon
  • Built between 1962 and 1964
  • Suspension bridge, double deck, 2277m
  • In 1999, $1.4m project to install secondary suspension cables, widen roadway; install dual track railroad
infrastructure meets business
Infrastructure meets Business
  • Infrastructure Gap is Massive
    • population growth, migration towards cities, deteriorated infrastructure, globalization of supply chains
  • Governments worldwide recourse to private-sector capital due to constrained budgets and ideology
    • sale of state-owned infrastructure companies
    • private finance initiatives
    • infrastructure increasingly attractive to pension funds, private investors, family houses
infrastructure design for evolvability
Infrastructure Design for Evolvability
  • Acknowledge tension between profit-seeker and public interest
    • Affordability/caps on user fees limit capital investment
    • Long delivery times + operational longevity => uncertainty
    • Bias towards capital cost instead of life-cycle costs
  • Evolvable design: design infrastructure to last, i.e., capable to accommodate economically change over time while limiting capital investment upfront
slide8
…from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
evolvability
Evolvability
  • Darwin’s theories in evolution and variability
  • Evolvability: an organism’s capacity to generate variation (Kirschner and Gerhart 98)
    • Weak linkage, minimal dependencies among processes
    • Exploratory mechanisms, processes that can tolerate change
    • Surviving lineages diversified by maintaining core of conserved sequences and functions (vital processes) and modifying others
product system design modularity
Product/System Design Modularity
  • Modularity: generate design architectures that can flex to change (Ulrich 95, Baldwin and Clark 00)
      • architecture, decouples functional modules
      • standard rules, govern interfaces
      • tests, verify modules will work together
  • but modularity does not come for free (Ethiraj and Levinthal 04)
  • and can come with penalty in performance (Fixson and Park 08)
options thinking
Options Thinking
  • modularity builds options in design (Baldwin and Clark 97)
  • option, the right but not the obligation to choose course of action (Merton 73)
    • design with built-in options is more tolerant of uncertainty
    • high potential value is conditional on success/ limited loss conditional on failure
    • option purpose: stage delivery; switch use; grow capacity
    • options ‘on’ projects AND options ‘in’ projects (Wang and de Neufville 2005)
research site 4 2bn t5 development heathrow airport project promoter baa plc
Research Site: £4.2bn T5 Development Heathrow airport, project promoter BAA plc.

Conceptualization

Mid 90s

Start construction

Dec 01

Open phase 1

Mar 08

Open phase 2

2012

analysis
Analysis
  • Two major determinants of decision to build options
    • Perceived likelihood that option may be exercised
      • high likelihood increases attractiveness of upfront investment
      • long-range timeframes to exercise option put off
    • Degree to which design is/can be modularised
      • how much does it cost to build option?
      • how much does it cost to exercise option?
      • how much would it cost otherwise ?
      • standard designs increase chances ‘to get it right’
functional modules available ex ante
Functional Modules Available ex-ante
  • Functional modules with standardised designs tend to be available when group of qualified suppliers is limited (modular clusters) (Baldwin and Clark 97)
modularize architectures
Modularize architectures
  • Physically decouple functional elements:
    • Physically decouple concourse space across 3 buildings: allows to stage delivery (stage option)
    • Physically decouple roof and façade from interior floor plate superstructure: allows to delay interior design (delay option)
build safeguards in designs
Build safeguards in designs
  • Safeguard: provisions needed to embed option in integral design (or enhance option built in modular design)
    • Passive safeguarding: mostly design provisions (secure space)
    • Active safeguarding: build in physical provisions (additional tunnel)
mapping of built in options
Mapping of Built-in Options

Likelihood of Option Exercising

Low High

what s next
What’s next?
  • Process of design for evolvability
  • Infrastructure design for ‘future-proofing’
  • Building option fees in public procurement contracts
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