A Master of Science thesis in Civil Engineering by Ali Yousef Ali Al Amouri entitled, "Human Errors in Structural Design and Construction in the United Arab Emirates," submitted in June 2012. Thesis advisor is Dr. Sami Tabsh. Available are both soft and hard copies of the thesis.
The construction sector in the United Arab Emirates has witnessed an unparalleled growth in the past decade. In spite of recent challenges due to global recession, this sector remains strong in the Gulf region. Experience has shown that higher than-expected human errors are committed during the structural design and construction phases in the country. To address this problem, engineers have been surveyed on common errors, deterministic and reliability-based sensitivity analyses are performed, and design and construction checklists have been developed. The survey has shown that the engineers perceived different frequency of errors, depending on the years of experience and nature of work, and contractors are more reluctant than designers to report errors. Results of the sensitivity analysis showed that variations in concrete strength have minor effect on the reliability of beams in flexure, moderate effect on the reliability of beams in shear and severe effect on the reliability of columns in axial compression. Changes in the steel reinforcement yield strength, on the other hand, have great effect on the reliability of beams in flexure, moderate effect on the reliability of beams in shear and mild effect on the reliability of column in axial compression. The effective steel reinforcement depth, on the other hand, is critical to both flexural strength and shear strength, and cross-sectional dimensions of a column are very important factors to the axial compression capacity. The effect of variations in design variables on the capacity of reinforced concrete portal frame systems was investigated using static pushover analysis with the aid of Zeus-NL software. Results of the nonlinear analysis showed that the sensitivity of structural systems is highly dependent on the number of bays and stories the frame structure consists of. Moreover, reinforced concrete frames are most sensitive to reductions in the yield strength of the longitudinal steel reinforcement of the beams and columns. Finally, design and construction checklists were developed in order to have another layer of quality control and help reduce the frequency of human errors in structural design and construction. The checklists cover a wide range of design and construction activities related to both substructure and superstructure work.