KPIs to Help Develop the Next Normal in Construction Practice, Teaching-Learning and Research

Call for papers for: Built Environment Project and Asset Management

Submission opens on Scholar One (do not submit before this date): 1st February 2021

If you have a suitable paper ready for submission before the ScholarOne slot opens, please contact us.

Submission window closes: 15th March 2021

Guest editors

Prof. Yasangika Sandanayake

Department of Building Economics

Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa, Katubedda, Sri Lanka

Email: [email protected]

Professor Thomas Ng

Faculty of Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong

Email: [email protected]

Dr. Aparna Samaraweera


University of South Australia, City East Campus, BJ3 – 15, North Terrace, Adelaide 5000 SA Australia

Email: [email protected] 

Overview of special issue

Rapidly advancing technology-led innovations, further accelerated by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have yanked the construction sector rudely out of its ‘previous’ normal. Globally, the construction sector is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in various ways, with many projects stalled or suspended due to travel bans and lockdowns of regions and countries. All stakeholders in the construction sector including practitioners, educators, researchers, and policymakers are forced to reorganise their business operations and supply chains, setting up remote operations with accelerated digital adoption and transformation, while making tough operational and financial decisions to survive during this challenging period. Roland Berger, as a global strategy consulting firm headquartered in Munich, Germany and operating in 36 countries, predicts the new normal in construction will include; digitalizing value chains, improving sustainability, using virtual meetings, working from home office, increasing use of online-purchasing, speeding up new construction technology, developing new products/solutions, introducing financial relief packages and consolidating market structure.

The construction industry that was gradually embracing these changes via Building Information Modelling, FinTech, Industry 4.0 and Industry 4.1 initiatives, long before the pandemic, have had to accelerate and adapt faster. Although, there had been an emerging trend in online education and research in construction related disciplines recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted online teaching, learning and research to one of the foremost options for continuous education and R&D activities abiding by social distancing regulations of governments globally. The complementarity of new technology and new management systems in the construction sector has compelled the fundamental rethinking and radical redesigning of KPIs to assess projects, organisations and construction industries to help monitor, benchmark and improve the performance in the next normal. This is because, traditional KPIs in construction and the allied education contexts have become obsolete in addressing aspects of performance management in terms of remote operations, online management, virtual collaboration, and distance learning and research to name a few. Moreover, it is essential to establish, how Construction, Engineering and Management (CEM) curricula should evolve to nurture leaders with innovative and adaptable mind-sets.

Previous initiatives in KPIs can of course be drawn upon in developing the ‘next normal’. For example: [1] initiatives and follow-up exercises by the KPIs group of the Global Leadership Forum for Construction Engineering Management (GLF-CEM) in five countries: USA, UK, India, Hong Kong and South Africa; [2] the research study commissioned by the Construction Industry Council of Hong Kong to develop a set of KPIs to benchmark the performance of the local construction industry against that of other advanced economies; [3] a Purdue Index for Construction that is being developed at Purdue University in USA to promote data-driven decision-making in the construction industry; [4] contributions to the GLF-CEM Trends Committee study by Stellenbosch University, South Africa and Huddersfield University, UK, in establishing a baseline for future measurements involving the areas of education, research, and industry in construction context; and [5] a family of KPIs under the Construction Industry Improvement Initiative in India (Ci3 India) that was developed an Action Team on KPIs, e.g. see: (A) GLF-CEM Newsletter (March 2019) for general info. on the planned KPIs, in pages 7 to 9, in: and (B) a Draft White Paper on proposed KPIs for India, by Clicking on ‘Action Team 1 Draft White Paper’ in:

Indeed, this Special Issue is based on a recommendation from; and hence strongly supported by the KPIs group of GLF-CEM, which represents academic leaders in our field from many countries as above, thereby also underlying its timeliness and relevance.

In this context, this Special Issue of Built Environment Project Asset Management (BEPAM) journal titled “KPIs to Help Develop the Next Normal in Construction Practice, Teaching-Learning and Research” expects to inspire authors to develop and submit papers re-examining emerging needs for reengineering or developing novel more relevant KPIs to better measure the performance of construction projects, online teaching-learning and research following the digital and other transformations triggered, if not accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Objectives of the Special Issue:

The proposed Special Issue aspires to encourage authors to develop papers encompassing the following objectives: 

1. Construction Practice - To synthesise and disseminate growing knowledge on how best Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)/metrics could be reengineered to evaluate and improve the emerging processes of multi-locational design process management, on-line management of dispersed stakeholders, mixed-mode (live-virtual) construction project management and remote total built asset portfolio management in the construction industry.

2. Teaching and Learning in Construction Disciplines - To identify, integrate, develop and disseminate knowledge on appropriate KPIs/metrics to monitor, benchmark and improve on-line and mixed mode teaching, on-line teaching-learning platforms and on-line learning in construction disciplines.

3. Research in Construction - To identify, integrate, develop and disseminate knowledge on KPIs/metrics to be used to monitor, benchmark and improve innovative research methodologies, including on-line research methods such as interviews, case studies and focus group interactions in construction research. 

Anticipated Themes:

The following is an indicative, but a non-exhaustive, list of anticipated themes that could be explored in this Special Issue:

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators/ metrics) to help monitor, benchmark and improve the Next Normal in:

  • Multi-locational Design Process Management
  • On-line Management of Dispersed Stakeholders
  • Remote Construction Project Management
  • Remote Total Built Asset Portfolio Management
  • On-line and Mixed Mode Teaching
  • On-line Teaching-Learning Platforms
  • On-line Learning
  • On-line Research Interviews and Case-Studies 

We will welcome submissions on any related topics in the context of the above themes.

Submission details

Submissions to BEPAM should be through ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at:

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:

The total word count limit (including Figures and Tables, counted at 280 words each) is 8,500 words. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal. Interested authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue “KPIs to Help Develop the Next Normal in Construction Practice, Teaching-Learning and Research” at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”.


Papers for this special issue should be submitted through the above portal from 01st February 2021 till 15th March 2021 inclusive.

Note 1: Those who may have suitable papers ready for submission before February may contact us, so we may arrange accordingly.

Note 2: Any new submissions after the deadline of 15th March 2021 cannot be considered for this Special Issue.

Note 3: Should any authors prefer, Draft Abstracts can be submitted for consideration and feedback as soon as possible. If so, these must be in the structured Emerald format i.e. under prescribed sub-headings, as specified in the Author Guidelines.

Any inquiries should be emailed to Prof. Yasangika Sandanayake to [email protected].