The National Academies

NCHRP 10-113 [RFP]

Quality Management for 3D Model-Based Project Development and Delivery

Posted Date: 11/11/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Contract Time: 30 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of each interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 6/1/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Waseem Dekelbab
   Phone: 202-334-1409
   Email: wdekelbab@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/5/2022
Fiscal Year: 2022

The three-dimensional (3D) model-based approach for project development and delivery (herein called “3D Model”) is close to market saturation for highway roads and continues to gain market penetration for highway bridges. State departments of transportation (DOTs) have begun changing the medium of construction contract documents from paper or two-dimensional (2D) plans to 3D Model that is contractually binding. The drivers of this major change are the ability for contractors and inspectors to consume 3D Model directly to support project activities and communicate the design intent. However, changing the medium of construction contract documents has created challenges to the state DOTs, including a lack of robust review and documentation procedures, and automated quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) management processes for 3D Model. The procedures for review of 2D plans are well established but do not translate easily to 3D Model.
There is a need to provide guidance to aid state DOTs with the review of 3D Model, including data validation as well as QC and QA, and provide opportunities to automate the review and documentation procedures.
The objective of this research is to provide a guidebook to assist state DOTs with developing quality management processes for 3D model-based  approach for project development and delivery.
Accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.
Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
PHASE I—Planning
Task 1. Conduct a literature review of relevant research and current state of practice related to 3D Model. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; FHWA; and other national, international, state, and pooled-fund sponsored research.
Task 2. Identify the required data, to be collected in Phase II, to achieve the research objective. Propose at least four states to conduct a detailed examination of statutes, policies, and practices for review (including QC and QA) and documentation procedures from model development through delivering contract documents. The final selection of states shall be approved by NCHRP.
Task 3. Synthesize Tasks 1 and 2 to identify the knowledge gaps related to 3D Model. These gaps should be addressed in this research or as budget permits in the recommendations for future research.
Task 4. Propose a methodology to achieve the research objective to be fully developed in Phase II. At the minimum, the methodology shall include the following:
  • Define a list of elements to be considered in the review of 3D Model and their respective standards. Identify which of these elements are contractual representations of the design intent or supplemental engineering information. Elements may include existing and proposed features (e.g., utilities. drainage, structures, etc.);
  • Develop inter-discipline and multi-discipline review (including QC and QA) and documentation procedures;
  • Develop a procedure for version control from model development through delivering contract documents;
  • Develop resources (including workflow, data dictionary, etc.) to automate the review and documentation procedures. These resources will be available as a stand-alone document for software developers;
  • Define a list of standard terminologies used in 3D Model; and
  • Identify which parts of the review and documentation procedures are essential versus general practice.
Task 5. Propose a preliminary outline for the guidebook.
Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 1 that documents Tasks 1 through 5, includes the data archiving and sharing plan (see Special Note C), and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. This report must be submitted to NCHRP no later than 4 months after contract execution. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II through IV.
Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 1 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. Work on Phases II through IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase I shall be limited to $40,000.
PHASE II—Data Collection and Methodology Development
Task 7. Collect and analyze data to achieve the research objective according to the approved Interim Report No. 1.
Task 8. Execute the proposed methodology according to the approved Interim Report No. 1.
Task 9. Provide a detailed description of every chapter and section of the proposed guidebook and complete a sample chapter of the proposed guidebook selected by NCHRP. This chapter should be publication-ready.
Task 10. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents the results of Tasks 7 through 9 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the project. This report is due no later than 12 months after approval of Phase I. The updated plan must describe the work proposed for Phases III and IV.
Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 2 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet in person with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. Work on Phases III and IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase II shall be limited to $200,000.
PHASE III—Guidebook Development
Task 11. Develop the guidebook according to the approved Interim Report No. 2.
Task 12. Prepare Interim Report No. 3 that documents the results of Task 11 no later than 6 months after approval of Phase II. The updated work plan must describe the work proposed for Phase IV.
Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 3 by the NCHRP, the research team will meet with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report, if necessary. Work on Phase IV of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP. Phase III shall be limited to $100,000.
PHASE IV—Final Products
Task 13. Present draft final deliverables to appropriate AASHTO technical committees for comments and propose any revisions to NCHRP.
Task 14. Prepare final deliverables including:
  1. a guidebook for quality management processes for 3D Model;
  2. a final report that documents the entire research effort;
  3. outreach materials including a presentation for future webinars;
  4. a stand-alone data dictionary and other resources for software developers; and
  5. a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” See Special Note E for additional information.
The draft deliverables are due no later than 2 months after approval of Phase III.
Note: Following receipt of the draft final report, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and research agency preparation of the revised final report. Phase IV shall be limited to $60,000.
A. The research team should include individuals with direct practical experience related to 3D Model, quality processes, and developing a guidebook and outreach materials.
B. The research team should anticipate making three presentations during the research to the appropriate AASHTO technical committees selected by NCHRP.
C. To ensure the national warehouse and data produced under this project are accessible, a data archiving and sharing plan shall be prepared by the agency performing the research. The plan must be submitted with Task 5 and shall include a description of expected activities, schedules, limitations, milestones, and required resources. Researchers should describe briefly the expected schedule for data production and archiving in the NCHRP permanent repository, the format of the final dataset, the documentation to be provided, and whether or not any analytic tools and/or results also will be provided. The plan must include a description of actions planned to ensure quality. Moreover, the plan must specify the resources required to archive and distribute the data expected to be obtained in the course of performing the research. In general, public release of data will not occur before full review and approval by the NCHRP project panel.
The data archiving and sharing plan must include the following sections:
  • Background and significance.
  • Expected data formats.
  • Description of data archiving and quality assurance plan.
  • Description of data sharing plan including roles and responsibilities.
  • Schedule for data archiving and public release of data.
  • Milestones for the implementation of the plan.
  • Resources and budget.
  • Roles and responsibilities for collecting, storing, maintaining, and disseminating future data after completion of this project.
D. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.
E. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
F. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
G. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal.
H. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/cftUKa5V4eG8vnbhVo2G
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 1/5/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals". Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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