A TRIZ approach to reliable megaproject sustainability

Zhen Chen, Andrew Agapiou, Heng Li, Qian Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purposes: This article presents a recent research into megaproject sustainability with a particular focus on identifying a structure of its body of knowledge so as to establish the methodology of megaproject assessment on sustainability (MAS), which consists of a research roadmap toward megaproject sustainability and a system reliability analysis. In response to the research topic on “Reviews for Advanced Construction Management” at Frontiers in Built Environment, this article aims to make a contribution with the description about a generic approach to conducting literature review based on a whole range of relevant evidence in a systemic way. Methodology: The research described in this article is underpinned by the use of several methods. The nine-square process (NSP) of Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) is the method for facilitating a systemic evidence-based learning (EBL) process to identify further research into MAS. A normal process to establish research roadmap was then introduced to summarize what has been identified as specific research tasks alongside lifecycle processes on megaproject delivery, to which RIBA Plan of Work 2020 was adopted as the prototype. An event tree analysis (ETA) was eventually introduced by incorporating the novel measurements on system reliability to support quantitative MAS in terms of both practices and research. Findings: This article presents several findings from the described research, and these include that the use of NSP led to the formation of a systematic procedure for literature review, a procedure to support MAS, a research roadmap to facilitate efforts to be made for megaproject sustainability, and the feasibility of system reliability analysis to measure the status of sustainability underpinned by research and practices throughout megaproject lifecycle. Implications: The described research provides four modules to foster further research into megaproject sustainability, and these include a TRIZ-based module to facilitate systemic literature review for EBL, a lifecycle process module for MAS, a prototype research roadmap to guide research and development for megaproject sustainability, and an ETA module to support a system reliability analysis in the dynamic process of research and practices toward megaproject sustainability. Value: The research described in this article has made an initial effort to conduct a strategic review, development, analysis, and discussion about tactics for research and development toward megaproject sustainability. Research findings can be used for related research and practices with regard to technical guidance and best practices in megaproject delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number650699
Number of pages18
JournalFrontiers in Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2021


  • assessment
  • evidence based learning
  • megaproject
  • methodology
  • research roadmap
  • review
  • sustainability
  • TRIZ
  • reliability


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  • A research roadmap for megaproject sustainability assessment

    Chen, Z. & Agapiou, A., 12 Sep 2017, International Research Conference 2017: Shaping Tomorrow's Built Environment - Conference Proceedings. Ruddock, L., Van-Dijk, H. & Houghton, CAM. (eds.). Salford, p. 106-118 13 p.

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

    Open Access
  • Megaproject Management

    Zhen Chen (Main contact)

    Impact: Professional practice, training and standards, Public understanding, information and debate, Education

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