Rafael Sacks

Rafael Sacks
Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 32000, Israel

Assoc. Prof. Sacks studied at the University of the Witwatersrand, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He has many years of industrial experience in structural engineering design and in software development for the construction industry. He is currently Associate Professor of Construction Management at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. To date, he is the author or co-author of two books, 37 papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals, 42 peer-reviewed conference papers, and a number of research reports. He is a co-author of the leading text on Building Information Modeling, entitled “The BIM Handbook:  A Guide to Building Information Modeling for Owners, Managers, Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Fabricators”, published by John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken NJ.

Dr. Sacks established the BIM laboratory at the National Building Research Institute at the Technion in 2003 and has headed it since then. One of his major research contributions in BIM began with the North American Precast Concrete Software Consortium (PCSC) project, led by Prof. Charles Eastman at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prof. Eastman, Dr. Sacks and doctoral students developed the principles for fully parametric three dimensional modelling of precast concrete building structures. The PCSC project spawned four subsequent funded research projects, two run by Dr. Sacks at the Technion and two more in collaboration with Prof. Eastman. The most recent of these explored the technical requirements for a National BIM Standard for architectural precast façade construction. It was funded by the Pankow Foundation and executed in collaboration with the US National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). This project is now in its second major stage.

In the field of Lean Construction, Dr. Sacks has undertaken funded research projects for construction companies and two government ministries. Within the scope of a research project that developed a new management model for managing housing projects subject to high degrees of uncertainty associated with design changes, he and his students devised the Technion LEAPCON™ (Lean Apartment Construction) Management Simulation Game ( The game teaches the fundamental concepts of lean production flow in construction through the medium of a hands-on management simulation. It has become recognized among construction management academics and practitioners across the world and is used by 33 universities and 24 companies in 26 countries.

Dr. Sacks has developed new courses in construction management at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. One example is the new first-year civil engineering course, called “Communicating Engineering Information”. It covers the various theoretical and practical aspects of expressing engineering project intent using the concepts of BIM. The course is now a compulsory basic course for all civil engineering students at the Technion. Other examples are the ‘Lean Construction’ graduate level course which Prof. Sacks offers and the ‘International Collaboration in Construction Management’ course he offers in partnership with colleagues at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, US, METU in Ankara, Turkey, and UFRGS in Porto Alegre, Brazil.