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Simulation modeling and sensitivity analysis of a tunneling construction project's supply chain

Yasser Ebrahimy (Cosyn Technology, Edmonton, Canada)
Simaan M. AbouRizk (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hole School of Construction Engineering and Management, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)
Siri Fernando (Drainage Services, Design and Construction, City of Edmonton Asset Management and Public Works, Edmonton, Canada)
Yasser Mohamed (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hole School of Construction Engineering and Management, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 6 September 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a simulation model capable of capturing the complex variables impacting the productivity of tunneling construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Simulation modeling is used to construct high‐level models of construction supply networks in order to perform quantitative analysis, enabling planners to work out the embedded complexities of the system.

Findings

This study presents a detailed simulation model of a real life tunnel construction project along with its supply chain of liner segments. Using this detailed model, a sensitivity analysis for the tunneling project shows the impact of chosen variables on the duration of a tunneling project; these results are used to verify the importance of considering the whole supply chain of a construction project in the planning stage.

Practical implications

Effective quality control, consideration of the shortage of storage space, and anticipation of required lead time when placing the first order to achieve the full storage capacity of liners before the start of a project are some practices that can be employed by construction organizations to address supply chain issues for tunneling projects.

Originality/value

Research into quantifying the benefits of implementing supply chain management (SCM) is very limited: the literature for the construction industry generally discusses how SCM concepts can be adopted, or what problems and challenges inhibit such adoption without analyzing and quantifying the effects of these techniques on an actual construction project.

Keywords

Citation

Ebrahimy, Y., AbouRizk, S.M., Fernando, S. and Mohamed, Y. (2011), "Simulation modeling and sensitivity analysis of a tunneling construction project's supply chain", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 18 No. 5, pp. 462-480. https://doi.org/10.1108/09699981011074600

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited