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Book part

Mohammad Raoufi, Nima Gerami Seresht, Nasir Bedewi Siraj and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Several different simulation techniques, such as discrete event simulation (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM), have been used to model complex…

Abstract

Several different simulation techniques, such as discrete event simulation (DES), system dynamics (SD) and agent-based modelling (ABM), have been used to model complex construction systems such as construction processes and project management practices; however, these techniques do not take into account the subjective uncertainties that exist in many construction systems. Integrating fuzzy logic with simulation techniques enhances the capabilities of those simulation techniques, and the resultant fuzzy simulation models are then capable of handling subjective uncertainties in complex construction systems. The objectives of this chapter are to show how to integrate fuzzy logic and simulation techniques in construction modelling and to provide methodologies for the development of fuzzy simulation models in construction. In this chapter, an overview of simulation techniques that are used in construction is presented. Next, the advancements that have been made by integrating fuzzy logic and simulation techniques are introduced. Methodologies for developing fuzzy simulation models are then proposed. Finally, the process of selecting a suitable simulation technique for each particular aspect of construction modelling is discussed.

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Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

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Article

Sina Mohammadi, Mehdi Tavakolan and Banafsheh Zahraie

This paper proposes an innovative intelligent simulation-based construction planning framework that introduces a new approach to simulation-based construction planning.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes an innovative intelligent simulation-based construction planning framework that introduces a new approach to simulation-based construction planning.

Design/methodology/approach

In this approach, the authors developed an ontological inference engine as an integrated part of a constraint-based simulation system that configures the construction processes, defines activities and manages resources considering a variety of requirements and constraints during the simulation. It allows for the incorporation of the latest project information and a deep level of construction planning knowledge in the planning. The construction planning knowledge is represented by an ontology and several semantic rules. Also, the proposed framework uses the project building information model (BIM) to extract information regarding the construction product and the relations between elements. The extracted information is then converted to an ontological format to be useable by the framework.

Findings

The authors implemented the framework in a case study project and tested its usefulness and capabilities. It successfully generated the construction processes, activities and required resources based on the construction product, available resources and the planning rules. It also allowed for a variety of analyses regarding different construction strategies and resource planning. Moreover, 4D BIM models that provide a very good understanding of the construction plan can be automatically generated using the proposed framework.

Originality/value

The active integration between BIM, discrete-event simulation (DES) and ontological knowledge base and inference engine defines a new class of construction simulation with expandable applications.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Saeid Moharrami, Maedeh Taghaddos, SeyedReza RazaviAlavi and Simaan AbouRizk

Construction planning for microtunneling projects is a complex process due to the high level of uncertainties inherent in underground construction and the interdependent…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction planning for microtunneling projects is a complex process due to the high level of uncertainties inherent in underground construction and the interdependent nature of decision variables. Simulation is a suitable decision-making tool to account for uncertainties and to model complex dependencies among decision variables. This paper aims to improve microtunneling construction planning by using simulation.

Design/methodology/approach

This study proposes a hybrid simulation approach that combines discrete event simulation (DES) with continuous simulation (CS) for microtunneling construction planning. In this approach, DES is used to model construction processes at the activity level and CS is used to model the continuous flow of soil material in the system.

Findings

To demonstrate the capability of the proposed approach in construction planning of microtunneling projects, different construction plan scenarios are compared in a microtunneling case study. The results of the case study show suitability of the hybrid DES-CS approach in simulating microtunneling construction processes and the practicality of the approach for identifying the most efficient construction plan.

Originality/value

This study proposes a new modeling approach for microtunneling construction processes using hybrid simulation and provides decision support at the construction planning stage of projects.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

Cristina Toca Pérez and Dayana Bastos Costa

This paper proposes to apply the lean philosophy principle of minimizing or eliminating non-value adding activities combined with 4D building information modeling (BIM…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes to apply the lean philosophy principle of minimizing or eliminating non-value adding activities combined with 4D building information modeling (BIM) simulations to reduce transportation waste in construction production processes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts design science research (DSR) because of its prescriptive character to produce innovative constructions (artifacts) to solve real-world problems. The artifact proposed is a set of constructs for evaluating the utility of 4D BIM simulations for transportation waste reduction. The authors performed two learning cycles using empirical studies in projects A, B and C. The construction process of cast-in-place (CIP) reinforcement concrete (RC) was selected to demonstrate and evaluate 4D BIM's utility. The empirical studies focused on understanding the current transportation waste, collecting actual performance data during job site visits and demonstrating the usage of 4D BIM.

Findings

In the first cycle, 4D BIM successfully allowed users to understand the CIP-RC process's transportation activities, which were modeled. In the second cycle, 4D BIM enabled better decision-making processes concerning the definitions of strategies for placing reusable formworks for CIP concrete walls by planning transportation activities.

Practical implications

In Cycle 2, three different scenarios were simulated to identify the most suitable formwork assembly planning, and the results were compared to the real situations identified during the job site visits. The scenario chosen demonstrated that the 4D BIM simulation yielded an 18.75% cycle time reduction. In addition, the simulation contributed to a decrease in transportation waste that was previously identified.

Originality/value

The original contribution of this paper is the use of 4D BIM simulation for managing non-value adding activities to reduce transportation waste. The utility of 4D BIM for the reduction of those conflicts considered three constructs: (1) the capacity to improve transportation activity efficiency, (2) the capacity to improve construction production efficiency and (3) the capacity to reduce transportation waste consequences.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Tariq Abdelhamid

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight and associate the core elements for adopting the offsite concept in different construction contexts. This ultimately facilitates the enhancement of the offsite uptake.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study was carried out through a systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR was conducted to identify and understand the existing themes in the offsite research landscape, evaluate contributions and compile knowledge, thereby identifying potential directions of future research. The grand electronic databases were explored to gather literature on the offsite concept, lean and agile principles and simulation. A total of 62 related articles published between 1992 and 2015 have been included in this study. The relevant literature was systematically analysed and synthesised to present the emerging offsite themes.

Findings

The descriptive and thematic analyses presented in this paper have identified related offsite research studies that have contributed to setting a firm foundation of the offsite concept in different construction contexts. Each of the 62 articles was examined for achieving the aim and objectives of this study, the method of data collection and coverage of offsite themes. The results of the analyses revealed that the articles mostly provide information on the offsite concept and its definitions (53 per cent) and offsite barriers and/or drivers (27 per cent). However, limited attention has been paid to the integration of lean and agile principles (13 per cent) and simulation (7 per cent) within the offsite concept, which are therefore more open to research within the offsite concept.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review highlights the main themes and components of the offsite construction concept. This forms a solid basis and motivation for researchers and practitioners to build on to enhance the uptake of the offsite concept in different contexts. This study also presents a research roadmap within the offsite concept, along with a recommendation for further research to be conducted using the research framework proposed in this study. The framework could lead to validation of using simulation to integrate lean and agile principles within the offsite concept.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic review of the literature related to offsite construction in different contexts. The emerging components, that is, offsite definitions, drivers and/or barriers, lean and agile principles and simulation have been highlighted and discussed thematically. A research framework that enables pursuit of the integration of lean and agile principles offsite through the lens of simulation has been proposed. The framework is expected to open up new opportunities on the effectiveness of offsite development in different contexts.

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Article

Ali Mohammed Alashwal and Min Yi Chew

Simulation techniques for cost management are useful for modeling uncertainties, making decisions, and improving the accuracy of cost estimation. Despite their usefulness…

Abstract

Purpose

Simulation techniques for cost management are useful for modeling uncertainties, making decisions, and improving the accuracy of cost estimation. Despite their usefulness, the application of these techniques in construction projects seems to be uncommon in the construction sector in Malaysia. The purpose of this paper is to determine the application of simulation techniques for cost estimation and control and to assess their influence on project cost performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 83 government agencies, consultant firms, and contractor firms in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Findings

The findings revealed that knowledge of respondents and usage of cost simulation techniques in the Malaysian construction industry is low. In addition, main barriers of implementing cost simulation techniques are identified. Cost performance of construction projects in Malaysia is satisfactory; however, there is no association between this performance and the application of simulation techniques.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to construction management field by highlighting the main simulation techniques for cost management and drawing the attention of construction professionals and contractors to implement these techniques in construction projects.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 7 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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Article

Heng Li, Greg Chan, Martin Skitmore and Ting Huang

Traditional construction planning relies upon the critical path method and bar charts. Both of these methods suffer from visualization and timing issues that could be…

Abstract

Purpose

Traditional construction planning relies upon the critical path method and bar charts. Both of these methods suffer from visualization and timing issues that could be addressed by 4D technology specifically geared to meet the needs of the construction industry. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new construction planning approach based on simulation by using a game engine.

Design/methodology/approach

A 4D automatic simulation tool was developed and a case study was carried out. The proposed tool was used to simulate and optimize the plans for the installation of a temporary platform for piling in a civil construction project in Hong Kong. The tool simulated the result of the construction process with three variables: equipment, site layout and schedule. Through this, the construction team was able to repeatedly simulate a range of options.

Findings

The results indicate that the proposed approach can provide a user-friendly 4D simulation platform for the construction industry. The simulation can also identify the solution being sought by the construction team. The paper also identifies directions for further development of the 4D technology as an aid in construction planning and decision making.

Research limitations/implications

The tests on the tool are limited to a single case study and further research is needed to test the use of game engines for construction planning in different construction projects to verify its effectiveness. Future research could also explore the use of alternative game engines and compare their performance and results.

Originality/value

The authors proposed the use of game engine to simulate the construction process based on resources, working space and construction schedule. The developed tool can be used by end-users without simulation experience.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Marwa M. Hassan and Stan Gruber

To evaluate and optimize asphalt paving operations taking place in the reconstruction project of Interstate 74 in the USA using simulation.

Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate and optimize asphalt paving operations taking place in the reconstruction project of Interstate 74 in the USA using simulation.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collected during construction was used to determine useful probabilistic density functions for the activities duration and to validate a developed simulation model. Upon validation, the developed model was used to study the impact of resources on the flow of operations, and on the cost‐effectiveness of the construction process.

Findings

The developed simulation model was successful in simulating the paving operation and its accuracy was acceptable compared to field measurements. Based on the results of a sensitivity analysis of the critical resources, multiple factors were identified in the decision‐making process to ensure that all aspects of the operation were considered. For the conditions pertinent to this construction site, 30 trucks, one paver, and two rollers are recommended. Using this set of resources results in a prompt and effective execution of the construction process.

Research limitations/implications

The developed model is applicable only to asphalt paving operations. The predictive capability of the developed model has not yet been investigated.

Practical implications

Implementation of the presented model in practical applications can be accomplished by conducting short training courses. This will provide personnel with flexibility in addressing project‐specifics conditions and limitations. If this approach is not feasible, production charts may be developed to easily determine the optimum resources that should be used given specific time constraints and quantity, issues.

Originality/value

The presented methodology has great potential to optimize resources and production rates in similar asphalt paving operations. Moreover, benefits of simulation would be maximized if it was used during the planning phase, as it will affect equipment orders and material shipments.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Content available
Book part

Shiwei Chen, Kailun Feng and Weizhuo Lu

This paper aims to provide decision support for precast concrete contractors about both precast concrete supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide decision support for precast concrete contractors about both precast concrete supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This paper proposes a simulation-based optimisation for supply chain and construction (SOSC) during the planning phase of PC building projects. The discrete event simulation is used to capture the characteristics of supply chain and construction processes, and calculate construction objectives under different plans. Particle swarm optimisation is combined with simulation to find optimal supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Findings

The efficiency of SOSC is compared with the parametric simulation approach. Over 70 per cent of time and effort used to simulate and compare alternative plans is saved owing to SOSC.

Research Limitations/Implications

Building simulation model costs a lot of time and effort. The data requirement of the proposed method is high.

Practical Implications

The proposed SOSC approach can provide decision support for PC contractors by optimising supply chain strategies and construction configurations.

Originality/Value

This paper has two contributions: one is in providing a decision support tool SOSC to optimise both supply chain strategies and construction configurations, while the other is in building a prototype of SOSC and testing it in a case study.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

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Book part

Nima Gerami Seresht, Rodolfo Lourenzutti, Ahmad Salah and Aminah Robinson Fayek

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes…

Abstract

Due to the increasing size and complexity of construction projects, construction engineering and management involves the coordination of many complex and dynamic processes and relies on the analysis of uncertain, imprecise and incomplete information, including subjective and linguistically expressed information. Various modelling and computing techniques have been used by construction researchers and applied to practical construction problems in order to overcome these challenges, including fuzzy hybrid techniques. Fuzzy hybrid techniques combine the human-like reasoning capabilities of fuzzy logic with the capabilities of other techniques, such as optimization, machine learning, multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM) and simulation, to capitalise on their strengths and overcome their limitations. Based on a review of construction literature, this chapter identifies the most common types of fuzzy hybrid techniques applied to construction problems and reviews selected papers in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique to illustrate their capabilities for addressing construction challenges. Finally, this chapter discusses areas for future development of fuzzy hybrid techniques that will increase their capabilities for solving construction-related problems. The contributions of this chapter are threefold: (1) the limitations of some standard techniques for solving construction problems are discussed, as are the ways that fuzzy methods have been hybridized with these techniques in order to address their limitations; (2) a review of existing applications of fuzzy hybrid techniques in construction is provided in order to illustrate the capabilities of these techniques for solving a variety of construction problems and (3) potential improvements in each category of fuzzy hybrid technique in construction are provided, as areas for future research.

Details

Fuzzy Hybrid Computing in Construction Engineering and Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-868-2

Keywords

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