Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Explain, elaborate and evaluate on the use of simulation techniques for enhanced project planning and scheduling;
- Explain the differences and contrasts between various simulation approaches for construction projects;
- Identify the appropriate simulation model for different purposes and levels of detail;
- Use relevant software to develop small simulation models for a construction process;
- Develop simulation-based optimization strategies to improve construction planning and scheduling.
Construction processes are complex, unstructured and highly interdependent. These characteristics render the reliable planning and scheduling of the construction processes very challenging. Traditional project scheduling methods such as Critical Path Method (CPM) and Linear scheduling can hardly do justice in capturing the complex interdependencies and uncertainties that exist in construction projects. |
In this course, we will introduce various advanced simulation techniques that can help improve planning and scheduling in the construction industry. In essence, simulation models would enable us to better capture the complexity of the construction processes and, thus, better predict the outcome of various possible scenarios. As a direct output of this enhanced predictive capacity, we can more reliably and quantitatively evaluate the alternatives and steer the project towards optimum outcome.
Simulation techniques can be used at different levels of detail (ranging from management of a single activity to portfolio management) and for different purposes (e.g., resource allocation, detailed scheduling, logistics planning, etc.). We will review three main simulation methods in the construction, namely, Discrete-Event Simulation, System Dynamics, and Agent-based Simulation and outline the scopes, potentials, applications, and differences of these methods. Additionally, we will elaborate on how these simulation techniques can be used to optimize projects in terms of core project criteria (time, cost, quality, sustainability, etc.).
This course is given in a very practical manner in which students need to implement the simulation techniques on several case studies and use the appropriate simulation software to model construction processes. Through this practical approach, students will be able to apply advanced simulation approaches for project planning and scheduling and use appropriate optimization techniques to enhance the projects from various perspectives. The course will be assessed by means of a group project (70%) on the use of simulation on actual projects and an individual oral exam (30%) on the application of simulation in projects.
Links to other courses:
- BIM and 5D planning
- Digital Technologies in construction
- Project control and risk management