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Adding a Dimension to Project Planning

Thursday, June 16, 2016

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During big construction projects, it’s not uncommon to use 3-D modeling to work out the kinks before the actual work begins. But some researchers in Canada want to account for more than just spatial logistics—they want you to consider four-dimensional modeling.

Amin Hammad and his team at Concordia University in Montreal have worked out a method of modeling a project to take into consideration the role that time will play in construction. That’s a big deal on road projects, where keeping traffic flowing is a part of the plan.

Overpass construction
By Cusack5239 - CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Using the Concordia group’s method, engineers can work through modeling different possibilities for planning a project, finding the ideal order of events to prevent situations where work is delayed because of a scheduling clash.

The research concentrates on elevated urban highway projects.

“Elevated urban highway reconstruction projects have complex geometry and limited space available, which may lead to spatiotemporal clashes,” the authors say in the abstract of their paper, “Integrating 4-D Modeling and Discrete Event Simulation for Phasing Evaluation of Elevated Urban Highway Reconstruction Projects,” published in the journal Automation in Construction.

“This parallel coordination of construction and demolition activities with traffic flow is essential to the success of these projects,” says Hammad. “That’s why our new modelling method uses a 4-D approach—taking into account the three normal space axes, plus time, to coordinate the traffic phasing with the demolition and construction of the old and new segments, respectively.”

Stochastic Simulation

The method uses stochastic simulation techniques—essentially, a system that looks at every possible variable and analyzes probability.

Amin Hammad
Concordia University

Amin Hammad and his team have worked out a method of modeling a project to take into consideration the role that time will play in construction.

Using the Concordia group’s method, engineers can work through modeling different possibilities for planning a project, finding the ideal order of events to prevent situations where work is delayed because of a scheduling clash. This, the authors say, will keep the construction on schedule and have the least impact on traffic. And that saves money.

"Any delay in the work on one segment might impact the work on another, which ultimately results in delaying the whole project and augmenting the cost," Hammad says. "The simulation methods we've developed help contractors analyze the schedule and eliminate the risks."

   

Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Colleges and Universities; Computer generated modeling; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Roads/Highways; Transportation

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