BIM-Based Automated Intelligent Construction Planning System for Panelized Building Projects

PhD Students: Hexu (Leo) Liu & Zhen Lei

Partner Company: Fortis LGS Structures Inc.

Time Period: Sept. 2013 onwards

Summary: The success of mid-rise panelized building project relies on accurate and reasonable scheduling for the production, shipping, and installation of building components, while delays in building component delivery or overproduction in factories result in project delays and inventory costs. In current practice, schedules are planned manually based on practitioners' experience and intuition, and this manual process is error-prone and time-consuming, especially when the design is changed. On the other hand, construction planning or scheduling is essential to efficiently manage the construction resources for different construction tasks, as the construction resource is often limited. Currently, there are few existing tools that can automate the scheduling process based on BIM models under resource constraints. The scheduling programs in market, such as MS Project, require extensive human efforts in generating schedules; and the schedule cannot be reflected on the built 3D models. Also, the generated schedules are not automatically responsive to the changes of the project scope. In this sense, a fully integrated construction planning system based on BIM needs to be developed. This research collaborated with Fortis is thus aiming to develop BIM based automated intelligent construction planning system, by taking advantages of existing 3D BIM design model and discrete-event simulation. The system will consider the typical project resource constraints and has visualization features that allow the user to check the schedule visually frequently. More importantly, it will provide specific scheduling functionality for the offsite construction, such as coordinating the on-site construction and in-factory production. In addition to this, the system will give the users flexibility to conduct instant schedule change and day-to-day progress tracking. The optimal scheduling under resource constraints can be achieved by integrating discrete event simulation (DES) with BIM and an evolutionary optimization algorithm (e.g. particle swarm optimization algorithm).

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