A simulation-based decision support tool for integrating site layout and construction planning of tunneling projects

RazaviAlavi, SeyedReza and AbouRizk, Simaan (2021) A simulation-based decision support tool for integrating site layout and construction planning of tunneling projects. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology. ISSN 1726-0531 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-05-2021-0287

Abstract

Purpose
Integrating construction and site layout planning in mechanized tunnel infrastructure projects is essential due to the mutual impacts of construction planning and site layout decisions. Simulation can incorporate site layout planning and construction planning of tunneling projects in a unified environment. However, simulation adoption by industry practitioners has remained relatively limited due to the special skills required for building and using simulation models. Therefore, this paper aims to create a simple-to-use simulation tool that supports site layout and construction operation planning of tunneling projects. This tool intends to promote the simulation application in site layout planning.

Design/methodology/approach
The current paper proposes simulation as a decision support tool (DST) to provide an integrated environment for modeling tunnel construction operations, site layout and capturing the mutual impacts. A special purpose simulation (SPS) tool was customized and developed for typical mechanized tunneling projects, by tunnel boring machines, to facilitate building the model and allow access to users with limited simulation knowledge.

Findings
The results show that the developed SPS tool is of great assistance to construction industry practitioners to analyze a variety of site layout and construction plan scenarios and make informed decisions based on its comprehensive and intuitive outputs.

Originality/value
The main contribution of this research is to promote simulation application in site layout planning of tunneling projects through the development of a simple-to-use tool, which has sufficient details for site layout planning and constraints. The developed DST enables planners to make decisions simultaneously on the site layout, other construction planning variables and identify the most efficient plan.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This research was supported by a Collaborative Research and Development Grant (CRDPJ 492657) from Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The authors would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to Mr Siri Fernando and Dr Mohammed Al-Bataineh for their valuable inputs to this study.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Simulation, Decision support tool, Construction planning, Site layout planning, Special purpose simulation, Tunnel construction
Subjects: H200 Civil Engineering
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2022 10:17
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 10:30
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/48140

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