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Paper w78_2007_35:
New approaches for computer-based construction project planning

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Ian Flood, Raymond Issa, Wen Liu

New approaches for computer-based construction project planning

Abstract: The paper reviews the principles of existing computer-based planning tools, and proposes a syntheses of many of these ideas, along with some enhancements. The overall aim is to provide a single tool that embraces the ad-vantages of each of the current planning methodologies, and that is better suited to the demands of present-day con-struction project management. The specific objectives of the tool are simplicity in use, versatility in application, provi-sion of user insight into the functioning of a project, and effective optimization of the project objectives. At the func-tional level, the developments are concerned with: (i) the way in which a model is structured (simplifying model design and understanding); (ii) redefining the way in which tasks interact and depend on each other (so that the approach is no longer limited to a schedule-centric perspective with interactions occurring at discrete points in time); (iii) provid-ing a more realistic representation of resources and their dependencies to reflect the way work may actually be carried out on site (such as the use of flexible and divisible crews); (iv) the visualization (graphic representation) of both the model structure and work progress within an integrated format that also facilitates model development and editing; and (v) optimization of the overall project objectives. The principles of the existing and proposed new approach to project planning are discussed and rationalized, and application of the new approach is demonstrated and compared to exist-ing planning methodologies for some example construction processes.

Keywords: project planning; project optimization; critical path method; hybrid continuous-discrete simulation; lin-ear projects

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