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repetitive construction projects

KHALIED HESHAM HYARI1*, KHALED EL-RAYES2 and MOHAMMAD EL-MASHALEH1

1

2

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Urbana-Champaign, USA

Taylor and Francis

10.1080/01446190903117793

An automated model is developed to support the optimization of the planning and scheduling of repetitive

construction projects. The model provides the capability of optimizing two important objectives commonly

sought in scheduling repetitive construction projects: minimizing project duration; and minimizing project

cost. The model performs this multi-objective optimization using a genetic algorithm approach. The output of

the model is a set of optimal solutions that represent the trade-off between time and cost in planning repetitive

construction projects. Furthermore, the model can be utilized to find a single scheduling solution that provides

the minimum overall project cost by simply adding project indirect cost to the obtained project direct cost for

each of the obtained scheduling solutions on the Pareto optimal curve. Other important time-related costs are

also considered in the model including: early completion incentives, late completion penalties and lane rental

costs. Providing the planners of repetitive construction projects with an automated set of optimal timecost

trade-off solutions should contribute to cost-effective and speedy delivery of this type of construction project.

An application example is analysed to illustrate the use of the model and demonstrate its capabilities in

generating optimal trade-off solutions between minimizing the project time and cost for repetitive construction

projects.

Keywords: Repetitive construction, scheduling, genetic algorithms, optimization, resource utilization.

Introduction

Repetitive construction projects are frequently encountered in: (1) infrastructure systems (e.g. highway

projects, tunnels and bridges, railways, pipeline

networks, and electrical and communication cables);

and (2) building projects (e.g. high-rise buildings,

apartments and housing development projects). Such

projects are characterized by repetitions in some or all

of the performed construction activities in different

locations or units in the project. For example in residential development projects, a drywall crew needs to

move from one housing unit to another through their

work in the project. Therefore, maintaining the work

continuity of construction crews and minimizing their

interruptions is a major concern in scheduling these

projects (Hyari and El-Rayes, 2006; Vanhoucke, 2006).

The need to recognize crew work continuity and the

location of work in the scheduling limits the use of

path method for scheduling construction projects that

involve repetitive units (Adeli and Karim, 1997; ElRayes and Moselhi, 1998; Hassanein and Moselhi,

2005; Fan and Tserng, 2006; and Georgy, 2008). As

such, several scheduling algorithms were developed to

consider and support the modelling of crew work continuity during the planning and scheduling of repetitive

construction projects including: line of balance, linear

balance charts and linear scheduling method (El-Rayes

and Moselhi, 1998; Harris and Ioannou, 1998; Fan

and Tserng, 2006; Georgy, 2008).

In scheduling construction projects, a trade-off often

exists between project duration and project cost, and

therefore construction planners need to examine

different schedule alternatives where each alternative is

associated with a unique project cost and duration in

order to select a schedule that strikes a balance between

these two important project objectives. Numerous

Construction Management and Economics

ISSN 0144-6193 print/ISSN 1466-433X online 2009 Taylor & Francis

http://www.informaworld.com

DOI: 10.1080/01446190903117793

750

models are available in the literature for concurrent

optimization of project duration and cost for construction projects (Feng et al., 1997; Li and Love, 1997;

Maxwell et al., 1998; Hegazy and Ayed, 1999; Leu and

Yang, 1999; Li et al., 1999; Feng et al., 2000; Zheng

et al., 2004; Kandil and El-Rayes, 2005; Yang, 2008).

However, all these models are based on network scheduling algorithms and therefore they are not suitable for

optimizing the schedule of repetitive construction

projects because they do not consider and model the

crew work continuity requirement.

Available models for optimizing repetitive construction projects focus on either optimizing project

duration (El-Rayes and Moselhi, 2001; Hyari and ElRayes, 2004; Nassar, 2005; El-Gafy and Ghanem,

2006; Hyari and El-Rayes, 2006) or project cost

(Moselhi and El-Rayes, 1993; Senouci and Eldin,

1996; Adeli and Karim, 1997; El-Rayes, 2001;

Hegazy and Wassef, 2001; Kang et al., 2001; Senouci

and Adeli, 2001; Hegazy et al., 2004). A number of

models provide the flexibility of minimizing either the

project duration or the project cost (Moselhi and

Hassanein, 2003; Ipsilandis, 2007; Liu and Wang,

2007). For example, Liu and Wang (2007) developed

a flexible model for optimizing either project total cost

or project duration in scheduling linear projects using

constraint programming as the searching algorithm.

Ipsilandis (2007) developed a parametric model for

linear repetitive projects. The model was formulated

as a linear programming model that can optimize

either a single objective at a time or multiple

objectives by aggregating them into a single objective

by assigning weights reflecting the relative importance

of each objective. Moselhi and Hassanein (2003)

developed a model for scheduling linear projects that

optimizes the project duration, the project total cost

or their combined impact for projects that utilize costplus-time bidding. The model utilized a dynamic

programming formulation which is limited by the

problem of dimensionality especially in solving

large-scale scheduling problems.

The aforementioned models provide the capability

of either: (1) optimizing a single criterion in scheduling

repetitive construction projects (i.e. project cost or

project duration); or (2) aggregating multiple objectives in one objective and thereby providing a single

solution to the optimization problem. Despite the

significant contributions of these models, they are

incapable of generating the entire Pareto optimal front

to quantify and visualize the trade-off between the two

important objectives of minimizing time and cost for

repetitive construction projects in a single run. These

models need to perform several runs using an iterative

approach in order to generate a set of optimal time

cost trade-off solutions for scheduling repetitive

Hyari et al.

construction projects. There is a need for a model that

is capable of optimizing both objectives simultaneously

in a single run.

A bi-objective optimization model for resource utilization is developed to support the planning and

scheduling of repetitive construction projects. The

model optimizes concurrently the two important

objectives of minimizing project duration and minimizing project cost. The output of this model is a set

of Pareto optimal (non-dominated) solutions that

represent the trade-off between project duration and

project direct cost. Each solution is associated with a

unique project duration and project direct cost. The

model also considers project indirect costs and other

important time-related costs such as early completion

incentives and liquidated damages. Construction

planners can obtain a quantitative assessment of the

trade-off between time and cost in scheduling

construction projects, and can pick a schedule that

satisfies project participants requirements.

Model development

The development of the model incorporates four

modules: (1) scheduling module; (2) direct cost

module; (3) multi-objective optimization module; and

(4) total project cost module as shown in Figure 1. The

development of these four modules is described in

more details in the following sections.

Figure 1

Model development

Scheduling module

The objective of this module is to generate a

resource-driven schedule for repetitive construction

projects that complies with logical precedence relationships, crew availability and crew work continuity

requirements. As shown in Figure 1, this module

provides the capability of calculating the duration of

repetitive construction projects based on: (1) the

repetitive project data that include number of activities, job logic and relationships among activities,

number of repetitive units and quantities of work in

each activity; and (2) the utilized resources data that

include available crew formation options, crew

productivity rates and crew daily costs. The computations in this module are performed using a recently

developed scheduling algorithm for repetitive

construction projects that considers and models crew

work continuity requirements as well as crew availability and logical precedence relationships constraints

(Hyari and El-Rayes, 2006). More details on the

computational steps and procedures of this scheduling algorithm can be found in Hyari and El-Rayes

(2006).

Repetitive construction

751

fitness of any planning option generated by the multiobjective optimization module in the cost objective in

this timecost optimization problem. Project direct cost

is the summation of the direct costs of all repetitive

sections in all construction activities, and it includes:

material costs, labour costs and equipment costs.

Computations of the direct cost in this module are

performed as shown in the following steps:

(i) in repetitive section (j).

j

Calculate the labour costs LCi for performing

activity (i) in repetitive section (j). This cost is

a function of the quantity of work in this

section and the productivity rate of the selected

crew formation to perform this activity along

with the daily labour cost of the selected crew

formation option as shown in Equation 2.

(1)

(2)

in repetitive section (j). This cost is the multiplication of the unit cost rate of materials in

activity (i) and quantity of materials needed for

completing activity (i) in repetitive section (j) as

shown in Equation 1.

MCji = M i Q ji

LCji =

(1)

where:

MCji = material cost for performing activity (i)

in repetitive section (j);

(3)

Q ji

Pin

Cni

(2)

where:

LCji = labour cost for performing activity (i) in

repetitive section (j);

Pin = productivity rate of crew formation (n) in

activity (i); and

Cni = daily labour cost of crew formation (n)

in activity (i).

j

Calculate the equipment costs ECi

for

performing activity (i) in repetitive section (j).

752

Hyari et al.

Similar to the calculations of labour costs in the

j

previous step, equipment costs ECi are

calculated as shown in Equation 3.

ECji =

Q ji

Pin

E ni

(3)

where:

(4)

(i) in section (j); and

E ni = daily equipment cost of crew formation

(n) in activity (i).

j

Calculate the direct cost (DCi ) of activity (i) in

repetitive section (j) as follows:

DCi j = MCi j + LCi j + ECi j

(5)

(6)

for the multi-objective optimization module using the

following three steps:

(1)

(2)

(3)

(5)

where:

Intri j = interruption days in activity (i) after

repetitive section (j).

Calculate the total project direct cost (DC),

which is the direct cost of all the construction

activities in the project.

J

DC = DCij + IRC

Stage 1: Initialization

(4)

where:

DCji = direct cost of activity (i) in repetitive

section (j).

Calculate the idle resources costs (IRC), which

is the cost incurred by contractors during

scheduled interruptions of the selected crew to

cover the costs of idle resources. This cost is a

function of the daily cost of the selected crew

formation option and the number of interrupted days scheduled for that crew, as shown

in Equation 5.

J

1

i =1

j=1

generate a set of initial resource utilization solutions in

stage 1 and then evolving them in stage 2 to reach a set

of optimal/near optimal solutions that provide optimal

trade-offs between construction time and cost. The

computations in these two stages are described in the

following sections.

(6)

i =1 j =1

This stage includes the evolution of the initial population that consists of S solutions over T successive

generations to a number of near optimal solutions that

constitute the Pareto optimal front for this multiobjective optimization problem. The computational

procedure in this stage includes the following eight

major cyclic steps (see Figure 2).

(1)

where:

DC = project direct cost.

Multi-objective optimization module

This module forms the core of the model, as shown in

Figure 1, and its main purpose is to generate and identify a set of optimal resource utilization solutions that

provide optimal timecost trade-offs for repetitive

construction projects. The module is designed to

identify for each repetitive activity in the project (1) an

optimal resource utilization option; and (2) an optimal

interruption vector. The computations in this module

number of activities and number of repetitive

units; (2) activity precedence relationships; (3)

work quantities in each repetitive unit; (4)

available crew utilization options for each activity and their expected productivity and the

associated labour and equipment costs.

Generate, randomly, an initial set of S possible

solutions for this scheduling problem, where

each solution provides a possible crew formation option (ni) and a crew interruption vector

for each repetitive activity (i) in the project.

These S possible solutions constitute the population of the first generation t = 1.

Evaluate the fitness of all scheduling solutions

(S) by calculating the project duration and

project direct cost using the aforementioned

scheduling and cost modules.

(2)

(3)

the parent population produced in subsequent

generations Pt based on the non-domination

criterion. A solution is said to dominate

another solution, if it is not worse in any of the

objectives and strictly better in at least one.

Calculate crowding distance for each solution s

= 1 to S in the parent population Pt. The

crowding operator is intended to maintain a

diverse population in the multidimensional

solution space to avoid premature convergence

to a localized set of solutions in order to obtain

a well-distributed front.

Select population individuals from the parent

population that will be allowed to the mating

Repetitive construction

753

754

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

(8)

Hyari et al.

pool in order to create offspring population

using tournament selection, where the better

individuals in the parent population are

selected. Wining the tournament depends

primarily on the non-domination rank of individuals and secondarily on their crowding

distance.

Perform crossover and mutation operations on

the selected individuals from the parent population Pt to form an offspring population Ct that

contains S new solutions (Goldberg, 1989).

Evaluate the fitness (i.e. calculate project duration and project direct cost) for each solution s

= 1 to S in the newly created offspring population Ct using the scheduling and direct cost

modules.

Merge parent and offspring population (Pt and

Ct) to form a new combined population Mt =

Pt + Ct. This step preserves the good solutions

in the parent population in order to use them in

the subsequent production of the next generation (Deb et al., 2000).

Use non-dominated sorting to rank the

combined parent and offspring population Mt

into fronts, and calculate the crowding distance

for each solution in the combined population

similar to the process described in steps 1

and 2.

Select the elite members from the combined

population in order to form the parent population for the next generation. The selection

procedure is based on the non-domination rank

of solutions and the diverse spread of individuals in the multidimensional solution space as

identified by their crowding distance.

repeated for the specified number of generations (t = 1

to T) in order to produce a set of solutions that form

the Pareto optimal solutions for the planning of repetitive construction projects. Each solution represents a

project schedule and a set of selected crew formation

options that provides a unique trade-off between the

project duration and project cost. This automated set

of solutions provides construction planners with a

quantitative representation of the existing trade-off

between these two important project objectives.

Figure 2

lane rental costs as shown in Equation 7, and the

following four steps.

TC = DC + IC ECI + LDC + LRC

(7)

where:

DC = project direct cost;

IC = project indirect cost;

ECI = early completion incentives;

LDC = liquidated damages cost; and

LRC = lane rental cost.

(1)

is a function of the time needed to complete the

project and it includes all costs that cannot be

associated with a certain project activity.

IC = ICR D

(2)

( 8)

where:

ICR= indirect cost rate in dollars per day of the

project; and

D = scheduled project duration in days.

Calculate project early completion incentives

(ECI), which is the monetary incentive

provided by the owner to the contractor if the

project was finished before the specified project

duration (SD) in the contract. Contractor earnings here are a function of the achieved reduction in the agreed upon project duration and

are deducted from the total cost of the project.

Project completion incentives are calculated

only if a specified incentive exists in the

contract, and the scheduled project duration is

less than the specified project duration.

The objective of this module is to compute project total

cost (TC) for each of the optimum trade-off solutions

(s) obtained from the previous module. In addition to

the project direct cost, the considered cost elements in

this module include: project indirect cost, project early

ECI = I ( SD D )

(3)

(9)

where:

I = daily early completion incentive paid to the

contractor in dollars; and

SD = specified project duration in the contract

in days.

Calculate project liquidated damages cost

(LDC), which is the financial penalty that

needs to be paid by the contractor to the owner

if the project was not completed within the

designated project duration. This cost is a function of the difference between the scheduled

project duration and the agreed upon duration

and is added to the project total cost. Liquidated damages costs are calculated only if a

specified penalty exists in the contract, and the

scheduled project duration is greater than the

specified project duration.

Repetitive construction

LDC = DLD ( D SD )

(4)

755

(10)

where:

DLD = daily liquidated damages paid by the

contractor in dollars.

Calculate lane rental cost (LRC): This cost is

applicable for highway or road construction

projects that require closing a lane or more of

an existing road. This policy has been increasingly adopted by several departments of transportation to minimize project duration in

highway maintenance projects. In this case,

contractors are required to pay a predefined

rate for lane rental for each day when a lane or

more is closed to do the construction activities.

D

LRC = LRd

(11)

d =1

where:

LRd = lane rental cost in dollars paid by the

contractor on day d of the project.

Calculating the total cost for each trade-off solution

obtained by the multi-objective optimization algorithm

will enable construction planners to: (1) consider the

impact of the above-listed cost components on the optimization process; and (2) evaluate and rank solutions

based on another dimension which is the total cost of

the project.

Illustrative example

An example of three-span concrete bridge is analysed

in order to illustrate the use of the developed optimization model and demonstrate its capabilities in generating automated optimal trade-offs between project

duration and project direct cost. The project consists

of four repetitive sections, each including five

construction activities: excavation, foundations,

columns, beams and slabs. The precedence relationships among these successive activities are finish to

start with no lag time. The same example was utilized

in previous research efforts that focused only on

project duration (Selinger, 1980; Russell and Caselton,

1988; El-Rayes and Moselhi, 2001; Hyari and ElRayes, 2004; Nassar, 2005; Hyari and El-Rayes, 2006)

or project cost (Moselhi and El-Rayes, 1993) or either

project duration or cost (Liu and Wang, 2007). Table

1 presents quantities of work for the five activities in

each of the four repetitive sections and available crew

formation options, along with their productivity rates

and daily costs. The cost data provided by Moselhi

and El-Rayes (1993) for crew options were adopted in

this example.

The present model was utilized to generate automated trade-off solutions that simultaneously minimize

both objectives: project duration and project direct

cost. As shown in Table 2 and Figure 3, the output of

the model is a set of 24 solutions. Each solution represents a unique scheduling option for the analysed

project with a selected crew formation option for each

activity along with the resultant project duration and

project direct cost. By comparing any of the obtained

solutions with the rest of obtained solutions, it is clear

that all solutions are non-dominated because it is not

possible to find another solution that provides lower

project duration and lower project direct cost at the

same time. As shown in Table 2, the capability of the

present model in automating the generation of the all

possible non-dominated solutions that form the Pareto

optimal front in a single run ensures a full exploration

of the solution space. This outperforms previous

formulations that yield a single solution each run

because previous models utilize an iterative procedure

to generate alternative trade-off solutions by requiring

planners to change the optimization parameters in

order to generate more solutions, and therefore can

miss a number of possible good solutions that exist in

the Pareto optimal front. The trade-off curve presented

in Figure 3 is analogous to the traditional timecost

trade-off in traditional non-repetitive projects.

The impact of crew work continuity on the project

objectives in this model can be clearly illustrated by

examining the solutions presented in Table 2. The last

column in this Table shows that each solution is associated with a specific number of total interruption days

that represents a varying level of work continuity for the

construction crews. For example solutions 3, 4 and 5

utilize the same crew formation options, and therefore

they provide the same activity durations in all the

scheduled repetitive units; however the three solutions

produce different interruption days and as such each

leads to a different project duration and project cost, as

shown in Table 2.

The total project cost can be obtained by adding the

project indirect cost to the direct cost of the project.

Assuming a daily project indirect cost of $2500, project

total cost is calculated for all solutions obtained by the

optimization model as shown in Table 3 and Figure 4.

The consideration of project total cost enables

construction planners to (1) rank solutions with respect

to the overall cost of the project, and (2) identify the

solution that will lead to minimum overall cost for that

project. As shown in Table 3 and Figure 4, solution 15

(S15) is the solution that provides the minimum project

total cost of $1 668 021 and a project duration of 124

days.

As shown in Table 3 and Figure 4, the output of the

presented bi-objective optimization model is a list of 24

Figure 3

Figure 4

Excavation (i = 1)

Foundation (i = 2)

Columns (i = 3)

Beams (i = 4)

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

1

2

3

4

j

Quantity of work (Qi ) in m3 1147 1434 994 1529 1032 1077

943 898 104

86 129 100

85

92

101

80

Available crew options

Crew formation (ni)

1

1

2

3

1

2

3

1

2

3

4

Productivity (Pin) in m3/day 91.75

89.77 71.81 53.86

5.73 6.88 8.03

9.9

8.49 7.07 5.66

Project cost Data

Labour cost in $/day

340

3804 2853 1902

1875 2438 3000

3931 3238 2544 1850

Equipment cost in $/day

566

874

655

436

285 371 456

315

259

204

148

Material cost in $/m3

0

92

479

195

Table 1 Quantities of work, available crew formation options and their associated costs

2

138

2

7.76

1878

149

1

0

1

8.73

2230

177

186

3

4

114 145

Slabs (i = 5)

756

Hyari et al.

Repetitive construction

757

Selected crew formation (ni*)

Project performance

Solution (s)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

Project

duration in

days (D)

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

117

118

120

121

124

127

132

133

134

135

137

140

141

143

Project direct

cost ($)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

469

465

443

438

433

423

419

405

402

398

382

380

373

370

358

352

348

344

342

339

336

330

323

317

361

115

297

619

941

748

070

850

353

856

803

055

543

795

021

263

405

897

647

139

524

766

400

642

Excavation

(i = 1)

Foundation

(i = 2)

Columns

(i = 3)

Beams

(i = 4)

Slabs

(i = 5)

Total

interruption

days

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

2

2

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

3

3

2

2

2

3

3

3

3

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

2

2

1

2

1

2

14

13

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

1

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

between the considered two objectives. This provides

planners with a better understanding of the solution

space that cannot be obtained by single objective

formulations that provide a single solution. For example if the only optimization objective is minimizing the

project duration, solution 1 (S1) will be the optimum

solution with a project duration of 107 days although it

among the obtained 24 solutions. Similarly if the only

optimization objective is minimizing the total project

cost, the optimum solution will be solution 15 (S15)

that provides a total cost of $1 668 021 and project

duration of 124 days.

To illustrate the flexibility of the model in considering

and modelling other time-related costs, the same

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

Solution (s)

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

117

118

120

121

124

127

132

133

134

135

137

140

141

143

Project

duration in

days (D)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

469

465

443

438

433

423

419

405

402

398

382

380

373

370

358

352

348

344

342

339

336

330

323

317

361

115

297

619

941

748

070

850

353

856

803

055

543

795

021

263

405

897

647

139

524

766

400

642

267

270

272

275

277

280

282

285

287

290

292

295

300

302

310

317

330

332

335

337

342

350

352

357

500

000

500

000

500

000

500

000

500

000

500

000

000

500

000

500

000

500

000

500

500

000

500

500

Project indirect

cost ($)

Project performance

Project direct

cost ($)

1 736 861

1 735 115

1 715 797

1 713 619

1 711 441

1 703 748

1 701 570

1 690 850

1 689 853

1 688 856

1 675 303

1 675 055

1 673 543

1 673 295

1 668 021

1 669 763

1 678 405

1 677 397

1 677 647

1 676 639

1 679 024

1 680 766

1 675 900

1 675 142

Project total

cost ($)

64 000

56 000

48 000

40 000

32 000

24 000

16 000

8000

Completion

incentives ($)

1 672 861

1 679 115

1 667 797

1 673 619

1 679 441

1 679 748

1 685 570

1 682 850

1 689 853

1 688 856

1 675 303

1 675 055

1 673 543

1 673 295

1 668 021

1 669 763

1 678 405

1 677 397

1 677 647

1 676 639

1 679 024

1 680 766

1 675 900

1 675 142

Project total

cost ($)

Scenario 1

5000

10 000

15 000

25 000

30 000

45 000

60 000

85 000

90 000

95 000

100 000

110 000

125 000

130 000

140 000

Liquidated

damages ($)

1 736 861

1 735 115

1 715 797

1 713 619

1 711 441

1 703 748

1 701 570

1 690 850

1 689 853

1 693 856

1 685 303

1 690 055

1 698 543

1 703 295

1 713 021

1 729 763

1 763 405

1 767 397

1 772 647

1 776 639

1 789 024

1 805 766

1 805 900

1 815 142

Project total

cost ($)

Scenario 2

107

108

109

110

111

112

113

114

115

116

117

118

120

121

124

127

132

133

134

135

137

140

141

143

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

000

Lane rental

fee ($)

1 843 861

1 843 115

1 824 797

1 823 619

1 822 441

1 815 748

1 814 570

1 804 850

1 804 853

1 804 856

1 792 303

1 793 055

1 793 543

1 794 295

1 792 021

1 796 763

1 810 405

1 810 897

1 811 647

1 811 639

1 816 024

1 820 766

1 816 900

1 818 142

Project total

cost ($)

Scenario 3

758

Hyari et al.

Repetitive construction

759

Conclusions

the first scenario, an early completion incentive of

$8000 per day can be obtained by the contractor if the

project was completed before a specified project duration of 115 days. As shown in Table 3, considering the

early completion incentives, the solution that provides

the minimum project total cost is solution 3 (S3). In the

second scenario, a daily project liquidated damages of

$5000 is imposed in the contract and will be paid by the

contractor for every day in excess of the specified

project duration of 115 days. As shown in Table 3, solution 11 (S11) is associated with the minimum project

total cost considering the project liquidated damages.

In the third scenario, a lane rental fee of $1000 is

required to be paid by the contractor for every day of

the project due to the planned lane closures. Considering this fee, solution 15 (S15) provides the minimum

overall cost for the project, as shown in Table 3.

It should be noted that the GA computations for this

application example were performed in approximately

eight minutes on a Pentium 4 processor, which illustrates the practicality of the developed model. The

obtained results illustrate the capabilities of the model

as it provides, in a single run, a set of non-dominated

solutions that reflect the trade-off between project

duration and project cost in scheduling repetitive

construction projects. This offers the decision maker a

wide range of alternatives to choose from depending on

the unique circumstances associated with each project

and its resources.

optimizing resource utilization in repetitive construction projects. The model provides a set of Pareto near

optimal solutions that represent the timecost trade-off

in repetitive construction projects. Each one of the

provided solutions is associated with a unique project

duration and direct cost, selected crew formation for

each activity, and specific interruption days for the

working crews. Construction planners can evaluate this

set of optimal trade-off solutions and select an optimal

construction plan that minimizes project cost while

minimizing construction duration, simultaneously.

The computations in the present model are organized

in four major modules: scheduling, direct cost, optimization and total cost modules. First, the scheduling

module uses a resource-driven scheduling algorithm to

develop practical schedules for all types of repetitive

construction projects that are capable of considering

and modelling crew work continuity requirements as

well as crew availability and logical precedence relationships constraints. Second, the direct cost module

calculates the direct cost associated with any planning

and scheduling alternative based on the selected crew

formation options. Third, the optimization module

utilizes multi-objective genetic algorithms to search for

and identify feasible construction plans that establish

optimal trade-offs between project duration and project

direct cost. Fourth, the total cost module utilizes the

near optimal plans generated by the optimization

module, in addition to other time-related costs in order

to facilitate the selection of the best overall plan for the

project being considered. An application example is

analysed to illustrate the use of the model and

demonstrate its new capabilities in generating optimal

trade-offs between minimizing the project time and cost

for repetitive construction projects. This should prove

useful for construction planners and decision makers

who seek to minimize both the duration and cost of

repetitive construction projects and should contribute

to cost-effective delivery of this type of project. Future

research is still needed to expand the capabilities the

model to consider and optimize other important objectives in repetitive construction such as quality and

safety. The utilized multi-objective genetic algorithm is

capable of optimizing additional objectives; however,

further studies are needed to model and quantify the

impact of construction planning decisions on these

important project objectives.

References

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761

ECI

IC

ICR

Intri j

LCji

Appendix

Notation

The following symbols are used in this paper:

Cin

= daily labour cost of crew formation (n) in activity

(i)

D

= scheduled project duration in days

DC

= project direct cost

DCji

= direct cost of activity (i) in repetitive section (j)

E jn

= daily equipment cost of crew formation (n) in

activity (i)

ECji

= equipment cost for performing activity (i) in

repetitive section (j)

LDC

LRC

MCij

P in

= project indirect cost

= indirect cost rate in dollars per day of the project

= interruption days in activity (i) after repetitive

section (j)

= labour cost for performing activity (i) in repetitive

section (j)

= liquidated damages cost

= lane rental cost

= material cost for performing activity (i) in repetitive

section (j)

= productivity rate of crew formation (n) in activity

(i)

i = construction activity (from i = 1 to I)

j = repetitive unit (from j = 1 to J)

t = genetic algorithm generation (from t = 1 to T)

n = crew formation option (from n = 1 to N)

s = solution (s = 1 to S)

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