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Construction Management and Economics (August 2009) 27, 749761

Automated trade-off between time and cost in planning


repetitive construction projects
KHALIED HESHAM HYARI1*, KHALED EL-RAYES2 and MOHAMMAD EL-MASHALEH1
1
2

Department of Civil Engineering, Hashemite University, Zarqa, 13115 Jordan


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

Received 16 December 2008; accepted 15 June 2009


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

traditional network scheduling methods such as critical


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

*Author for correspondence. E-mail: hyari@hu.edu.jo


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

Figure 1 Model development

Direct cost module

Mi = unit cost rate of materials in activity (i); and

The direct cost module is designed to evaluate the


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:

Qij = quantity of materials needed for activity


(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)

Calculate the material cost MCi of activity (i)


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)

ECji = equipment cost for performing activity


(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)

This stage is intended to provide an initial population


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

IRC = Cni Intrij

i =1
j=1

are performed in two main stages that are designed to


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

Stage 2: Population evolution


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

Read project information that includes: (1)


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)

Rank all solutions of the initial population or


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

Figure 2 Multi-objective optimization model

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.

The above computation steps of (1) through (8) are


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

completion incentives, project liquidated damages and


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)

Calculate project indirect cost: (IC). This cost


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.

Multi-objective optimization model

Total project cost module


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

Trade-off between project duration and project direct cost

Figure 4

Project total cost

Excavation (i = 1)

Foundation (i = 2)

Columns (i = 3)

Beams (i = 4)

Repetitive unit (j)


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

Repetitive activity (i)

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

Table 2 Non-dominated solutions generated by the present model


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

solutions that illustrate and quantify the trade-off


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

provides the highest total project cost of $1 736 861


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

Figure 3 Trade-off between project duration and project direct cost

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 ($)

Table 3 Project total costs

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

Figure 4 Project total cost

example is analysed using three different scenarios. In


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.

A bi-objective optimization model was developed for


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.

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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

= early completion incentives


= 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)

Subscripts and superscripts


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)