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

SeyedReza RazaviAlavi*, Simaan AbouRizk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)866-886
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Volume20
Issue number4
Early online date14 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022

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