Optimizing Joint Operation of Two Tower Cranes Through Look-Ahead Planning and Process Simulation

Malak Al Hattab1, Emile Zankoul2 & Farook Hamzeh3

1 PhD Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut Riad El-Solh 1107 2020, Lebanon, Mobile +961 70 931272, mja28@aub.edu.lb
2Graduate Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut Riad El-Solh 1107 2020, Lebanon, Mobile +961 3 180628, efz00@aub.edu.lb
3Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, American University of Beirut, Beirut Riad El-Solh 1107 2020, Lebanon, Phone +961 1 350000 Ext: 3616, Farook.Hamzeh@aub.edu.lb

Abstract

Proper planning of on-site operations is critical to the effective delivery of a construction project. Many construction works, especially in high-rise buildings, require using tower cranes. In fact, early planning of tower crane operations before site execution helps reduce operational costs, enhance site safety, and optimize the works’ schedule. Lean principles and look-ahead planning in particular, along with 4D scheduling (time and location) of tower crane activities allow achieving optimal use of cranes. The purpose of this paper is to optimize the use of two tower cranes by simulating the scheduling of tasks in the overlapping work zones to achieve shorter operation durations and higher crane utilization rates. Early experimentation with the system and real-time assessment of alternative solutions reduce on-site problems and delays. In this respect, an optimization model based on parametric variation is developed for studying two cranes by using, as input, the construction schedule detailed down to daily operations through look-ahead planning. The model is also applied on a pilot case study to demonstrate the logic and outcomes of the model. The research contributes towards providing engineers, planners, crane operators, superintendents, and foremen with a model that can be used daily to better plan, in advance, the tasks to be executed by the cranes. The model can therefore provide a balanced workload schedule for both cranes and achieve the best utilization rates while reducing idle times to ultimately boost the production of the cranes while reducing project duration and cost.

Keywords

Tower Crane Operations, Optimization, Look-ahead Planning and Scheduling, Simulation, Lean Construction

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Reference

Al Hattab, M. , Zankoul, E. & Hamzeh, F. 2014, 'Optimizing Joint Operation of Two Tower Cranes Through Look-Ahead Planning and Process Simulation ' In:, Kalsaas, B.T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T.A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 535-546

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