The Role of Conceptual Modeling in Lean Construction Simulation

M. Poshdar1, V. A. González2, M. O’Sullivan3, M. Shahbazpour4, C. G. Walker5 & H. Golzarpoor6

1PhD, Research fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand (corresponding author). E-mail address: mpos814@aucklanduni.ac.nz
2PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail: v.gonzalez@auckland.ac.nz
3PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland, 70 Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. E-mail: michael.osullivan@auckland.ac.nz
4PhD, Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail: m.shahbazpour@auckland.ac.nz
5PhD, Associated Professor, Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland, 70 Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand. E-mail: cameron.walker@auckland.ac.nz
6PhD Candidate, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail address: hgol431@aucklanduni.ac.nz

Abstract

Simulation can validate lean construction concepts prior to their field implementation. It enables efficient analysis of the impacts of lean construction theory on a project by supporting a variety of procedures including model sensitivity and scenario analyses. However, to date, the organization of the elements in lean construction simulation models has mainly followed the traditional perception of construction workarounds. They often assume the project will adhere to the work breakdown structure created by the planners before the execution phase. In order to implement the pull-driven approach, as one of the lean construction principles, managerial interventions during the project execution are inevitable and may include a change in the planned sequence of the work process. Hence, an efficient lean construction model has to explicitly capture the management feedback and decision linkages within the project. A review of the applied modeling approaches in lean construction simulation research indicates a weakness in this area. The methods do not apply a systematic framework that supports identifying the crucial elements of the project and includes the level of detail required in the model. This study investigates likely solutions to overcome the indicated shortage. It traces the roots of the deficiency back to the conceptual phase and investigates the implications of conceptual modeling in lean construction simulation research. It is demonstrated that undertaking a conceptual modeling stage can provide a good level of transparency about the elements that are necessary for abstracting the project reality. Therefore, this study suggests conceptual modeling as an effective solution to enhance the success of a lean construction simulation study.

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Reference

Poshdar, M. , González, V.A. , O’Sullivan, M. , Shahbazpour, M. , Walker, C.G. & Golzarpoor, H. 2016, 'The Role of Conceptual Modeling in Lean Construction Simulation' In:, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Boston, USA, 20-22 Jul 2016.

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