Digital Simulation in Lean Project Development

Manfred Breit1, Fritz Häubi2 & Nicolas Arnold3

1Professor, Dr. Eng. and Deputy Chair, Phone +41 792046346,
2Professor, Phone +41 794232249,
3Researcher, Phone +41 793920954, Institute of 4D Technologies (i4Ds), School of Engineering, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Steinackerstrasse 5, CH 5210 Windisch. FAX +41 56 4624482


Skilled use of information technology such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) (Eastman et al., 2008) managed by Lean Construction principles (Koskela 1992; Koskela 2000) can have a significant positive impacts on the construction industry (e.g. Khanzode et al, 2005, 2008). In an ongoing research program “Individual parametric Façade Modules with integrated de-central building services technology” we analyzed the digital information flow possibilities of today's BIM application on residential housing projects with timber facades and derived the following questions: How can we integrate engineering, manufacturing and construction knowledge in the early design and planning phases of the project development to increase the value for the customer and reduce variability for the construction process? And how can we use the simulation capabilities of BIM methods and technology to improve overall building performance? We identified the bidding process as one of the areas with the highest potential to gain additional value for the customer and to improve upstream flow variability for fabrication and construction. This is done through improving the value stream by introducing and integrating knowledge of the downstream trades earlier than currently done in practice. We use an adapted “Functional Design and Bidding” methodology to achieve this. In order to change the information exchange from the current predominant drawing centred approach to a model-based paradigm, we developed a new module called Process oriented Product Model Interface (PPMI), which serves as an interface for integrating people, processes and information systems (Dave et al. 2008). Using BIM enhanced model checking and simulation methods enables the purchaser to compare offers and their construction alternatives in terms of architectural design quality, building performances e.g. energy consumption, usability, comfort, flexibility of use, feasibility, impact on schedule, construction and life cycle costs.




Breit, M. , Häubi, F. & Arnold, N. 2010, 'Digital Simulation in Lean Project Development' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 622-630

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