Understanding Inspection Challenges in the EPC Industry: A Simulation Approach

Thais da C. L. Alves1, Kim L. Needy2, Kenneth D. Walsh3 & Deborah Chan4

1 Associate Professor, J. R. Filanc Construction Eng. and Mgmt. Program, Dept. of Civil, Constr., and Env. Eng., San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA, [email protected]
2Dean, Graduate School and International Education, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA, [email protected]
3Dean, San Diego State University, Tblisi, Georgia, [email protected]
4Undergraduate Student, UNICAMP, Campinas, SP, Brazil, [email protected]


How can the inspection task and its challenges be mimicked in a simulation? The purpose of the research was to use a simulation to highlight challenges and trade-offs faced by inspectors in the Engineering Procure Construct (EPC) industry. A literature review was conducted and results were shared and discussed with a group of subject matter experts (SMEs) who are part of Construction Industry Institute Research Team 308. A simulation was identified and modified to address important concepts related to the inspection process in the EPC industry. The simulation is more generic in nature to allow a broad-based audience to use it. Versions of the simulation were tested with students in a classroom setting and SMEs, their feedback was collected, and a final version of the simulation defined. Participants found the discussion about variables considered to be useful and the simulation to be a good representation of what happens in practice. Lean researchers often view inspection as a contributory or wasteful activity. However, inspection should be designed and managed like any other activity.


Inspection, Simulation, Nonconformances



Alves, T. C. L. , Needy, K. L. , Walsh, K. D. & Chan, D. 2016. Understanding Inspection Challenges in the EPC Industry: A Simulation Approach, 24th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -. doi.org/

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