The Silo Game: A Simulation on Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Thais da C. L. Alves1

1 Associate Professor, AGC – Paul S. Roel Chair in Construction Engineering and Management. Civ., Const. & Env. Eng. Dept., San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, 92182, USA, +1 619 594-8289, [email protected],


Collaboration is a highly valued skill in construction, and it has become essential considering the advent of more collaborative delivery methods (e.g., design-build, integrated project delivery). This paper introduces the Silo Game which is a teaching simulation developed to mimic the trade-offs made during the design process to meet client's requirements while also meeting project goals. This simulation mimics the development of an environmentally conscious building using two phases: one illustrating disciplines isolated in teams mimicking silos and another with multi-disciplinary teams. The facilitator assumes the role of an owner and participants are assigned one of the four roles defined for the game: architect, civil engineer, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer to meet the project's conditions of satisfaction defined early in the game. Initially, the professionals are grouped by role and later assigned to multi-disciplinary teams. The game has been played with three undergraduate classes and also with the Administering and Playing Lean Simulations Online (APLSO) community and the instructions are easy to relay. The lessons learned can be directly translated to construction settings sparking discussions about various Lean tenets and systems including integrated project delivery contracts, target value design, collaboration, and conditions of satisfaction.


Collaboration, sustainability, design, conditions of satisfaction, serious games, simulation



Alves, T. C. L. 2022. The Silo Game: A Simulation on Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Proc. 30th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) , 1052-1063.

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