Simulation of bridge construction works: an exploratory study in New Zealand
Bridge construction projects are associated with uncertainties partly due to sequencing issues, logistics, interactions, and resource constraints. Their construction is mostly cyclic and repetitive, yet complex, requiring innovative approaches to cope with its management. Construction projects planners seek methods to enable them to schedule bridge construction projects in consideration of these constraining factors. The main objective of this research is to develop a concept of a simulation-based modeling approach. It aimed to decide which data in real systems are important for the modeling of an operation, and in which way they must be gathered to help planners approach a proper simulation-based schedule. A case study project based in New Zealand was selected for this paper. It focuses on developing a resource-based model of bridge construction using a launching-girder construction method, taking into account the complex interactions among the project’s components. The discrete elements within the project and steps taken to develop a model are described in this paper. The study enhances knowledge on the applicability of simulation in repetitive construction operation, which in turn can provide more realistic models for scheduling progress.