Feasibility of the SIMSUPER Simulation Model in the Renovation of Building Projects Public
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Building renovation projects are unique in its nature and quite different from new building construction projects. Uncertainties and unforeseen conditions play a much bigger role in building renovation projects making construction planning traditional methods not suitable for these purposes. Soft-logic allows for the modification of predefined network models when a new set of conditions is encountered. An existing computer simulation program called SIMSUPER provides such approach. SIMSUPER (SIMulation SUPERvisor) is a network-based, discrete-event simulation model that has the capability of incorporating conditions of uncertainty and to dynamically respond to changed conditions. The model is capable of combining different networks to respond to changed external factors already embedded in the model networks. The logic followed by SIMSUPER has the flexibility of selecting between networks depending on the conditions inputted. SIMSUPER was primarily developed to conduct research in productivity analysis for adaptable tunneling construction, where excavation and support methods are adapted to changing ground conditions. The main objective of this research is to determine the ability of SIMSUPER to analyze the dynamics of the building renovation process under its particular conditions of uncertainty and to provide the user with the flexibility of adapting the model as these conditions change, optimizing project's productivity. The renovation of Daniels Hall, a four-story dormitory facility at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Worcester, Massachusetts, is used as the case study of this research. Two computer runs, the contractor's plan, and observed data were tested using the WPI's running version of SIMSUPER. Differences between the computer simulation and observed actions were found. A hand simulation that incorporates resource allocation, preempting rules and conflict management capabilities was conducted to investigate the observed actions in more detail. The hand simulation was able to replicate the observed actions. The concept contained in the program proved to be efficient. The soft-logic rules that drive the simulation of the process replicated the observed plans.
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