The suitability of computer simulation programs for construction planning

Petri Laurikka

Research output: Book/ReportReport


In manufacturing industry, a number of graphical simulation software products are used for job level planning. For several reasons these techniques and programs have not been adopted by the building industry. The objective of this research was to evaluate graphical simulation programs used in manufacturing industry and to make proposals as how they could be used for simulating construction processes and operations. In order to understand the different features of simulation software, basic definitions and principles of simulation were studied, such as classification of simulation models, advantages of simulation, experiences of simulation and the life-cycle of the simulation process. Graphic-based simulation packages were analysed, and their basic conceptual components described. It was found that simulation packages on the market are suitable for construction production planning in limited problem areas only. The nature of the problem statement within them differs from that in building construction. Therefore their basic structure is inappropriate to planning construction site operations. Moreover, their use requires special knowledge and experience. Several impediments militate against the efficient use of simulation packages for planning site operations. There are, however, areas in which these packages can be used successfully, especially in the building material industry. The complexity of construction production emphasises the role of animation. Integrating a simulation package into a CAD system and building model is essential for reasonable and effective simulation and animation of construction operations. Integration offers the best environment for simulating continuous changes in production layouts. Therefore the future development of construction simulation systems depends to a large extent on the progress of building model research and development.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages51
ISBN (Print)951-38-4206-1
Publication statusPublished - 1992
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • construction
  • planning
  • simulation
  • computers
  • models
  • computerized simulation
  • computer programs
  • manufacturing
  • industrial plants
  • graphic methods
  • evaluation
  • classifying
  • marketing
  • production planning
  • requirements
  • animation
  • CAD
  • computer aided design


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