Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
González V., Alarcón L.F. and Molenaar K. (2009)

Multiobjective design of work-in-process buffer for scheduling repetitive building projects. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2008.05.005

Revista : Automation in Construction
Volumen : 18
Número : 2
Páginas : 95-108
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Variability in production is one of the largest factors that negatively impacts construction project performance. A common construction practice to protect production systems from variability is the use of buffers (Bf). Construction practitioners and researchers have proposed buffering approaches for different production situations, but these approaches have faced practical limitations in their application. A multiobjective analytic model (MAM) is proposed to develop a graphical solution for the design of Work-In-Process (WIP) Bf in order to overcome these practical limitations to Bf application, being demonstrated through the scheduling of repetitive building projects. Multiobjective analytic modeling is based on Simulation-Optimization (SO) modeling and Pareto Fronts concepts. Simulation-Optimization framework uses Evolutionary Strategies (ES) as the optimization search approach, which allows for the design of optimum WIP Bf sizes by optimizing different project objectives (e.g., project cost, time and productivity). The framework is tested and validated on two repetitive building projects. The SO framework is then generalized through Pareto Front concepts, allowing for the development of the MAM as nomographs for practical use. The application advantages of the MAM are shown through a project scheduling example. Results demonstrate project performance improvements and a more efficient and practical design of WIP Bf. Additionally, production strategies based on WIP Bf and Lean Production principles in construction are discussed.