Industrializing the Residential Construction Site Phase IV: Production Simulation
Four years ago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began a concerted research effort to discover ways to automate the home construction process, improve construction workflows, and coordinate construction sites. The fourth phase of this project features development of a computerized simulation model of framing processes; i.e., the erection of prefabricated wall panels, based on observations of current field practices. The simulation model makes experiments possible, replicating conditions of a proposed system without actually having to build. It’s a useful tool for reducing design and production errors prior to implementation, and a good indicator of the type of information needed by field installers working in residential construction. Industrializing the Residential Construction Site Phase IV: Production Simulation, reports the findings of this phase of the project.
The model duplicates levels of detail that are useful in understanding the overall process, as well as detailing material and assembly planning, stacking priority, and assembly processes. The report also describes the panel erection process in a clear, step-by-step manner, and provides estimates of the required labor time. The study found that simulation modeling is successful (in that it shows the cost of errors in framing), and can also be useful in evaluating various approaches to staging materials, positioning equipment, and balancing production capacities across subcontracts.