Simulation and optimization model for electrical substation construction

Author's Department

Construction Engineering Department

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Information Technology in Construction

Publication Date



© 2018 The author(s). One of the most complex construction projects is electrical substations. Construction of electrical substation includes civil works and electromechanical works. The scope of civil works includes construction of several buildings divided into parallel and overlapped working phases that require variety of resources and are generally quite costly and consume a considerable amount of time. The construction industry is becoming increasingly competitive over the years, whereby the need to continuously find ways to improve construction performance. In order to address the aforementioned adversities, this paper takes the initial steps and presents simulation and optimization model for the execution processes of civil works for an electrical substation using a data base excel file for input data entry. The input data include bill of quantities, resources breakdown, maximum available resources, production rates, unit cost of resources and indirect cost. The model is built on Anylogic software using discrete event simulation method. The model is divided into three zones working in parallel to each other. Each zone includes a group of buildings related to the same construction area. Each zone-model describes the execution process of each building in the zone, the time consumed, percentage of utilization of equipment and manpower crews, amount of materials consumed, total direct and indirect cost. The model is then optimized to mainly minimize the project duration using a parameter variation experiment and a genetic code implemented using Anylogic platform. The models were then tested on a real case study in Egypt. The models prove efficiency by attaining a reduction in model time units between simulation and optimization experiments of 10.25% and reduction in total cost of 4.7%. An analysis to determine the effect of each resource on reduction in cost was presented. However, the model is limited to the scope of civil works, without considering the electromechanical works and the effect of risk factors on time and cost.

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