MAS 2011 Proceeding

The Use of Simulation as a Pedagogical Tool in Construction Education

Authors:   Ronald Ekyalimpa, Jangmi Hong, Simaan AbouRizk


The construction industry‚??s use of simulation has greatly evolved since its introduction in the mid-70s. Aside from its use in day-to-day activities, it has been shown to be a vital tool for the transfer of specialized construction management knowledge and skills to students, which would otherwise have been acquired through a lengthy, risky, and expensive learning process on the jobsite. The construction industry has experienced considerable changes and development with respect to public & client expectations, project size, and complexity, necessitating the delivery of graduates who are already proficient in managing construction projects. This paper presents details on how simulation is used to teach a construction analysis and design course at the University of Alberta, using Simphony.NET, simulation software developed by the third author. The paper introduces Simphony.NET along with the functionality of its various modeling elements and discusses the various aspects of simulation taught in the course. Two case studies which are also covered in the course, a paving and a building operation, are then presented, as well as an exploration of other issues which arise when using a simulation-based approach to teaching a course in construction engineering.

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