Construction simulation is the process of using computer-based smart tools to understand how external and internal factors, such as weather or resource planning, influence the life cycle of a construction project, and how the project is affected as those factors change. These computer-based tools are known as construction simulation software.
Construction simulation software, which often leverages Building Information Modeling (BIM), can help stakeholders in the construction industry better measure their productivity. It may also be used for the comparison of different construction methods, site planning, scheduling tasks, estimating profitability, and risk analysis.
The exponential increase in the adoption of construction simulation by construction stakeholders has been, in part, driven by the emergence of construction simulation software like ALICE Technologies which can help owners and general contractors manage time, assess risk, save on costs, and plan around project delays.
Benefits of construction simulation software
View multiple construction plans in a matter of minutes
With construction simulation software, you can check out in a matter of minutes the results and deliverables for each construction plan you may have.
Minimize scheduling problems
WIth construction simulation software, you can determine factors that may lead to project delays and work around it.
What makes it remarkably easier and beneficial for use compared to a network diagram is that you can highlight the source of a slowdown and use the platform to generate a corrected schedule where this delay no longer exists.
Construction managers can use the software to increase schedule conformance to clients' needs. For instance, Parsons, an American technology-focused engineering firm founded as far back as 1944, attests to how ALICE, a construction simulation software, helped develop a competitive construction schedule for a $2.6 billion project.
Pre-determine risks and opportunities to save costs
Simulating construction may also help identify the risks in a particular construction plan or process and points where you can minimize costs.
Through simulation, engineers, architects, and other stakeholders have a futuristic vision of the risks involved in the construction process and can act on this information to ensure a safe and seamless execution of the project.
Steps involved in selecting the right simulation software
Clearly state the problem you wish to address with the software
One of the essential steps in determining the right simulation software is understanding the problems you wish to address. If construction delays are a serious pain point, you have to be sure the software has provisions to simulate all factors that can cause a delay in production. This ranges from low budget and material costs to difficulty in hiring labor.
What if you don’t have a BIM model and need to simulate your project? You may want to get an AI-powered construction software platform like ALICE, which also works with simple block diagrams.
Or do you want to carry out a risk analysis instead? The simulation tool you want to employ must be able to explicitly model dependencies, failures, and interactions between various external factors.
Determine what type of simulation software is required
Do you want construction simulation software that uses machine learning or a different type of AI? There are different simulation frameworks, each designed to tackle different problems. It’s therefore pertinent to identify what type of problem you seek to address and what type of simulation software is best for it.
If you are construction in an earthquake-prone area, you will probably be shopping for a software tool that considers historical data.
Otherwise, you will probably be looking for simulation software that uses a different type of algorithm for construction optioneering.
If you are getting this simulation solution to update your processes or solve a particular problem, you have to be sure the platform is exactly what you need. A demo shows you exactly how the software applies to your needs. It also provides insights on how to optimize the solution for your use.
Unlike a free trial, that has no or limited support, a demo gives you the chance to ask questions about the platform. You also get an all-around view of the platform’s benefits.
Although most solutions are designed to run smoothly, technical problems may sometimes arise. So it’s recommended you stick with a solution with efficient customer service.
Select the best tools that seem to satisfy the above requirements
Before making a final decision, you may want to go through the customer reviews, web pages, case studies, and recorded webinars of the solutions.
You may take it a step further by placing a phone call to the technical sales representatives or contacting them via their social media pages.