Modular construction logistics

Our team has been studying the design of modular construction supply chains, with emphasis on performance under conditions of operational uncertainty. The outcomes of our research have been featured in our recent articles published in the Journal of Automation in Construction [1], [2].

The benefits of modular construction stem from the use of factories for the production of building components within controlled environments. Such projects, however, are still exposed to operational delays, which may occur as a result of extreme weather events, missed deliveries, human errors and equipment failures.

Most current construction supply chain modelling tools are based on discrete event simulation (DES) models, and adopt a what-if analysis approach, instead of holistically considering uncertainty across the entire range of potential causes of disruptions.

To mitigate this gap, we developed a series of stochastic programming and robust optimisation models that could be used to determine risk-averse and highly coordinated construction logistics strategies.

Model Features

1. Analysis of schedule delays

We create a statistical model of the most prevalent assembly delay factors (i.e. weather, worker productivity, transport delays, crane failures)

2. Assembly scenario generation

Using the resulting multi-factor delay model, we generate a complete set of demand scenarios and their probability of occurrence.

3. Model execution

A stochastic/robust optimisation model is used to identify the logistics plan that minimises operational cost and delay exposure.

4. Supply chain configuration

The output of the mathematical model is used to inform production rates, inventory levels and transportation schemes.

The resulting models accommodate the presence of stochastic site demands and recommend the optimal manufacturing quantities and timings, as well as transportation plans between factories, warehouses and sites.

Project Details


Panagiotis Angeloudis   Supervisor
Jennifer Whyte   Co-supervisor
Leo Hsu   Researcher
Bani Anvari   Researcher
Jae Yung   UG Researcher

Related Publications

(2019). Risk-averse supply chain for modular construction projects. Automation in Construction. DOI
(2018). Optimal logistics planning for modular construction using two-stage stochastic programming. Automation in Construction. DOI

Related Talks

(2019). Optimal Planning for the Logistic System of Modular Construction through Multi-Stage Stochastic Programming. The 11th International Conference on City Logistics (CITY LOGISTICS 2019).
(2017). Establishing outsourcing and supply chain plans for prefabricated construction projects under uncertain productivity. 8th International Conference in Computational Logistics. DOI
(2017). Investigating Schedule Deviation in Construction Projects through Root Cause Analysis. ProjMAN - International Conference on Project MANagement. DOI
(2017). Realisation of the optimal logistics plan for modular construction. European Logistics Association Workshop 2017.
(2017). Supply chain design for modular construction projects. LC3 2017 - 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. DOI
(2016). Calibration and validation of a shared space model: Case Study. Transportation Research Record. DOI