Optimization of process integration and multi-skilled resource utilization in off-site construction

Mehrdad Arashpour, Ron Wakefield, Nick Blismas, James Minas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional approaches in construction project management assign each process to a trade contractor with an individual specialisation, and trades with the greatest work content (bottlenecks) have a significant influence on the progress rate of projects. A system with integrated processes, however, is able to function dynamically in response to variability in product demand and labour resources. This investigation aims to compare and contrast cross-training strategies that are applicable to off-site construction in order to create multi-skilled resources. To this end, the optimal number of additional skills was formulated as a constrained optimization problem. Then, production data from two prefabricated production facilities in Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia were used to construct a total of 1080 simulation experiments. Tangible performance metrics of systems were used to compare process integration strategies and use of multi-skilled resources. Findings show that choosing optimal process integration architecture depends on the level of capacity imbalance and processing time variability. This investigation optimises the decision making on process integration in off-site construction networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalAutomation in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Building operations
  • Flexible cross-training
  • Multi-skilled resources
  • Off-site production
  • Prefabricated construction
  • Process integration
  • Productivity and performance measures
  • Project management

Cite this