ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 351-366,

Optimizing location of tower cranes on construction sites through GIS and BIM integration

submitted:March 2012
revised:August 2012
published:September 2012
editor(s):Peter Katranuschkov
authors:Javier Irizarry
Assistant Professor, School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology

Ebrahim P Karan
Phd student, School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology
summary:Tower cranes, on today’s typical building construction sites, are the centerpiece of production,hoisting and transporting of a variety of loads. Occasionally tower cranes operate with overlapping work zonesand often under time, cost and labor constraints. Identifying optimal number and location of tower cranes is animportant issue that can reduce conflicts between groups of tower cranes. Geographic information systems (GIS)facilitate the analysis of large amounts of spatial data used in the process of location optimization for tower cranes.In addition, integrating analysis results from GIS with 3D visual models enables managers to visualize the potentialconflicts with tower cranes in great detail. Building Information Modeling (BIM) helps managers to visualizebuildings before implementation takes place through a digitally constructed virtual model. Hence, in thispaper, the integrated GIS-BIM model starts with the identification of feasible locations for defined tower cranes.The method presented is based on previous works using “geometric closeness” and coverage of all demand andsupply points as key criteria for locating a group of tower cranes*). Once the geometry of the construction site isgenerated by the BIM tool, the model determines the proper combination of tower cranes in order to optimizelocation. The output of the GIS model includes one or more feasible areas that cover all demand and supplypoints, which is then linked to the BIM tool and generates 3D models to visualize the optimum location of towercranes. As a result, potential conflicts are detected in different 3D views in order to identify optimal location oftower cranes. To address the feasibility of a GIS-BIM integrated model for layout of tower cranes, an actualcase example is introduced.
keywords:Tower Crane, GIS, BIM, Interoperability, Spatial Analysis, 3D Visualization
full text: (PDF file, 1.436 MB)
citation:Javier Irizarry, Ebrahim P Karan (2012). Optimizing location of tower cranes on construction sites through GIS and BIM integration, ITcon Vol. 17, pg. 351-366,