UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Simsite.net - a web-based construction management game Fan, Harry Hongqin


The construction industry is distinguished by low productivity, high uncertainties and risks, and a long learning curve for university graduates entering the industry. Past and current simulation research proves that construction simulation games are effective as management learning tools in training and education of entry-level to intermediate-level participants. SimSite.Net is a construction management simulation game built on the Microsoft .Net platform; it represents a substantial enhancement of a previously developed game called SimSite 1.0b. Implemented as an interactive web site, the game is designed to allow users to plan, schedule and monitor an online virtual project, gaining hands-on experience about the decision-making process of a constructed facility. The basic concept of a Physical Component Breakdown Structure (PCBS), a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), technology and method selection, resource assignment, Critical Path Method (CPM) scheduling, and the uncertainties involved in construction are all represented in the system, and the relationships involved in time-cost trade-off and productivity influences are explored throughout the game. The web site is comprised of three parts. The first part contains project documents and a reference library that allow the users to browse through the drawings, specifications, and photos of the project, and watch video clips demonstrating typical construction activities. In the second part, the user breaks down the project into components based on structure and constructability, defines activities, selects work methods for a number of important activities, defines network logic, and generates a planning and scheduling report from the system. In the third part, the system generates monthly reports after incorporating perturbations from environmental and economical factors, and the user can adjust the resources and working time for the following month to bring the progress back onto schedule and costs under control. Delays in completion will subject the user to a liquidated damage charge on a daily basis. A project duration or cost exceeding the allowable limits will be deemed failure in the game play. The game is a typical three-tier web application with a project database hosted on SQL Server 2000 and a web application on a web server. A single-span railway bridge in Lions Bay, BC was selected for a case study. However, the game can be used for other projects by addition and modification of the project database.

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