BIM-based estimation of vertical transportation demands during the construction of high-rise buildings

Keyi Wu, Borja García de Soto, Bryan T. Adey, Feilian Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The temporary vertical transportation systems used during the construction of high-rise buildings, including tower cranes, temporary elevators, and concrete pumps, have a significant effect on the cost of a project. If they are under designed, they lead to project delays, which are expensive. If they are over designed, then they cost more to construct than necessary. The accurate estimation of vertical transportation demands is necessary to optimally determine the temporary vertical transportation systems required. The current demand estimation process is mostly manual and, therefore, time-consuming and prone to errors. In this paper, a methodology to estimate vertical transportation demands during the construction of high-rise buildings is proposed, that is automated and, therefore, both faster and less prone to errors than the current manual process. The methodology exploits building information modeling (BIM), and improves estimates by explicitly considering (1) the demands related to the transportation of temporary construction systems (i.e., formwork, shoring and scaffolding systems), auxiliary construction resources (e.g., tools, equipment), construction waste, and construction workers, (2) the demands in different construction zones, (3) the demands for inter-floor transportation and transportation to non-construction locations, (4) the demands handled by all vertical transportation systems, and their availability in these over time. Four items that have not been simultaneously considered in previous research. The methodology is demonstrated by using it to estimate the vertical transportation demands for the construction of a 36-story high-rise reinforced concrete building. It is shown that the new process is faster and more accurate, and can be easily adjusted to account for changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102985
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Concrete pump
  • Data integration
  • Formwork
  • High-rise building
  • Temporary construction system
  • Temporary elevator
  • Temporary vertical transportation system
  • Tower crane
  • Vertical transportation demand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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