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eISSN: 2572-8520

Civil Engineering

Research Article Volume 5 Issue 1

Fuzzy logic for preconstruction project planning index

Haytham H ElMousalami

Department of constructi on and utilities, faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Egypt

Correspondence: Haytham H ElMousalami, Department of construction and utilities, faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Egypt

Received: December 18, 2018 | Published: January 4, 2019

Citation: Mousalami HHE. Fuzzy logic for preconstruction project planning index. MOJ Civil Eng. 2018;5(1):5-19. DOI: 10.15406/mojce.2019.05.00143

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Planning comes in the first place and can be considered as one of the most important factors in managing construction projects. This research aims to introduce a Quality Index for Preconstruction Project Planning (QIPPP). The development of the QIPPP model follows four steps. First, collecting factors affecting the preconstruction project planning (PCPP) through a comprehensive literature review. Second, identifying the most important factor using Delphi technique. Third, assigning relative weights to each factor using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). Fourth, developing and validating a precise model for QIPPP. This model helps the user to predict the percentage of matching between the preconstruction plan and the actual values after finishing the whole project. Both deterministic model and fuzzy model have been developed where the fuzzy model produces better results than the deterministic model. This research uses project duration as a bench mark to evaluate the model by comparing the model result with two case studies.

Keywords: preconstruction project planning, planning quality index, delphi rounds, analytical hierarchy process, fuzzy logic


Overruns in project schedule and cost can cause serious financial risk to both contractors and owners.1 A significant cause for schedule delays and cost overruns in most large-scale projects may be found in unrealistic baseline plans.2 The lack of preconstruction planning is surely the major failure of contractors in the entire construction industry. So, the main stage in the project must be the planning stage. There is no available tool to measure the quality of planning or to predict how successful it is. The key objective of this study is to develop a reliable precise tool to measure the quality of planning at preconstruction project stage. The objectives of this research are:

Identifying factors affecting preconstruction project planning.

Developing a precise model for a Quality Index for Preconstruction Project Planning (QIPPP).


  1. The methodology of this research can be summarized as follows:
  2. Identify factors that affect PCPP from Literature.
  3. Use Delphi technique to obtain a short list of the most effective factors.
  4. Use Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to obtain factors’ weights in QIPPP model.
  5. Develop a QIPPP model where three models have been developed as the following:
  1. Deterministic model
  2. Fuzzy summation model
  3. Fuzzy-Fuzzy model
  4. Validate the QIPPP models and select the most accurate model.

Literature review

Integration of stakeholders at the preconstruction planning stage ensures project success and cost saving at the early stage of green building projects.3 Quality planning is a disciplined process to ensure that a structured sequence of activities is completed. These activities will ensure that an organization can provide a quality product on time, at the lowest cost and to the customer's custom specifications.4,5 Defined that planning is a process of deciding the following: (1) what activity to be completed; (2) how the activity should be completed; (3) who should complete the activity; and (4) when should the activity be completed prior to when the activity is to be performed.5,6 Moreover, The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors (PHCC) National Association have listed the benefits of preconstruction planning as the following: greater project control, increased project organization, better worker productivity, improved safety record, and increased project profitability. Construction planning is necessary to account for all the variables and situations that may arise during a construction project. In addition, Planning for construction allows a contractor to be proactive rather than reactive to the problems as they arise where that planning helps contractor to controls the direction of the project and minimize the impact of problems.7 Preconstruction planning is a comprehensive set of procedures a contractor do immediately after contract award and right before construction starts.8 One of the most important tasks in construction planning is to prepare the time plan.9 The time plan is an essential part of the planning to assure that the project is completed on time.10 divided construction planning into three levels. The first level is strategic planning which focuses on the organizations long-term objectives and vision. The second level is the tactical planning where the aim is to form a structure for the organization operation. The third level is the operational planning which aims to reach the short-term objectives of the project. The operational planning in a construction project is represented by weekly or working plans.

Factors affecting preconstruction project planning (PCPP)

This research conducted seventy-seven factors affecting PCPP, 30% of reviewed researches mention that project scope definition is one of the factors affecting PCPP. For instance,11 found in another previous studies,12,13 that success during the detailed design, construction, and startup phases of a project depends highly on the level of effort expended during the scope definition phase. While 20% of reviewed researches mention that accurate work flow planning, design errors and change orders, experience and intuition of the project team members and resource availability are affecting PCPP. Whereas, Doloi14 made a research concluded that accurate project planning and monitoring is one of eight critical factors extracted from a total of 36 selected attributes based on the responses received from clients, consultants and contractors in Cost Overruns and Failure in Project the overall sample. One of those eight factors was (accurate project planning and monitoring), according to contractors point of view accurate work flow planning is affecting accurate project planning and monitoring. Son &Rojas15 Conducted that “design errors and change orders” is one of the factors that affection project scheduling. To make good decisions, both experience from the previous contracts and the knowledge of customers' needs and local conditions must be exploited.14 A knowledge base containing all the experience gathered by the organization while executing previous projects could be an advantage. Otherwise, the decision process can be based on experience and intuition of the project team members only. Resource availability is one of the important constraints to take into account to obtain feasible scheduling Masmoudi and Hait.16 The rest of factors mentioned in 11.1% from the reviewed researches. All of those seventy-seven factors shown in Table 1.




Dumon et al. 12

Hanna and Skiffington 8

Smith and Tucker


Nowak and Nowak

Son and Rojas15

Doloi 14

Elkhayari, 2003.

Masmoudi and Hait 16


Resource capacity.










Conduct a formal turnover/planning kickoff meeting and site visit.










Select team members.










Review lessons learned.











Availability of basic and preliminary designs.










Knowledge of project requirement.










Past experience from last similar projects.










Review general and supplementary conditions.










Identify special requirements.










Create list of unknown information and prepare RFIs to convert to known information.










Review the signed contract.










Review specifications for quality requirements.










Financial analysis.










Design errors and change orders.









Project scope definition.








Engineer Staff

Details of resources required.










Accurate work flow planning.









Identify and price substitute materials and equipment.










Submit substitution request to owner/CM/GC.










Discuss alternative duct routes.










Identify potential cost savings.










Review subcontractor bids, qualifications, and current work load.










Review scope of work with subcontractors.










Write contracts for selected subcontractors.










Obtain and review owner/CM/GC (owner/construction management/general contractor) schedule.










Identify mobilization /demobilization dates.










Identify and establish delivery dates for long lead time items.










Identify construction equipment delivery dates.










Identify work by others that directly impacts sheet metal activities.










Develop a coordination schedule with other subcontractors.










Establish project subcontractor start/finish date.