Modeling the influence of multiskilled construction workers in the context of the covid-19 pandemic using an agent-based ap-proach
Keywords:construction, COVID-19, multiskilled workers, agent-based modeling
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, construction projects have struggled to be completed. As such, it is necessary to find alternatives that optimize the limited human resources that can be working on construction sites. One alternative to do so is using multiskilled workers so workers can be reassigned to construction activities minimizing projects’ disruption due to workers getting contagion with COVID-19. This study simulates the influence of multiskilled workers in the development of a construction project in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic using an agent-based modeling approach. The aim of the study is to quantify the influence of multiskilled workers in the deficit of construction workers due to COVID-19. The proposed model generates six scenarios to include the uncertainty from limited data from the field due to the pandemic context to quantify the deficit of workers to develop a construction project. This study found that using multiskilled workers reduces the deficit of workers required to perform critical activities in construction projects. More specifically, it can reduce the average deficit of workers roughly in half when compared with the alternative of using only single-skilled workers, from 33.4% to 16.7% of deficit. Consequently, multiskilled workers represents an alternative for construction managers to deal with the disruption from COVID-19 in construction projects from a workforce management standpoint. Understanding alternatives to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 in construction projects may assist engineers and managers in applying strategies to develop construction projects accounting the limitations that COVID-19 places on construction sites.
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