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Production system design determines the productivity and efficiency of production systems, and this is as true in construction as it is in manufacturing. Research in residential construction has long shown that principle decisions concerning batch size, crew composition and flow control strategy lead to different production system designs and strongly influence outcomes. In more recent work, we have explored the impact of production system innovation within a broad construction market, as opposed to an isolated project. In this talk, I will review the state of the art in research and practice, including production control software integrated with BIM, and discuss the implications for system wide change in the construction industry.


Rafael Sacks is the Ashtrom Chair Professor of Construction Engineering and Management at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He served as Head of Structural Engineering and Construction Management from 2012-2015, and is currently a visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge.

 Rafael’s research focuses on the synergies of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Lean Construction. Recent work at the Seskin Virtual Construction Lab at the Technion, which he leads, has included development of BIM-enabled lean production control systems; semantic enrichment of BIM models using machine-learning and rule-processing, with application to BIM interoperability, model acquisition from point-cloud data, and code-compliance checking; BIM systems for earthquake search, rescue and recovery; and design for safety. In the area of production systems for construction, the lab has pioneered design and evaluation of lean production systems for residential construction with customization, using simulations such as LEAPCON.

He is a co-author of the “BIM Handbook”, currently in its 3rd edition, and the lead author of a new book on Lean and BIM implementation in construction, “Building Lean, Building BIM: Changing Construction the Tidhar Way”. He has a rich record of publications (some 79 journal articles, 95 peer-reviewed conference papers, and numerous research reports). He was awarded the ASCE Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize for research in construction management in 2016.