Construction logistics in cities: the case of building hospitals

When hospitals are built or renovated, they are often operational. To reduce disturbances and improve logistics performance, construction logistics solutions (CLS) can be deployed. Today, there is no best practice regarding CLS organizing. The purpose of a study by Linköping University and Aalto University was to explore how CLS’s can be classified in order to improve the organization of future hospital project CLS’s.

The study compares how CLS’s have been organized in six hospital projects in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark with the help of city logistics classification models. The complexity of managing large hospital projects stems not only from uncertainty and dynamism but also from the multiple aspects of the project’s structural complexity. Hospitals integrate multiple advanced technologies, which should be aligned in design, procurement, delivery, and assembly operations.  Integration to the surrounding environment may also hinder logistics and construction operations, as new hospitals are often built in the existing campuses in which ongoing services should not be interrupted.

This study shows that hospital CLS’s are often initiated as a problem solver for disturbances without considering how logistics can provide more value or how to follow up the CLS performance.  One of the main construction logistics solutions has been to consolidate goods in construction logistics centers (CLC’s) to reduce the number of goods movements and to coordinate deliveries to multiple construction sites within an urban area.

The study operationalizes abstract measures from city logistics alongside contextual considerations to propose a new process for designing hospital CLS’s. The study highlights how different city logistics elements should be translated into operational and organizational features of CLS’s in hospital construction projects. The study provides a practical process of designing a CLS’s for hospital projects by utilizing current knowledge from city logistics and contextual factors affecting hospital projects.

Source: Janné, M., Fredriksson, A., & Peltokorpi, A. (2019). Designing Construction Logistics Solutions in Hospital Projects. In The 31st Annual NOFOMA Conference.

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