Cloud Computing as a Construction Collaboration Tool for Precast Supply Chain Management


  • Mohammad Abedi Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Norshakila Muhamad Rawai Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • Mohamad Syazli Fathi Construction Quality & Maintenance Research Group, Construction Research Alliance, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Abdul Karim Mirasa School of Engineering & Information Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Locked Bag 2073, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia



Precast construction, collaboration, cloud computing, collaboration tool, supply chain management, coordination


Precast construction projects are characterized by many activities, the involvement of numerous parties, a lot of effort and enormous processes. Precast supply chain phases are classified as: planning, design, manufacturing, transportation, installation and construction. Achieving integrated construction requires the parties within the precast supply chain phases to have efficient communication and effective collaboration to deliver proper and up-to-date information. The aim of this research is to explore cloud computing technology as the construction collaboration tool and to propose the cloud system architecture for precast supply chain management. The findings in this research are based on a comprehensive review of supply chain management, cloud computing and the precast industry. Findings illustrate that the major obstacles to precast construction are: poor planning and scheduling, less flexibility in design, production lead time, heavy precast components and poor on-site coordination. These obstacles could contribute to the negative consequences for the efficiency and effectiveness of precast project delivery. Therefore, cloud computing technology has valuable potential to mitigate these obstacles and deliver an effective collaboration system within the precast construction industry. 


Sadeghiamirshahidi, N., Afshar, J., Firouzi, A.R. and Hassan, S. A. H. S. 2014. Improving the Efficiency of Manufacturing Supply Chain Using System Dynamic Simulation. Jurnal Teknologi. 69(2): 123–125.

Al-Bazi, A. F., Dawood, N. and Dean, J. T. 2010. Improving Performance and the Reliability of Off-Site Precast Concrete Production Operations Using Simulation Optimisation. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon). 15: 335–356. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from

Chen, Y., Okudan, G. E. and Riley, D. R. 2010. Sustainable Performance Criteria for Construction Method Selection in Concrete Buildings. Automation in Construction. 19(2): 235–244.

Chen, Y., Okudan, G. E. and Riley, D. R. 2010. Decision Support for Construction Method Selection in Concrete Buildings: Prefabrication Adoption and Optimization. Automation in Construction. 19(6): 665–675.

Kaner, I., Sacks, R., Kassian, W. and Quitt, T. 2008. Case Studies of BIM Adoption for Precast Concrete Design by Midsized Structural Engineering Firms. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), Special Issue Case studies of BIM use. 13: 303–323. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from

Linner, T. and Bock, T. 2012. Evolution of Large-Scale Industrialisation and Service Innovation in Japanese Prefabrication Industry. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management. 12(2): 156–178.

Blismas, N. and Wakefield, R. 2009. Drivers, Constraints and the Future of Offsite Manufacture in Australia. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management. 9(1): 72–83.

VanGeem, M. 2006. Achieving Sustainability with Precast Concrete. Journal of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI JOURNAL). 51: 42–61.

Cheong, Y. W., Kwan, H. P. and Hariyanto, A. D. 2005. Quality Control in Precast Production: A Case Study on Tunnel Segment Manufacture. DIMENSI, Journal of Architecture and Built Environment. 33(2): 153–164.

Wan Mahmood, W. H., Ab Rahman, M. N. and Deros, B. M. 2012. Green Supply Chain Management in Malaysian Aero Composite Industry. Jurnal Teknologi. 59(2): 13–17.

Nourbakhsh, M., Zin, R. M., Irizarry, J., Zolfagharian, S. and Gheisari, M. 2012. Mobile Application Prototype for On-Site Information Management in Construction Industry. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management. 19(5): 474–494.

Rawai, N. M., Fathi, M. S., Abedi, M. and Khalid, C. M. L. 2013. A Fundamental Review On Mobile Information System For Sustainable Project Management. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Geotechnical & Transportation Engineering (GEOTROPIKA) and The 1st International Conference on Construction and Building Engineering (ICONBUILD)–GEOCON2013, Persada Johor International Convention Centre, Malaysia. 292–298.

Irizarry, J., Zolfagharian, S., Nourbakhsh, M., Zin, R. M., Jusoff, K. and Zakaria, R. 2012. The Development of a Sustainable-Construction Planning System. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon). 17: 162–178. Retrieved 12 August 2014, from

Abd Majid, M. Z., Zakaria, W. Z., Lamit, H., Keyvanfar, A., Shafaghat, A. and Bakti, E. S. 2012. Construction Information Systems for Executive Management in Monitoring Work Progress. Advanced Science Letters. 15(1): 169–171.

Zakaria, W. Z., Abd. Majid, M. Z. and Nourbakhsh, M. 2012. Developing an Executive Information Site Monitoring System. Advanced Materials Research. 446–449: 1002–1005.

Chi, H. L., Kang, S. C. and Wang, X. 2013. Research Trends and Opportunities of Augmented Reality Applications in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. Automation in Construction. 33: 116–122.

Redondo, E., Fonseca, D., Sánchez, A. and Navarro, I. 2013. New Strategies Using Handheld Augmented Reality and Mobile Learning-Teaching Methodologies, in Architecture and Building Engineering Degrees. Procedia Computer Science. 25: 52–61.

Abedi, M., Rawai, N.M., Fathi, M.S. and Mirasa, A.K. 2013. Construction Collaboration Tools for Precast Supply Chain Management. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Geotechnical & Transportation Engineering (GEOTROPIKA) and The 1st International Conference on Construction and Building Engineering (ICONBUILD)–GEOCON2013, Persada Johor International Convention Centre, Malaysia. 282–291.

Abedi, M., Fathi, M.S. and Rawai, N. M. 2013. The Impact of Cloud Computing Technology to Precast Supply Chain Management. International Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 2(4A): 13–16.

Karhu, V. 1997. Product Model Based Design of Precast Facades. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon). 2: 1–31. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from

Polat, G. 2010. Precast Concrete Systems in Developing vs. Industrialized Countries. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management. 16(1): 85–94.

Wang, L. C., Lin, Y. C. and Lin, P. H. 2007. Dynamic Mobile RFID-Based Supply Chain Control and Management System in Construction. Advanced Engineering Informatics. 21(4): 377–390.

Harsha, N., Punith, M. Y. R. and Nagendra, G. C. K. 2013. Importance of Information Sharing in Construction Supply Chain Management: A Review. Tenth AIMS International Conference on Management, Bangalore, India, 6–9 January. 3719–3722.

Chan, W. T. and Hu, H. 2002. Constraint Programming Approach to Precast Production Scheduling. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 128(6): 513–521.

Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. 2010. A Guide to Designing with Precast/Prestressed Concrete. Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI), Chicago.

Tatum, C. B., Vanegas, J. M. and Williams, J. M. 1987. Constructability Improvement Using Prefabrication, Preassembly, and Modulization. Source Document No. 25, Construction Industry Institute, Austin, Texas.

London, K. A. and Kenley, R. 2001. An Industrial Organisation Economic Supply Chain Approach for the Construction Industry: A Review. Construction Management and Economics. 19(8): 777–788.

Koskela, L. and Leikas, J. 1997. Lean Manufacturing of Construction Components. In: Alarcon, L. (Ed.), Lean Construction, A. A. Balkema Publishers, Rotterdam, Netherlands. 263–271.

Crowley, A. 1998. Construction as a Manufacturing Process: Lessons from the Automotive Industry. Computers & Structures. 67(5): 389–400.

Egan, S. J. 1998. Rethinking Construction: The Report of the Construction Industry Task Force. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, HMSO, London. 1–37. Retrieved 12 August 2014, from

Gibb, A. G. F. 1999. Off-site Fabrication: Prefabrication, Pre-assembly and Modularisation. Whittles Publishing Services, Caithness, UK.

Vrijhoef, R. and Koskela, L. 2000. The Four Roles of Supply Chain Management in Construction. European Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management. 6(3–4): 169–178.

Polat, G. 2009. Simulation-Based Efficiency Assessment Approach for Rebar Supply Chains in Turkey. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management. 9(1): 101–121.

Pheng, L. S. and Chuan, C. J. 2001. A Study of the Readiness of Precasters for Just-In-Time Construction. Work Study. 50(4): 131–140.

Pheng, L. S. and Chuan, C. J. 2001. Just-in-Time Management of Precast Concrete Components. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 127(6): 494–501.

Pheng, L. S. and Chuan, C .J. 2001. Just-in-Time Management in Precast Concrete Construction: A Survey of the Readiness of Main Contractors in Singapore. Integrated Manufacturing Systems. 12(6): 416–429.

Sacks, R., Eastman, C. M. and Lee, G. 2004. Process Model Perspectives on Management and Engineering Procedures in the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Industry. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 130(2): 206–215.

Jianguo, C., Jian, F., Zan, W., Yao, C. and Yafei, L. 2008. Investigation of a Precast Concrete Structure System. Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Management, Innovation Management and Industrial Engineering (ICIII’08), 19–21 December, Nanjing, China. 3: 449–452.

Wu, P. and Low, S. P. 2011. Lean Production, Value Chain and Sustainability in Precast Concrete Factory-A Case Study in Singapore. Lean Construction Journal. 2011: 19–36.

Rahim, A. A., Hamid, Z. A., Zen, I. H., Ismail, Z. and Kamar, K. A. M. 2012. Adaptable Housing of Precast Panel System in Malaysia. Procedia–Social and Behavioral Sciences. 50: 369–382.

Dassori, E. and Frasani, M. 2002. Support System for Project Management and Production of Concrete Precast Elements. Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Building Technology, 4–6 December, Hong Kong, China. 2: 1689–1696.

Hamill, P., Bertolini, M., Biebighauser, M., Bechara, C. H. and Wilden, H. 2006. Precast Concrete Value Engineering Accommodates Difficult Site. Journal of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI JOURNAL). 51(4): 18–33.

Dawood, N. and Al-Bazi, A. 2008. Development of An Intelligent Manufacturing Management Simulation Model: An Application to the Precast Concrete Industry. Proceedings of the Intelligent Computing in Engineering (ICE08). Plymouth, UK, 2–4 Jul. 1–11.

Gibb, A., and Isack, F. 2003. Reengineering Through Preassembly: Client Expectations and Drivers. Building Research & Information. 31(2): 146–160.

Polat, G. 2008. Factors Affecting the Use of Precast Concrete Systems in the United States. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 134(3): 169–178.

Dawood, N. N. and Marasini, R. 1999. Optimization of Stockyard Layout for the Precast Building Products Industry. In: Hughes, W (Ed.), 15th Annual ARCOM Conference, 15-17 September, Liverpool John Moores University, Association of Researchers in Construction Management. 2: 445–454.

Arditi, D., Ergin, U. and Gunhan, S. 2000. Factors Affecting the Use of Precast Concrete Systems. Journal of Architectural Engineering. 6(3): 79–86.

Benjaoran, V. and Dawood, N. 2006. Intelligence Approach to Production Planning System for Bespoke Precast Concrete Products. Automation in Construction. 15(6): 737–745.

Mlinarić, V. and Sigmund. Z. 2009. Problems in Large Scale Precast Construction Projects. CIB Joint International Symposium 2009: Construction Facing Worldwide Challenges, Dubrovnik, Croatia, 27 September–1 October. 182–188.

Kiong, N. B. and Akasah, Z. A. 2011. Maintenance Factor for Precast Concrete in IBS: A Review. National Postgraduate Conference (NPC), 19–20 Sep, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia. 1–6.

Ikonen, J., Knutas, A., Hämäläinen, H., Ihonen, M., Porras, J. and Kallonen, T. 2013. Use of Embedded RFID Tags in Concrete Element Supply Chains. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon). 18: 119–147. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from

Abdul Hamid, N. H. 2006. In–Plane and Biaxial Performance Of Seismic Precast Hollow Core Wall With Different Types Of Energy Dissipators. Jurnal Teknologi. 44(B): 47–62.

Lee, J. H. 2012. Behavior of Precast Prestressed Concrete Bridge Girders Involving Thermal Effects and Initial Imperfections During Construction. Engineering Structures. 42: 1–8.

Martí, J.V., Gonzalez-Vidosa, F., Yepes, V. and Alcalá, J. 2013. Design of Prestressed Concrete Precast Road Bridges with Hybrid Simulated Annealing. Engineering Structures. 48: 342–352.

Persson, S. 2006. Information Management Regarding the Production of Precast Concrete Structures. Joint International Conference on Computing and Decision Making in Civil and Building Engineering, Montréal, Canada, 14–16 June. 955–964.

Al-Bazi, A. and Dawood, N. 2009. A Decision Support System for Precast Concrete Manufacturing Planning: An Innovative Crew Allocation Optimiser. CSCE 2009 Annual General Meeting & Conference, Canada, 27–30 May. 1–12.

Al-Bazi, A. and Dawood, N. 2010. Developing Crew Allocation System for the Precast Industry Using Genetic Algorithms. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering. 25(8): 581–595.

Sousa, H., Sousa, C., Neves, A. S., Bento, J. and Figueiras, J. 2013. Long-Term Monitoring and Assessment of a Precast Continuous Viaduct. Structure and Infrastructure Engineering: Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and Performance. 9(8): 777–793.

Ko, C. H. and Wang, S. F. 2011. Precast Production Scheduling Using Multi-Objective Genetic Algorithms. Expert Systems with Applications. 38(7): 8293–8302.

Wu, P. and Low, S. P. 2012. Lean Management and Low Carbon Emissions in Precast Concrete Factories in Singapore. Journal of Architectural Engineering. 18(2): 176–186.

Soutsos, M. N., Tang, K. and Millard, S. G. 2012. The Use of Recycled Demolition Aggregate in Precast Concrete Products–Phase III: Concrete Pavement Flags. Construction and Building Materials. 36(1): 674–680.

Aram, S., Eastman, C. and Sacks, R. 2013. Requirements for BIM Platforms in the Concrete Reinforcement Supply Chain. Automation in Construction. 35: 1–17.

Alinaitwe, H. M., Mwakali, J. and Hansson, B. 2006. Assessing the Degree of Industrialisation in Construction-A case of Uganda. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management. 12(3): 221–229.

Fang, Y. and Ng, S.T. 2008. Optimising Time and Cost in Construction Material Logistics. Proceedings of the BuHu 8th International Postgraduate Research Conference, The Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, 26–27 June. 389–400. Retrieved 12 August 2014, from

Persson, S., Malmgren, L. and Johnsson, H. 2009. Information Management in Industrial Housing Design and Manufacture. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon). 14: 110–122. Retrieved 12 August 2014, from

Nawari, N. O. 2012. BIM Standard in Off-Site Construction. Journal of Architectural Engineering. 18(2): 107–113.

Rönneblad, A. and Olofsson, T. 2003. Application of IFC in Design and Production of Precast Concrete Constructions. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), Special Issue IFC-Product models for the AEC arena. 8: 167–180. Retrieved 12 August 2014, from

Sacks, R., Eastman, C. M., Lee, G., and Orndorff, D. 2005. A Target Benchmark of the Impact of Three-Dimensional Parametric Modelling in Precast Construction. Journal of the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. 50(4): 126–139.

Senaratne, S. And Ekanayake, S. 2012. Evaluation of Application of Lean Principles to Precast Concrete Bridge Beam Production Process. Journal of Architectural Engineering. 18(2): 94–106.

Lim, L. Y. and Low, S. P. 1992. Just-In-Time Productivity in Construction. SNP Publishers, Singapore.

Fang, Y. and Ng, S.T. 2011. Applying Activity-Based Costing Approach for Construction Logistics Cost Analysis. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management. 11(3): 259–281.

Dawood, N. and Marasini, R. 2001. Stockyard layout Planning and Management for the Precast Concrete Products Industry. Logistics Information Management. 14(5–6): 328–337.

Jang, W. S. and Skibniewski, M. J. 2008. A Wireless Network System for Automated Tracking of Construction Materials on Project Sites. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management. 14(1): 11–19.

Marasini, R. and Dawood, N. 2002. Simulation Modelling and Optimization of Stockyard Layouts for Precast Concrete Products. Proceedings of the 34th Conference on Winter Simulation: Exploring New Frontiers, San Diego, CA, USA, 8–11 Dec. 2: 1731–1736.

Mohammed, F. and Ibrahim, O. 2013. Refining E-government Readiness Index by Cloud Computing. Jurnal Teknologi. 65(1): 23–34.

Abedi, M., Fathi, M.S. and Rawai, N.M. 2012. Cloud Computing Technology for Collaborative Information System in Construction Industry. 18th International Business Information Management Association (IBIMA), Istanbul, Turkey, 9 & 10 May. 593–602.

Ranjan, R. and Zhao, L. 2013. Peer-to-Peer Service Provisioning in Cloud Computing Environments. The Journal of Supercomputing. 65(1): 154–184.

Fathi, M. S., Abedi, M., Rambat, S., Rawai, S. and Zakiyudin, M. Z. 2012. Context-Aware Cloud Computing for Construction Collaboration. Journal of Cloud Computing. 2012(2012): 1–11.

Fathi, M. S., Abedi, M. and Rawai, S. 2012. The Potential of Cloud Computing Technology for Construction Collaboration. International Journal of Applied Mechanics and Materials. 174–177: 1931–1934.

Rawai, N. M., Fathi, M. S., Abedi, M. and Rambat, S. 2013. Cloud Computing for Green Construction Management. Third International Conference on Intelligent System Design and Engineering Applications (ISDEA), China, Hong Kong, 16–18 Jan. 432–435. Retrieved 28 July 2014, from

Lee, J., Cho, J., Seo, J., Shon, T. and Won, D. 2013. A Novel Approach to Analyzing for Detecting Malicious Network Activity Using a Cloud Computing Testbed. Mobile Networks and Applications. 18(1): 122–128.

Rabai, L. B. A., Jouini, M., Aissa, A. B. and Mili, A. 2013. A Cybersecurity Model in Cloud Computing Environments. Journal of King Saud University–Computer and Information Sciences. 25(1): 63–75.

Rezguia, A., Malik, Z., Xia, J., Liu, K. and Yang, C. 2013. Data-Intensive Spatial Indexing on the Clouds. Procedia Computer Science. 18: 2615–2618.

Liu, C., Zhu, L., Wang, M. and Tan, Y.A. 2014. Search Pattern Leakage in Searchable Encryption: Attacks and New Construction. Information Sciences. 265: 176¬–188.

Cui, Y., Ma, X., Wang, H., Stojmenovic, I. and Liu, J. 2013. A Survey of Energy Efficient Wireless Transmission and Modeling in Mobile Cloud Computing. Mobile Networks and Application. 18(1): 148–155.

Sultan, N. and Bunt-Kokhuis, S. V. D. 2012. Organisational Culture and Cloud Computing: Coping with a Disruptive Innovation. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management. 24(2): 167–179.

Cohen, J., Filippis, I., Woodbridge, M., Bauer, D., Hong, N.C., Jackson, M., Butcher, S., Colling, D., Darlington, J., Fuchs, B. and Harvey, M. 2013. RAPPORT: Running Scientific High-Performance Computing Applications on the Cloud. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series A, Mathematical Physical & Engineering Sciences. 371(1983): 1–15.

Zhang, L. and Issa, R. R. A. 2012. Comparison of BIM Cloud Computing Frameworks. Proceedings of Computing in Civil Engineering, Reston, Florida, USA. 389–396.

Karamouz, M., Zahmatkesh, Z. and Saad, T. 2013. Cloud Computing in Urban Flood Disaster Management. Proceedings of World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2013: Showcasing the Future, Ohio. 2747–2757.

Mell, P. and Grance, T. 2011. The NIST Deï¬nition of Cloud Computing, National Institute of Standards and Technology. Special Publication. 800–145: 1–7.

Goscinski, A. and Brock, M. 2010. Toward Dynamic and Attribute Based Publication, Discovery and Selection for Cloud Computing. Future Generation Computer Systems. 26(7): 947–970.

You, P. and Huang, Z. 2013. Towards an Extensible and Secure Cloud Architecture Model for Sensor Information System. International Journal of Distributed Sensor Networks. 2013: 1–12.

Abrishami, S., Naghibzadeh, M. and Epema, D.H.J. 2013. Deadline-Constrained Work Flow Scheduling Algorithms for Infrastructure as a Service Clouds. Future Generation Computer Systems. 29(1): 158–169.

Lin, X. and Zheng, X. 2013. A Cloud-Enhanced System Architecture for Logistics Tracking Services. Proceedings of International Conference on Computer, Networks and Communication Engineering (ICCNCE 2013), Beijing, China. 545–548.

Lin, B. P., Tsai, W., Wu, C. C., Hsu, P. H., Huang, J. Y. and Liu, T. 2013. The Design of Cloud-based 4G/LTE for Mobile Augmented Reality with Smart Mobile Devices. Proceedings of 7th International Symposium on Service Oriented System Engineering (SOSE 2013), Redwood, USA. 561–566.