Development of Automated Top-Down Construction System for Low-rise Building Structures


  • Aparna Harichandran Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • Benny Raphael Indian Institute of Technology Madras
  • Abhijit Mukherjee Curtin University


Construction monitoring, Machine Learning, Support Vector Machines, Modular construction, Operation identification, Automated construction


Automation is the best solution for achieving high productivity and quality in the construction industry at reduced cost and time. The main objective of this study is to develop an economical automated construction system (ACS) for low-rise buildings. The incremental development of the construction system and the structural system through different versions of laboratory prototypes are described in this paper. These ACS prototypes adopt a top-down construction method. This method involves the building of the structural system step by step from the top floor to the bottom floor by connecting and lifting structural modules. ACS prototype 1 consist of wooden structural modules and electric motor system. ACS prototype 2 has a highly automated custom designed hydraulic motor system to construct steel structural frame. ACS prototype 3 is a partially automated system where the steel structural modules are connected manually. These prototypes were evaluated on the basis of function, cost and efficiency of operations. Based on overall performance, ACS prototype 3 is identified as the best economical option for the construction of low-rise buildings. When the speed of construction is more important than cost, the ACS prototype 2 is the apt solution. This paper describes the challenges in developing an ACS and the criteria to evaluate its performance. It also includes a preliminary framework for the development of an automated construction monitoring system and its experimental evaluation. This machine learning-based framework is to identify the operations of ACS from sensor measurements using Support Vector Machines. Most of the operations are identified reasonably well and the best identification accuracy is 96%. The future studies are focusing on to improve the accuracy of operation identification, further development of the monitoring system and the ACS for actual implementation in construction sites.