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L McGibbney, B Kumar

THE WOMBRA PROJECT: A WEB-BASED ONTOLOGY-ENHANCED MULTI-PURPOSE BUILDING-REGULATION RETRIEVAL APPLICATION FOR SCOTTISH TECHNICAL STANDARDS

Abstract: An increasing amount of professional work within the domain of sustainable design and construction is becoming dependent on retrieving regulatory and advisory information over the web quickly. A common recognition that advanced search and retrieval technologies enable enormous amounts of information to be accessed has emerged. However, as a result designers and builders are finding it increasingly difficult to identify this information and assimilate them in their activities. Commercial search engines provide a generic and inaccurate method of retrieving relevant information for domain-specific needs in a focussed manner. Therefore, there is a need for developing intelligent domain-specific search and retrieval technologies under a structured information management framework. This paper presents Wombra: a web-based information search and retrieval application which employs domain specific ontology to identify (in particular) relevant energy performance building regulations. The framework builds on our previously established model, incorporating an HTTP SPARQL server, which supports the SPARQL RDF query language allowing additional truths to be inferred from our ontologies. Firstly we introduce the design and development of the customised, domain specific web search platform. Related research in this field accompanies this introduction. A theoretical model justifies the choice of technologies used and the basic construction of the search application itself. Further, we provide the reasoning behind our requirement to establish an ontology library with specific application to Scottish Technical Standards. We conclude this paper with various observations relating to on-going experiments and a discussion on future research areas. The Wombra project is being developed in collaboration with a Scottish City Council’s building control department who are actively validating the value of our approach in their daily activity of checking and approving designs for construction.

Keywords: Search and Information Retrieval, Ontology, Construction, Building Regulations, Scotland

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L Manzione, M Wyse, R Sacks, L Van Berlo, S B Melhado

KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS TO ANALYZE AND IMPROVE MANAGEMENT OF INFORMATION FLOW IN THE BIM DESIGN PROCESSand improve management of information flow in the BIM design process

Abstract: Thanks to the interoperability provided by the IFC standard, BIM technologies and IFC model servers are beginning to enable a design environment where the exchange of information among the actors can be synchronous and continuous using a single and central data model. Although this new set of technologies enables concurrent design, the problems associated with managing the flow of information itself in a concurrent design environment requires explicit management of editing rights and version control at the level of individual objects, rather than at the file level. However, while these are technical issues that have standard solutions, managing designers’ involvement in the process also becomes more challenging, requiring the development of new management methods suitable for the BIM collaborative environment.Common problems such as information ‘overflow’, incomplete modelling solutions or incorrectly matched technical solutions, and inventories of work in progress due to inattentive designers, if not treated methodically in the BIM platform, can quickly cause bottlenecks for the advancement of the process. The bottlenecks result in process waste (such as time spent waiting, large inventories of design information, processing sequences that cause unnecessary iterations, long cycle times and schedule overruns, etc.). Application of concepts that allow structuring and measuring of the information flow can improve the process and reduce the waste of resources, but there is no specific methodology for measuring information flow in a BIM environment. Taking a previous study, in which seven key performance indicators were developed and validated for application with conventional technology, as a starting point, this work has developed the methodology for using these indicators in a BIM project.

Keywords: information flow measure, collaborative design, model server, design management

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L Pietrosemoli, C Rodríguez Monroy

Construction competitiveness and knowledge management. Basic considerations

Abstract: Based on the importance of the construction, stakeholders in this industry should support its competitiveness improvement. However, authors sustain that not all are sufficiently informed about the current challenges, problems and advances regarding this industry and by this reason many valuable knowledge get lost. Understand the existence of different realities about construction, the shortages of information and state of the art is crucial to propose and implement strategies to support practical solutions. As a part of an on-going investigation, this research includes the revision of the nature, significance and challenges faced by the construction and makes reference to competitive policies, lessons learned and sustainable construction while knowledge management is emphasized as a key element to sustain construction competitiveness. Based on documental revision and field work developed with participation of oil and petrochemical construction companies and construction experts, this research present some preliminary results that confirm that there is a breach between construction knowledge available and the construction problems faced by this industry. This evidences that even of the practical knowledge available for the understanding of construction problems, to identify enhancement opportunities and to improve the complex processes related to construction, there is an important recurrence of diverse construction problems both in developed and developing countries. Based on such findings authors sustain that additional efforts must be devoted to permit that the existing knowledge transcend theory and can be used by construction organizations to improve it performance and competitiveness thus contributing to the solution of practical problems for the benefit of society. The presentation of basic information about those issues in practical way in diverse situations and with empirical evidences may facilitate the end-users change of attitude in front of such resources and thus reduce the existing gap between knowledges and construction problems.

Keywords: Competitiveness, Sustainable construction, Knowledge management

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L Simonian, N Goodell

ENERGY INFORMATION SYSTEM DASHBOARD INTEGRATING WIRELESS SENSING DEVICES WITH WIRED METERING AND CONTROLS – A CASE STUDY

Abstract: According to the most recent Annual Energy Review published by the United States Energy Information Administration, residential and commercial buildings are responsible for 40% of the energy consumed in the United States, 66% of the electricity use, and 39% of the carbon-related emissions (EIA - U.S. Department Of Energy 2009). The current emphasis is to design and construct energy efficient buildings that use 70 percent less energy (than today’s average building) by 2030, and to achieve zero net energy by supplying the remaining energy from clean and renewable resources (U.S. Department of Energy 2007). An Energy Information System (EIS) is an essential informational link towards realizing this goal. This case study exams a facility where several (wired and wireless) data acquisition systems gather energy and thermal comfort data in an institutional office building occupied predominantly by research scientists and support staff, and these systems are integrated into a single EIS. The EIS includes graphical reporting features to convey building information to operators, managers, owners, occupants and facilities personnel who have the capability to act upon the information to impact energy efficiency and comfort in the building. As EISs are still a new field, it is important to identify what needs to be done in the future to ensure their usefulness as a tool to improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort in buildings. They are an essential step on the road to achieving buildings that use zero net energy.

Keywords: Energy Information System (EIS), Wireless Sensing Network, HVAC, Energy Use

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L Zhang, R Issa

Ontology Based Partial Building Information Model Extraction

Abstract: The research and application of building information modeling (BIM) has been focused on the entire project and the complete life cycle. However, the daily routine on a construction job site has specific requirements and bears certain limitations regarding the usage of information stored in a BIM model. The limitations include scarcity of computing power and trained personnel. One of the requirements is to view a partial model instead of the original, complete model. The partial model may be defined by certain location parameters such as storey numbers and/or building grid lines. In this paper we discuss an ontology-based method to extract a partial model from a complete BIM model. The partial model, as well as the complete model, should be defined in industry foundation classes (IFC) format, which is the widely supported open standard data exchange format for BIM. Theextraction is based on an IFC-based ontology which defines the necessary building blocks of a valid IFC model and the rules of extraction. The whole process is to be implemented as a Web service allowing remote accessibility from various computing platforms. The Web service system could also be linked to other construction software applications for automating construction management functions.

Keywords: Ontology, BIM, Web Services, partial models, IFC

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M Golparvar-Fard, A Ciribini, Francesca Fascioli, E Piccinni

Challenges and Benefits of D4AR – 4 Dimensional Augmented Reality - Modeling on the Milano Bicocca Housing Project

Abstract: In this paper, the challenges and benefits of creating D4AR – 4 dimensional augmented reality– models and their applicability and usefulness for automated and visual monitoring of construction progress, safety and quality issues on typical housing projects are presented. D4AR models are generated by superimposing two emerging sources of information: (1) Building Information Models (BIM), and (2) daily construction photographs and videos. Using these two emerging and already available sources of information, the D4AR models extend the application of BIM which is primarily used for design coordination, system clash prevention and constructability analysis, to the construction phase of a project. These models automatically measure physical progress and visualize performance deviations by superimposing color-coded BIM elements over unordered and uncalibrated daily site imagery in a common 3D environment. In this study, the applicability and usefulness of these models and the prototype software developed by Golparvar-Fard et al. (2010) is tested and validated on the Bicocca housing project in Milan, Italy. The granularity of the underlying BIM and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for an accurate construction monitoring and control is studied. Furthermore, it is examined how the D4AR models can help practitioners to remotely and easily find schedule deviations, safety issues and quality inconsistencies, resolve such issues in a timely manner, inform stakeholders of the most updated status of a project on a regular basis, and engage project participants early in the revision process to minimize the negative impacts of schedule delay and cost overrun. The challenges and benefits of generating and using the D4AR models, the requirements for the granularity of the BIM and WBS for planning and scheduling are presented and their applicability and usefulness based on the research conducted on the Milano Bicocca housing project are further discussed.

Keywords: D4AR Models, Augmented Reality, Photogrammetry, Building Information Models

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M Hooper, A Ekholm

A Definition of Model Information Content for Strategic BIM Implementation

Abstract: In response to the increased early workflow implied by BIM processes it is important for design consultants to focus on creating and communicating information that is critical for its purpose (Jernigan 2008) - be it model content for 3d Design Coordination at scheme design stage, or Cost Estimation at Design Development stage, or generation of a suitable Record Model for Facilities Management. Today, with many of the technological matters of integrated information management dealt with (perhaps excluding the matter of interoperability), defining the content and status of BIM information deliveries remains both a practical and theoretical problem. A development of a participant-friendly method of articulating BIM content is required to clarify what information is needed when and conversely what information is indeed not needed to implement a BIM process at a particular stage in a construction project. Priority must be placed on the information that is vital for current tasks without getting distracted by desires to populate models with additional or other information or objects masking the absence of key information. Here there is a lack of existing knowledge to solve this practical problem.New BIM tools and new design processes and procedures have led to a certain confusion of what information is needed when for particular BIM uses. This report seeks to explore and enable a method of defining the content of model information deliverables through a review of 2 key primary specific BIM uses: 3d Design Coordination and Early Energy Appraisal through an analysis of practical application.The scope of this study is limited to a review of information flow within residential projects in a Swedish context and looks at two case projects with a view to identifying and establishing a common definition of the key BIM objects and properties necessary for particular tasks. The study follows a case construction project together with an experimental pilot design project with the purpose of extracting and recording what data is needed to carry out parallel and sequential BIM uses with optimised efficiency. By mapping both processes and the precise information needed to successfully carry out tasks, improved productivity can be realised and a greater quality of design output produced.The key deliverable from this study is the BIM-Info Delivery Protocol (IDP) which attempts to align consultant BIM-Info delivery expectations and represents a tangible solution to assist consultant disciplines manage BIM-Info.

Keywords: BIM, Building Information Modelling, information exchange, model information content

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M Kadolsky,Y Srewil, R J Scherer

Knowledge-Based on site process optimization using RFID technology

Abstract: Current field practices at construction sites still rely on manual processes for asset tracking and information handling. The result is that the information of construction processes and process states are often incomplete and not available on time. Thus, the planners are confronted with an information gap preventing efficient process planning, delays in the execution of tasks and inefficient productivity on site. Therefore, to make a convenient decision for a potential alternative solution of process planning and to perform this alternative solution, methods for continuous monitoring of all resources and analyzing of the upcoming processes are required. In this paper an approach is presented, that comprises a knowledge-based process optimization system using RFID-technology. The aim of this approach is to bridge the information gap by using RFID-technology for a continuous information stream and to manage and to analyze this information stream by using a knowledge base and a process simulation software. Here, the focus of this paper lays on the knowledge base, which represents the core of the system. It is an efficient tool for the flexible description of building parts, resources, processes and RFID-technology for ensuring the logical connectivity between the different description elements.

Keywords: RFID, process modelling, knowledge management, ontologies

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M Khalfan, T Maqsood, C Egbu, M A Noor

Supply Chain Capital in Construction Industry: A Conceptual Model

Abstract: Supply chain management is one of the concepts adopted from other industries and being translated to suit the construction industry in order to bring improvements within the industry. The recent emphasis is on the integration of the whole supply chain because of the fragmented nature of the industry, and the large number of participants involved in a project development process. One of the aspects to achieve integration is by managing both tacit and explicit knowledge existed within a project supply chain through IT systems and social interaction. The main purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model, that provides a link between construction organisations and their learning activities as part of a supply chain of a project, resulting in creation of a learning organisation and a learning supply chain. The model shows that the learning supply chains, consist of learning organisations which would create supply chain capital in order to promote innovation and creativity by managing knowledge in supply chains on long term basis. In addition, the learning organisations would also establish a virtual knowledge transfer among themselves and the supply chains they are involved. The paper also suggests that, as unit of competition changes from organisation verses organisation to chain verses chain under supply chain management, supply chain capital will become increasingly important for sustaining competition within construction industry. Therefore, supply chain capitals are to be created through managing knowledge in supply chains on long term basis using the proposed conceptual model. The model also facilitates innovation and creativity essentially required to thrive in the downturn business environment of today in many countries in different parts of the world.

Keywords: Supply Chain Capital, Supply Chain Integration, Knowledge Management, Construction Industry

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M Koenig,V Stankovski

ENERGY EFFICIENCY ALONG THE BUILDING LIFE-CYCLE: A CONCEPTUAL MODEL FOR KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE AMONG AEC PROFESSIONALS

Abstract: Building Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) promotes principles of careful treatment of the environment, preservation of the natural resources and economy in the construction and energy consumption of buildings. Recently, several information systems were developed or upgraded to support LCA. Such systems, however, do not effectively support knowledge exchange among the AEC professionals. In order to address this problem, the possibility to develop an open knowledge base supporting LCA is investigated in this study. Use cases from industry and legislation were collected and analysed. Then a conceptual model is developed by using the Web Ontology Language (OWL). Based on the model an initial knowledge base is populated with instances of new approaches, materials and methodologies related to LCA. This corresponds to key requirements from industry and demonstrates that the approach has the potential to facilitate greater knowledge exchange among AEC professionals in all LCA phases.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Sustainable buildings, Open knowledge base, Architecture.

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