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Alain Zarli, Eric Pascual, Daniel Cheung

Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Abstract: A common and acknowledged vision today is the one that, in the future, buildings, along with their components, equipments, and their environment will communicate and be able to provide information on their status ubiquitously. This real-time available information will be interoperable via common protocols for holistic automation & control. The whole building will be supervised by intelligent systems, able to combine information from all connected devices, from the Internet or from energy service providers in order to efficiently control HVAC (heating & cooling), lighting, and hot water systems along with energy production, storage and consumption devices inside the building, taking into account the users' needs and wishes. In such a context, ICT is recognised as key for empowering people in the (built) universe in which they live, with smart e-metering and new smart e-devices – as well as becoming fully pervasive in the future optimization of energy in the built environment - where “Energy-efficient smart buildings” are to be buildings which contain systems that manage information for an optimal operation of building energy flows over the whole building lifecycle.In such a context, CSTB has developed an open framework for data collection and processing, to be installed in any built environment. It supports networked heterogeneous sensors and actuators (with appropriate communication protocols technology), allows assembling various “business” functions (with easy evolution and extension capability thanks to a concept of service composition and event-driven management between modules), can accommodate any hardware platform constraint (memory, computing power), and can be executed in any environments supporting a Java SE implementation. The framework is itself based on an OSGi platform. The notion of “sensor” is to be considered in a comprehensive way: physical sensor (analogic or logic), complex sub-system or meta-sensor (e.g. Agilent data acquisition system or alike), or even external services (e.g. getting weather data via the Internet). Fields of applications are energy-efficiency in the built environment, but also Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), internal air quality assessment, collection of data related to inhabitants behaviours, etc..The REEB coordination action (European strategic research roadmap to ICT enabled Energy-Efficiency in Buildings and construction), as a European R&D technology roadmap initiative (achieved in the context of an EC-funded Coordinated Action - http://www.ict-reeb.eu) has identified ICT contributions to the energy efficiency of buildings mainly via improvement (and corresponding RTD) in integrated design (and indeed ICT tools for Energy-Efficient design and production management), integrated and intelligent control, user awareness and decision support to various stakeholders throughout the whole life of buildings, energy management and trading, and integration technologies. As far as the integrated / intelligent control field is concerned, REEB has fundamentally identified the following areas for future investigation:• automation & control: system concepts, intelligent HVAC, smart lighting, ICT for micro-generation & storage systems, predictive control;• monitoring: instrumentation: smart metering;• quality of service: improved diagnostics, secure communications;• wireless sensor networks: hardware, operating systems, network design.The paper will first introduce to expectations, requirements and potential future scenarios for ICT to support integrated and optimised control in future so-called smart buildings. It will then introduce to the current trend of developments at CSTB in this area, and will present the CSTBox as a tool federating and/or complementing functions (potentially relying on already installed systems) in the built environment. After a short presentation of the REEB project, the paper will follow up with exhibiting the outcome of the REEB project in terms of roadmapping RTD activities in this technological field, also providing with a first insight of their potential impact in the future.Acknowledgement: the authors wish to thank the European Commission (DG INFSO) for its financial support to the REEB co-ordinated action. Moreover, the authors are also grateful to the REEB Consortium partners, namely ARUP, ACCIONA, CEA, LABEIN, TUD, UCC & VTT.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Intelligent and Integrated Control, REEB project, CSTBox framework, Data collection and storage

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Cheung S O, Au-Yeung R F, Wong V W K

A CBR based dispute resolution process selection system

Abstract: In construction, the use of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) to assist project management in the areas of planning, quantity measurement and quality control have been reported. A.I. can minimize subjectivity which would otherwise predominate in many management decisions, one of which is the selection of a method to resolve disputes. Disputes in construction are common and resolving them has become a daily routine of project managers. Despite its importance, the use of A.I. in dispute resolution has not been extensive. Employing an appropriate resolution process is critical to resolve construction disputes. This is because that having an appropriate resolution process should pave the path to success. In this type of selection exercise, previous experience is invaluable and thus fits nicely with the function of Case-Based Reasoning technique. Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) can systematically select a dispute resolution process to fit the circumstances of a case. This paper describes the development of a CBR based dispute resolution process selection system identified as CDRe. Forty eight cases were used to develop the system which was tested by another 9 independent cases. Seventy seven percent prediction accuracy for the testing set was achieved suggesting that the CDRe is a reasonable decision support tool for project managers.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, construction dispute resolution, case-based reasoning

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Ge X J, Lam K C, Cheung S O

Virtual soil laboratory: an exemplar of e-learning in construction

Abstract: Web-based teaching and learning have become increasingly popular, both for institutional and personal lifelong learning. Learning through the web enables students to structure their pace of study. In addition, the demand on resources such as educators? time and space can be reduced. The objective of the paper is to describe learning theory and how people learn through a constructivist approach. The paper also describes the development of a web based virtual soil laboratory and its realization, followed by highlighting the benefits of the system. It is concluded that the virtual laboratory is a supportive teaching aid and students have benefit from "learn how to learn" through constructivist approach of learning.

Keywords: virtual soil laboratory, constructivist approach, simulation, web-based teaching and learning

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Full text: content.pdf (495,699 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Moe M. S. Cheung and Ben Y. B. Chan

Vehicle-Wind-Long Span Bridge Interaction And Its Effect On Speed Limit And Vehicle Stability

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Full text: content.pdf (918,662 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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