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Fahim Al-Neshawy, Jukka Piironen, Jari Puttonen, Tomi Laurila, Vesa Vuorinen, Mika Makitalo

The Use of ICT for Monitoring the Hygrothermal Behaviour of Building Structures

Abstract: Temperature and moisture are two of the main factors in physical, chemical and biological deterioration of building materials. Thermal gradients and movement of moisture in materials used in buildings typically cause deterioration of structures. The continuous monitoring of temperature and relative humidity provides valuable information about the long-term performance and deterioration of building structures. Documenting performance through monitoring can greatly enhance the understanding of the long-term degradation of building materials and the deterioration of the constructions due aging.The aim of this study is to develop a computerized monitoring system for building structures and test the reliability of the monitoring sensors. The study is focused on concrete building structures and consists of laboratory work and field measurements. The laboratory work focuses on designing a monitoring network system, developing a monitoring software application, assessing the reliability of the monitoring sensors, and testing of the moisture and thermally induced deterioration of concrete. The field measurements are carried out by monitoring the temperature and relative humidity of three repaired concrete facades as well as selected structures of a new school construction.The deliverable of the study will consist of two applications: (i) collecting of the moisture and thermal monitoring data and (ii) assessing the performance of building structures based on the acquired information. The results of the research will provide feasible methodologies and systems for monitoring and assessing the performance of building constructions, thus improving the quality of the final product. The scientific relevance of this research will be the improved correspondence between laboratory studies and observations of deterioration in practice.

Keywords: thermal, moisture, monitoring, assessment, building materials, sensor technology

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Karhu, Vesa

A generic construction process modelling method

Abstract: A variety of modelling methods has been used to model construction processes and projects, either during normal project planning or for process re-engineering efforts or research. One common method, which is widely used by construction industry practitioners, is scheduling. In addition to schedules, some companies have used a simple box-and-arrow method, which graphically resembles schedules, for analysing their working processes. More formal methods such as IDEF0 have been used in re-engineering projects and by researchers. All these methods are limited in scope and cannot be used to model all the aspects of the processes that practitioners are interested in. A new generic construction process modelling method, GEPM, was developed to overcome the deficiencies of the current methods. GEPM uses object-oriented principles, and has borrowed features, such as activity, task, and temporal dependency, from methods like IDEF0 and scheduling. GEPM is flexible in the sense that the conceptual model can be changed to achieve additional special features. This capability is also supported by the database implementation, which enables users to interact with the developed process models through views that represent partial models. The views support the IDEF0, scheduling, and simple flow methods. There are, though, rules for how to convert between the partial models through views. The evaluation of GEPM showed that more modelling features, i.e. modelling power, are obtained in comparison with the earlier methods. One of the essential features of GEPM is the distinction between activities and tasks. Activities define how an action will be carried out, generally using predetermined inputs to achieve a predetermined output, whereas tasks are activities with additionally specified starting and finishing times, duration and location. Moreover, a task has a type-attribute that refers to an activity where its overall template is defined. Before the actual evaluation, case material from a real project was preliminarily tested with GEPM along with the prototype application. It turned out that some additions were needed to the conceptual model of GEPM and to the prototype application. GEPM can be used for process improvement, process management, and for enhancing communication in a construction process. One usage scenario for GEPM is to define quality systems and reference models, using the activity sub-model and storing the results in the GEPM database. A project-specific model can be derived from the reference model using conversion rules, and it eventually turns into a project specific-schedule with tasks.

Keywords: Process model, IDEF0, Construction

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