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Debras P, Zarl A, Amar V, Poyet P

The distributed information service in the VEGA project: an approach towards the harmonisation of STEP, SGML and EDIFACT informationstandards for the support of integrated and distributed construction projectinformation systems.

Abstract: Over the past two decades, the complexity of engineering projects has increased. In such a context, havingaccess to the right information at the right time is often crucial. In the area of Information Management,numerous efforts have already been made under the auspices of various major institutes towards theelaboration of Information Standards. Whether it be STEP for Product Data representation and exchange,SGML for documentation structuring and support or EDIFACT for Electronic Data Interchange, thesestandardisation efforts all address complementary aspects related to the representation and communication of engineering project information. However, both at the conceptual and technological levels, end-usersnowadays face a lack of integration among these various existing or emerging Information Standards.Building upon the on-going specification and implementation of a CORBA based middleware layer allowingthe distribution of any STEP SDAI models, the Distributed Information Service of the VEGA EuropeanEsprit Research project addresses the integration and distribution of construction project information systemsat two different levels. First, the conceptual level is concerned with the elaboration of STEP EXPRESSproduct data models supporting SGML documentary models and documents but also EDIFACT messagesmodels and messages. The implementation level is then concerned with the development of dedicatedconverters supporting the back and forth translation of SGML documents and EDIFACT messages towardsthe STEP format, finally providing a remote access to any kind of information for all the actors involved in a construction project.

Keywords: Distributed Information System, STEP, SGML, EDIFACT.

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Full text: content.pdf (131,579 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1997 (browse)
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Debras P

Construction application of a gen-network : uniform access to standards, products and company information

Abstract: "Facing an increasing competitive environment where flexibility and adaptability to change are the obliged route to success, building and construction companies have to continuously renew their working habits while keeping business processes under quality, time and cost control. In the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) domain, the wide diversity in terms of the object built, but also associated to the geographical dispersion of actors and building sites makes such an agility even more crucial. Considering the design and tendering phase of a construction operation, the architects and construction engineers have to efficiently select the manufactured products that will best suit the project while complying to its numerous constraints. Beyond the functionality, performance and cost characteristics, a suitable product has also to conform to the applying regulations and standards, be eventually accompanied with a corresponding technical agreement, offer acceptable delivery solutions on the building site. Moreover, once identified within a manufacturer catalogue, the product has to be integrated into the architect or engineer application desktop, whether it be a CAD, specification writer or quantity take-off application. Addressing these needs, the Global Engineering Networking (GEN) initiative is promoting the reuse of company internal and external engineering knowledge through the emergence of new kind of global market places where actors publish and retrieve on-line a wide range of engineering information and services. In particular, The Construction Pilot in EP 22 284 GENIAL project demonstrates over the AEC domain, the relevance of new generation of Information Technology infrastructures supporting the erection of Value-Added Service Provider (VASP) sites that materialise the GEN vision, i.e. allowing information and services to smoothly be retrieved where required whilst the succeeding company is concentrating on its core competencies. With such an infrastructure, whether it is through material, performances, manufacturer, regulation or price discrimination, the appropriate component, document or service is rapidly and cost effectively brought on the designer desk for the best value of the overall project. On the other side of the communication pipe, the supplying partner gains the opportunity of reaching an enlarged audience as IT now commonly break any geographical distance. In practice, three major information publishers and a building contractor in Europe initiate the GEN network in the AEC domain through the erection of VASP sites offering product, company or document related information. User queries are governed by various standard (EPIC, UNICLASS) or corpus specific (BATIBASE, EDIBATEC) classification systems. Relevance of the overall approach is demonstrated through the presentation of a large variety of such queries for the various information corpuses used : Techcom company and product information, BIC company, product and document, REEF regulation documentary corpus or EDIBATEC product information."

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Full text: content.pdf (748,881 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.032376) class.retrieve (0.019963) class.roadmaps (0.012591)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by Icelandic Building Research Institute. The assistance of the editor, Mr. Gudni Gudnason, is gratefully appreciated


Drogemuller R M, Smith J

Integrating the building procurement process using knowledge based technology

Abstract: Computer based methods for facilitating building procurement have been proposed for over twenty years, but progress on such systems has been slow. This paper describes a project built around a three dimensional computer model of the building to be constructed, Knowledge based techniques are used to build up the level of detail required at each stage of development. Data entry requirements are minimised since only the information unique to the project need be entered. Standard information is stored as default values from previous similar projects. The user interface is simple, with a combination of menus to control the flow of information and dialogues to enter textual information. An ‘intelligent’ CAD interface is used to enter the building geometry. The system has been developed around the design and construction of detached houses, but the principles demonstrated are relevant across the standard building types. In its current form the user can access the geometric and spatial parameters of the building, derive costing data and perform thermal analyses. There is an option to export scheduling information to an eaernal CPM program. This furnishes the basis for planning the construction activities. The flexibility of the system indicates that knowledge based systems are a viable technology for assisting construction management.

Keywords: knowledge based systems; knowledge based estimating; multi-expert system; geometric reasoning; Prolog

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


Ellenberg I M

Education inrformation technology and the construction industry

Abstract: The acceptance of Information Technology (IT) has been growing within the construction industry for some time. This however has been largely restricted to the design professionals, including architects and engineers - it has not (except in a few exceptions) had the same impact on the construction site. Parr of this can be traced back to the training. Most architectural students are familiar with Computer Aided Drafting (GAD), whilst most engineering students are acquainted with the various related design packages. The same cannot always be said with respect to the building construction students. In the past building students have been taught computer programming related to some aspect of mathematics, engineering or simple scheduling. Today this is changing with the emphasis on the application of computers and is demonstrated by the growing use of spreadsheets adopted for specific reporting tasks through to the use of aophisticated scheduling packages, estimating packages and so forth. This extends to development of data bases for their own use and the use of service provided data. Most students today have access through their computer terminals at the University to world wide data banks, either at other university libraries through such services as AARNET (The Australian Academic Network) or other similar services. The access to CD Row information such as provided by Standards Australia has become one of the normal tools available to students. Facsimile and modem data exchange methods are parr of every day living. It can be expected that having graduated, the student will encourage their employer to provide similar services. Implementation of computer tendering as forecast for Singapore, will provide further encouragement for the employer to improve h i s commercial advantage. The growth of the wobfle telephone and facsimile is already widely accepted and IT is the logical next step.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,499,439 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.store (0.050024) class.synthesis (0.024963) class.environment (0.023501)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


Farinha M F

An educational tool in earthquake engineering

Abstract: "One of the main social purposes of education is the transmission of knowledge to the subsequent generations, in the most appropriate form. Throughout time, educators have resorted to the technologies at hand, in order to establish the best possible mechanisms for knowledge delivery. Increasing ease of access to computers and recent advances seen in information technologies now mean that these can be used as an important tool in the education process. The work that is presented in this paper is intended to demonstrate the potential of these systems in the understanding of the seismic phenomenon and in creating students’ awareness of the importance of the design of structural systems that will have a good performance under seismic conditions. The graphical presentation of vibration modes gives a clear understand of the structure’s behaviour. The main benefits that are expected are: i) to enhance the students’ interests on earthquake engineering; ii) to support students’ work so that they may become less dependent on the physical human presence, for tutoring and iii) to enable students to address more difficult and complex problems."

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Full text: content.pdf (896,203 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.048279) class.education (0.036006) class.analysis (0.026182)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by Icelandic Building Research Institute. The assistance of the editor, Mr. Gudni Gudnason, is gratefully appreciated


Futcher K G

User survey on a wan portfolio M.I.S. used for porfolio/project management in Hong Kong.

Abstract: This paper presents the results of recent research into the user expectations for a Management_Information_System (MIS) for the project/portfolio-managed delivery of a large and diverse range of projects. In 1998, the Works Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong undertook objective measurement of the extent that an MIS, called the PW_MS, contributed to the successful project and portfolio management of its large and diverse portfolio of more than two thousand public works projects. This rolling-programme of projects includes up to 72 types of public infrastructure. The delivery process depends on a highly differentiated organisation in which each of the public works departments has different staffing levels, workloads, locations, and each undertake different types of work. The objective of the assessment was to determine: · the extent that the PW_MS was successfully used for the management of individual projects; · the extent that the PW_MS was successfully used to help manage the portfolios-of-projects overall; · the extent that other means of data collection and reporting that are otherwise used for both of these functions; and, · to identify the requirements for an improved MIS. This paper presents the results of this postal survey of a population of five hundred and eighty-four authorised users of the PW_MS. It is a complex WAN system, with 168 terminals in the client and public works offices for operational access to the MIS. It has routines for the planning, reporting and monitoring of the cost, time and scope aspects of each project in the PWP. It establishes a fixed plan for each project and provides an audit trail of progress towards completion. The data in the system is combined to provide summary reports of portfolios of projects. A random selection from the User-population was used to form a population-sample for the postal questionnaire survey. The sample frame was constrained to ensure a 95% confidence limit that the response was statistically indicative of the population; and that it included sufficient numbers of the primary classes of users to also ensure a 95% confidence limit that the response was indicative of these strata of the population. This methodology is described in the paper. A sixty-five percent response was achieved. The results show that the User satisfaction with the PW_MS is not high. The results state a range of User dissatisfactions but they do not call for a fundamental change in approach: they validate the exploitation of proven, readily available, information technology for the management of portfolio-of-projects. Portfolio-management and project management is enabled by these techniques although the survey results indicate that more can be done to improve the man-machine interface. The results identify key-areas for such improvement. These findings are presented in the paper.

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Full text: content.pdf (182,628 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.023977) class.impact (0.022037) class.strategies (0.021118)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by CSIR Building and Construction Technology. The assistance of the editors, Mr. Gustav Coetzee and Mr. Frances Boshoff, is gratefully appreciated.


G Gudnason, J Hyvärinen, C Finne & S Larsson

eProCon: electronic Product Information in Construction

Abstract: The lack of industry standards and agreements for electronic presentation of information on building products is hampering seamless eWork, eProcurement and integration of value chain activities in the construction industry. Technical and trade information about building products is not available in electronic form to designers, contractors and facility managers that would make it possible for them to easily re-use it in design systems and to find, compare and procure products on-line. The eProCon project brings together nine partner organizations: the Building Information Centers in all five Nordic countries, two technology partners and two research institutes. The purpose of this consortium is to demonstrate a dynamic value adding information services network in the Nordic countries for brokering building product information by electronic means. The Building Information Centers have been brokering building product information on behalf of manufactures for more then 20 years to the construction sector, using proprietary information systems that are incompatible in content, functionality and technical solution. The primary impact the eProCon project will have on the current state of the art is enabling interoperability between these systems and allowing them to share content (and enrich the content), thus becoming one virtual service available for all Nordic end-users. The demonstrated integration platform, applying Service Oriented Architecture, includes: 1) the core integration layer enabling the existing Nordic information services and a new product portal to act as a single Nordic virtual service to its end-user, 2) the update layer enabling manufacturers and suppliers to interact with the information contained in the services and 3) the catalog layer, which enables 3rd party buy applications to access the information. The paper will report on the approach selected in the eProCon project and first prototype implementations.

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Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


Gage Christianson, Evan Wilson, Matthew Henke, Omar Ahlnaity and Jeong Woo

Cloud-Based Project Management: Selecting IT Solutions for Construction Companies

Abstract: Cloud Based Software (CBS) has transformed the construction industry. CBS allows its users to access information from anyplace, at any time, given they have a platform, device and internet to access it. CBS programs have also developed from specialized programs in one company function, to specialized programs in several areas in the construction field, such as: daily logs, document/photo storage, prequalification, and scheduling. CBS has proven to significantly increase productivity and communication in the construction company. A research survey was conducted for construction companies in the Mid-West about their current usage of CBS programs. It was found that 84.4% of respondents reported having to use three or more different construction programs due to the fact that none completely satisfied all their cloud integration needs. 81.8% of respondents also reported inefficiently operating at less than two company functions per program. Respondents stated frustrations that programs are not all-inclusive and do not contain all of the day-to-day functions needed to run their project on one platform. This is evidence of the need for one program to be used for all daily company functions. It was found through research and analysis that there are all-in-one CBS programs available in the current market.

Keywords: Construction Information Technology (CIT), Cloud-Based Software (CBS), Construction Software Analysis, Construction Project Management, Construction Data Survey

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0142

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Garrett Jr J H, Fenves S J, Stasiak D

A WWW-based regulation broker

Abstract: There is an ever growing body of regulations covering many aspects of design, operation and disposal of engineered systems, artifacts and products. Constructed facilities are governed by an exceptionally large number of applicable regulations. We have developed a WWW–based broker for providing access and support for using these regulations. In this paper, we describe the underlying representations of the documents and classification systems, the search engine used, and the basic operations conducted by the broker. We also discuss further work we intend to conduct.

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Full text: content.pdf (261,146 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.078175) class.retrieve (0.019790) class.communication (0.010251)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Ljubljana. The assistance of the editor, Prof. Ziga Turk, is gratefully appreciated.


Gehre A, Katranuschkov P

Human-centred knowledge-based model access service for engineers

Abstract: This paper presents the Model Access Service (MAS) developed in the EU ISTforCE project (IST-1999-11508). It uses the capabilities of product data technology to provide value added services in a human-centred, web-based collaboration environment. Along with standard services for product model access on model and object level, it encompasses also two advanced knowledge-based features: a Reasoning Agent and an Explanation Component. MAS is developed as a self-contained system that can be used in a variety of ways. In the ISTforCE framework, it is integrated with an external Product Data Server (PDS) and a Core Information Server (CIS) which provide the necessary infrastructure enabling the full functionality of MAS. Standard functionality for model level access is provided by using MAS as a central tool that enables generalised data exchange capabilities to all relevant product models in one or more construction projects, even if they are stored on different product data servers. This is done on the basis of user and account information retrieved from the CIS. To enable the use of the product models directly, MAS provides an API for generalised RPC-based model access on object level. One of the two advanced features of MAS is the integrated Reasoning Agent which is responsible for replying to sophisticated queries concerning a specific structural design model, extending the IFC2x core model. It allows clients to use AI planning methods remotely, to generate solution sequences that combine the computed single Solver items. The second advanced feature incorporated in the MAS is the Engineering Ontology layer. It enables the translation of IFC data to the vocabulary and semantics familiar to end users. This unique feature of the MAS, distinguishing it from most proposed product data services to date, is augmented by an Explanation Component which opens many of its functions to standard Web Browsers.

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Full text: content.pdf (518,767 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.045124) class.retrieve (0.038403) class.communication (0.021612)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


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