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A decision support system for building refurbishment design

Abstract: "Refurbishment work in the EC currently accounts for more than one-third of the total construction output. This market is expected to grow stronger with the progressive ageing of buildings and the environment impetus to retain buildings. A further dimension is the need to adapt buildings for a greying population. There are important differences between refurbishment and new construction works. The existing building constraints the design solutions, construction technologies and work methods. Mechanisation, planning, and efficient organisation of refurbishment work is difficult, due to the small, labour intensive, and ad hoc, dynamic nature of the work. Also due to the relatively small scale of refurbishment projects, there have been no opportunities for standardisation and the applications of prefabrication and industrialisation are limited. Today, larger sized contractors are rapidly moving into the refurbishment market, in response to the shrinking new-build market and the higher technological demands of large scale refurbishment projects. The EC funded Brite Euram project 4670 is titled ĎDecision Support Systems for Building Refurbishment.í This project has started in August 1998 and will finish in July 2001. Its objective is to develop a socio-technological-commercial framework and corresponding Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for housing refurbishment, to achieve: ? refurbishments which are more focused on user requirements; ? refurbishment designs which take into account the constraints of the existing building structure; ? increased incorporation of industrialised systems and components; ? organisational procedures and production technologies that recognise the unique nature of refurbishment work. The project is divided into three tasks. Task one aims at developing a DSS for the determination of the refurbishment demand and ballpark costs. Task two involves the development of a DSS for refurbishment design. Task three will result in a DSS for refurbishment process planning and control. This paper describes the approach followed for the ongoing development in task two, the DSS for refurbishment design. The main objectives of this task are to provide decision support at the project level. It will develop a database of layouts of representative existing housing estates and a database of preferred refurbishment layouts for these representative existing housing estates. Another database will be developed containing information on building systems and components that are relevant for the refurbishment process. Task two will establish a protocol for refurbishment design support. This protocol, which is implemented in a decision support information system, involves a number of steps that aid the user in selecting an appropriate housing layout and building systems and components that meet the userís requirements. These steps involve the evaluation of a the userís refurbishment demands and selection of a matching representative existing housing layout. Based on further dialog with the system, a preferred refurbishment layout is selected, which in turn is used as the basis for the selection of building systems and components that meet the performance requirements as stated by the user. The paper describes the methodology that is implemented in the system for retrieving performance requirements from the user, and the approaches for matching these to the stock of existing and preferred housing layouts available in the systemís database. The system is characterised by a flexible architecture of both the databases and the user interface, which results in a scalable system that allows the expansion of the databases with new graphical layouts and building systems and components, as well as the addition of new kinds of performance requirements. The system is implemented as an Internet application, which allows the database to be maintained centrally and facilitates world wide access to the system. The systemís implementation involves the combination of graphical and non-graphical data that can be queried and matched with only typical Internet browsing software installed at the client-side."

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Full text: content.pdf (465,782 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.029035) class.environment (0.012122) class.impact (0.010657)
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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


Akinsola A, Dawood N, Hobbs B

Construction planning process improvement using information technology

Abstract: "Construction is a multi-organisation and interactive process. Successful completion of a project therefore depends on the accuracy, effectiveness and timing of communication and exchange of information and data between the supply chain. Unfortunately, the inefficiency of the existing method of communication has become a barrier to several innovative construction processes developed for the industry over the past four decades. Thus, research efforts and direction have since changed. Several studies now focusing on integration of the construction process with communication and standardisation of data exchange, taking advantage of evolving computer technologies. The capability of these technologies, object-oriented technology and the Internet has made a significant impact on other economic sector such as finance, manufacturing, insurance, etc., with significant improvement in performance and productivity. Thus the technology is available but the challenge is utilising the technology to develop method of improving the construction process. To ensure efficient utilisation of IT as enabling tools, formalisation and understanding of the construction processes are required. This will enable the identification of the problems and opportunities of the strategy, and its implementation and performance in practice. The paper presents a detailed model of pre-construction and construction planning processes, based on an on-going research project, that form the basis of the developed planning system. The detailed process mapping methodology using CASE tools and the associated integration of IT tools, as an enabler to aid and improve the planning process, are described. The system provides an interface for integration of CAD data, using IFC objects, within the system. The application of the system offers a promise of significant improvement in both pre-construction and construction processes."

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Full text: content.pdf (375,439 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.028439) class.environment (0.027790) class.impact (0.027062)
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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


Al-Ghassani A M, Kamara J M, Anumba C J, Carrillo P M

A tool for developing knowledge management strategies

Abstract: While organisations recognise that Knowledge Management (KM) is essential for improving performance, many have difficulties in developing strategies for implementation. The nature of knowledge is of particular complexity in organisations such as those within the construction industry characterised by temporary 'virtual' organisations formed for the completion of projects. A significant proportion of construction organisations realise the benefits of KM but most remain at the infancy stages of developing and implementing KM strategies. This paper identifies the need for a methodology to help organisations establishing these strategies. It then describes a framework developed within the CLEVER (Cross-sectoral Learning in the Virtual Enterprise) project at Loughborough University. The framework introduces a methodology that supports KM at both the tactical and strategic levels in order to aid organisations, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries, in developing KM strategies. The methodology was encapsulated into a prototype software system to achieve a simpler format and is easier to use. Industrial collaborators evaluated both the paper format and the prototype software and it is evident that the developed methodology has the potential to provide a very useful way for developing KM strategies and that very little exists elsewhere to assist companies in developing KM strategies in this way. The software prototype was seen as an important enhancement to the paper version. The inviting format, simplified guidance, reduced input duplication, and automated report generation were found the most significant enhancements. The focus of this paper is on the development and operation of the prototype. Its key benefits and lessons learned in implementing it are highlighted in the paper.

Keywords: Construction organisations, knowledge management, KM strategies, software prototype.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/5 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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Augenbroe G, Amor R

Project control in integrated building design systems

Abstract: With the fruition of research into integrated design systems that allow communication betweenmultiple actors and design tools, there is a growing need for control over the flow of execution ofproject tasks performed with the help of these systems. This calls for the specification ofconfigurable control systems that are able to 'design' the organization and management of actualprojects.The paper argues that an IT driven approach, leading to narrow software engineering solutions, isinadequate to solve the new type of project management problems that are inherent in the use ofcollaborative systems. It is argued that integrated systems will only find acceptance if, apart fromproviding 'generic integration facilities', adequate tools are provided to design, configure andexecute the management control on a case by case basis.A three-tiered control approach is discussed and a prototype tool to aid the project manager toexecute control is introduced.

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Full text: content.pdf (120,578 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1997 (browse)
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Bjork, Bo-Christer; Huovila, Pekka; Hult, Sven

Integrated Construction Project Document Management (ICPDM)

Abstract: The emphasis in research concerning methods for computer integrated construction has recently been on advanced data base techniques (product models) and AI applications. Another type of computer-aid for integration which could have a significant impact on practice in a shorter time-frame focuses on the management of the different documents which are produced by the different participants in the construction process. A functional description of such an integrated construction project document management (ICPDM) system is presented in the paper.

Keywords: Document management, Integration, conceptual model, EXPRESS

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Full text: content.pdf (175,012 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: other (browse)
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Brewer G, Gajendran T, McCann J, Chen S E

Creating a benchmarking service to measure ICT uptake for the australian construction industry

Abstract: As national and international competition in the Construction Industry (CI) intensifies, construction organisations are investing large amounts of money in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage. However, the beneficial outcomes of ICT are sometimes unclear and some organisations are dissatisfied with their ICT investments. This suggests that organisations are experiencing problems in their adoption and integration of new technology into their business practices. Benchmarking ICT uptake can aid an organisation in identifying and achieving its ICT goals, highlighting areas of deficiency. The Co-operative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (CRC CI) in Australia has commissioned a scoping study into the development of a benchmarking tool to measure ICT uptake in the CI. Initial research indicates the development of a web-based survey tool that can be expanded enabling other, unrelated issues to be investigated using the same infrastructure. This paper presents the rationale behind the tool and outlines its features.

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Full text: content.pdf (168,874 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2003 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


Carter G, Smith S

IT tool for construction site safety management

Abstract: The UK construction industry kills some 80 employees per year. This corresponds to a fatal accident rate of roughly 4.4 per 100,000 employees. Furthermore, major injury and 3-day injury rates are approximately 400 and 900 per 100,000 employees, respectively. Figures for the rest of Europe are similar, if not worse. It has long been realised that the reduction of hazardous events is fundamental to good construction safety management because these events have the potential to cause accidents, which may result in injuries and fatalities. However, there have been examples within the industry where hazard identification and the subsequent assessment of risk have been carried out by people ill equipped to identify all the hazards, assess their risks and suggest appropriate responses. Our research aim is to develop a knowledge-based system to aid in site safety management. The system will consist of a centralised database containing the combined knowledge and experience of all personnel within the company. This database is accessed via a user interface, which takes the form of a dynamic data-driven website and consists of four main applications that focus on the main areas of site safety management. The first application concerns creating and maintaining a company risk log, which can be used to identify hazards, assess risk, establish adequate hazard responses and report risk reduction performance. The second application is intended to aid in the method statement preparation process. Hazard referencing to tasks within the methodology and assigning significance values to tasks based upon assessed risk are the main features of this application, which should improve the level of hazard identification and enhance safe systems of work on site. Our system relies heavily upon historical data to provide an objective and dynamic evaluation of risk, rather than current subjective and static estimations of risk using the traditional method of risk matrices. Thus the other two applications are concerned mainly with entering data from accident reports and site safety tours into the central database. The other function of these applications will be to perform detailed analysis of accident causes, which will help safety managers to better respond to hazards to prevent future accidents. We are currently at the stage of developing a prototype version of the system. Field trials will be conducted between February and May for validation of the prototype. Validation will take the form of analysing method statements and risk assessments before and after implementation if the system to determine its effect on improving hazard identification, the assessment of risk, hazard response and accident rates. Qualitative evaluation will also be carried out. Questionnaires to, and interviews with, safety managers will give an indication of the usefulness of the system from a management and operational perspective. Doing the same thing with site foremen and operatives will allow us to determine the effectiveness of the outputs of the system, i.e. method statements and risk assessments, in enhancing safe systems of work.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,139,352 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.026762) class.social (0.018951) class.impact (0.007440)
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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.


Durmisevic S, Ciftcioglu O, Sariyildiz S

Knowledge modelling of 'soft' data in architectural design

Abstract: IT Context: Information technologies are at present used in various disciplines to address issues such as information processing, data mining, knowledge-modelling etc. Its final goal is to provide necessary aid to professionals during decision-making process. This raises already few questions such as, what type of data is considered and are there some new emerging technologies that can improve knowledge modelling and therefore provide better decision support to the professionals. Design professionals are very often confronted with soft data that they somehow need to interpret and finally integrate in a design. Situations dealing with the numerical data may occur quite naturally in exact sciences like engineering sciences, life sciences etc. However, the quantities subject to consideration in soft sciences are often qualitative rather than quantitative so that we relate to that type of data as 'soft' data. As an example, in such cases, the quantities may be linguistic so that such quantities have to be somehow expressed in numerical form for treatment by conclusive numerical analysis methods. Objectives: The architectural design task is one example having linguistic qualities as priory design information. This is especially the case when qualities of certain space are discussed, like for example in post occupancy evaluation of the buildings, where the relationship between spatial characteristics and psychological aspects plays an important role. Expressions such as: bright colour, light room, large space are some of these examples and therefore a special method is needed for representation and processing of such vague expressions and concepts. Better understanding of these concepts is necessary so that the knowledge can be modelled in a proper way. Methodology: The analyses are performed by means of soft computing methods. The data subject to analysis and later to knowledge modelling belongs to an underground station that is already being used. For this purpose, the data on psychological aspects are obtained via comprehensive inquiry of the users of underground station. For the analysis, the linguistic information is firstly converted to terms in fuzzy logic domain and after appropriate treatment, the data analyses are carried out and the results are expressed in most comprehensible form for design assessments. Such conversions are referred to as fuzzification and defuzzification, where the data are expressed in numerical form and therefore become convenient for mathematical treatment. Conclusions: Referring to the complexity of task in dealing with the soft data as well as dealing with soft computing, the paper first identifies the source of these complexities referring to the architectural design tasks. Following this, a soft computing analysis method based on one case study will be presented, whereby the focus will be on knowledge modelling. Finally, the results of the analyses together with the conclusions regarding the observed effectiveness of the approach are presented.

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Full text: content.pdf (242,586 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.036108) class.impact (0.013187) class.analysis (0.007731)
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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.


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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Gielingh W

General AEC reference model (GARM) an aid for the integration of application specific product definition models

Abstract: The General AEC Reference Model (GARM) is developed for AEC applications within the ISO/STEP standardisation effort. The goal of this standard is to facilitate data-exchange between computer-applications for design, production and maintenance of discrete products, including products for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry. The major difference between STEP and other data-exchange formats, such as IGES, DXF and SET, is that STEP-files or -databases will be directly interpretable by advanced computer-applications without human interaction. The other formats allow only the exchange of drawings or 3D geometric models which are intended for human interpretation. GARM will be the integration model for AEC applications in the STEP standard; its high level of abstraction makes it usable for a variety of applications and products, and eases the development or adaption of generic software products.

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Full text: content.pdf (2,728,789 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1988 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.027796) class.software-software (0.024872) class.man-software (0.015736)
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Permission to reproduce these documents has been graciously provided by the Lund University and the Swedish Building Centre. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Per Christiansson and Prof. Henry Karlsson, is gratefully appreciated.


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