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A. Dikbas, P. Ercoskun & K. Ercoskun

Enabling Sustainability through SOA within the AEC/FM Domain

Abstract: Sustainability is one of the most important research topics for the Architecture/Engineering/Construction & Facility Management (AEC/FM) domain. Two basic factors which enable sustainability are the technology background and the acquisition capability of this technology to the end users – society. Sustainability requires state of the art technologies which reduce the negative impact of population and affiliation. Key aspects of such technology are; it should depend on renewable resources, without waste, cyclical, based on resource productivity rather than labor productivity, and should even be restorative in its effects on the biosphere. Theproblem is, today establishing such technology is not affordable for the average end user. Development, implication, and acquisition of such technologies takes reasonable time though signs from our earth warns usthat we have no more time. The problem itself contains a lot of interoperability challenges in Information Technology (IT), Process and Organizational levels. Although many governments deploy incentives to promote investments on sustainable technologies, money is not the only measure for the market penetration of a technology. A user oriented approach is developed and a proposal is made to elaborate on the problem as a whole within a reference process model. The model determines the key functions, mechanisms and controls, to enable the design and development of sustainable technologies and facilitate the acquisition of those technologies to the society. The process model basically focuses on the Facility Management processes and addresses many aspects of the problem including financial, legal, and ethical issues. The model benefits from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for construction sector from a previous research and promotes a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for tracking the lifetime of sustainable technologies. The model includes decision support functions for the design phase, marketing and competency functions for the implication and acquisition phase, and measurement and evaluation functions for the use phase. The preliminary solution includes business processes rather then IT solutions but interoperability solutions on the IT layer also have been discussed for sustainable development. The model is under development within the joint efforts of a EU funded FP6 project I3CON (Industrialised, Integrated, Intelligent Construction) and a PhD research. It is believed that the model would facilitate the widespread recognition of the requirement of a radical switch to the sustainable technologies.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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A. Gehre, P. Katranuschkov, R. J. Scherer

Managing virtual organization processes by semantic web ontologies

Abstract: Interoperability within Virtual Organisations (VOs) is still only weakly supported by IT frameworks. Whilst service level interoperability has made remarkable progress since the emergence and the rapid growth of SOA and Grid technology in the last years, business processes – which are the driving force of each VO – still suffer distinct conceptual gaps regarding their decomposition to technical transactions. There exists no detailed approach that would allow describing technical as well as business aspects in a coherent yet flexible and extensible way. This paper presents a newly developed semantic framework that targets this requirement. The conceptual background is followed by an introduction of the developed semantic web ontologies. Based on these definitions, dedicated Ontology Services as well as a set of related end-user applications facilitating semantic technology have been designed and implemented. They are presented in the second part of the paper. Reported are results from the EU project InteliGrid (IST-004664; 2004-2007).

Keywords: semantic web, ontologies, virtual organisation, process modelling, process management

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Berkhahn V, Esch C

Re-engineering of objects in constructional drawings

Abstract: A lot of drawings of existing or new buildings in civil engineering are only available in an analogous version. In order to realize a computer aided process during the planning, construction, building and utilization phases drawings in digital version are indispensable. Algorithms and software tools are available to convert a digitised paper based drawing into a vector plot. But these systems did not prove in practice to be suitable for the recognition of constructional objects within the drawings. In this paper an approach to convert digitised drawing data into lines and curves with topological information is presented. Based on this topological information the semantics of the drawing objects is recognised and is translated into building objects. The theoretical background as well as the practical use of the developed various algorithms are explained in detail. This approach is applied to a realistic example of ground-floor plan for a detached house. The results of this example show the suitability of the developed software tool for a medium sized drawing.

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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.


Bjork, Bo-Christer

The RATAS project - developing an infrastructure for computer integrated construction

Abstract: Computer Integrated Construction (CIC) is a target state for construction computing characterised by extensive digital information flows between computer applications. Fully developed CIC requires an infrastructure of data structuring and transfer standards, digitised construction information services, changing patterns of organising projects etc. The creation of such an infrastructure is currently a high priority area for research and development in many countries. In Finland this work has been organised as a fruitful co-operation between industry and researchers. The process known as the RATAS-project was initiated in 1983 and is still continuing. This paper describes the background of the project, its organisation and major phases, and gives brief descriptions of a number of its technical subprojects. The paper ends with an evaluation of the impact of the project on commercial software development and practice.

Keywords: RATAS, IT, National strategy, product modelling, standardisation

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Bjork, Bo-Christer

Requirements and information structures for building product data models

Abstract: The term computer-integrated construction (CIC) is often used to describe a future type of construction process characterised by the extensive use of information technology. The key to successful CIC is the comprehensive integration of currently isolated computing applications in different phases of the construction process. Among the several types of data exchange standards needed to support such integration, the standards for structuring the information describing buildings (building product data models) are particularly important. No fully operational building product data models have as yet been formally standardised either on the national or international level, but the topic has been a subject of intensive research during the last few years. Building product data model proposals are usually defined using object-oriented information modelling techniques. The research which is presented in this summarising thesis was carried out primarily during the years 1988-92 at the Technical Research Centre of Finland. The report begins with a brief introduction to the general background of research concerning CIC and building product data models. Fundamental concepts of object orientation and product modelling are explained in a separate chapter. In order to position the author's research results, the "state of the art" in this research field is briefly reviewed. The research results are presented against the background of a kernel-aspect model framework, in line with current thinking among several leading researchers in this field. The results can loosely be classified into three distinctive groups: a number of requirements which building product data models should fulfil; specific information structures in building product data models; and the integration of product models with other types of information used in the construction process. The specific information structures which were studied include the abstraction hierarchies used in building product data models, the type object mechanism and information structures needed for modelling spaces and enclosing objects. The report ends with a discussion of the results, comparing them with the proposals and results of other researchers. Some directions for further research are also outlined.

Keywords: Building Product model, computer-integrated construction

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Bjork, Bo-Christer

Information Technology in construction: domain definition and research issues

Abstract: This article discusses the scope of research on the application of information technology in construction (ITC). A model of the information and material activities which together constitute the construction process is presented, using the IDEF0 activity modelling methodology. Information technology is defined to include all kinds of technology used for the storage, transfer and manipulation of information, thus also including devices such as copying machines, faxes and mobile phones. Using the model the domain of ITC research is defined as the use of information technology to facilitate and re-engineer the information process component of construction. Developments during the last decades in IT use in construction is discussed against a background of a simplified model of generic information processing tasks. The scope of ITC is compared with the scopes of research in related areas such as design methodology, construction management and facilities management. Health care is proposed as an interesting alternative (to the often used car manufacturing industry), as an IT application domain to compare with. Some of the key areas of ITC research in recent years; expert systems, company IT strategies, and product modelling are shortly discussed. The article finishes with a short discussion of the problems of applying standard scientific methodology in ITC research, in particular in product model research.

Keywords: Information technology, construction, research, integration, methodology

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Blackmore J M

Computer aided development of knowledge in the construction process

Abstract: Modern regulations control the performance of our built environment rather than the methods and materials of construction. The designer has freedom to fulfil specified objectives any way he chooses, but he must show that he is fulfilling the regulatory intention, and fulfilling it well enough. How does he convince the building surveyor that his building will provide an acceptable level of compliance? Where does he find the information to justify his choice of solutions to the regulatory problems? And where does the regulator find the information needed to determine whether or not a proposed solution is acceptable? The answers lie in the sea of regulatory information and research that is the source of all building reedation. Required levels of compliance are implicit in ixaditional, prescriptive regulations. Background research data, legal rulings, records of committee decisions, articles, advisory notes, commentaries, accreditation reports, cornon practice - all give an indication of the level of compliance that society and the regulators are willing to accept and help the designer and the regulator establish criteria of acceptance. This vast array of knowledge helps the regulator determine the intentions of existing regulations and write realistic rules for the performance of buildings. But where does the search fgr knowledge begin? Information technology can structure the search and help find a way through the jungle of data, macheteing obstructions to the introduction of innovative solutions. A structured, selective search can give the regulator access to all the data he needs to support his arguments, allowing the full realisation of the benefits of performance regulation. Linked to a powerful expert system that assists and checks his passage through the regulations, CSBO is creating an IT system to facilitate these benefits.

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Full text: content.pdf (2,214,097 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.085813) class.analysis (0.024178) class.synthesis (0.023322)
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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.


Blackmore J, Leong F, Sharpe R, Williams P

CSIRO - Building the future down under

Abstract: Australia has recently unified technical building regulations throughout its eight states and territories. As technical adviser to theAustralian Building Regulations Co-ordinating Council (AUBRCC), CSIRODivision of Building, Construction and Engineering is heavily involved in the development of many aspects of building regulation. It offersadvice on the technical content, format and drafting of regulation, administers a national accreditation scheme and has developed commercially available interactive software to support the regulations. It is now developing a data base to access the background information used inall its regulation-related activities.

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Full text: content.pdf (995,244 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1992 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.086581) class.man-software (0.018202) class.synthesis (0.017892)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editor, Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


Can Ersen Firat, David Arditi, Juho-Pekka Hamalainen, Johan Stenstrand, Juhani Kiiras

Quantity Take-Off in Model-Based Systems

Abstract: In recent years, as Information Technology (IT) tools and Building Information Models (BIM) are adopted by more practitioners, it has become apparent that it is possible to have a faster and more efficient quantity take-off system. The efficiency of quantity take-off lies in the smart transfer of the information produced in the design process to construction. Existing BIM-based quantity take-off is performed in the design phase of a project. BIM-based systems provide a smart platform for information exchange between design and construction.A “model-based” system refers in this paper to a Building Construction Information Model (BCIM)coupled with a location-based scheduling process.BCIM offers an environment in the construction phase, where data are stored, updated, and reused via the evolving project libraries of a building contractor. BCIM is composed of three submodels:(i) a building product model that provides the sections and quantities, (ii) a building resource and cost model that provides activity lists and labour consumptions to calculate activitydurations, and (iii) a building process model that introduces the interdependencies of the activities.· In the location-based scheduling process, a preliminary master schedule is obtained automaticallyfrom an information database, and then improved by the planner to fit the conditions of the company and of the project. The use of Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB) is proposed in location-based scheduling.The objective of this paper is to introduce the principles involved in quantity take-off in a “modelbased” system as implemented by a contractor. The paper consists of three parts: (1) the “modelbased” system (composed of BCIM and ALoB) is introduced as the theoretical background; (2) the steps in performing quantity take-off in “model-based” systems are described; and (3) a residential construction project is used to test the proposed quantity take-off principles.

Keywords: building information modeling, BIM, model-based systems, location-based scheduling, quantity take-off

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Ekholm A, Fridqvist S

Modeling of user organizations, buildings and spaces for the design process

Abstract: The project presented in this paper aims at developing a set of theoretically well-founded conceptual schemas for buildings, spaces and user organisations. The schemas shall be used as part of a computer based prototype information system for co-ordinated design of buildings and user organisations. The schemas are presented in the formal graphical language EXPRESS-G. The first sections of the paper gives the background and objectives of the project and a short introduction to information systems. In the following sections, schemas for the conceptual framework are presented and used for development of firstly the schema for user organisations and secondly the schemas for buildings and spaces.

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Full text: content.pdf (90,659 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.055352) class.represent (0.032074) class.man-software (0.014673)
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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.


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