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Helena Johnsson, Linus Malmgren, Stefan Persson

ICT support for industrial production of houses – the Swedish case

Abstract: The Swedish construction sector is currently undergoing great changes. The large costs for labour have forced the construction companies to rationalise and minimise labour intense work operations. Therefore, the current trend in construction to adopt the principles of lean production and transform it into lean construction, suits the Swed-ish way of working and the entire Swedish construction sector has caught on. A growing market is the prefabrication of building elements that are transported to site and then erected. The development has been taken so far that modular houses i.e. vol-umes/rooms are prefabricated. Companies in the prefabrication industry within construction fall between two sectors; the construction industry and the manufacturing industry. In terms of IT support the contradiction between the two sectors become evident. Software developed for the construction sector seldom provide enough detailing to suffice as a basis for industrial production, while software supporting the manufacturing industry are incapable of delivering standard construction documenta-tion. The current study presents a multiple case study where six Swedish industrial manu-facturers of timber houses were studied. The process from tender acceptance to mod-ule delivery is described. Alongside, a survey of the building sys-tem revealed that much still needs to be done in terms of documenting a building system. The results show that the ques-tion of IT support is more a question of consequent information strategies than eloquent IT tools. The pressing need for a method for documenting building systems is stressed and different methods are discussed.

Keywords: timber houses, industrial construction, lean construction, timber buildings

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Henrik CJ Linderoth, Mattias Jacobsson

UNDERSTANDING ADOPTION AND USE OF ICT IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS THROUGH THE LENS OF CONTEXT, ACTORS AND TECHNOLOGY

Abstract: In the literature on construction related ICT no distinction is usually made between ICT use in the permanent organization and the temporary organization forming the building and construction projects. By drawing on the rich body of literature on organizational and managerial aspects of ICT the aim of the paper is to investigate how the interplay between contextual elements, actors’ frames of reference, and the ICT influence the adoption and use of ICT in building and construction projects. This objective will be pursued by an analysis of an ongoing study of ICT use in the Swedish building and construction sector, including semi-structured interviews and an ethnographic inspired study of a partnering project worth 50 million €. It is concluded that project based mode of organizing, with the prime focus on time and costs, creates a conflict with the process of introduction and development of ICT use that is characterised by ambiguity and indefinite duration in time that goes beyond the termination of a project. Unless immediate benefits are perceived by the adoption and use of an ICT application, it will not be used. This conflict can probably not wholly be solved, instead the industry has to learn to live with it and create spaces for innovation of ICT-mediated changes.

Keywords: ICT, adoption, use, organizational change, building and construction industry, temporary organizations

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Hitchcock R J

Improving building life-cycle information management through dwumfntatiqm and communication of project objectives

Abstract: Most CurrentIy available computer tools for the building industry proffer little more than productivity improvement in the transmission of graphical drawings and textual specifications, without addressing more fundamental changes in building life-cycle information management. This paper describes preliminary research into the development of a fiamework for the aocumentation and communication of the project objectives of a building project. When implemented in an interactive networked environment, this fiamework is intended to promote multiple participant involvement in the establishment and use of a common set of explicit goals, from the earliest phase of a project throughout its life cycle. A number of potential applications for this fiamework are identified. The requirements for integrating this life-cycle information with a product model of the physical design of a building, in an attempt to document and communicate design intent, are also discussed.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,203,986 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1995 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.057537) class.communication (0.038791) class.collaboration (0.018078)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Stanford University, USA. The support of the editors, particularly Prof. Fischer is gratefully appreciated.


Howard R

Classification of building information – European and IT systems

Abstract: Introduction Organisation of the information needed to design, construct and manage a building is still based upon traditional trades and classification tables. European countries have established sources of information: specifications, element tables and product databases, based on categories, such as SfB, defined 50 years ago. The Danish Centrecontract on Building Classification is following projects in several other countries, to update its systems, provide greater integration of data, and keep up with new information technologies. This paper presents experience from studying developments in several countries, relating them to the needs of Denmark, and anticipating the future demands of IT. IT context The possibilities with IT for more flexible searches on advanced representations of building entities require fundamental changes in integrating, exchanging and accessing information. There is a proliferation of web portals and project webs, and some common structure that relates to international practice is needed. Methods of searching are changing from traditional categories to full text and structured keywords. New methods of representing building data such as the IFCs and XML are having a major influence alongside standards for building data. The Centrecontract is relating these to the current practice in many types of firm in the Danish building industry. Objectives The Centrecontract is due for completion in 2002 but the research being carried out by DTU will be presented at the end of 2000 and 2001. The broad objectives are for the partners to develop tools for building elements, schedules of rates and product classification, within a common framework, and to promote these and provide education. The research has defined the needs of Danish industry, is learning from experience in other countries, and will predict the likely influence of IT developments in future. This paper reports on some of the information systems being developed in other countries. Methodology The approach taken was to talk to experts rather than to collect new statistical information. In each country at least one developer of new information systems was interviewed, one researcher and one user organisation. They were asked about the systems currently used in their country, new systems being developed, and any experience of their use. They were also asked about how changes had been, or could be, made in the general organisation of information about building. Relevant standards and the many building information services on the Web were also studied to find the common elements, and see how Denmark could develop systems to suit local needs. Some preliminary findings Factors from Denmark include the need to link to the familiar SfB system, using the same structure right through the process, the importance of the client and resistance to standards. Other countries studied so far are developing improved systems, with Sweden leading the way with BSAB 96, the UK with Uniclass to unite its different classification systems, and Holland and Norway proposing Lexicon and BARBI respectively. Common factors are the list of tables defined in ISO 12006-2, the work of EPIC in product classification, the influence of the IFCs and the use of the Web and XML. This work will be completed at the end of 2000 and recommendations made to the other partners in the Centrecontract for the systems that will help meet the needs of the Danish building industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (872,669 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.092484) class.represent (0.059640) class.standards (0.053428)
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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.


Jamieson M, Thorpe A

Refocusing collaboration technologies in the construction value chain

Abstract: Modern construction processes rely on the contributions of diverse functional specialists working in inter-organisational teams to design, cost, procure and manage modern construction projects. In the UK the Latham report has focused attention on eliminating the adversarial nature of the construction industry. Project specific partnering is one procurement route being taken by leading client and main contracting organisations to improve the interpersonal relationships of those organisations involved in the construction process. In order to support the cultural changes recommended by Latham, the necessary communications infrastructure must be put in place. As well as a high bandwidth communications infrastructure, commonly available collaborative tools must be used to allow disparate cross-functional virtual teams to exchange information.

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Full text: content.pdf (57,929 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.074068) class.collaboration (0.014037) class.social (0.013688)
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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.


Jing Du, Mohamed El-Gafy

Examining Complex Systems and Agent-Based Modeling for Improving Decision Makings in Construction Organizations

Abstract: The management on construction projects and organizations is very important. However it is poorly understood considering the declining performance of construction industry. Managing and predicting the work performance of a construction organization tends to be extremely difficult using conventional management approaches. This paper regards construction as a complex system and proposes the use of Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) as a management enhancement tool for construction organizations. Building on an organizational simulation platform proposed by the authors (Virtual Organizational Imitation for Construction Enterprises, VOICE), the influence of human and organizational factors on work performance has been investigated. Additionally, different management scenarios of a case study in construction bidding have been examined using a complete management cycle, Plan-Simulation-Check-Action (PSCA). The results indicated the new management tool can easily help decision makers to streamline processes, manage human resources, and testify any changes at real time. It demonstrated better practicability than conventional management. This paper highlighted the value of the proposed approach on managing construction organizations.

Keywords: complex system, project management, agent based modeling, decision making

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Jordan M,Jeffrey H

Experiences of implementing BIM in Skanska facilities management

Abstract: The benefits of BIM (Building Information Modeling) in design, construction and facilities management (FM) are well documented. However, the adoption of BIM in the construction sector is slow, with BIM implementation in facilities services lagging even further behind. Several reasons have been offered for the slow uptake of BIM, such as issues with IT interoperability, lack of understanding of BIM and variable expectations of the system. Difficulties with clearly articulating FM BIM requirements and the inevitable changes to long-established work processes could be the key to the slow progress of BIM in facilities management. Detailed case-studies of BIM implementation in UK FM organisations are not forthcoming. The facilities management team at Skanska has embraced BIM and this paper describes the challenges the team faced when it prepared the business for a ‘BIM way of working’, and some early benefits achieved from the fledgling BIM implementation. The paper highlights the importance of clarifying BIM aspirations and identifying and understanding information requirements before focusing on technology, and the importance of only selecting information that can be beneficially utilised. Once information requirements are agreed, identifying when in the building lifecycle the information should be made available requires careful consideration. These timing decisions require close collaboration with and an understanding of other participants, particularly in the design process. The paper highlights the need to review existing work processes and the time dedicated to the task should not be underestimated. The paper also describes the inevitability of having to change existing work processes (not just in the FM team), the associated challenges and how these challenges were approached by the Skanska facilities Services team. One of the benefits of BIM that is difficult to quantify is this greater co-operative approach and reciprocal understanding of each stakeholder’s needs and constraints. Engaging with people first, adapting existing processes and then using IT systems intelligently are the keys to successful BIM implementation.

Keywords: BIM,Building Information Modeling,Standards,Data,Information,Implementation,Benefits

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Kahkonen, Kalle; Hyvakka, Jouko; Porkka, Janne; Siltanen, Sanni and Woodward, Charles

Integrating Building Product Models with Live Video Stream

Abstract: Various Building Information Models (BIMs) are increasingly used for data sharing and communication purposes in real estate and construction sector. This change can be seen as part of more general development where the main target is wide integration infrastructure to handle user interaction, business process, applications and data. Besides of new achievements in BIM technologies the described general development is enabled in an interesting manner by the overall technological integration that is bringing together traditional IT, telecommunication, Internet, TV and radio technologies and entertainment business. The resultant solutions have already changed clearly our working environment, its processes and business, and, more even radical changes are likely to appear. This paper shall present a research project addressing combination of building product models with live video stream applications. The research project named '4D Live' explores hardware, middleware and software platforms for the named purpose whilst the main target is to study emerging new sector specific business processes and changes arising from these solutions. 4D Live project is producing several demonstrative solutions where building models are combined with live video stream from one or several digital video cameras: i) Live internet based 4D, ii) Augmented reality web camera, and iii) Multi-Camera studio for BIM-Human interaction.

Keywords: BIM, building product models, augmented reality, visualizations

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Series: convr:2007 (browse)
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Kiroff L, Ostrowski P

It and E-architecture – a technological breakthrough, a techno knowledge race or a new paradigm in business?

Abstract: The impact of Information Technology on the growth of the knowledge society is profound. In an era when human intellectual creativity is highly valued, IT is a powerful tool enabling the analysis and development of ideas and concepts. Regarding IT as a means to automate business tasks aiming at some labour savings would be an extremely simplistic approach to a more complex concept. Designing systems that augment user capabilities, encourage further exploration and foster creativity will enable users to do what they have not been able to do before. Business environments where collaborative work relationships flourish become highly successful in the intensely competitive global marketplace. The synergy between IT and teams working together to accomplish mutual goals becomes the key to organisational performance. The AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry in particular is undergoing dramatic changes due to the pervasive use of networked computers and multimedia equipment. The advent of the first PCs in the architectural profession in the early 1980s gradually started adding a new element of complexity to the architect’s job. The essence of the architectural work is the teamwork environment and IT is able to facilitate the design process and make project collaborations effective. Our research focuses on IT and its impact on architectural team environments. Recent emerging trends that will be analysed include architecture firms’ collaborations on national and international projects (firms experts in particular building types associate with local or regional firms called “architect of record” commissioned for the contract documentation and the contract administration stages of the project). The Royal Sun Alliance Building, Metropolis Apartments, Botany Downs Shopping Centre, DFS Galleria (all in Auckland) are some NZ examples of international collaborations with the design coming from the USA and Australia and Auckland firms commissioned as “architect of record”. Such trends necessitate the use of new technologies like advanced digital communications and hence the unprecedented boom of project extranets, or project WEB sites, and the emergence of the WEB-based architecture. Highly sophisticated architectural environments are built around Intranets, Extranets, the Internet and Video Conferencing systems. This enables the integration of architectural design, business management and team collaborations through computer technology. As a consequence, traditional roles and responsibilities in an office environment will change dramatically with fewer lower level routine tasks being available. Continually updating skills through on-going education becomes a lifetime commitment for the highly qualified industry professionals and for the company as a whole. A large number of computer software applications become indispensable for the highly efficient everyday functioning of an office. Some of the most significant buildings of the 1990s like F. Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and S. Calatrava’s Extension for the Milwaukees’s Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA couldn’t have been made without CAD. Another interesting trend is the use of IT to define a building through its entire life cycle in a more comprehensive way. This covers not only the traditional design and construction phases of a project but also automated facilities management and even the building’s eventual demolition. Our research methodology encompasses an array of primary and secondary sources of information – literature review, international case studies and projects both pre and post IT revolution, interviews with experienced industry professionals, hands-on experience demonstrating WEB based concepts in practice and individual professional expertise. Research Outcomes and Conclusions: · Although technology has given us numerous new tools to be more productive and innovative creatively, the amount of quality architecture being designed may not necessarily increase. · It is academia that drives innovative uses of technology not industry. Academia has more time and resources to experiment and is not at the mercy of the vendors’ vision or how technology can or should be used. · Computing is in a never-ending flux. This change, for better or worse dynamically drives the way we do business. The entire industry must seek out these changes, create them, challenge them, foster, adopt or discard them to suit. · As object oriented CAD becomes more pervasive, more value will be added to the construction documentation. This value-add needs to be recognised and exploited. · As technology pervades, the design process, regardless, remains relatively the same. · Hierarchical business models and decision-making processes are no longer the norm. This fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and employee empowerment. · Talent is talent. Technology is no substitute for it.

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Full text: content.pdf (170,944 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.044696) class.collaboration (0.038235) class.environment (0.034749)
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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.


Kirsten A. Davis

ASSESSING INDIVIDUALS’ RESISTANCE PRIOR TO IT IMPLEMENTATION IN THE AEC INDUSTRY

Abstract: Ever increasing technological capabilities exist in the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) industry. Email, project specific websites, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), animations, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are but a few information technologies adopted in recent years within the industry. The change methods used in the adoptions suggest a focus on technology, yet the technology itself is seen as a primary barrier to successful implementation. In general, the AEC industry is extremely slow to embrace available information technology. Companies often have difficulty with technology implementations because technology is the driver of change, rather than an enabler of change. Resistance of people is the primary reason for failure of any organizational change, including an information technology change. Technological changes will be more successful when researchers develop a fundamental understanding of how people change. Studying individuals and their change processes is essential to improving implementation of technology change, yet change management theories present processes and guidelines for changing organizations and tasks with limited emphasis on individuals involved in change. This research uses a people centered paradigm for developing technology implementation models, placing technology in a change enabling position rather than being a driver of change. This research investigates individuals’ resistance to change brought about by new information technology implementation in the AEC industry. Resistance to change is a combination of three factors: cause of resistance, level of resistance, and manifestation of resistance. Previous work investigated the importance of specific behavioral characteristics indicative of resistance to change and correlated these characteristics to the level of resistance in individuals. This paper discusses methodology continuing this work, which aims to confirm the previous work, as well as to develop and validate new predictive tools to identify potential resisters prior to an information technology change implementation. The results from analysis of preliminary data are also discussed.

Keywords: Resistance, Change Management, Information Technology, Technology

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