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Kähkönen K, Leinonen J

Visual product chronology as a solution for accessing building product model data

Abstract: Building product modelling technology is principally aiming for solutions which are capturing the data of gradually developing buildings. In simple terms these solutions can be characterised as storages where the most recent data and its updates exist. At the moment IFC standard is providing a common starting point for sharing building product model data between various applications. Having this as a starting point one major current challenge is to build methods and practical tools for accessing building product models. Here the term access means both data input and different analyses over building product model data. For example, the user needs to find out all building components where changes have appeared during certain period and visualise those in an appropriate level of detail. It is considered that these types of operations shall provide a true basis for wide acceptance and impact of building product modelling technology. Visual Product Chronology is an application, which can be used for linking data from various sources with the objects of building product model and for analysing the content of the resultant data storage. Development of Visual Product Chronology is proving improved understanding of various problems and their potential solutions when we are on way to develop applications enabling versatile but an easy access of building product model data.

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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.


Lindfors, Christian; Leiringer, Roine

CREATING LEAN ENTERPRISES THROUGH PROCESS ORIENTATION - MODELS FOR NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES

Abstract: The construction industry is experiencing large and radical changes forced upon it by external influences such as changing social patterns, internationalisation, growing environmental awareness, rapid development of the IT sector, knowledgeable and demanding customers, as well as development within the industry itself. The need for organisations to adapt to this new set of circumstances is evident as companies face financial difficulties at a time when they need to come up with innovative solutions and increase their customer focus. One way of adapting – the one explored in this paper – is to make the organisation leaner. ‘Lean enterprises’ are resource and time efficient and agile to the point that they are able to respond to customer demands and expectations. Instead of having activities aligned according to functions, lean enterprises are organised along value chains of products or product families. This paper addresses the implementation of process thinking to the construction industry and presents a structured way of making a systematic representation of processes. It discusses initiatives, including the creation of extensive functional models that have been initiated to systematically identify processes within organisations and to create new models for more efficient enterprises. Conclusions are drawn that confirm the utility of adopting a process orientation for bringing about improvement and as a pathway towards establishing lean enterprises.

Keywords: Lean thinking, process orientation, customer focus

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M Khalfan, T Maqsood, C Egbu, M A Noor

Supply Chain Capital in Construction Industry: A Conceptual Model

Abstract: Supply chain management is one of the concepts adopted from other industries and being translated to suit the construction industry in order to bring improvements within the industry. The recent emphasis is on the integration of the whole supply chain because of the fragmented nature of the industry, and the large number of participants involved in a project development process. One of the aspects to achieve integration is by managing both tacit and explicit knowledge existed within a project supply chain through IT systems and social interaction. The main purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model, that provides a link between construction organisations and their learning activities as part of a supply chain of a project, resulting in creation of a learning organisation and a learning supply chain. The model shows that the learning supply chains, consist of learning organisations which would create supply chain capital in order to promote innovation and creativity by managing knowledge in supply chains on long term basis. In addition, the learning organisations would also establish a virtual knowledge transfer among themselves and the supply chains they are involved. The paper also suggests that, as unit of competition changes from organisation verses organisation to chain verses chain under supply chain management, supply chain capital will become increasingly important for sustaining competition within construction industry. Therefore, supply chain capitals are to be created through managing knowledge in supply chains on long term basis using the proposed conceptual model. The model also facilitates innovation and creativity essentially required to thrive in the downturn business environment of today in many countries in different parts of the world.

Keywords: Supply Chain Capital, Supply Chain Integration, Knowledge Management, Construction Industry

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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M Weise & P Katranuschkov

Supporting State-based Transactions in Collaborative Product Modelling Environments

Abstract: The up to date state and the consistency of shared building model data are of utmost importance for the achievement of efficient model-based collaborative work. However, in engineering design these are not easy tasks. Design activities are typically carried out in long transactions that are characterized by the following three subtasks: check-out of the needed design data into a private workspace, making design changes within the private workspace, and check-in of a new model state into the shared model repository to make changes and decisions visible to the other designers. As a result of various existing semantic interoperability problems, in the new model state both actual design changes and data loss have to be considered that cannot be easily distinguished. To help tackle these problems we suggest a delta-based versioning approach whose essence is in storing design changes instead of complete design states. This approach is then used as basis to support the three data processing stages of a design step within a collaborative work environment, namely (1) creation of the needed and manageable model subset by removing all irrelevant design data, (2) storing the design changes, and (3) restoring the removed data by an ""undo"" operation of the first step. In the paper we present the used semantics for describing design changes, their transformation to deltas and the scope and limits of the suggested undo operation. At the end we provide an example of the use of the suggested approach with the industry standard IFC model and discuss its potential and needed further research.""

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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.


Magdic A, Rebolj D, Cus Babic N, Radosavljevic M

Mobile computing in construction

Abstract: This paper initially presents the potential use of mobile computing in the construction industry. However, it is further assumed that the use of mobile computing can significantly improve the flow of relevant information among the project participants only if the present organisational culture is subject to changes. That is further supported with the results from the experimental study of the potential use of various mobile computing devices in the project information exchange procedures. In this respect only cost effective, commonly available and standardised solutions would prove a project-wide applicability. The final objective of the paper is to show why should be further research on mobile computing more focused on identifying the weaknesses of the present project information exchange procedures and their optimisation according to the applied IT in order to employ all of its advantages.

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Full text: content.pdf (432,819 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.055239) class.impact (0.015917) class.economic (0.011324)
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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.


Mahachi J

An integrated approach to critical time-space scheduling

Abstract: Construction planners are faced with the major task of allocating resources appropriately and ensuring that limited space is used effectively. Low productivity and construction accidents are attributed to poor site logistics such as inefficient space planning for resources and space conflicts between sub-contractors. Visualisation of the space required by the resources is very difficult, since the building product and the site processes are continually occupying and changing the space requirements. The traditional tools for project management do not provide a means to represent space availability and needs. This paper reports on an investigation that integrates a virtual reality environment with critical time-space scheduling analytical tools. Techniques to develop a critical space scheduler that changes with time are presented. It is anticipated that the approach suggested will contribute to the better performance and improved delivery of projects in the construction industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (172,548 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.010970) class.strategies (0.004193)
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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.


Mahdavi A, Lam K P

A dialectic of process and tool: knowledge transfer and decision-making strategies in the building delivery process

Abstract: The building delivery process has traditionally been regarded as a discrete and sequential set of activities. This state of affairs is the result of a historical evolution driven by many factors, one of which might be the necessity to organize the activities for the purpose of establishing a professional fee structure that is commensurate with the scope of work and level of accountability or responsibility. However, within the context of rapid changing technologies, production processes as well as knowledge explosion, the existing framework no longer seems effective or capable of meeting the increasingly complex demands associated with the creation of the built environment. The capabilities of decision support tools are expanding but they still fall short of anticipating or challenging the very logic of the rather static processes they are supposed to support, This paper examines the necessary conditions under which significant structural changes in the building delivery process can evolve and the related implications for future development of decision support tools. It also explores hidden potentials of existing tools and propose enhancements to facilitate effective knowledge transfer and process management.

Keywords: building delivery process; computer-aided design support tools; knowledge transfer; adaptive-iterative approach; tradition and innovation

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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.


Maher M L, Liew P-S, Gero J S

An agent approach to data sharing in virtual worlds and CAD

Abstract: This paper describes an agent approach to sharing and synchronising building model data among CAD and virtual world systems. Virtual worlds facilitate a level of communication and collaboration not readily available in conventional CAD systems. The integration of virtual worlds and CAD systems using a common data model can make a significant impact on synchronous collaboration and real time multi-user multi-disciplinary modification of building data. By using agents, the integration of virtual worlds and conventional CAD systems can go beyond that of passive data transfer. Data within a central database is monitored and the relevant applications using the data are notified automatically of any changes through sensors and effectors embedded within agents that define their interface to the database. We use an object-oriented EDM database as the central repository of data and Active Worlds as the virtual environment that is coordinated with the shared data within the database. An interface agent is being developed to connect the virtual world to the database to allow active data access and modification. This agent approach can be extended to the integration of other applications and data models.

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Full text: content.pdf (250,992 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.


Manfred Breit, Manfred Vogel, Fritz Ha_ubi, Fabian Ma_rki, Marco Soldati, La_szlo_ Istva_n Etesi, Nicky Hochmuth, Andreas Walther

ENHANCEMENT OF VIRTUAL DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION METHODS

Abstract: In this paper we report about a three-tier applied R&D approach for the Enhancement of Virtual Design and Construction methods at the Institute of 4D Technologies UAS, North¬¬western Switzerland (i4Ds). In collaboration with the CAD vendor and developer cadwork informatik AG our research focuses on technology, its intro¬duction into the market the effects and difficulties of the tool use and the induced process changes. We will describe the methodlogy, the expected outcomes of the enhancements, the research approach, initial findings and the further proceedings.In the first tier cadworks introduces an intuitive integrated 4D modeler called (LexoCad or Baubit CAD) for contractors which is commercially available since one year. Analogue to playing with building blocks users create 3D building models and 4D phasing models for the construction of the building directly from 2D pdf drawings. The expected outcome are that the virtual building blocks serve as a test-bed for constructability analyzes, enhanced planning reliability, better coordination and communication, optimized procurement and wide-spread use in practice. The next two tiers of VDC enhancements are currently developed at i4Ds. For the second tier we introduce a semantic, flexible, database-backed, object-oriented data structure for hierarchically structured Product, Organization and Process models (POP models) with an enhanced intuitive 3D/4D graphical user interface for the rapid generation of design alternatives. Users can easily propagate information to related property sets of construction elements and assemblies. Behavior methods (scripts) can be assigned for a variety of tasks e.g. BOM creation, construction method modeling, creation of cost performance predictions etc. This approach technology-wise moves the model management from the modeler or viewer components to the data base domain. The flexible hierarchies not only allow users to manually restructure and rearrange the model to their needs but enable automatic AI optimizers to even alter the construction method e.g. timber element, precast concrete or masonry walls etc. The expected outcomes are a pro-active 4D planning, rapid generation, comparison and evaluation of POP- design- alternatives, derivation von case from existing designs, easy and effective integration of client information into POP models, creating performance predictions (quality, time, cost, risk, etc.) from this models, easy creation of 4D sub-models for knowledge transfer for inter-disciplinary cooperation.In the third tier we introduce a novel process design concept which we named Process Design Patterns (PDPs). They are based on Christopher Alexander's (1977) concept of design pattern as a formal way of documenting successful solutions to problems and as templates describing how to solve problems of a particular domain. In a study, we called Process Archeology, we chose a recently finished four storey residential concrete building and reconstructed and re-modeled the over-all building processes with an inter-disciplinary team. Therefore we created the necessary 3D-, 4D- and process- and organization- models with commercial available modeling tools. We were able to derive one generic and seven specific PDPs for the whole erection of the building. We describe a strategy to apply PDPs directly on 3D building information models (BIM) to automate and optimize the planning process.

Keywords: Virtual Design and Construction, 4D Modeling, Product, Process and Organization Modeling and Simulation, Process Design Patterns

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Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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Mathur K, Maver T

IT in the management of design and construction

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the developments in Information Technology (IT) and its impact on the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. It takes note of what has transpired in the last two decades and how the evolution of this subject corresponds to the predictions which had been made at various times in the past. It concludes that changes in procedures, processes and structure of organisations are needed if the most effective use of IT is to be achieved, and it is timely to go beyond solutions which mimic and automate current processes. Strategic frameworks must be defined within which new solutions will emerge rather than specific technical solutions for individual design or automation tasks. Concurrent changes in the AEC professions and the management of projects and organisations will be required to support the new tools and techniques offered by IT. Thus no promises should be made purely on the basis of emerging technologies. Hence the paper makes no attempt to predict the future of the AEC industry even though integrated systems may become available to support creative, cooperative, multi-disciplinary design, and though such systems will assist construction automation tasks, maintenance and facility management.

Keywords: information technology; construction; design; management; integration

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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.


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