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D. Grau, C. H. Caldas, C.T. Haas, P.M. Goodrum & J. Gong

Leveraging Materials Tracking Technologies to Improve Industrial Project Performance

Abstract: The perception that the intertwinement between field materials management and advanced sensing technologies can highly benefit field operations has gained widespread acceptance among industry representatives. Indeed, past research efforts have demonstrated the feasibility of technology-based and automated approaches to handle materials. In spite of their success, material components are still manually handled. This lack of innovation is mostly a consequence of the undemonstrated cost effectiveness of these technology-enabled approaches. This study evaluates the impact of an automated tracking approach on project performance. For this purpose, a massive experiment was designed. In this experiment, the site tracking approach was taken as the baseline for comparison with an automated tracking approach, which was supported by localization and identification sensors. For each tracking method, field records associated with four hundred steel components were collected. The experimental results demonstrate that sensing technologies have a clear and positive impact on craft labor and installation processes.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Dado E, Tolman F P

Next generation integrated on-site applications for the construction industry

Abstract: "This paper presents the implementation and some early results of an integrated system for different site applications like space planning, site layout and work simulation. This integrated system is based on a proposed information model for on-site construction [1]. In [2] we presented an overview of the state of the art of computer usage and application integration for on-site activity support in the Construction Industry. The main conclusion was that only occasionally company and vendor specific solutions are being used and that these solutions only provide integration for one or maybe two specific application area(s). In most cases on-site application integration is not available. In [1] we also looked into the current state of the art of ICT usage in Product Data Technology. We then observed that most approaches were limited to a static modelling approach based on file transfer. From our perception of the industry's needs it seems clear that a dynamic modelling approach is needed. The dynamic model described in [1] has been implemented using state of the art ICT and is now applied in the development of a small number of integrated applications. The paper will explain the advantages of the approach and show some early results. [1] Dado, E. and Tolman, F.P.: 'Proposal for an Integrated Information Model for Concurrent Engineering of On-Site Construction', Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Concurrent Engineering in Construction, 1999, Finland. [2] Dado, E. and Tolman, F.P.: 'State of the Art of Construction Site Application Integration"", Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Product and Process Modelling in the Construction Industry, 1998, England."

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Full text: content.pdf (358,174 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.027353) class.represent (0.020009) class.bestPractise (0.019145)
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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


De Grassi M, Giretti A, Caneparo L, Mecca S

Teaching construction in the virtual university: the WINDS project

Abstract: "This paper introduces some of the Information Technology solutions adopted in Web based INtelligent Design Support (WINDS) to support education in A/E/C design. The WINDS project WINDS is an EC-funded project in the 5th Framework, Information Society Technologies programme, Flexible University key action. WINDS is divided into two actions: ·The research technology action is going to implement a learning environment integrating an intelligent tutoring system, a computer instruction management system and a set of co-operative supporting tools. ·The development action is going to build a large knowledge base supporting Architecture and Civil Engineering Design Courses and to experiment a comprehensive Virtual School of Architecture and Engineering Design. During the third year of the project, more than 400 students all over Europe will attend the Virtual School. During the next three years the WINDS project will span a total effort of about 150 man-years from 28 partners of 10 European countries. The missions of the WINDS project are: Advanced Methodologies in Design Education. WINDS drives a breakdown with conventional models in design education, i.e. classroom or distance education. WINDS implements a problem oriented knowledge transfer methodology following Roger Schank’s Goal Based Scenario (GBS) pedagogical methodology. GBS encourages the learning of both skills and cases, and fosters creative problem solving. Multidisciplinary Design Education. Design requires creative synthesis and open-end problem definition at the intersection of several disciplines. WINDS experiments a valuable integration of multidisciplinary design knowledge and expertise to produce a high level standard of education. Innovative Representation, Delivery and Access to Construction Education. WINDS delivers individual education customisation by allowing the learner access through the Internet to a wide range of on-line courses and structured learning objects by means of personally tailored learning strategies. WINDS promotes the 3W paradigm: learn What you need, Where you want, When you require. Construction Practice. Construction industry is a repository of ""best practices"" and knowledge that the WINDS will profit. WINDS system benefits the ISO10303 and IFC standards to acquire knowledge of the construction process directly in digital format. On the other hand, WINDS reengineers the knowledge in up-to-date courses, educational services, which the industries can use to provide just-in-time rather than in-advance learning. WINDS IT Solutions The missions of the WINDS project state many challenging requirements both in knowledge and system architecture. Many of the solutions adopted in these fields are innovative; others are evolution of existing technologies. This paper focuses on the integration of this set of state-of-the-art technologies in an advanced and functionally sound Computer Aided Instruction system for A/E/C Design. In particular the paper deals with the following aspects: Standard Learning Technology Architecture The WINDS system relies on the in progress IEEE 1484.1 Learning Technology Standard Architecture. According to this standard the system consists of two data stores, the Knowledge Library and the Record Database, and four process: System Coach, Delivery, Evaluation and the Learner. WINDS implements the Knowledge Library into a three-tier architecture: 1.Learning Objects: ·Learning Units are collections of text and multimedia data. ·Models are represented in either IFC or STEP formats. ·Cases are sets of Learning Units and Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describes solutions, integrate technical detail, contain relevant design failures etc. 2.Indexes refer to the process in which the identification of relevant topics in design cases and learning units takes place. Indexing process creates structures of Learning Objects for course management, profile planning procedures and reasoning processes. 3.Courses are taxonomies of either Learning Units or a design task and Course Units. Knowledge Representation WINDS demonstrates that it is possible and valuable to integrate a widespread design expertise so that it can be effectively used to produce a high level standard of education. To this aim WINDS gathers area knowledge, design skills and expertise under the umbrellas of common knowledge representation structures and unambiguous semantics. Cases are one of the most valuable means for the representation of design expertise. A Case is a set of Learning Units and Product Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describe solutions, integrate technical details, contain relevant design failures, etc. Knowledge Integration Indexes are a medium among different kind of knowledge: they implement networks for navigation and access to disparate documents: HTML, video, images, CAD and product models (STEP or IFC). Concept indexes link learning topics to learning objects and group them into competencies. Index relationships are the base of the WINDS reasoning processes, and provide the foundation for system coaching functions, which proactively suggest strategies, solutions, examples and avoids students’ design deadlock. Knowledge Distribution To support the data stores and the process among the partners in 10 countries efficiently, WINDS implements an object oriented client/server as COM objects. Behind the DCOM components there is the Dynamic Kernel, which dynamically embodies and maintains data stores and process. Components of the Knowledge Library can reside on several servers across the Internet. This provides for distributed transactions, e.g. a change in one Learning Object affects the Knowledge Library spread across several servers in different countries. Learning objects implemented as COM objects can wrap ownership data. Clear and univocal definition of ownerships rights enables Universities, in collaboration with telecommunication and publisher companies, to act as “education brokers”. Brokerage in education and training is an innovative paradigm to provide just-in-time and personally customised value added learning knowledge."

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Full text: content.pdf (417,738 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.088602) class.deployment (0.042591) class.bestPractise (0.035370)
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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


De Vries B

The computer integrated future the minimal approach

Abstract: A distinction is made between dataexchange within a system and between systems. For the latter a datamodel is defined with a clear limited domain called the minimal model. Moreover a procedure is shown for exchanging data using the minimal model.

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Full text: content.pdf (525,255 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1991 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.roadmaps (0.017332) class.software-software (0.008159) class.retrieve (0.001209)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Eindhoven University of Technology.


E Ergen, A Dikbas,I Tekce, D Ilter, H Giritli, M Jablonski, A Kowalska

Investigation of price banks and life cycle inventoriesfor pan-European life cycle costanalysis system

Abstract: When comparing alternative strategies for a project, owners and users should not only consider the initial capital cost, but also the running costs which are incurred over its operating life. Total life cycle cost (LCC) is a recognized approach to identify the future total cost implications of individual building elements or the entire building in the future. However, as sustainability gained significance in the construction industry, it became clear that LCC is not the only the only factor to be considered. Life cycle assessment (LCA) of a building is also of great importance. LCA need to be performed to determine the effect of the construction and constructed structure on the environment (i.e., CO2 emission). To provide comparable LCC and LCA results and outputs, significant amount of work is needed to normalize data in existing sources. This paper describes the characteristics of the current databases that can be integrated with the Pan-European life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) system, which is an ongoing EU 7th framework CILECCTA (Construction Industry LifE Cycle Cost Analysis software) project. The goal of the CILECCTA project is to develop an online decision support system for assessment and identification sustainable and economic options for pan-European construction and renovation projects. This tool will provide comparable LCC and LCA results for different project options and assist users in selecting the most appropriate option. It will be compatible with various price banks which supply necessary data for LCC, and life cycle inventories (LCIs) that provide data for LCA across Europe and beyond. The tool will also allow for consideration of uncertainty (e.g., in design and functionality), which is inherent in construction, renovation and through life cycle of a structure. The objective of this paper is to describe the main characteristics (e.g., classification systems, data availability) of existing price banks and LCA databases in Europe.

Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Life Cycle Cost, Life Cycle Inventory, Price Bank

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Esther Obonyo, Mukund Patil, Chimay Anumba

Towards an Agent-Augmented Virtual Design and Construction Approach

Abstract: There has been a rapid growth in the use of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) applications for design and functionality analysis in the early stages of the project development cycle. Although significant strides have been made in refining the functionality of such applications, there is still no overall integration scheme that addresses the challenges inherent in knowledge management for organization learning. There are several initiatives directed addressing this challenge through leveraging on Semantic Web technologies, to address these challenges. Some of these efforts are directed at the developing the potential for using software agents to automate some of the tasks inherent in information retrieval through enhancing the implementation of dynamic, domain-specific components. This paper discusses the deployment of an agent-based approach to enhance the modeling and simulation of construction activities. The main body of the paper identifies specific roles that can be delegated to agents in the deployment of an intelligent, virtual architecture. The paper also describes a proof-of-concept application that was implemented to assess the feasibility of using agents within VDC applications. The proof-of-concept models the flow of formwork components in a construction yard. Based on the findings, it is clear that there is a great potential for enhancing VDC applications using an agent-based approach. Given that agents-based systems are by definition software components that exhibit flexible and autonomous action in dynamic, unpredictable context, they can automate functions such as information extraction, structuring and retrieval. These benefits were apparent in the experimental use of the approach. This notwithstanding, the concept of agents is still relatively new and there are some implementations challenges that will need to be address if the approach is to be scaled up. The paper concludes with a concise discussion of the implications of the research and identifies specific components of the agent-based approach that will be implemented as part of follow up activities.

Keywords: virtual applications, organizational learning, knowledge management, agents

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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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


Guss C

Virtual teams, project management processes and the construction industry

Abstract: Process is the "action of going through, a progressive forward movement from one point to another, with the goal of reaching an end point" 1. Project managers in the construction industry tend to regard process as the completion of separate technical tasks to reach an end. What project managers do not ask is, what happens in the process of communicating that contributes to a successful or poor project. The answer remains elusive because project managers expend energy finding better management tools and techniques, not communication processes to help expose and overcome limitations and inefficiencies of projects. Some tools provide a means to examine overall project success, but typically discrete time phases are examined in projects. Deming’s teachings are clear in that improvement in the quality of projects demand improvements in processes. One of the key process improvements that the construction industry needs to make is the area of communication to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between teams and projects. In the future, the industry will find it more difficult to rely on tacit knowledge (on the job know-how) of organizations or individuals in virtual environments.movement from one point to another, with the goal of reaching an end point” 1. Project managers in the construction industry tend to regard process as the completion of separate technical tasks to reach an end. What project managers do not ask is, what happens in the process of communicating that contributes to a successful or poor project. The answer remains elusive because project managers expend energy finding better management tools and techniques, not communication processes to help expose and overcome limitations and inefficiencies of projects. Some tools provide a means to examine overall project success, but typically discrete time phases are examined in projects. Deming’s teachings are clear in that improvement in the quality of projects demand improvements in processes. One of the key process improvements that the construction industry needs to make is the area of communication to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between teams and projects. In the future, the industry will find it more difficult to rely on tacit knowledge (on the job know-how) of organizations or individuals in virtual environments. Global trends to outsource work and downsize employee pools combined with the widespread availability of telecommunications devices continue to push organizations into considering ‘virtual employment’. Despite knowing that additional full-time employees often cause greater negative utility, the construction business continues to lag behind in use of communication technology and in the development of virtual teams. In the future, a shift to virtual teams will be a consequence of the need for high speed communication of new ideas among experts world-wide, for a competitive edge. Challenges are in using telecommunications tools to overcome geographic and psychological distance in managerial and technical communication. This paper discusses the future need for virtual teams in the construction industry. Some useful communication processes and technologies that facilitate a transition to virtual teams are introduced. These include: desktop videoconferencing, public video networks, Group Decision Support Systems, and the Internet. Advances in procurement capability is discussed to show impacts on the construction industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (60,477 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.033332) class.communication (0.027279) class.social (0.025990)
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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.


Hartvig S C, Andersen T

Agents in an integrated system architecture

Abstract: This paper presents research findings from development of an expert system and its integration into an integrated environment. Expert systems has proven hard to integrate because of their interactive nature. A prototype environment was developed using new integration technologies, and research findings concerning the use of OLE technology to integrate stand alone applications are discussed. The prototype shows clear advantages of using OLE technology when developing integrated environments.

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Series: ecce:1997 (browse)
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Hartvig S, Ersen T

Teaching computing in civil engineering: knowledge systems.

Abstract: "After decades of research and development in ""advanced"" IT, the picture of IT usage in construction remains the same - industry in general is not taking proper advantage of commercially available IT-technologies, as for example knowledge systems. We and others [Raphael 99] think this is caused by the fact that technical universities do not include teaching in advanced computing for civil and building engineers, despite the outspoken need for it. At Department of Planning at the Technical University of Denmark, we have acknowledged this need, and we offer an intensive class in knowledge engineering. Experiences from that course have been presented in [Andersen98]. It is clear to us that this class is valuable, because it enables a fraction of the new generation of professional engineers to cope with 1) knowledge and problem solving and 2) more advanced use of IT. However, it is equally clear that we need to do more - that is: offer teaching in a broader field than just narrow scoped expert systems. We [Andersen98] have pointed out that the relatively narrow scope of the intensive class present a risk of giving the student a too narrow minded attitude to knowledge systems. We are in the process of renewing and possibly expanding our teaching in knowledge systems. To be able to move in the right direction a survey is about to be performed: we are in the process of tracking ""old"" students, now working in industry, in order to learn how our teaching have impacted their professional life and workplace. We seek empirical support for our idea that handling of ""knowledge"", ""problem solving"" and ""concepts"" are key skills for engineers rather than abilities in specific computer applications. The paper will present the results of our survey and considerations, and will include an outline of an improved teaching programme for knowledge systems in civil and building engineering. [Raphael99] Raphael B, Shea K, Smith I, A task and software independent CAE course, in proceedings AICIVIL-COMP99, civil-comp press 99. [Andersen98] Andersen T, Hartvig S, Teaching Knowledge Engineering: Experinces in: Artificial Intelligence in Structural Enginneering, Springer 99"

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Full text: content.pdf (315,577 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.056740) class.impact (0.029838) class.environment (0.027163)
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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


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