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J Ye, Keith Ellis, T Hassan, S Firth, 3Matti Hannus, C Sheridan

an approach to Impact Assessment of ICTs for Energy Efficiency

Abstract: The importance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) as an enabler for energy efficiency is well understood, however there is no one agreed common methodology for assessing the impact of ICTs on energy efficiency. In order to promote legitimacy, transparency and real progress in the application of ICTs to improving energy efficiency there is a clear need for common ways of assessing energy performance based on a common understanding of commitments, targets and methodology. In this paper, common means for assessing the impact of ICTs on energy efficiency are reviewed and the approaches of organisations focused on the development of ICT impact assessment methodologies are discussed. Subsequently, a potentially useful means of qualitative impact assessment is suggested. The proposed methodology aims to leverage the heuristics of domain experts and is based on life cycle thinking coupled with elements of an adapted capability maturity model/framework. The SMARTT taxonomy developed as part of the overall approach for common assessment is also described. SMARTT stands for Specification and design, Materialisation, Automation and operational decision support, Resource and process management, Technical integration and Trading/transactional management. Aligned to these six high level categories are twenty sub-categories to which user-defined ICTs/research and technology developments (RTDs) are mapped. An impact assessment example is given to illustrate how the proposed approach can be used at the offering level. The SMARTT taxonomy and common methodology are deemed by the authors to be as a useful means of assessing the impact of ICTs on energy efficiency both within and across sectors and potentially offers a foundation on which to base more quantitative methods to assess the impact of ICTs on energy efficiency.

Keywords: Impact assessment model, ICT, Energy efficiency, Impact quantification

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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José Luis Izkara, Juan Pérez, Xabier Basogain, Diego Borro

Mobile augmented reality, an advanced tool for the construction sector

Abstract: Augmented reality is nowadays a novel technology that is acquiring great relevancy as a research area. This technology complements the perception and interaction with the real world and allows placing the user in a real environment augmented with additional information generated by computer. Throughout last years it is increasing the interest and the results reached in the technologies of augmented reality on desktop environments. However there are numerous environments of application of these technologies that require mobility of the user, need of access to the in-formation at any time and any place, in these cases there becomes necessary the utilization of mobile devices. Construc-tion Sector is a clear example. The development of mobile computing solutions is crucial in construction sites. The per-manent change of the site (workers, activities, work place, etc.) implies that users need to get permanently updated in-formation. Mobile computing solutions make this information available without reducing or disturbing the mobility and agility of the users. In this paper we present the mobile augmented reality as an advanced and innovative tool for the construction sector. This technology has a high potential to achieve more sustainability, profitability and higher quality level in this sector. It is structured in two main sections. An initial one that analyses the current status of the augmented reality technologies using mobile devices and describes the benefits provided by these technologies, the most recent challenges achieved, the novel applications and the problems not yet solved. And a second one that analyses the poten-tial applications of the mobile augmented reality in the construction sector and describes a scenario in which the use of mobile computing solutions makes possible to increase efficiency and safety in construction sites.

Keywords: augmented reality, construction, building, mobile computing

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Full text: content.pdf (699,404 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Junge R, Ammermann E, Liebich T

Product model: a basis for next generation CAAD

Abstract: Even at the very beginning of the use of computers in architecture there had already been the vision to use the new medium for more than just copying the draught man's way of work [l]. Thus, the search for such a computer assisted or even computer automated de- sign process, either for the more artistic or for the more constructive part of the architectural design process, has lasted as long as the history of CAD in architecture itself This search follows different concepts, which are, with more or less intenseness, AI approaches. The more artistic and creative aspects are to be solved by, e.g., Shape Grammar or Case Based Reasoning, the more constructive aspects by Expert Systems. These are approaches on a very high and demanding level. It is still not clear, how far the progress will lead to usability in practice. A more pragmatic but surely arduous approach is to built next generation CAAD system on the basis of a product model. The product model, however, will be a sound foundation for using case based or expert system approaches in a further step of the development. The Next CAAD project follows this approach. The model defines and describes the architectural design objects, their relations, dependencies and constraints. This will be done in a stepwise manner. A stepwise approach is also followed for the handling of dependencies and constraints. In a first phase the user will have to set the rules. In next phases small rule based modules will be taken over as far as they are proved useful.

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Full text: content.pdf (725,694 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.039372) class.analysis (0.033708) class.represent (0.021597)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


Jørgensen K A

Product family modelling in the construction industry

Abstract: In general, the demand for customised products has increased radically and, as a result, the need for definition and specification of products by configuration has become more important than ever. This development is also related to the construction industry, where there is a clear interest in configuration of products related to building modelling. In this paper, an overview is given about the relationships between building models and product models and a methodology is presented for developing product family models, which are suitable for generation of advanced product configurators. A model of this kind contains definitions of different types of attributes, product modules and product components. The behaviour of the model is defined as different types of constraints and an inference algorithm.

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Full text: content.pdf (152,039 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.


Keijer U

Building integrity: classification beyond building parts and spaces

Abstract: The effective use of information technology, IT, in the building process requires a common language of well designed classification and coding systems with clear rules for their application. To date, building elements and spaces are the principal concepts submitted to classification for the building sector. A third concept, the interactions between building parts, elements, spaces and system is less considered as an area for systemizing and classification. However, neglecting the interaction problems, which could affect what will be called the Building Intep'ty, BI, causes many negative effects during the building process and operation, eg, increased cost, low quality of the finished building and uncertain and vague distribution of responsibility between an increasing number of actors and suppliers of the building process. An analysis of the problem is presented, a few examples are given and a tentative set of principal classification concepts are established. The research is still in a preliminary stage. An indication of a possible place for an implemented IT support system, ITSS, supporting BI aspects in the building process is given.

Keywords: building integrity; building process; classification; information technology; system

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Full text: content.pdf (621,011 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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.


Ken Thomas, Brian Graham, Tim McCarthy, Pat Troy, David Crowe

Making an Impact: Improving the use of ICT in a Leading Construction Company Through an Industry-Academia Partnership

Abstract: This paper concerns the improved use of ICT in a leading Irish construction company via an Industry-Academia partnership. The partners are Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and BAM Contractors, who are part of the wider Royal BAM Group based in the Netherlands. The bespoke MSc in Construction Project Management (MScCPM) programme that was developed through this partnership involves a number of modules, including one on ‘ICT in Construction’. The majority of the required assessments on the bespoke programme relate specifically to BAM business activities. BAM saw the benefits of getting the participant either individually or in groups to investigate issues that are of importance to the company. Each assessment was designed and agreed by the relevant WIT Module Leader and the associated BAM Expert in line with the agreed MScCPM framework. The processes of aligning the required programme assessments with topics and problems of direct interest to the company may not always have been straightforward, but the potential befits were clear to all concerned. In the case of the ‘ICT in Construction’ module the WIT Module Leader agreed the topics and approach with the BAM ICT Manager and his team. Essentially the group was divided up into six groups of three people and the other two participants were given individual projects. The group projects concerned the use of COINS, SharePoint, BIM, Project Planning software, ICT on Sites and Mobile ICT Devices. The individual projects related to the use of ICT in two other companies, BAM Nuttall and Suir Engineering. The background to these topics, how they were researched, the publication of the associated reports, the oral presentations to WIT and BAM Senior Management are described in this paper. Most importantly, the subsequent impact of these ICT projects on the BAM people, processes and technologies are also considered.

Keywords: ICT, Construction, Industry-Academia Partnership, Work-Integrated Learning

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Kiiski M

Product model based software for structural design

Abstract: Tekla Oy is developing a software package called Xbuild for the design and detailing of steel and concrete structures. The development focuses on two main areas: steel structure design and design of reinforced concrete structures. Accordingly, Xbuild consists of two main parts: Xsteel and Xconcrete software modules. The basic idea behind the Xbuild is to build a logical product model of the steel concrete structure. This product model is stored in a relational database and it is created by using sophisticated interactive 3D-modelling tools. All documentation needed for the manufacture and construction of the structure - drawings, material lists, NC-preprocessor files - can then be produced from the product model. Xsteel includes modelling tools for beams, columns, connections, plates, weldings, bolts and other components of a steel structure. Most of the standard components used in Finland and other European countries are stored in component libraries such as profile, connection and bolt libraries. The modelling is object-oriented, which makes the model "intelligent". Every component in the structure is an object in the product model database and objects can be connected to each other by certain rules. In practise this means that for instance when a beam is being moved, the adjoining joints will follow. Every object is stored in the database only once, which ensures the coherency of the database in all situations. The 3D-model, drawings and lists are just "views" to the database - all design modifications can only be made in the model. This way the user can be sure that all documentation of the model is always up to date. Xconcrete is based on the same principles as Xsteel. The main difference is that Xconcrete can also handle the reinforcement bars in an intelligent way by utilizing object-oriented techniques. The database structure of Xsteel and Xconcrete is relational. The contents of the database can be written out in any format specified by the user. This enables data transfer between Xbuild and any other product model based software. It is also possible to link other applications, such as strength analysis and dimensioning, production planning and cost calculation, to Xsteel by using an open linking inter- face. In addition to this, the Xbuild software modules include tools for creating user specified macros - a feature that enables users to develop own Xbuild "applications". Today Xsteel is used by several engineering and steelwork companies in Finland as well as abroad. Xconcrete is still partially under development and will be completed in the near future. As the construction process, codes of praxis etc. differ a lot in different countries, the requirements set on the software vary quite much from one country to another. Therefore the software has to be easy to adapt into different design environments. The results gained by the users show that the product model based approach is radically improving the productivity and quality of the design work. On the other hand it is clear that using a sophisticated product model based design software sets new requirements for the designers and manufacturers of structures.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,306,080 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.036567) class.represent (0.028935) class.analysis (0.028125)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


Leiringer R T

Modelling the complexity of modern construction projects

Abstract: "The search for significant cost savings and quality improvements on construction projects is a routine activity and one where there is plenty of theory, but few results capable of being reproduced elsewhere. One reason is that the organisational infrastructure of a project is not always properly understood and defined, meaning that novel ways of bringing about such savings and improvements can be frustrated by invalid or erroneous assumptions. A case study of a large housing project, as part of a top level investigation by a government department, has shown how even domestic scale construction is not without problems in understanding the complexity of the process. The investigation is documented as a set of computer-based process models for the entire project, which have then been used to pinpoint failures in communication and information management. Of particular interest are the early, pre-design stages (briefing) and the supply chain covering the off-site design, fabrication and assembly of components. The findings show that large parts of the process are not adequately defined. The parties have difficulty in agreeing upon the amount and specifics of the activities that have and are taking place, as well as the resources and information that are necessary for the project’s successful completion. Conclusions are drawn that outline the need for clear and transparent guidelines and procedures."

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Full text: content.pdf (222,193 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.044918) class.processing (0.016621) class.impact (0.012253)
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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


Martin Ebner, Ulrich Walder

E-learning in civil engineering – six years of experience at Graz university of technology

Abstract: At Graz University of Technology a lot of experience in the investigation of possibilities of using Multime-dia or Internet based applications in Higher Education has been gathered. Especially in the field of civil engineering we can look back to six years of practice in this field. In 2001 the project iVISiCE (interactive Visualizations in Civil Engineering) was started. A great number of web based animations, visualisations and interactive learning objects have been developed for visualisation and simulation of ba-sic structural concrete relations. During the last two years the buzzword Web 2.0 shocked the traditional e-Learning World. The Internet got more inter-active and usable for end-users. Phrases like “user-generated-content” and “give-and-take-culture” pervade our daily life. From this point of view the Institute of Building Informatics decided to teach using these new tools in order to gather experiences and to play a kind of pioneering role in this field. Since winter 2005 a Wiki is used to support the main lectures of the institute. Students wrote articles themselves and collaborated in the process of learning a pro-gramming language. Finally, since this semester Podcasting has started. This means that each lecture is recorded and provided to the students in various file formats. The paper gives an overview about all activities within the last six years. Beginning with animations and ending with the use of Web 2.0 applications, like Wikis or Podcasts, we have always tried to ensure high quality of our education. In the summary it is clear that these small, but regular innovations definitely helped to improve the lectures in the field of civil engineering.

Keywords: e-learning, building informatics, structural concrete, web 2.0, wiki, podcast

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Full text: content.pdf (828,760 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Newton P W

Virtual project teams : an emerging paradigm

Abstract: The rapidly developing technological paradigm of networked computing is offering new opportunities for increasing productivity in a wide range of business environments which include planning and design. It is becoming clear, however, that application of new technology, in the absence of organisational restructuring or ‘re-engineering’ may not deliver the expected benefits. In this paper we explore examples where new communications and information technologies have been used to support the creation of virtual project teams or virtual offices where traditional forms of activity are replaced by new (electronic) modes of operation. It represents but one facet of the revolutionary changes washing over contemporary society where there are continuous challenges to what is technologically possible, economically feasible and organisationally desirable.

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Full text: content.pdf (910,093 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1995 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.016941) class.commerce (0.015493) class.man-man (0.014492)
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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.


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