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Alain Zarli, Eric Pascual, Daniel Cheung

Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Abstract: A common and acknowledged vision today is the one that, in the future, buildings, along with their components, equipments, and their environment will communicate and be able to provide information on their status ubiquitously. This real-time available information will be interoperable via common protocols for holistic automation & control. The whole building will be supervised by intelligent systems, able to combine information from all connected devices, from the Internet or from energy service providers in order to efficiently control HVAC (heating & cooling), lighting, and hot water systems along with energy production, storage and consumption devices inside the building, taking into account the users' needs and wishes. In such a context, ICT is recognised as key for empowering people in the (built) universe in which they live, with smart e-metering and new smart e-devices – as well as becoming fully pervasive in the future optimization of energy in the built environment - where “Energy-efficient smart buildings” are to be buildings which contain systems that manage information for an optimal operation of building energy flows over the whole building lifecycle.In such a context, CSTB has developed an open framework for data collection and processing, to be installed in any built environment. It supports networked heterogeneous sensors and actuators (with appropriate communication protocols technology), allows assembling various “business” functions (with easy evolution and extension capability thanks to a concept of service composition and event-driven management between modules), can accommodate any hardware platform constraint (memory, computing power), and can be executed in any environments supporting a Java SE implementation. The framework is itself based on an OSGi platform. The notion of “sensor” is to be considered in a comprehensive way: physical sensor (analogic or logic), complex sub-system or meta-sensor (e.g. Agilent data acquisition system or alike), or even external services (e.g. getting weather data via the Internet). Fields of applications are energy-efficiency in the built environment, but also Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), internal air quality assessment, collection of data related to inhabitants behaviours, etc..The REEB coordination action (European strategic research roadmap to ICT enabled Energy-Efficiency in Buildings and construction), as a European R&D technology roadmap initiative (achieved in the context of an EC-funded Coordinated Action - http://www.ict-reeb.eu) has identified ICT contributions to the energy efficiency of buildings mainly via improvement (and corresponding RTD) in integrated design (and indeed ICT tools for Energy-Efficient design and production management), integrated and intelligent control, user awareness and decision support to various stakeholders throughout the whole life of buildings, energy management and trading, and integration technologies. As far as the integrated / intelligent control field is concerned, REEB has fundamentally identified the following areas for future investigation:• automation & control: system concepts, intelligent HVAC, smart lighting, ICT for micro-generation & storage systems, predictive control;• monitoring: instrumentation: smart metering;• quality of service: improved diagnostics, secure communications;• wireless sensor networks: hardware, operating systems, network design.The paper will first introduce to expectations, requirements and potential future scenarios for ICT to support integrated and optimised control in future so-called smart buildings. It will then introduce to the current trend of developments at CSTB in this area, and will present the CSTBox as a tool federating and/or complementing functions (potentially relying on already installed systems) in the built environment. After a short presentation of the REEB project, the paper will follow up with exhibiting the outcome of the REEB project in terms of roadmapping RTD activities in this technological field, also providing with a first insight of their potential impact in the future.Acknowledgement: the authors wish to thank the European Commission (DG INFSO) for its financial support to the REEB co-ordinated action. Moreover, the authors are also grateful to the REEB Consortium partners, namely ARUP, ACCIONA, CEA, LABEIN, TUD, UCC & VTT.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Intelligent and Integrated Control, REEB project, CSTBox framework, Data collection and storage

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Bella Nguyen and Ioannis Brilakis

Minimising Misclassifications of Over-Height Vehicles Due to Wind

Abstract: Over-height vehicle strikes with low bridges and tunnels are an ongoing problem worldwide. While previous methods have used vision-based systems to address the over-height warning problem, such methods are sensitive to wind. In this paper, we propose a constraint-based approach to minimise the number of over-height vehicle misclassifications due to windy conditions. The dataset includes a total of 102 over-height vehicles recorded at frame rates of 25 and 30 fps. At this frame rate, we analysed sampling rates to determine the sufficient number of positive frames required to provide accurate warnings to drivers. Optical flow and KLT feature-tracker algorithm was used to detect and track feature points of motion. Motion captured within the region of interest was treated as a standard two-class binary linear classification problem with 1 indicating over-height vehicle presence and 0 indicating noise. The algorithm performed with 100% recall, 83.3% precision and false positive rate of 8.3%.

Keywords: Bridge Strike, Tunnel Strike, Over-Height Vehicle, Over-Height Vehicle Detection System, Bridge Strike Prevention

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0249

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Colajanni B, Fornarelli A, Giretti A, Naticchia B, Pellitteri G

ASA, An interactive assistant to architectural designers

Abstract: In the management of information for the design case reasoning seems the best fit for simulating the real designer s behaviour. In order to construct a plausible interactive assistant to architectural designers three main problems are to be solved: the way of encoding and indexing technical knowledge in order to easily recover the best starting case; the way of giving semantics to sketches; the way of coming to terms with inconsistencies generated during the process. An interactive architectural assistant is proposed based on case reasoning, managing architectural information encoded in a memory of real instances of the architectural type of reference and technical information encoded according the SfB system. Its architecture is made of two main parts. The first includes case memory, case recovery engine, abstraction engine and the design board. It manages the general and specific case knowledge in its abstract and semantics given form. The second includes the tools to generate single objects composing the architectural organism both directly and in parametric form, constraint management and consistency checking. The representation of the state of the object is twofold as a drawing in the drafting board, as a symbolic representation in the design board in which all the attributes of the object are recorded together with their relationships. The graphics of the assistant is implemented in AutoCAD environment while the alphanumeric knowledge is implemented in Kappa. The general architecture of ASA and the single modules are described, followed by a simulation of a session of work.

Keywords: case reasoning; architectural assistant; knowledge engineering

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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.


Drewer S, Hazlehurst G

Myth and reality in the use of IT and computer based technologies in construction

Abstract: IT and computer based technologies are a catalyst for focusing attention of managers on technical and commercial efficiency. It is sometimes argued that a detailed evaluation of existing practices, in itself, generates a better understanding of the factors constraining efficiency. But it is also argued that it is the computer based technologies themselves which deliver improvements in efficiency. Because the construction process is fragmented, the overall efficiency of the process might ' a priori ' be enhanced by the use of IT and computer based technologies. However, this assumes that a coherent strategy for their use is in place, both within individual companies and practices, and within the wider construction process. Our current research has highlighted a problem, within a majority of construction engineering and design organisations, which constrains the development of 'IT' beyond that of discrete applications. The lack of a coherent strategy for the integration of these technologies within a company is a major constraint on their effective use within the organisation. The integration of the use of the technologies between separate organisations within the construction process, posits problems of an even greater level of complexity. This paper, has two primary objectives: to articulate the major constraints to the effective use of ' IT ' in order to develop a set of relevant criteria for evaluating future investments; and to examine the rationale for, and mechanisms through which, integrated systems, both within organisations and the construction process, may be introduced.

Keywords: construction; information technology; management; technology transfer; corporate strategies

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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.


Drogemuller R, Woodbury R, Crawford J

Extracting representation from structured text: initial steps

Abstract: A great deal of work has been done in the past on natural language recognition within the field of artificial intelligence. The aim of this work was to allow natural language text to be read in by a computer and structured in a format that would allow automatic interpretation of the text. This was intended to reduce the "knowledge engineering bottleneck" that has been a significant constraint on the use of artificial intelligence techniques within many fields. Some similar work has also been done within the AEC industry concentrating mainly on building codes. The research project described in this paper aims to simplify the analysis of structured text and its conversion into computer interpretable forms by providing support with computer software. The work is built around two documents - a glossary of building terms used in Australia and the Building Code of Australia. The various issues concerned with "noise" in the source data, the structure and content of documents to be analysed and the desired computer interpretable result will be presented. This work is motivated by: the need to maintain BCAider, a knowledge based system that assists in checking building designs for compliance with the Building Code of Australia; continuing work in encoding of regulations in computer interpretable form; and the need for international glossaries to support information harmonisation efforts such as the IAI and STEP. The software suite under development assists people with some understanding of language structure and knowledge engineering in converting structured text into computer interpretable form using a visual user interface. The current state of the design and development of this software suite will be described and the results of its use presented.

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Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.070694) class.analysis (0.045357) class.man-software (0.038615)
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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


Fischer M, Aalami F, Kuhne C, Ripberger A

Cost-loaded production model for planning and control

Abstract: This paper describes a cost-loaded production model that supports integrated project planning, scheduling and estimating and real-time cost and schedule control. The production model integrates product, process, and resource information between all levels of detail and within each level of detail of construction management information. It describes and calculates project schedules and cost estimates explicitly at any level of detail desired by project participants. A hierarchical construction planning, scheduling, and estimating process and corresponding software prototypes assist the user in generating and updating the cost-loaded production model. The main contributions of this work are the consistent representation of component, action, resource, and sequence constraint objects at all levels of detail and the formal planning, scheduling, and estimating processes and mechanisms. These are the two essential components that make the cost-loaded production model possible. The production model enables construction managers to work from general project information to detailed project information, generate detailed what-if scenarios rapidly and control and manage a project's progress on a frequent and precise basis.

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Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.029387) class.economic (0.019346) class.software development (0.009485)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


Flood I,Nowrouzian V

Construction process modelling: a constrained graphics approach versus conventional construction simulation

Abstract: Effective construction project planning and control requires the development of a model of the projects construction processes. The Critical Path Method (CPM) is the most popular project modelling method in construction since it is relatively simple to use and reasonably versatile in terms of the range of processes it can represent. Several other modelling techniques have been developed over the years, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Linear scheduling, for example, has been designed to provide highly insightful visual representations of a construction process, but unfortunately is largely incapable of representing non-repetitive construction work. Discrete-event simulation is generally agreed to be the most versatile of all modelling methods, but it lacks the simplicity in use of CPM and so has not been widely adopted in construction. A new graphical constraint-based method of modelling construction processes, Foresight, has been developed with the goal of offering the simplicity in use of CPM, the visual insight of linear scheduling, and the versatility of simulation. Earlier work has demonstrated the modelling versatility of Foresight. As part of a continuing study, this paper focuses on a comparison of the Foresight approach with discrete-event construction simulation methods, specifically Stroboscope (a derivative of CYCLONE). Foresight is shown to outperform Stroboscope in terms of the simplicity of the resultant models for a series of case studies involving a number of variants of an earthmoving operation and of a sewer tunnelling operation. A qualitative comparison of the two approaches also highlights the superior visual insight provided by Foresight over conventional simulation, an attribute essential to both the effective verification and optimization of a model.

Keywords: Construction process,Foresight,process modeling,construction simulation,Stroboscope,model complexity,visual insight

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Hong Ha Le, Hans-Joachim Bargstaedt

A Simulation Approach to Integrate the Weather Impact into the Execution Planning

Abstract: The construction planning is complex because of many uncertainties occurring during the execution process. One of the uncertainties, which clearly affects construction activities, is bad weather conditions. From management perspective, it is worth simulating the construction process regarding to weather factors in order to make it more realistic and effective. In practice, the effect of weather can be included in planning stage based on the historical weather data or typical weather patterns of local areas. However, the weather condition variation is often complex and not always the same as how it used to be. Therefore, in the executing stage, the actual weather forecast on site should be considered, so that the execution plan for the next days will be more realistic. In the research project “Simulation of Outfitting Processes in Shipbuilding and Civil Engineering” (SIMoFIT) by the Bauhaus-University Weimar and the German shipyard company The Flensburgers, a constraint-based simulation approach was developed to improve the construction planning in civil engineering. The constraint-based concept is implemented using discrete-event simulation. Attributes and relations between work steps are described by hard and soft constraints. Thus the practical workflow schedule can be flexibly calculated, where all hard constraints are fulfilled and soft constraints are fulfilled as many as possible. This paper presents a simulation framework to incorporate the impact of weather factors into constraint-based simulation of construction processes, where the weather effects are described as constraints. Besides, a “WEATHER” component is described, which generates weather conditions and decides on the impact of weather on each work step. In this research, the data of 5-day free weather forecast retrieved from internet is utilized, where it is updated every 3 hours everyday. Finally, the non-weather- and weather- related-duration of execution processes are achieved and compared.Describing the impact of weather as constraints is a flexible, useful method to include weather effects into a execution process. Further research will concentrate on developing the “WEATHER” component more deeply, defining and optimizing construction strategies within a time-restricted space, and developing the assigning strategies of workers concerning the impact of weather conditions.

Keywords: Weather impact, construction planning, constraint-based simulation

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I Flood, V Nowrouzian

Foresight: Graphical Constraint-Based Modeling Versus Simulation

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I.C. Wu, A. Borrmann, E. Rank, U. Beiert & M. Knig

A Pattern-Based Approach for Facilitating Schedule Generation and Cost Analysis in Bridge Construction Projects

Abstract: The paper presents a computational method to help in automating the generation of time schedules for bridge construction projects. The method is based on the simulation of the construction works, taking into account the available resources and the interdependencies between the individual tasks. The simulation is realized by means of the discrete-event based simulation software originally created for plant layout in the manufacturing industry. Since the fixed process chains provided there are too rigid to model the more spontaneous task sequences of construction projects, a constraint module that selects the next task dynamically has been incorporated. The input data of the constraint module is formed by work packages of atomic activities. The description of a work package comprises the building element affected, the required material, machine and manpower resources, as well as the technological pre-requisites of the task to be performed. These input data are created with the help of a 3D model-based application that enables to assign process patterns to individual building elements. A process pattern consists of a sequence of work packages for realizing standard bridge parts, thus describing a construction method which in turn represents a higher level of abstraction in the scheduling process. In the last step, the user specifies the available resources. The system uses all the given information to automatically create a proposal for the construction schedule, which may then be refined using standard scheduling software.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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