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Can Ersen F?rat, Juhani Kiiras, Kalle Kähkönen, Pekka Huovinen

Model based scheduling in building projects – is it oxymoron?

Abstract: In building, most projects are still planned and scheduled based on the randomly accumulated, contextual experience among planners and managers. The key inputs for scheduling tasks, i.e. the dependencies, man-hours, and durations of activities may have never been organized well in the focal planner’s mind. The aim of the paper is to intro-duce some new viable ways of modeling scheduling activities in the context of building based on the integration of a product model, a process model, and complementary IT solutions. The integrative rationale of the new Building Con-struction Information Model (BCIM) is herein justified in terms of combining the building product model, the building construction resource and cost model, and the building construction process model. Some new feasible ways of auto-mating building project planning are explored, in particular in terms of using template schedules to automate schedul-ing activities as part of the advancement and exploitation of the suggested BCIM.

Keywords: building projects, information technology, modeling, process models, product models, scheduling

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Full text: content.pdf (759,119 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Carrillo P M, Anumba C J, Kamara J M

Knowledge management strategy for construction: key I.T. and contextual issues

Abstract: "Most business organisations often cite the staff as their greatest asset but have no appropriate mechanisms for managing the knowledge or intellectual capital that is embodied in these staff. The importance of Knowledge Management is now being realised and businesses are starting to formulate strategies and to invest in systems that will enable them to manage their corporate knowledge. This is a relatively new concept for construction organisations, which have a fundamental need to manage knowledge as they move from one project to another, working with different partners and supply chains. The aim of this paper is to explore the information technology (IT) and contextual issues involved in formulating an appropriate knowledge management strategy for construction organisations. It begins with basic definitions of knowledge and knowledge management, and then emphasises the importance of knowledge management in a construction setting. Drawing upon a number of research projects at Loughborough University, the paper discusses the contextual aspects of knowledge management. These include such issues as what types of knowledge should be managed, when and how; the business benefits that result from improving cross-project and inter-organisational knowledge management; the common groupings of knowledge classes, their appropriate transfer mechanisms and the implications for their management; the implications for an organisation’s policy, structure and working practices raised by managing knowledge across projects and enterprises; and how to develop an effective strategy for managing knowledge as an asset whilst enhancing the intellectual capital of an organisation within the constraints set by the business context for that organisation. Other issues relate to the relationship between knowledge management and improved business performance, and the cultural barriers to knowledge management. The paper also examines the role of information technology (IT) as an enabler for knowledge management, and reviews the some of the main IT systems that are being marketed as knowledge management tools. The concluding section of the paper formulates guidelines that will enable construction organisations to more appropriately develop IT and knowledge management strategies that will enable them to improve their business performance."

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Full text: content.pdf (275,360 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.035019) class.bestPractise (0.028224) class.commerce (0.027288)
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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


Christiansson P, Svidt K, Ove Skjarbek J, Aaholm R

User requirements modelling and design of collaborative virtual reality design systems

Abstract: Advanced Information Technology today gives us the opportunity to implement sophisticated distributed systems for collaborative design. Persons with different interests and competencies in the building process such as architects, installation engineers, structural engineers, clients, builders can all at least theoretically be brought together in a distributed design space where a virtual building will be designed, build, and functionally evaluated. A design space build in a virtual reality environment will enable us to realistically and efficiently simulate the form, function, and construction of the building object under consideration. In this connection we made the following definition of a Virtual Workspace. 'The Virtual Workspace, VW, is actually the new design room designed to fit new and existing design routines. VW may well be a mixed reality environment. The VW will host all design partners from project start with different access and visibility (for persons and groups) in space and time to the project, and will promote building up shared values in projects. The VW thus acts as a communication space with project information support in adapted appearances. VW gives access to general and specific IT-tools ' The paper presents experiences from the early phases of user requirements formulations and design of such collaborative design spaces. The findings are mainly based on collaborative university and consultant engineering company work done in the EU project 'Distributed Virtual Workspace for enhancing Communication within the Construction Industry - DIVERCITY' as well as experiences from student collaboration in distributed learning environments and earlier research within the area. It is extremely important to bridge the gap between the user requirements specifications and the actual interface design and implementation of the underlying operational models of the distributed virtual workspace system. This is certainly true as we actually design a new type of design artefact that will highly influence the traditional working methods and integration of design resources. The early conceptual design of the virtual workspace follows the so called Contextual Design methodology which gives input to the subsequent data modelling work and implementation in an object oriented web distributed environment. The method used is described and examples on resulting Work Models (work flow, sequence and artefact models) are presented and commented on.

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Full text: content.pdf (634,867 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.065624) class.deployment (0.022154) class.environment (0.022092)
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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.


G Kapogiannis, F Khosrowshahi, J Underwood

Digital Services for Construction Small and Medium Enterprises: A Conceptual Business Model

Abstract: The rapid deployment of web technologies delivers information from diverse sources in the world of digital business in a unified way. Within the construction industry the demand for investments in the digital dimension has raised very fast indicating a trend towards on-line collaboration services usually offered through a web portal. The main purpose of this research is to examine how the use of a web portal enhances the mission of construction Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in the local, national and international economy. Therefore, features and services captured from existing construction web portals are listed quantitatively to indicate those that are important to support the enterprise needs of construction managers and directors. Additionally the common practical and essential features considered in the technical and contextual design of a web portal geared for the use within the domain of construction SMEs in order to promote enterprise continuity in digital business are briefly presented. Results indicate potential support of interaction and collaboration among partners in the construction industry due to direct information accessibility as well as an attractive web platform developed based upon their daily needs. Therefore the need to develop a web business model is suggested to enhance the role of construction SMEs with a focus on online collaboration (online services). This model aspires to provide potential practical on-line dissemination of knowledge within construction SMEs to help the world of construction managers and directors in order for them to be more efficient, effective and creative when developing new businesses, new ideas and new projects. This model is partitioned to accommodate for flexible and scalable technological infrastructures that offer the necessary web services addressed to construction SMEs.

Keywords: Construction SME, Web Portal Technologies, Web Services, Virtual Organisation, Communication

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Full text: content.pdf (330,893 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (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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Full text: content.pdf (98,867 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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J-H Lee & Z-X Chou

Web-based Interactive Support for Combining Contextual and Procedural Design Knowledge

Abstract: Design study can take design as a process in the form of observing what designers do and how they tackle their tasks. The content of designer decisions and the organization of the process can be corresponded to contextual and procedural design knowledge respectively and they are typically inspected in design process. In this paper, we build a web-based interactive computational tool for designers to support their design process by integrating contextual and procedural design knowledge model. We use a scenario-based analysis to model the contextual design knowledge and the concept of Petri-nets to model a graphical workflow of procedural design process. To exemplify and illustrate our concepts, we focus on a sign design process, even though the system can be applied to a wide variety of design domains.

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Full text: content.pdf (4,168,014 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


Ken Thomas, Brian Graham, John Wall

Learning about IT and learning using IT - a review of current practice on higher education AEC programmes in Ireland

Abstract: There is a debate concerning the appropriate extent, content and delivery of IT education for AEC pro-grammes. The aim of the research work described in this paper was to generate information to assist the debate, spe-cifically in Ireland, but the results and conclusions may also be of relevance to other countries. A survey of the relevant Heads of Academic Departments in the Universities and Institutes of Technology was carried out in June 2006 with a response rate of 89%. The context to this survey has been the relatively unique development of Ireland over the past ten years (population, economy, IT, construction industry, and higher education) in comparison to other European coun-tries. The recent implementation of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and its relationship with the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) for lifelong learning is also an important contextual issue for this research. The survey results include the range of specific software training on the AEC programmes, as well as the extent of in-clusion of basic IT training, understanding how computers work, understanding and writing computer programmes, consideration of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and the use of Learning Management Systems (LMS). A further interesting feature of the survey has been the identification of the record number of students on higher education AEC programmes in Ireland.

Keywords: IT, AEC, higher education, qualifications framework, Ireland, survey

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Full text: content.pdf (352,600 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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P. Christiansson, K.B. Sørensen, K. G. Steffensen & K. Svidt

User driven innovative building design

Abstract: During recent years there has been an ever-increasing focus on the possibilities to change the building process to raise quality on the final building products as well as on the activities of actors involved in the building process. One reason for this interest is the new opportunities evolving due to the broad introduction of advanced information and communication technology (ICT). VICMET is a general method for user involvement in every phase of the construction process and with a unique setup for each type of user. VICMET can use already created information in the building process and emphasis that the users are the key to next level of successful building projects. VICMET defines four spaces to support the activities in a innovative/creative design process; The Contextual Inquiry Space, the Conceptual Modeling and Game Space, the Functional Building Systems (FBS) Consolidation Space, and the Solution Space. In addition to these spaces there are supporting artifacts like Idea Bank and Good Story/Best Practice bank as well as Ontology containers and access to Communities of Practice and Interest. The project has so far validated the need for enhanced methods to involve end-users of buildings in a collaborative/participative creative and innovative building design process. The AEC professionals also appreciate development, enhancement and to some extent formalization of existing methods for user involvement in the building process.

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Full text: content.pdf (590,066 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Pohl J, Myers L, Chapman A

The ICADS model in retrospect

Abstract: This paper reviews work, involving the development and implementation of a prototype working model of an intelligent computer-aided design system (ICADS), conducted at the CAD Research Unit over the past four years. In the ICADS model, images drawn by the architect are analysed in background to establish higher level architectural objects, such as spaces, windows, doors and furniture. Combined with non-geometric attributes obtained from prototypical building type and contextual site/neighborhood knowledge bases, these design objects serve as a highlevel representation of the current state of the design solution. Domain experts, functioning as intelligent design tools, continuously evaluate the current state of the progressively evolving solution model to test solution validity, confirm design program compliance and propose alternative solution strategies. Conflicts among the domain experts are resolved within a blackboard-like coordination and control system.The domain experts and the blackboard, together constituting an Expert Design Advisor, are implemented in a production rule environment utilizing a frame- based representation structure.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,727,109 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1992 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.042682) class.analysis (0.032188) class.man-software (0.029231)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editor, Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


Shirazi A,Behzadan A

Assessing the pedagogical value of Augmented Reality-based learning in construction engineering

Abstract: This paper presents the latest findings of authors’ work in design and assessment of an augmented reality pedagogical tool for construction engineering education. Previous work has extensively discussed the need for suitable learning tools and information delivery methods to enhance the quality of engineering education. However, developing a methodology with measurable outcomes that can assist in transforming conventional instructional techniques is not a trivial task and requires a meticulous approach. Within the educational research community, it is commonly accepted that instrumental aids, if properly used, can be effective controllers of human learning. This prospect coupled with the fact that technological advancements and mobile tools have become ubiquitous parts of our lives, motivated the authors to explore the possibility of using smartphones and tablet devices as instrumental aids to improve the quality of classroom teaching and learning. In particular, a context-aware augmented reality application was used to create a pop-up book by superimposing 3D graphics (virtual models, animations) and multimedia (images, videos, sounds) over the pages of a construction engineering textbook. This enabled students to watch, interact with, and learn abstract topics in construction equipment and methods in multiple contexts. The hypothesis of this research is that by establishing a contextual connection between ordinary textbook materials and technologies that students use in their daily routines, student engagement in the learning process improves, students can focus their attention to critical concepts, and instructors will be able to better evaluate students’ progress toward conceptual understanding. In this regard, effectively measuring knowledge transfer and metacognition plays a vital role. To achieve this, several assessment techniques such as teacher-designed feedback forms, group-work evaluations, pre- and post- surveys, and exam evaluations are used to assess all three aspects of the learning process (replicative, applicative, and interpretive). Results, technical discussions, and recommendations are provided in this paper.

Keywords: augmented reality,construction education,pedagogical,cognitive,collaboration,classroom assessment techniques,context-aware

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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