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A. Dikbas, P. Ercoskun & K. Ercoskun

Enabling Sustainability through SOA within the AEC/FM Domain

Abstract: Sustainability is one of the most important research topics for the Architecture/Engineering/Construction & Facility Management (AEC/FM) domain. Two basic factors which enable sustainability are the technology background and the acquisition capability of this technology to the end users – society. Sustainability requires state of the art technologies which reduce the negative impact of population and affiliation. Key aspects of such technology are; it should depend on renewable resources, without waste, cyclical, based on resource productivity rather than labor productivity, and should even be restorative in its effects on the biosphere. Theproblem is, today establishing such technology is not affordable for the average end user. Development, implication, and acquisition of such technologies takes reasonable time though signs from our earth warns usthat we have no more time. The problem itself contains a lot of interoperability challenges in Information Technology (IT), Process and Organizational levels. Although many governments deploy incentives to promote investments on sustainable technologies, money is not the only measure for the market penetration of a technology. A user oriented approach is developed and a proposal is made to elaborate on the problem as a whole within a reference process model. The model determines the key functions, mechanisms and controls, to enable the design and development of sustainable technologies and facilitate the acquisition of those technologies to the society. The process model basically focuses on the Facility Management processes and addresses many aspects of the problem including financial, legal, and ethical issues. The model benefits from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for construction sector from a previous research and promotes a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for tracking the lifetime of sustainable technologies. The model includes decision support functions for the design phase, marketing and competency functions for the implication and acquisition phase, and measurement and evaluation functions for the use phase. The preliminary solution includes business processes rather then IT solutions but interoperability solutions on the IT layer also have been discussed for sustainable development. The model is under development within the joint efforts of a EU funded FP6 project I3CON (Industrialised, Integrated, Intelligent Construction) and a PhD research. It is believed that the model would facilitate the widespread recognition of the requirement of a radical switch to the sustainable technologies.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Amit Dayan and Rafael Sacks

Cognition Enhancement Using Virtual Reality in Apartment Customization

Abstract: The design and construction of customer configured apartments is challenging when customers are unable to interpret construction drawings or lack the knowledge or competence to deliver the decisions and information that is required from them. Builders dedicate significant managerial and technological effort to manage the customization process with their customers, and this process is commonly recognized to be inefficient. Studies suggest that one root cause is the fact that most customers are not construction professionals, hence decision making is often a challenging and sometimes unpleasant task for them due to insufficient product cognition. In this study we developed a virtual reality tool for the facilitation of an immersive presentation of yet to be built apartments to customers, speculating that cognition may be enhanced and facilitate the customization decisions. An experiment was conducted to identify and measure cognition differences. Some areas of measured cognition shown noticeable improvement which imply for significant cognition enhancement. Exploitation of the findings by future adoption of the examined method is discussed and suggested to construction companies.

Keywords: Product Customization, Apartment Design Changes, Virtual Reality, Residential Construction

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0184

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Christer Finne

Perceived customer value in construction information services

Abstract: The information needed to design, construct and manage a building is nowadays mainly produced, stored and made available in digital form. Information is produced partly in the design process itself. Design and procurement documents refer only to information produced elsewhere as external printed matter or databases (for example, describ-ing building products). An important channel for such external information is provided by specialized information service providers. In order to meet competition from companies’ homepages, search machines, internet start-up companies etc, established info-mediaries need to rethink their services as well as their business processes. A key issue is achieving a deep understand-ing of how customers perceive the value of these services and products compared to those of new competition enabled by the internet. A study of new business patterns and networks provides the empirical support for the concepts exam-ined in this paper. Traditionally, value is regarded as something inherent in the product; and which is handed over to the customer. More recently, research argues that value cannot be pre-produced. Value is co-produced by the customer, partly as a result of interactions between the customer and the supplier or the service provider. For services, value is, according to this view, produced and consumed simultaneously. Using this theoretical framework as a basis, the conclusions of the study are that it is not enough for construction infomediaries to produce just digitised versions of their traditional products, e.g. printed standards, and product sheets. They also need to gain a thorough understanding of their customers' busi-ness processes and, instead of producing products (or services), become facilitators of value creation for customers.

Keywords: construction infomediaries, customer value, information service providers, product information

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Clarke P, Clarke J

Analysis of phenomenological perceptions of effectiveness of information technology in computerised maintenance management

Abstract: The general aim of this empirical research was to examine the phenomenological perceptions of both asset managers and support or ancillary staff using qualitative and quantitative analysis for the purpose of assessing efficiency of information technology in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment, particularly to develop a framework technique that will be useful to investigate such fundamental phenomenological facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, and a summative evaluation of information technology in the asset management environment. Empirical investigation by structured interview with both management and support staff within a public sector asset management organisation was undertaken. The data was analysed through unpaired t-tests between asset managers and support staff, and dichotomous questions for experienced versus inexperienced employees and employees as differentiated by age. The results of the analysis revealed that both asset managers and support staff perceive information technology as beneficial in terms of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Further it would appear that individually at all levels within the maintenance management sphere exhibited phenomenological perceptions of information technology that were particularly favourable and overall were consistent with the conclusions of researchers who had observed information technology's benefits in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes, in industry. Further research is suggested in the areas of customer satisfaction both prior to and subsequent to the implementation of more sophisticated information technology systems in addition to investigating the interaction between actual productivity levels and phenomenological perceptions of beneficial outcomes as a function of information technology.

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Series: w78:1999 (browse)
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Class: class.environment (0.043979) class.impact (0.034129) class.economic (0.021698)
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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.


Clarke P

Effectiveness of I.T. in computerised maintenance management: a longitudinal study of the analysis of phenomenological perceptions.

Abstract: The longitudinal study was conducted in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment where a new computerised maintenance management system is in use in New South Wales, Australia. The aims of this longitudinal, empirical research are to examine the phenomenological perceptions of both asset managers and support or ancillary staff using qualitative and quantitative analysis for the purpose of assessing efficiency of information technology in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment and to develop a framework technique that will be useful to investigate such fundamental facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, and a summative evaluation of information technology in the asset management environment. Empirical investigation was carried out through structured interview with both management and support staff within a public sector asset management organisation, subsequent to the introduction of a new computerised maintenance management system in the environment being studied. The data was analysed through unpaired t-tests between asset managers and support staff, and dichotomous questions for experienced versus inexperienced employees and employees as differentiated by age. The tentative results of the analysis revealed that both asset managers and support staff perceive information technology as beneficial in terms of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Individuals from both levels of the environment being studied exhibited phenomenological perceptions of information technology that were particularly favourable and overall were consistent with the conclusions of researchers who had observed information technology’s benefits in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes together with a comparable study of this environment carried out previously. Differences between the two studies indicate a reduction in the significance of the differences between the two groups regarding satisfaction with information technology as a whole. Further research is suggested in customer satisfaction, productivity levels and the interaction between perceptions and outcomes.

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Full text: content.pdf (184,921 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.050079) class.impact (0.031689) class.economic (0.020147)
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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


Cooper R, Fleming A

A project knowledge management tool for the construction industry

Abstract: Knowledge Management has attracted a lot of attention in the last decade and it has widely been cited as a major competitive tool for many businesses. In the UK construction industry, it has been identified that one third of major clients are dissatisfied with contractor and consultant performance. Similarly, the Egan Report [1], 'Rethinking Construction?, stated that the industry suffers from low and unreliable profitability, insufficient research & development, and a lack of customer focus. These problems in addition to the project based business environment of the sector, typically relate to the industry's adversarial nature, and to move forward the industry needs to capture the knowledge that is generated by the project team, share it, and more importantly, determine how it can be reviewed and used by other project teams for future projects. This paper introduces an IT approach, the Process Protocol Toolkit to satisfy the needs in managing knowledge in construction projects based on the Process Protocol framework. The paper also suggests that significant realisation of IT benefits can only be achieved by knowledge based systems, which are underpinned by a consistent design and construction knowledge framework.

Keywords: knowledge management, information technology, construction process, project management

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Duarte J P

Introducing cam technologies in pavicentro housing production system

Abstract: Pavicentro is a Portuguese factory that mass produces prefabricated houses based on a concrete box system. Among the goals that directed the development of this system were concerns for quality and customized production. Nevertheless, while quality improved, the initial concern for customization soon faded into common mass production. The paper points out the opportunity provided by CAD/CAM technologies to develop a truly customized mass production process. Such a process would extend design diversity and enhance design quality, thus increasing customer satisfaction. The paper identifies areas of production with a greater potential for the introduction of CADICAM, which are related to the production of secondary elements, including precastconcrete and nonconcrete elements.

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Series: ecce:1997 (browse)
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Ercoskun K, Kanoglu A

Customer relationships management in AEC sector

Abstract: Quality is the major guide for enterprises in terms of competitive strength of organizations in the information age. While globalization increases its impact throughout the world, the term “Quality” expands its meaning and the cultural and social aspects of quality becomes the most important contributors of the product quality. The customer orientation of the finished product and after sales service is becoming vital in terms of marketing. Industrialized sectors had been providing solutions in that sense under the Total Quality Management (TQM) principles since the early 80’s. For the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) sector, several managerial tools and techniques has been adapted but these partial solutions do not perform well enough as they did success in other industrialized sectors. This is probably because the need for an enterprise-wide customer orientation infrastructure is not yet proposed. This paper discusses the early concepts about a “Customer Relationships Management” (CRM) model for the AEC sector which, CRM to be the foundation for TQM; issuing that CRM is the key enabler for any tool or technique towards quality and industrialization. .

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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.


F. Wikberg, A. Ekholm & P. Jensen

Configuration with architectural objects in industrialised house-building

Abstract: The construction industry is facing the dilemma of simultaneously reducing costs and increasing quality. An increasing control and standardization of processes and products is strived for, while at the same time regarding customer and society requirements for architectural variation. Industrialised building and development of house building platforms are examples of this development. The research presented here shows a way to analyze the results of the development of a platform for a multi-storey house building system, specifically with regard to the flexibility of the platform. The analysis is based on the use of architectural objects as design interface in different design levels. The method is shown to complement the traditional QFD methodology, and shows the relative dependence of design decision levels.

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K Ercoskun & A Dikbas

Enabling Relationship Management: Agent Technology for Facility Management Integration

Abstract: Integration is a common effort in every industry. On the operational level, establishing effective communication and collaboration between business actors is a vital contemporary need for ""Total Quality"". Business patterns in construction industry depend on ""Projects"". Despite the efforts of sharing knowledge in order to establish and discern excellence in construction, every project is naturally a closed system hiding great amount of ""Information"" from the participants of ""other"" projects. A reasonable amount of this hidden information may be ""discovered"" from post-construction phases of a project's lifetime. Providing a strong relationship mechanism between different project actors is possible through facility management integration. This paper presents basic concepts of a ""Customer service call tracking system for facility management"" which by design puts the customer at the center of post-construction processes and enables various actors of construction industry to serve in collaboration within a platform providing effective communication and collaboration. The framework proposed within this research consists of various process models which are designed to resolve Business to Business (B2B), Business to Enterprise (B2E) and Business to Customer (B2C) relationship types. The Meta system in which the common standards and protocols of communication defined is implemented as a web based project model and agent technology is used to provide a loosely coupled integration mechanism. The core of the model is named as CC-Agent (Customer to Construction Agent) and is implemented as a series of web services.""

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


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