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Alan Bridges

Problem based learning in architectural education

Abstract: There is limited published research and discussion on pedagogical approaches in architectural education. Problem (or Project) Based Learning is used successfully in other professional disciplines, and, consequently, there have been attempts to utilise the same pedagogical approach in architectural education. This paper critically reviews PBL implementations at the Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Delft (TUDelft), Netherlands and the De-partment of Architecture, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and draws general conclusions about the implementation of PBL in architecture and particular recommendations with respect to the teaching of architectural computing.

Keywords: PBL; architectural education; computing

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Full text: content.pdf (162,314 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Alarcon L F, Bastias A

Computer aided strategic planning

Abstract: Modelling concepts developed to analyse project strategic decisions have been extended and implemented in a computer system leading to a generalised methodology that allows modelling and evaluation of strategic decisions in almost any decision area. Some recent application areas of this modelling system are: strategic planning, evaluation of environmental policy impacts and evaluation of risks in owner contractor relationships . The system uses concepts of cross-impact analysis and probabilistic inference as the core of the analysis procedure. A modular model structure and a simplified knowledge acquisition procedure has been designed to avoid the excessive cognitive demands imposed to the users by the original cross-impact methodology. A simple questioning process is used to guide the discussion and elicit information in an ordered manner. The result is a powerful but easy to use computer modelling system where managers, or other potential users, are not exposed to the complexities of the mathematical model. The computer system is implemented in a Windows 95 platform and it provides a graphical interface to help the users in building a conceptual model for the decision problem. The model is a simplified structure of the variables and interactions that influence the decisions being analysed. Influences and interactions assessed by experts or decisions makers are stored in a knowledge base. The system provides powerful analysis capabilities, such as: sensitivity analysis, to identify the most important variables in the decision problem; scenario analysis, to test decision under different environmental conditions; prediction of selected performance outcomes; risk analysis, to identify the risk involved in different alternatives; comparative analysis of the effects of alternative actions on individual or combined performance measures; explanatory capabilities through the model causal structure; etc. The computer model can translate expertise collected from multiple experts into a prediction of significant outcomes for decision-making. The model allows management to test different combinations of options and predict expected performance impacts associated with the decisions under analysis. The use of this decision-support tool can provide valuable insights on alternative options for strategic decision-making

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Full text: content.pdf (360,296 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.068425) class.impact (0.056619) class.environment (0.054697)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Amor R, Betts M, Coetzee G, Sexton M

Information Technology for Construction: Recent Work and Future Directions

Abstract: Advancing the application of information technology in construction is a major international research and innovation endeavour of concern to scientific establishments and industry. A significant focal point for this research, in terms of its dissemination and the derivation of a shared research agenda, has been the working commission concerned with IT for construction within the International Council for Innovation and Research in Construction (CIB). Working commission 78 of CIB has been active for about 20 years in holding annual meetings of leading scholars in the field. These annual meetings have allowed the principal research activities from around the world to be presented to expert fora and documented in a series of annual proceedings. More recently, some of the more complete research projects have been reported in an on-line electronic journal published in association with the working commission. The meetings have typically allowed debates and discussion to take place regarding the state of progress with key research themes, the emergence of new research themes, and a vision of construction activities in the future to which ongoing research could relate. This paper seeks to capture some of the overall experiences from the activities of this working commission by reviewing the key research issues that have been addressed in recently reported work and seeking to elicit a vision of future IT-enabled construction projects that might inform future research. It reports on an overview of the scope, current approaches and future research agenda that has arisen from consideration of the papers presented, and discussion that took place, at its most recent meetings in South Africa in 2001 and Denmark in 2002.

Keywords: Information Technology, Construction, Research Agenda, Vision.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/16 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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Amor R, Turk Z, Hyvarinen J, Finne C

CONNET: a gateway to Europe's construction information

Abstract: "The EC funded project CONNET (Construction Information Service Network, at http://www.connet.org/) has developed a set of Internet-based information services for Europe. These services are linked through a European gateway for the construction industry which provides a ""virtual technology park"", accessible to the whole industry regardless of national boundaries. The gateway provides mechanisms to link all information services for the construction industry, and to establish national gateways to services which can then inter-operate across Europe. The CONNET consortium is moving to establish the existing services in all European nations, and to encourage further existing or planned information services to be linked. A suite of five Internet based services has initially been developed, comprising: a technical information centre; a waste exchange centre; manufactured product services; a calculation and software centre; and an electronic news service as described below: 1. The Technical Information Centre provides a single point of entry to locate technical information from quality providers, initially in the UK. The centre draws upon information held by the major publishers in the UK, with over 200 identified to link into the service. Once a publication is identified a user is able to place an order to purchase, or browse, the item. An automated notification service for users, based on their areas of interest, is also available as part of this centre. 2. The Waste Exchange Centre extends the current UK based system to better enable the disposal and reuse of site waste across organisations Nationally and in Europe. Availability of, and requests for, waste materials are automatically matched in order to broker greater reuse of materials. 3. The Manufactured Product Service enables Finnish and export-market users to identify manufactured products which match their design specification by incorporating product attributes into the selection system. Users are able to identify certified products and drag-and-drop CAD information into their designs. 4. The Calculation and Software Centre provides the European entry point for information on all software products available for the civil engineering domain (over 3,900 collated to date). Online demonstrations, online purchase, and even pay-per-use software is available. 5. The Electronic News Service enables members of the construction industry to register an interest in specific topics and to be notified of any Internet published news that matches their interest. The news sources are drawn from the main information providers and professional institutes in the industry, both within the UK and Internationally. Currently over 14,300 Internet sites have been identified and indexed for this service. This paper describes the infrastructure which has been developed for the European gateway and the benefits it can offer to linked services within a single nation, or across Europe. The virtual technology park infrastructure developed in CONNET provides for user identification, centralised user profiling and profile management, automated and periodic user profile servicing, classification system management and mapping, discussion groups, secure communication and service validation, etc. The way in which these technology park services are able to be used and adapted in independent, but linked, national services is highlighted in the paper. The five individual services are also described briefly, highlighting the benefits they offer to the European construction industry and the possibilities they offer in terms of ensuring national services are inter-operable across all of Europe."

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Full text: content.pdf (1,226,313 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.014414) class.communication (0.010000) class.man-software (0.007679)
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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


Anders Ekholm

ISO 12006-2 and IFC – could they be harmonized?

Abstract: Today, there are two major candidates for core ontologies common to the construction and facilities management sector, the ISO 12006-2 Framework for classification of information, and the Industry Foundation Classes, IFC. ISO 12006-2 has been developed as a step in harmonizing different national and regional classification systems for construction and facilities management. The main purpose of the IFC standard is to enable effective information sharing, within the AEC/FM industry throughout the project lifecycle. These standards have similar objectives but show fundamental differences in semantics and structure. The presented study compares the standards and points at differences and similarities, firstly in order to understand their structure, and secondly to initiate a discussion about the need and the possibility to co-ordinate them. The analysis indicates a fundamental difference in view between the standards. The starting point of IFC was to reject classification, and therefore a harmonization with ISO 12006-2 would require a major shift of approach.

Keywords: Product models, Process models, Ontologies, Interoperability

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Series: w78:2004 (browse)
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Antonio Grilo, Ricardo Jardim-Goncalves, Adolfo Steiger-Garcao

A methodology using domain ontology and SOA for better interoperability in AEC mass customization

Abstract: Today, the OMG’s Model Driven Architecture (MDA) makes available an open approach to write specifi-cations and develop applications, separating the application and business functionality from the platform technology. As well, the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) establishes a software architectural concept that defines the use of services to support the requirements of software users, making them available as independent services accessible in a standardized way. Together, these two architectures seem to provide a suitable framework to improve construction company’s competitiveness through the adoption of a standard-based extended environment, challenging and enhanc-ing the interoperability between computer systems and applications in industry. Nevertheless, Domain Ontologies (DO) have been recognized more and more as a challenging mechanism to bridge knowledge. The paper, after illustrating the general motivations the construction companies have to adopt open architectures to achieve interoperability for extended and collaborative enterprise practices, presents the emerging model driven and service oriented architectures. Then, it describes an innovative methodology for better interoperability in AEC mass customization. The paper finishes with discussion and concluding remarks concerning the empirical results obtained from the pilot demonstrator.

Keywords: interoperability, mass customization, domain ontology, SOA, MDA

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Full text: content.pdf (160,235 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Bharat D

Building industry and the agents of change

Abstract: The infornmtion technology and the changes it brings about are recent and evolving phenomena. In the absence of established historical perspectives, many previous studies have focused on the information technology issues that are of only immediate concern to the building industry and thus provide only limited perspectives. In this paper, we suggest that it is an appropriate time to look beyond the technological bottlenecks such as incompatibility of software or hardware, prohibitive resource investments, and others that are often cited as the reasons impeding applications of the information technology in the building industry. With the new developments taking place in the information technology, the gradual and paced changes in the building industry organizations will be rephced by changes with a bigger scope and a higher momentum. These changes will not result in simply a new breed of professionals who become another discrete part of the web comprising the building industry; they will affect the very web defining the building industry. Additionally, the technological developments that will bring about such changes are presently being carried out by forces external to the building irtdustty thus further obscuring their potential impacts. Five key information technology advances are submitted here as the agents of significant change in future: networks, groupware, robotics, flexible manufacturing, and microprocessor embedded building components. It is argued that the building industry needs to expand the debate about the role of the information technology by taking account of developments which presently lie outside its immediate and traditional concern. The paper initiates this discussion and describes a number of likely impacts of the new technology on the educational, professional and organizational spheres in the building industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,994,845 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.050231) class.environment (0.047416) class.man-man (0.024687)
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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.


Bjork B C, Lownertz K, Kiviniemi A

ISO 13567 - the proposed international standard for structuring layers in computer aided building design

Abstract: Layering is a widely used method for structuring data in CAD-models. During the last few years national standardisation organisations, professional association, user groups for particular CAD-systems, individual companies etc. have issued numerous standards and guidelines for the naming and structuring of layers in building design. Recently ISO has defined a draft international standard, ISO/DIS 13567, in order to increase interoperability betwen different CAD applications for building design.The principles which have been followed in the design of the draft standard are first presented, after which the paper describes the semantical organisation of the standard proposal and its default syntax. Important mandatory information categories deal with the party responsible for the information, the type of building element shown, and whether a layer contains the direct graphical description of a building part or additional information needed in an output drawing etc. Non-mandatory information categories facilitate the structuring of information in rebuilding projects, use of layers for spatial grouping in large multi-storey projects, and storing multiple representations intended for different drawing scales in the same model etc.Pilot testing of ISO 13567 is currently being carried out in a number of countries which have been involved in the definition of the standard. In the paper two implementations, which have been carried out independently in Sweden and Finland, are described. The paper concludes with a discussion of the possible benefits of the standard. Incremental development within the industry, is contrasted with the more idealistic scenario of building product models.

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Full text: content.pdf (442,818 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.standards (0.048516) class.synthesis (0.043906) class.represent (0.015610)
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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.


Bjork, Bo-Christer

Requirements and information structures for building product data models

Abstract: The term computer-integrated construction (CIC) is often used to describe a future type of construction process characterised by the extensive use of information technology. The key to successful CIC is the comprehensive integration of currently isolated computing applications in different phases of the construction process. Among the several types of data exchange standards needed to support such integration, the standards for structuring the information describing buildings (building product data models) are particularly important. No fully operational building product data models have as yet been formally standardised either on the national or international level, but the topic has been a subject of intensive research during the last few years. Building product data model proposals are usually defined using object-oriented information modelling techniques. The research which is presented in this summarising thesis was carried out primarily during the years 1988-92 at the Technical Research Centre of Finland. The report begins with a brief introduction to the general background of research concerning CIC and building product data models. Fundamental concepts of object orientation and product modelling are explained in a separate chapter. In order to position the author's research results, the "state of the art" in this research field is briefly reviewed. The research results are presented against the background of a kernel-aspect model framework, in line with current thinking among several leading researchers in this field. The results can loosely be classified into three distinctive groups: a number of requirements which building product data models should fulfil; specific information structures in building product data models; and the integration of product models with other types of information used in the construction process. The specific information structures which were studied include the abstraction hierarchies used in building product data models, the type object mechanism and information structures needed for modelling spaces and enclosing objects. The report ends with a discussion of the results, comparing them with the proposals and results of other researchers. Some directions for further research are also outlined.

Keywords: Building Product model, computer-integrated construction

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Bjork, Bo-Christer

Information Technology in construction: domain definition and research issues

Abstract: This article discusses the scope of research on the application of information technology in construction (ITC). A model of the information and material activities which together constitute the construction process is presented, using the IDEF0 activity modelling methodology. Information technology is defined to include all kinds of technology used for the storage, transfer and manipulation of information, thus also including devices such as copying machines, faxes and mobile phones. Using the model the domain of ITC research is defined as the use of information technology to facilitate and re-engineer the information process component of construction. Developments during the last decades in IT use in construction is discussed against a background of a simplified model of generic information processing tasks. The scope of ITC is compared with the scopes of research in related areas such as design methodology, construction management and facilities management. Health care is proposed as an interesting alternative (to the often used car manufacturing industry), as an IT application domain to compare with. Some of the key areas of ITC research in recent years; expert systems, company IT strategies, and product modelling are shortly discussed. The article finishes with a short discussion of the problems of applying standard scientific methodology in ITC research, in particular in product model research.

Keywords: Information technology, construction, research, integration, methodology

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