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E Sabbatini, G M Revela, A Sicilia, M Böhms

Integration of an Infrared-based monitoring system with an EIIP (Energy Information Integration Platform) for innovative efficient indoor environment control

Abstract: An innovative thermography based measurement system for real-time estimation of thermal behaviour of a room is already developed as part of the FP7 project IntUBE. The applied approach is based on indoor measurements by an infrared (IR) camera and image post-processing to derive mean surface temperatures, thermal comfort indices, air temperature, number of occupants with the relative heat gains generated and presence of other heat sources (e.g. computers). The purpose is to provide spatially distributed room energy information in order to obtain instantaneous feedback displayed for the users or eventually for automatic HVAC control. Lumped parameter model of the room receives data from IR camera to compute exchanged heat rate and air temperature. A low-cost IR sensor, commercially available as surveillance system with automatic movement control that can provide qualitative data output, has been upgraded with a new interface to achieve quantitative data. The paper describes the integration of energy information related to the developed monitoring device (e.g. PMV - Predictive Mean Vote, PPD - Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied, room air temperature as output, humidity value from external sensor as input) within the IntUBE Energy Information Integration Platform (EIIP). The key aspect of the platform is smartness or “semantics”: ICT applications will communicate via this integration platform on the basis of semantic building objects. Performance Information Model (PIM) server stores data regarding the actual monitored performances of a building (energy, temperature, humidity, PMV etc.). These operational data together with the actual weather data can be used e.g. to compare actual performances with simulated performances and can lead to corrective actions. The paper demonstrates that an advanced monitoring/control system (as the IR-based one) can benefit from retrieving data from the EIIP through SPARQL queries, thus activating new functionalities with interoperability guaranteed by the Platform semantics.

Keywords: Thermography, Thermal comfort, Integration Platform, Interoperability, Semantics

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Full text: content.pdf (563,836 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Egbu C O, Botterill C

Information technologies for knowledge management: their usage and effectiveness

Abstract: Knowledge is increasingly being recognised as a vital organisational resource that provides competitive advantage. Managing knowledge assets can be a challenge, especially in the construction industry, where short-term working contracts and temporary coalitions of individuals can inhibit knowledge sharing. The role of information technology (IT) in knowledge management (KM), is an essential consideration for any company wishing to exploit emerging technologies to manage their knowledge assets. This paper presents research, which has been conducted to identify the technologies that are currently used to manage knowledge in the construction industry. The effectiveness of these technologies has also been explored, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of particular IT for KM. In addition, it attempts to highlight some of the challenges and complexities associated with managing knowledge in a project-based environment. A postal questionnaire was distributed among construction organisations in order to obtain generalisable data about the role of IT for KM, in the construction industry. This approach was supplemented by ethnographic interviews to reveal richer data about the nature of IT for KM, in five small, medium and large construction organisations. The research revealed that conventional technologies, such as the telephone, are used more frequently to manage knowledge, than more radical IT, such as Groupware or video-conferencing. In construction organisations, the potential benefits of IT for KM, are not fully exploited and many have expressed a need for greater implementation of IT, appropriated by sufficient training and education of staff

Keywords: Information Technology, Information Communication Technology, Knowledge Management

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/8 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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Elger D, Russell P

Teaching knowledge management using distributed practice simulation

Abstract: The paper describes attempts by the authors to convey the importance of teamwork in architecture to students, be it in the process of architecture or the object itself. One of the main postulates of the work is that pedagogically, teamwork is better trained than taught. This is further compounded when the technological burden of distributed practice is introduced. Using Internet based communication technologies, the authors have sought to create a design studio environment that simulates real world situations where major planning partners are located in different cities and even different countries. Using experience gained over four years of networked studios, the authors were able to enrol five other universities for a semester-long experimental design studio. In essence, the students undertook to solve the design problem in teams spread over different universities. From 43 students, 14 teams (each with 3 members and one with 4 members) were assembled with no two students from the same university in the same team. Furthermore, each team was assigned a tutor from a fourth (or fifth) university. The different universities were far enough separated so as to preclude easy face to face meetings. Instead, the Internet was used as a communication medium. The entire range of available technologies was put to use. A central web site which logged user presence served as a virtual "place" where the students and tutors could meet to carry out informal discussions or arrange to transfer the discussions elsewhere (e.g. to a chat room or a videoconference). The web site platform also provided the entire group with supporting information such as personal diaries, common calendar functions, email lists and directories of student work. The students made their work available on the web throughout the semester in order to communicate with their tutor as well as with one another. Essential to the successful communication was an initial acquaintance session. This took the form of a 3-day workshop at the beginning of the semester. While this workshop ostensibly focussed on the design problem, it effectively served as a social engineering exercise in order to shake out compatibility among potential team members. After the workshop, the group met again 15 week later for a final review. Halfway through the semester, the individual teams travelled to their tutors for a mid-term review. Otherwise, all communication took place over the Internet (or through conventional telecommunication methods). The theme itself was certainly selfreferential: to design a centre for a virtual university. This cross-pollination of design method and design theme was an additional encumbrance for most students, but also provided a fertile bed for a wide range of design solutions. It is important to note that all of the teams were able to complete the assignment and postsemester questionnaires show an overwhelming positive reaction to the experimental studio, notwithstanding the high costs of travel and telephone. The paper discusses the feedback from the students and possible implications for future iterations of the concept.

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Full text: content.pdf (890,508 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.093221) class.social (0.038530) class.collaboration (0.035454)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


Ellis R C T, Thorpe A

An illuminative evaluation of distributed interactive multimedia project management resources

Abstract: There is considerable interest in the use of novel computer-based training (CBT) techniques in higher education institutions. Partly this is an acknowledgement of the exciting pedagogic opportunities such resources offer, but the imperative of providing high quality education in the most efficient manner possible is undoubtedly a key institutional driver. Flexibility therefore is an essential pre-requisite of educational multimedia development. This paper reflects on the findings of an illuminative evaluation of a bespoke project management hybrid CD-ROM (DIMEPM) which sought to identify "facilitators" and "barriers" to learning arising from the use of CBT in an industry setting. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the evaluation suggests that more accessible learning materials combined with flexible delivery does not necessarily promote study. Rather it allows practitioners to prioritise work related tasks and demands greater discipline from the learner. A mixed diet of face-to-face and student-centred activities is advocated that maximise the advantages of each delivery mode.

Keywords: CBT, training, education, qualitative evaluation, multimedia

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Full text: content.pdf (618,457 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Engdahl S

Product identification systems for construction and facility management

Abstract: This paper presents a study of the concept of a common construction product identification system with a focus on the establishment of principles for its use within computer integrated construction and facility management processes. An analysis of current systems for product identification utilized within the Swedish sector of construction and facility management is presented in an addition with a discussion of the concept of object and class identification in information systems development. The study is a part of the industry doctorate research project ‘Product information in computer-integrated construction and facility management processes’, which aims at studying methods for handling product information and contribute to the development of computer based systems for product information management. A main hypothesis within this project is that an information platform enabling efficient integration of IT in handling construction product information is composed of an identification-, classification-, and an attribute system. These components should be mutually independent and implemented as sector wide standards. This study specifically deals with the first component, a common system for identification of construction products. During recent years an increasing amount of research has been dedicated to define methods to integrate and utilize information technology in handling the vast amount of information used, created and transferred within construction and facility management processes. In Sweden, the focus has been on classification systems and product models as central means for establishing a framework for information handling. A common system for product identification would in general facilitate handling of product information in computer integrated construction and facility management processes. Specific advantages would be to enable; - Dynamic invocation of distributed components (e.g. CORBA) representing the product via a link relation residing in a database connected to the Internet. - Direct product information retrieval in case of a present identifier on a product, catalogue page or advertisement. - Exactness in production follow-up, i.e. when consumed production resources are registered. A common system for product identification is considered to be relatively easy to define and implement in comparison with common standards for product classification, attributes and product models, since the latter ones are aspect dependent and involve numerous actors and divergent interests. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze current systems for product identification used within the Swedish sector of construction and to demonstrate the role of such systems in IT based environments for handling construction product information. The study shows that separate actors within the building process so far have developed systems for product identification without support for the process as a whole. Among the systems analyzed is EAN-13 regarded as most suitable since it is international, non-sector specific, in correspondence with a barcode standard for automatic data capture and has the widest propagation. However, the EAN-13 system, like the other systems, lacks explicit norms that guarantee valid identification in a historical perspective especially required for product information management within facility management processes. EAN-13’s main disadvantage in the construction context is its total focus on trade items, thus its deficient handling of standard product units, which is the common view for actors outside the sector of trading. The conclusion implies that a common system for product identification with characteristics of being international, non-sector specific, without property or class referencing attributes and with explicit criteria regarding changes of identifiers as a result of property alteration would be most advantageous and that such system is a central component in an information platform with means for achieving efficient utilization of IT. None of the systems in current use is featured with all these characteristics.

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Full text: content.pdf (527,797 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.020441) class.software-software (0.015031) class.bestPractise (0.012129)
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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.


Felix Hofmann, Volker Berkhahn

Adjusting a tool for collaborative planning to requirements in practice - realisation of a client-server architecture

Abstract: The planning of projects in building engineering is a complex process which is characterized by a dy-namic composition and many modifications. For a computer-aided and network-based cooperation a formal description of the planning process is necessary. In the research project “Relational Process Modelling in Cooperative Building Planning” a hierarchical process model was defined and divided into three parts: an organisation structure, a building structure and a process structure. Furthermore, we implemented a prototype graph modelling tool in Java to build up the process model dynamically. Our tool includes functions to instantaneously check the structural correctness of the graphs. The usage of critical path and Petri net methods is possible. In our transfer project “Verification of a Tool for Co-operative Planning in Practice”, we currently use a practice building project to test our process model and the prototype implementation. With many engineers working on the process model in collaboration, our implementation needs a client-server architecture to allow distributed work. This architecture comes along with different types of problems: simultaneous work demands a real-time status and thus Cli-ent-Callback, for instance through firewalls. The separation of model and view is difficult, and finally concurrent modi-fications have to be prevented. In this context, problems and solutions are discussed.

Keywords: project management, process modelling, network based collaboration, client-server architecture

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Full text: content.pdf (198,106 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Froese T, Q YU K, Liston K, Fischer M

System architectures for AEC interoperability

Abstract: "This paper discusses several issues relating to computational system architectures to support interoperability among distributed, model-based AEC/FM applications. The approach is based on tiered layers where applications interact with local “Building Objects” software components that, in turn, interact with a variety of distributed data repository alternatives in a data layer. International Foundation Classes (IFCs) models are used as the primary data model in each of the layers and communication between layers uses several XML standards. One issue is an approach to multiple meta-models within the many components of a distributed system. IFCs focus on strongly-typed models that describe AEC concepts and objects in an explicit manner. One of the requirements for applications that implement IFCs is that they must understand the semantics of the IFCs and map the IFC models to the application internal application models. However, software applications used in AEC processes are not always based on an internal model that can be explicitly mapped to a strongly-typed model such as the IFCs at development stage. Instead, it is common that some of the applications are either purely generic without an explicitly defined domain schema, or generic enough so as they must deal with run-time databases whose schemas cannot be pre-defined during the development of the applications. In order to allow this type of software to share and exchange data with other applications through the models such as the IFCs, data schemas must be mapped at a higher and abstract level that allows for run-time model schema configurations and mappings. The Interactive Workspace for Project Management (IWPM) is a CIFE (Center for Facilities Engineering) project that integrates several research decision support systems, commercial project management systems, and advanced collaborative human-computer interaction approaches using emerging industry data standards and internet technologies. To illustrate an example of using the meta-model approach, the paper applies the use cases in IWPM to demonstrate how meta-models can be used to implement IFC project management related models in such an integrated software environment."

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Full text: content.pdf (595,267 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.049095) class.standards (0.036666) class.communication (0.035658)
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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


Gorlick A L, Froese T M

A prototype distributed CIC system based on IAI standards

Abstract: A prototype Computer Integrated Construction system is being developed that models building product and process information using International Alliance for Interoperability standards. The goal of this research is to provide a window into the future of how these standards can be applied in the construction industry. The prototype consists of a project database that is structured according to a common project schema or project data model. The schema is based on emerging International Alliance for Interoperability standard models but it is implemented in a way that allows the dynamic development of the schema (and even of its underlying metamodel) without destroying the information in the database in order to support on-going work in the development of information model standards. The system is modular in nature so that it can be supplemented with plug-in tools to accomplish a variety of project management tasks. It is served over the web through a combination of Microsoft's Active-X Data Object technology and a lightweight version of ISO STEP's Standard Data Access Interface. Data sets served to the client are wrapped in the Extensible Markup Language to allow for the self-description of information.

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Full text: content.pdf (77,627 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.068367) class.man-software (0.047366) class.standards (0.016356)
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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.


H Deshpande, H Leslie

A STRATEGY TO DEVELOP A FRAMEWORK FOR DISTRIBUTED INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN THE AEC-FM INDUSTRY

Abstract: This paper reviews and analyses the problem of distributed decision-making in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction and Facility Management (AEC-FM) industry and at the operation and management of a supporting information system. These problems include uncoordinated information gathering, reporting and management, as well as multiple redrawing and re-keying of information, which lead to unnecessary costs, increased errors, and misunderstanding. While major advances have been made since CIDA articulated these problems fifteen years ago, particularly in relation to the Building Information Modelling (BIM), its call for easy access to standardized information relevant to each industry sector is yet to be fully answered. While individual industry sectors and organisations have made significant advances in their respective areas of concern, significantly less progress has been made when it comes to the access and exchange of information between sectors or over the life-cycle of a facility. In order to advance the agenda, this paper first takes a comprehensive look at the way the project decision-makers access, process and exchange information, and at how that data is managed over space and time. The paper then describes a strategy to develop a framework for an integrated system for information management that is comprehensive and well integrated, addressing the needs of all sectors of the industry and all phases of the facility life-cycle. The strategy also makes it possible to bring together all the diverse developments such as BIM, IFCs, IDEF, IFD, in the framework, thus helping to manage the information in all its myriad aspects. As many of the concepts raised here are similar to but slightly different from those in current circulation, the paper identifies and describes a number of key concepts used to formulate the strategy. The paper describes the proposed system in functional terms and outlines the simple demonstration packages within it that illustrate the wider picture and provide a context within which individual interest groups can act.

Keywords: Distributed information management, Performance-based project data, Product/Process data management. BIM

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Halfawy M R, Pouria A, Froese T

Developing message-based interoperability protocols for distributed AEC/FM systems

Abstract: This paper discusses the requirements and a methodology for developing, implementing, and possibly standardizing, an extensible set of common messagebased protocols for exchanging project-specific and industry-wide information based on the IFC data model. The protocols define the syntax and semantics of various data exchange messages in the context of AEC/FM projects. The interoperability protocols will achieve two goals: enabling project roles and applications to exchange information in a consistent and standard manner; and enabling the full or partial automation of a set of project workflow processes. The protocols aim to enable heterogeneous and distributed AEC/FM systems to exchange information, within or across organizational boundaries, across all project phases. Interoperability protocols would include transactions for requesting or querying information from various data sources, exchanging design or construction data related to a specific project, exchanging data related to a specific business transaction (e.g. purchase orders), distributing updated project information to project teams, or requesting the execution of specific operations. Formalization and standardization of data exchange protocols between various project roles and applications will potentially provide better communication, increased quality, productivity, and reduced costs, delays, and contractual disputes.

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Full text: content.pdf (72,709 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.022872) class.software-software (0.021322) class.communication (0.016180)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


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