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A Asadi, A Hadavi, R J. Krizek

Bridge Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Using Artificial Neural Networks

Abstract: Life-Cycle Cost analysis can significantly assist in making investment decisions. Several recentstudies have recognized the potential benefits of Life-Cycle Cost analysis and call for use of suchanalyses when making infrastructure investments, including investments in bridges. The Life-CycleCost of a bridge consists of the total investment throughout the life of the bridge. This includes theinitial construction cost, repair and rehabilitation costs, and all maintenance costs. The ability toaccurately determine the Life-Cycle Cost of a bridge will help agencies evaluate the asset value ofexisting bridges, make better decisions on the design and construction of new ones, and chooseimproved methods and approaches for rehabilitating existing structures. Research has shown thattimely maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation can lower the Life-Cycle Cost of a bridge. However, thisis a complex and nonlinear problem, and previous studies have failed to develop a satisfactory model. One effective technique for solving nonlinear problems with complicated functions is an ArtificialNeural Network. A neural network is a powerful data-modeling tool that captures and representscomplex input/output relationships. Using a set of input and output data belonging to a particularproblem, a neural system can be trained to predict outcomes for new versions of the same problem.Accordingly, an extensive set of data (bridge dimensions, age, initial cost, and Life-Cycle Cost) for 14Chicago bridges was used to quantify the degree of success that could be achieved with this model.Sixty percent of the data was used as input to train the model and the remaining forty percent was usedto assess the success of the model for predicting the Life-Cycle Cost. The results achieved wereencouraging and suggest that the neural network model is a promising tool for predicting the LifeCycleCost ofa bridge.

Keywords: life-cycle cost, artificial neural network, Chicago Trunnion Bascule bridges. initial cost, repair and rehabilitation cost

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Full text: content.pdf (239,502 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Cemesova, Y Rezgui, C J. Hopfe

Possibilities and challenges created by a smart material in building performance simulation

Abstract: Smart materials are predicted to ‘revolutionise’ the A/E/C industry. They are supposed to enable a building to change colour, shape, size and opacity. However, past research shows that smart materials are still not used very often in engineering applications to their full potential. In this publication we advocate that materials should not be only chosen for simple properties such as visual, physical and insulating characteristics, but for capabilities such as being able to save/generate energy, store information, and to react to stimuli from their local environment. Therefore, this paper will research into the addition of SolaVeil to a window, its physical configuration and the possibility to model and analyse it through Building Performance simulation (BPS). This material is primarily designed to eliminate glare and redirect light. As a result it can reduce energy use caused by air conditioning and artificial lighting systems. This paper researches into the behaviour of SolaVeil in a computer simulation using two different case studies. The first will compare how changing the width but maintaining the reflective area affects illuminance distribution, and the second will determine which physical properties of SolaVeil are most effective. Finally, conclusions are drawn based on the case studies and it is shown that smaller width light shelves are the most suitable for an anti glare product. It is also determined that for SolaVeil to minimise glare in a room without compromising illuminance levels, it should have a light shelf angle of 40 degrees, cover between 40-60% of a window and its strips should be spaced 5mm.

Keywords: SolaVeil, smart materials, building system design, illumination.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Kiviniemi & J Haymaker

Integration of Multiple Product Models

Abstract: The development of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) started from the vision that an integrated building product model would cover all necessary information for a buildings’ entire lifecycle: from requirements management, through different design processes to construction and maintenance processes. Although the IFC model specification covers a substantial part of the required information, AEC projects still have encountered many problems putting this model into practice. AEC professionals still find it difficult to have dynamic, lossless, truly effective data flow amongst the different participants and applications. It is obvious that file based data exchange alone is not a feasible solution - some other solution for integrating project information is necessary. This workshop discusses some viewpoints and potential solutions to the above issues and problems.

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Full text: content.pdf (117,391 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.


A Magdic & D Rebolj

Human oriented mobile system for on-site problem solving

Abstract: Uncertainties and the dynamic nature of on-site activities require complex coordination of information, resources and tasks. Problems caused by unanticipated events must be solved concurrently and should avoid project delays and costs increasing. For effective solving of such problems, the immediate availability of information and a prompt response of project participants on various levels of project organization are crucial. A combination of both conditions facilitate the optimum decision-making in cases of unanticipated events. Based on experiences from a series of experimental projects called E-site, it is our strong belief that a large amount of potentials for on-site problem solving lies in the knowledge, experience and capability of the site staff themself. Therefore, there is also a need to effectively link together the rich knowledge and experience of site staff and include site staff into problem solving processes. This paper describes a human oriented on-site problem solving system supported with context-aware communication to help dealing with unanticipated events on construction sites.

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


A. Mahdavi, A. Mohammadi, E. Kabir, L. Lambeva

An empirically-based approach toward user control action models in buildings

Abstract: In most buildings, occupants operate control devices such as windows, shades, luminaries, radiators, and fans to bring about desirable indoor environmental conditions. Knowledge of such user actions is crucial toward accu-rate prediction of building performance (energy use, indoor climate) and effective operation of building service sys-tems. This paper describes an effort to observe control-oriented occupant behavior in three office buildings in Austria. Thereby, user control actions as related to one or more of the building systems for ambient lighting, shading, window ventilation, and heating were monitored together with indoor and outdoor environmental parameters. The collected data is being analyzed to explore relationships between the kinds and frequency of the control actions and the magni-tude and dynamism of indoor and outdoor environmental changes. Moreover, implications of user actions for building performance (e.g. energy consumption) are studied.

Keywords: Building performance, facility management, action models, occupant behavior

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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A.V. Hore, R.P. West & A. Redmond

The Future Scenario of Creating a Digital SME Community in the Irish Construction Industry

Abstract: The problems associated with the Construction Industry not being able to manage and communicate electronically product and project data between collaborating firms and within individual companies is compounded by the large number of small companies that have not adopted advanced Information Communication Technology (ICT). The typical nature of the service provided in construction, being an on-site and often highly customised service are generally identified as the reason for the low ICT uptake. The majority of Irish companies in the construction sector are Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). As eBusiness opens up the Irish economy to international competition Irish SMEs should use ICT as a generator of competitive advantage to become more effective and efficient with eBusiness technologies. The Construction IT Alliance in Ireland has identified a programme that can create a digital SME community that will promote ICT services in the Irish Construction Industry in order to compete in the global economy.

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Full text: content.pdf (193,989 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Aish R

Extensible enterprise computing for construction as a necessary pre-cursor for collaborative engineering

Abstract: "Our focus is to consider the construction industry as essentially an information processing system. In its ideal form, practitioners (each with an individual internal representation of design intent) interact with other practitioners by first interacting with an information processing system that manages various shared external representation of design intent. The underlying assumption (from an information technologist's perspective) is that design data is held in a sufficiently complete representation, and that changes to this representation are transactions that move the representation from one consistent state to another. We might call this 'enterprise computing' for construction. This ideal of 'enterprise computing' for construction can be compared to the realities of current practice. - Due to its fragmentation, the construction industry generally perceives its use of information technology in terms of multiple discrete 'individual' systems (with the resulting proliferation of discrete documents) rather than as an enterprise systems. - The drawing tradition, which represents building in 2D, with different representations of the same design split across multiple independently editable documents inhibits consistent management of design and the use of analytical tools. While these may be familiar arguments, there are new object oriented and data management tools emerging from key software developer, such as Bentley Systems, that are designed to address the specific needs of a 'construction enterprise', namely geometric generality, multiple application semantics, multi-user access, and transaction management. These systems also address the scalability and reliability issues required for deployment in practice. Again, arguments for (and advantages of) systems of this type have been discussed in the research literature for more than two decades. The difference is that these systems are ready for deployment. But with this prospect for a broader application of 'Enterprise Computing' for Construction, there are associated other significant issues which may concern both the 'strategic' and the 'creative' practitioners, namely: - Semantic completeness: building a sufficiently complete multi-disciplinary representation of design intent - Data integrity: where any intelligent components are used, these should not become 'orphaned', for example, by object ""instance"" data being detached from the definitions of the corresponding class - Data longevity: the integrity of design and other data should be maintained for the life-time of the building, across new hardware platforms and operating systems. Upgrades to the application and any intelligent components should not disrupt or invalidate existing data - Parallelisation of design: individual designers or engineers should be able to work in parallel, and then be able to synchronize their changes to design data with co-workers - Expressibility: architectural design and construction engineering are open-ended domains. Additional intelligent components should be capable of being added on a ""per project"" basis. Within this context, this paper will explore the essential 'tension' that exists within the Architecture and Construction sectors. On the one hand, there is a perceived need by construction managers for computing tools based on clearly defined and agreed schema to control the construction process (thereby giving economic advantage, comparability, etc.). On the other hand, creative designers who are under other competitive pressures, are expecting a different set of computing tools to allow the exploration of new building configurations and construction geometry. While in the former case a standardisation of schema (as the foundation of a traditional ""Enterprise Computing"" system) would appear to be in order, in the later case the essential 'open-ended-ness' of the creative process demands ""extensibility"" as a pre-requisite of any computing system. These differing requirements (and indeed, attitudes) within the user community, presents software developers with interesting challenges. What technologies (for example, object and/or relational) and what 'domain abstractions' are appropriate foundations for solutions for these differing requirements. Or indeed, what technologies and 'domain abstractions' can be used as the basis for broader set of applications whose design is intended to unify across this apparent ""management-creative"" divide…hence the theme of this paper: ""'Extensible Enterprise Computing' for Construction"". Fundamentally, this is not exclusively an issue of technology. We need to address both the technical and cultural issues if we are to realise our collective ambition of providing effective tools with which to support collaboration between the diverse range of interests that occur within the Architecture and Construction sectors."

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Full text: content.pdf (827,728 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.034023) class.software development (0.019513) class.represent (0.017320)
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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


Aketo Suzuki, Masayuki Kase, Takahiro Iwatate, Nobuyuki Suzuki, Hideaki Imura, and Masanori Hamada

A Study Of Effective Utilization Of Information On Foreign Construction Materials

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Full text: content.pdf (929,170 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Al-Hajj A, Aouad G

The development of an integrated life cycle costing model using object oriented and vr technologies

Abstract: There is an increasing realisation of the importance of operation and maintenance as opposed to capital costs throughout the life of an asset. In addition, new styles of contracts such as PFI (Private Finance Initiative) are becoming more popular. This will require that the building product is addressed within its holistic picture including the design, construction and maintenance. It is therefore vital to embed the life cycle costing element of a facility within its design and construction. Whole Life Costing is a technique used to facilitate effective choice between alternatives in the search of economic solutions. Information technology, particularly integrated databases and VR (Virtual Reality), can provide the mechanism to facilitate the integration of the whole life cost information. The research project described in this paper aims to add a life cycle costing element to the design phase of the OSCON integrated database developed at Salford University in the UK. The current integrated database within OSCON supports the functions of design, estimating and planning. The proposed system will allow the user within a VR environment to navigate inside the building retrieving information about building components that need replacement or repair. A colouring mechanism will be developed to show various elements in different colours according to cost criteria. This would allow the user to easily inspect the building and get rough ideas of repair and maintenance programmes, running costs and cash flows. The system will allow data to be updated continuously so that it will enable the comparison with initial plans and estimates and provides a fresh view of future action and feedback.

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Full text: content.pdf (77,170 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.029049) class.processing (0.019301) class.software development (0.013495)
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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.


Alexander Löfgren

Towards mobile lean communication for production management

Abstract: This paper reports on an ongoing case study of a mobile computing pilot project at Sweden’s largest con-struction company, Skanska AB. The company has recognized the potential of a mobile computing platform based on the tablet computer user device for construction site management teams. A global initiative within the company has started with the aim of improving information management and project communication at production site operations with the use of tablet computers. The paper portrays Skanska’s ambition towards the creation of usefulness and benefit of the tablet platform for the site based mobile workforce in the initial development and implementation process. The evolving mobile computing project has so far been directly influenced by the needs of intended end users and pro-gressed in a trial and error fashion. The paper also discusses the role of mobile computing and project communication in a wider industrialization perspective; integration of project organization and technology that enables an effective platform for collaboration to facilitate leaner communication in the construction process.

Keywords: mobile computing, construction site, production management, tablet computer, usefulness, implementa-tion, project communication

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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