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Alain Zarli, Eric Pascual, Daniel Cheung

Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Abstract: A common and acknowledged vision today is the one that, in the future, buildings, along with their components, equipments, and their environment will communicate and be able to provide information on their status ubiquitously. This real-time available information will be interoperable via common protocols for holistic automation & control. The whole building will be supervised by intelligent systems, able to combine information from all connected devices, from the Internet or from energy service providers in order to efficiently control HVAC (heating & cooling), lighting, and hot water systems along with energy production, storage and consumption devices inside the building, taking into account the users' needs and wishes. In such a context, ICT is recognised as key for empowering people in the (built) universe in which they live, with smart e-metering and new smart e-devices – as well as becoming fully pervasive in the future optimization of energy in the built environment - where “Energy-efficient smart buildings” are to be buildings which contain systems that manage information for an optimal operation of building energy flows over the whole building lifecycle.In such a context, CSTB has developed an open framework for data collection and processing, to be installed in any built environment. It supports networked heterogeneous sensors and actuators (with appropriate communication protocols technology), allows assembling various “business” functions (with easy evolution and extension capability thanks to a concept of service composition and event-driven management between modules), can accommodate any hardware platform constraint (memory, computing power), and can be executed in any environments supporting a Java SE implementation. The framework is itself based on an OSGi platform. The notion of “sensor” is to be considered in a comprehensive way: physical sensor (analogic or logic), complex sub-system or meta-sensor (e.g. Agilent data acquisition system or alike), or even external services (e.g. getting weather data via the Internet). Fields of applications are energy-efficiency in the built environment, but also Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), internal air quality assessment, collection of data related to inhabitants behaviours, etc..The REEB coordination action (European strategic research roadmap to ICT enabled Energy-Efficiency in Buildings and construction), as a European R&D technology roadmap initiative (achieved in the context of an EC-funded Coordinated Action - http://www.ict-reeb.eu) has identified ICT contributions to the energy efficiency of buildings mainly via improvement (and corresponding RTD) in integrated design (and indeed ICT tools for Energy-Efficient design and production management), integrated and intelligent control, user awareness and decision support to various stakeholders throughout the whole life of buildings, energy management and trading, and integration technologies. As far as the integrated / intelligent control field is concerned, REEB has fundamentally identified the following areas for future investigation:• automation & control: system concepts, intelligent HVAC, smart lighting, ICT for micro-generation & storage systems, predictive control;• monitoring: instrumentation: smart metering;• quality of service: improved diagnostics, secure communications;• wireless sensor networks: hardware, operating systems, network design.The paper will first introduce to expectations, requirements and potential future scenarios for ICT to support integrated and optimised control in future so-called smart buildings. It will then introduce to the current trend of developments at CSTB in this area, and will present the CSTBox as a tool federating and/or complementing functions (potentially relying on already installed systems) in the built environment. After a short presentation of the REEB project, the paper will follow up with exhibiting the outcome of the REEB project in terms of roadmapping RTD activities in this technological field, also providing with a first insight of their potential impact in the future.Acknowledgement: the authors wish to thank the European Commission (DG INFSO) for its financial support to the REEB co-ordinated action. Moreover, the authors are also grateful to the REEB Consortium partners, namely ARUP, ACCIONA, CEA, LABEIN, TUD, UCC & VTT.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Intelligent and Integrated Control, REEB project, CSTBox framework, Data collection and storage

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Alexander Lfgren

Towards mobile lean communication for production management

Abstract: This paper reports on an ongoing case study of a mobile computing pilot project at Swedens 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 Skanskas 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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Full text: content.pdf (344,875 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Atkin B L

Measuring information integration in project teams

Abstract: Integrated project information is the goal for many clients and their project teams. In theory, the aim is to use IT to support a seamless electronic process in which data are entered once and where no manual intervention interrupts the flows across the different life stages. In practice, IT has been used largely to reinforce existing work patterns that fragment the team's efforts. So far, IT has delivered limited benefits. A study of integrated project information has been completed on 11 building projects across four European countries. Degrees of integration of project information have been measured and used to derive some measure of the extent to which project teams are bound together by the use of IT. This paper summarises the 11 case studies, by revealing the extent to which IT has been successfully applied to support integration. The findings provide pointers to the future application of IT by project teams. In this regard, the active interest of the client in the project and its IT infrastructure is emphasised.

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Full text: content.pdf (415,468 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.021680) class.processing (0.012466) class.roadmaps (0.009827)
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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.


B de Vries

Building management simulation center

Abstract: Introduction to the BMSC In the Building Management Simulation Center new and experienced construction managers are trained. The center is unique because of the use of a virtual building site that can be inspected by the trainees. The actual status of the building and of the building materials and equipment on the building site is simulated by the system dependent on the trainees actions. The main part of the center is the simulation hall. Here, ten cabins are located with a view on a large parabolic projection screen. The trainee has to execute tasks in the cabin in an environment that is familiar to him/her. On the projection screen the building under construction can be viewed and it can be inspected by navigation through the full-scale model. Similar VR based training systems can be found in the aircraft industry, the automotive industry [http://www.ttsl.co.uk/home.htm] en de shipbuilding industry [http://thor.sv.vt.edu/crane/]. These examples inspired the initiators of the BMSC to investigate if the same methodology could be used in the building industry. Building site activity patterns Construction process simulation research has mainly been focused on the development of a construction planning analysis tool [e.g. V.R. Kamat, J.C. Martinez in proceedings of CIT2000]. In the BMSC though, interaction between the construction manager and the building on the building site will steer the construction process simulation. Investigations on the building site and discussions with experienced construction managers learned that they work in fixed patterns. A pattern consisting of a list of activities is called a transition type. These transition types describe all kinds of procedures that a construction manager performs to fulfill a specific tasks (e.g. ordering of new material). Transition types also take into account actions required to perform corrections beforehand or afterwards. For a specific case the transitions were entered into the system. The transitions were deduced from the construction managers that had worked on that building project when it was actually built. For the training purposes every possible situation the trainee can end up with has to be covered by the transitions. The interactive 3D training system The trainees actions are logged by a kind of Electronic Data Management System. All documents that are created during a training session are stored in the system. The system itself also contains project information that can be consulted. Finally the system offers an interface to communicate with the other participants in the project. After the training session that consists of the execution of a set of tasks, the system has stored all actions, their order and the produced documents. These data are compared with the predefined transitions for the case that was used. The document contents are compared with the predefined activity results. With this method it is easy to detect if the trainee missed certain activities in a transition and if the information is consistent. Finally, a visual feedback can be created be regeneration the 3D model in the VR environment in accordance with the trainees actions. The 3D model will show has far the building could have been built successfully. The learning effect After the training session the trainee will be confronted with the (possible) mismatch between has own actions and the preferred actions following from the predefined transitions. Evidently this is discussed during the evaluation after the training. Recognition of the right transition by the trainee to solve a specific task is considered one of the major learning effects of a BMSC training. Paper Outline In the paper the software architecture of the system will be explained. The activity patterns and the management of the system are discussed in more detail. A layout of the building where the BMSC is hosted is presented. Finally some examples of the training sessions will illustrate how the BMSC operates in practice and an overview will be presented of the first experiences.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,053,282 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.deployment (0.027827) class.man-software (0.018630) class.communication (0.013308)
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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.


Bakis N, Kagiouglou M, Aouad G, Amaratunga D, Kishk M, Al-Hajj A

An integrated environment for life cycle costing in construction

Abstract: Life Cycle Costing (LCC) has become increasingly important in construction over the last few years. However, despite its importance, it has found limited application so far. Two of the main barriers in its application are the shortage of LCC data and the complexity of the technique itself. This paper presents a computer-integrated environment, which aims to overcome those barriers by providing a framework/mechanism for collecting and storing the LCC data and a number of tools for assisting and simplifying the application of the technique. The main characteristic of the environment is that it provides a holistic approach to Life Cycle Costing by integrating the collection of the data and the LCC-aware design and management of buildings within a single framework. A database, which is flexible enough to accommodate the needs of any user, is used to store the LCC data. An integrated and interactive design tool is used to assist and simplify the LCC-aware design of buildings. A three-dimensional visualisation tool is used to assist the facilities manager in the LCC-aware management of buildings. Information collected from each building is fed back into the system to update the existing LCC data.

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Full text: content.pdf (281,761 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2003 (browse)
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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.


Bakis N, Sun M

Intelligent broker for collaborative search and retrieval of construction information on the WWW

Abstract: "CONTEXT In recent years, the construction industry began to use the World Wide Web (WWW) as an information dissemination vehicle. The amount of construction information available on the WWW is increasing exponentially, ranging from product data to technical publications, from building regulations to best practice guides. However, the task of finding the right information becomes more and more difficult. At present, users rely on two types of solutions to the information discovery and retrieval problem on the Internet, yellow pages like information gateways and robot-based Internet search engines. While acknowledging the success for both solutions so far, the authors will discuss their growing evident limitations in supporting construction specific information retrieval on the WWW. OBJECTIVES AND METHODOLOGY The aim of this study is to develop an intelligent information broker for the construction information on the Internet, which will facilitate collaboration between users for the benefit of improved information search and retrieval on the WWW network. The objectives are: to examine the information needs of different types of users in the construction industry; to capture these information needs conceptually as user profiles and information context models; to incorporate construction domain knowledge into the information network; to improve speed and accuracy of users search for construction information by developing a information network that facilitates the sharing of search results and knowledge; to develop a hierarchical distributed client/server architecture to enable the most efficient service both Intranet and Internet users. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS The intelligent information broker described in paper has a client/server architecture based on software agents technology. It has two distinct features: (1) supporting user collaboration; (2) applying construction domain and user profile knowledge to improve the information search. Collaborative Information Searching Collaborative searching or social filtering is often the most effective method of ranking Internet documents. The developed information broker enables users with the same interest to share the results of their search and their rating of each documents quality and relevance. Construction knowledge and User Profile The information broker server is in essence a construction oriented WWW searching engine. What distinguishes it from other searching engines is its evolving knowledge base of construction specific keyword sets and construction user profiles. Using the knowledge base, the information broker server is able to answer intelligent queries other than simple keyword matching."

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Full text: content.pdf (197,260 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.054837) class.retrieve (0.047943) class.social (0.030880)
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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


BJORK B-C

A Case Study of a National Building Industry Strategy for Computer Integrated Construction

Abstract: Computer integrated construction (CIC) is a future state of the use of IT in construction characterised by the extensive use of computers for all kinds of application as well as by the transfer of information between such applications in digital form. CIC necessitates an infrastructure of data structuring and transfer standards, computer networks, digital information services for construction, etc. This paper presents the efforts made during the last ten years by the Finnish construction industry to develop strategic parts of such an infrastructure, the RATAS project. In addition to a survey of a number of technical projects, the paper also presents the organisational aspects of the project and attempts to evaluate the results that have been achieved so far.

Keywords: computer integrated construction; product model; standardisation; data exchange; object-oriented

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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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.


Blanca Quintana, Samuel A. Prieto, Antonio Adan and Frdric Bosch

Scan-To-BIM for Small Building Components

Abstract: Scan-to-BIM works have so far mainly focused on 'structural' components such as floors, ceiling, walls (with doors and windows). But, the control of new facilities and the production of their corresponding as-is BIM models requires the identification and inspection of numerous other building components and objects, e.g. MEP components such as plugs, switches, ducts, and signs. In this paper, we present a novel 6D-based (XYZ + RGB) approach that processes dense coloured 3D points provided by terrestrial laser scanners to recognize such smaller objects that are commonly located on walls. This paper focuses on the recognition of objects such as sockets, switches, signs, and extinguishers. After segmenting the point clouds corresponding to the walls of a building, a set of candidate objects are detected independently in the colour and geometric spaces, and a consensus procedure integrates both results to infer recognition. The method has been tested on real indoors yielding promising results.

Keywords: Object Recognition, Scan-To-BIM, Automatic BIM, 3D Data Processing

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0139

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Series: jc3:2017 (browse)
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Brochner J

Construction process improvements in market networks

Abstract: Most construction projects are carried out in market networks with several design and production firms involved. It is unlikely that the use of information technology (IT) will proceed at an even pace in firms. A vital task in coordinating the construction process is therefore to bridge technology gaps between firms. The analytical framework for this investigation is derived from the theory of transaction costs, with focus on how network participants perceive incentives for sharing and preserving project information. Issues such as information feedback from later to earlier stages of the process and professional liability for information provided are dealt with in this context. The main points are illustrated by results from recent and ongoing Swedish R&D projects within the field. Emphasis on IT use at the client/designer interface and at the construction site interface is expected to grow. Improved digital telecommunications for rapid transmission of graphics with attached databases are seen as a development with far-reaching consequences for efficiency in the construction process.

Keywords: construction process; networks; transaction costs; design feedback; Swedish construction

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Full text: content.pdf (668,490 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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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.


Ct S,Trudel P,Desbiens M-A,Gigure M,Snyder R

Live mobile panoramic high accuracy augmented reality for engineering and construction

Abstract: Augmented reality finds many potential uses in the infrastructure world. However, the work done by architects and engineers has potential impacts on peoples lives. Therefore, the data they base their decisions upon must be accurate and reliable. Unfortunately, so far augmented reality has failed to provide the level of accuracy and robustness that would be required for engineering and construction work using a portable setup. Recent work has shown that panorama based augmentation can provide a level of accuracy that is higher than standard video-based augmentation methods, because of its wider field of view. In this paper, we present a live mobile augmentation method based on panoramic video. The environment is captured live using a high resolution panoramic video camera installed on top of a tripod, and positioned in the area to be augmented. The system is first initialized by the user, who aligns the 3D model of the environment with the panoramic stream. The live scene is then augmented with a 3D CAD model, the augmenting elements being properly occluded by live moving objects in the scene. To augment the scene from a different vantage point, the user grabs the tripod and carries it to the new location. During that time, the system calculates the camera position by tracking optical features identified on the panoramic video stream. When the user places the tripod back on the ground, the system automatically resumes augmentation from the new position. The system was tested in indoor and outdoor conditions. Results demonstrate high tracking accuracy, jitter free augmentation, and that the setup is sufficiently portable to be used on site.

Keywords: Live augmented reality,accuracy,panorama,video,construction,3D model

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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