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A Francis, E Miresco

Case Studies for the Planning and Monitoring of Unit- and Fixed-Price Contracts Using Project Scheduling Software

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Series: w78:2014 (browse)
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Ahmad Irshad, M. Hesham El Naggar, Akhtar Naeem Khan

Fixed Head Kinematic Pile Bending Moment: Artificial Neural Network Approach

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Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Akbas R, Fischer M, Kunz J, Schwegler B

Use of domain knowledge, product models and geometric algorithms for generation of construction zones

Abstract: We present a layered approach for automated generation of construction zones from 3D CAD models for construction planning and scheduling. The existence of 3D models and product models provides an opportunity for planners and schedulers to consider zoning alternatives and represent and visualize production information in detail. Construction zones are spaces, or groups of spaces, which serve as units of work in the construction planning process. Failure to define construction zones properly may increase overall project duration and impact workflow adversely. Today, zone definitions are generally ad-hoc. Formal definitions and mechanisms to generate construction zone information are not available in commercially available software.We have defined a three-layer computational framework in a prototype construction management software tool to generate detailed information about construction zones. The framework separates the construction-based information from the product model representation and geometric information. Each layer is extensible and testable without the other layers. The highest layer (Layer3) contains domain knowledge about zones, i.e., types of zones and factors or constraints affecting construction zone definition. For example, a shape factor takes into account the changes in production rates due to local variations of geometry. The shape factor also allows the representation of an idle crew because of a nearby activity, missing support or unavailability of materials. Layer 2 manages the changes in the product and process models that are necessary to generate zones. Additionally, it uses zoning knowledge to maintain consistent schedules at multiple levels of detail. Layer 1 is the geometric level that contains the geometric algorithms to create the subdivisions and aggregations using the geometric shape representation of the building components. Instead of considering a fixed geometric representation for a component, we provide a flexible triangular mesh shape representation, breaking-up or aggregating component geometry as necessary. With the results of this research, professionals will be able to simulate and visualize construction processes more accurately and link design and construction data more tightly to explore design-build scenarios rapidly and communicate them effectively.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,076,021 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.028985) class.environment (0.026386) class.represent (0.022098)
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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.


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 trainee’s 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 trainee’s 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 trainee’s 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.


Costin A,Shaak A,Teizer J,Pfeffer G,Khanzode A,Saripally D,Chao O,Schoner B,Shah S

Passive RFID-based asset tracking and project management on a large hospital project

Abstract: As construction job sites get larger and more complex, the need to increase building protocol control and safety is becoming more necessary. Having a real-time tracking system for materials, equipment and personnel of a job site will help project managers to enhance the safety, security, quality control, and worker logistics of a construction project. In this paper we will present the method of integrating Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) for real-time tracking of materials, equipment, and personnel. The purpose is to generate real-time data to monitor for safety, security, quality control, and worker logistics, and to produce leading indicators for safety and building protocol control. The concept of reference tags will be utilized along with a cloud server, mobile field devices, and software to assist the project managers with staying connected with the job site, from supply chain management to installation. Hardware components include RFID tags, portal RFID readers, fixed turn-style readers, and mobile handheld devices. The system was deployed on a 900 thousand square feet hospital project that consisted of three major buildings, 125 contractors, and 1,200 workers. Preliminary results show that the integration of these technologies enhances productivity, reduces scheduling issues, assists in subcontractor management, and provides real-time information on deployed crews and building activities. High-level metrics have been developed at the project and large contractor level. Additionally, the system also provided real-time information on local worker participation as part of the project goal. Based on experimental analysis, we demonstrate that the RFID and BIM system is a practical and resourceful tool to provide real-time information and location tracking to increase safety, security, and building protocol control.

Keywords: Asset tracking,Building information modeling (BIM),Building protocol,Cloud Server,Human resources,Passive radio frequency identification (RFID),Project management,Quality control,Safety,Security,Worker Logistics

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Futcher K G

User survey on a wan portfolio M.I.S. used for porfolio/project management in Hong Kong.

Abstract: This paper presents the results of recent research into the user expectations for a Management_Information_System (MIS) for the project/portfolio-managed delivery of a large and diverse range of projects. In 1998, the Works Bureau of the Government of Hong Kong undertook objective measurement of the extent that an MIS, called the PW_MS, contributed to the successful project and portfolio management of its large and diverse portfolio of more than two thousand public works projects. This rolling-programme of projects includes up to 72 types of public infrastructure. The delivery process depends on a highly differentiated organisation in which each of the public works departments has different staffing levels, workloads, locations, and each undertake different types of work. The objective of the assessment was to determine: · the extent that the PW_MS was successfully used for the management of individual projects; · the extent that the PW_MS was successfully used to help manage the portfolios-of-projects overall; · the extent that other means of data collection and reporting that are otherwise used for both of these functions; and, · to identify the requirements for an improved MIS. This paper presents the results of this postal survey of a population of five hundred and eighty-four authorised users of the PW_MS. It is a complex WAN system, with 168 terminals in the client and public works offices for operational access to the MIS. It has routines for the planning, reporting and monitoring of the cost, time and scope aspects of each project in the PWP. It establishes a fixed plan for each project and provides an audit trail of progress towards completion. The data in the system is combined to provide summary reports of portfolios of projects. A random selection from the User-population was used to form a population-sample for the postal questionnaire survey. The sample frame was constrained to ensure a 95% confidence limit that the response was statistically indicative of the population; and that it included sufficient numbers of the primary classes of users to also ensure a 95% confidence limit that the response was indicative of these strata of the population. This methodology is described in the paper. A sixty-five percent response was achieved. The results show that the User satisfaction with the PW_MS is not high. The results state a range of User dissatisfactions but they do not call for a fundamental change in approach: they validate the exploitation of proven, readily available, information technology for the management of portfolio-of-projects. Portfolio-management and project management is enabled by these techniques although the survey results indicate that more can be done to improve the man-machine interface. The results identify key-areas for such improvement. These findings are presented in the paper.

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Full text: content.pdf (182,628 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.023977) class.impact (0.022037) class.strategies (0.021118)
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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.


I.C. Wu, A. Borrmann, E. Rank, U. Beißert & M. König

A Pattern-Based Approach for Facilitating Schedule Generation and Cost Analysis in Bridge Construction Projects

Abstract: The paper presents a computational method to help in automating the generation of time schedules for bridge construction projects. The method is based on the simulation of the construction works, taking into account the available resources and the interdependencies between the individual tasks. The simulation is realized by means of the discrete-event based simulation software originally created for plant layout in the manufacturing industry. Since the fixed process chains provided there are too rigid to model the more spontaneous task sequences of construction projects, a constraint module that selects the next task dynamically has been incorporated. The input data of the constraint module is formed by work packages of atomic activities. The description of a work package comprises the building element affected, the required material, machine and manpower resources, as well as the technological pre-requisites of the task to be performed. These input data are created with the help of a 3D model-based application that enables to assign process patterns to individual building elements. A process pattern consists of a sequence of work packages for realizing standard bridge parts, thus describing a construction method which in turn represents a higher level of abstraction in the scheduling process. In the last step, the user specifies the available resources. The system uses all the given information to automatically create a proposal for the construction schedule, which may then be refined using standard scheduling software.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Kumaraswamy M M

Identifying needs and potential for decision support in construction procurement

Abstract: Procurement options in construction have proliferated amidst innovative approaches to financing projects, segregating functions, choosing participants and managing processes. Recent studies confirm that the selection of 'appropriate' procurement options is a necessary (although insufficient) condition for improving project performance levels. One such study compared procurement vs. non-procurement related variables in influencing project performance. Data from a sample of building projects in Hong Kong was used to develop time and cost over-run models, through multiple linear regression and artificial neural network techniques. These exercises indicated the significance of 'procurement variables' such as 'payment modality' (e.g.: fixed price lump sum) as well as 'non-procurement variables' such as client characteristics (that include secondary variables/ factors such as 'client type' and 'client experience') and project characteristics (including secondary variables such as 'building type' and 'project complexity'). A follow-up pilot study next evaluated (a) the relative impacts of various procurement and non-procurement variables on eleven identified project performance criteria; and (b) the feasibility of developing a decision support system for improved construction procurement that targets these eleven performance criteria, while 'modelling in' (and therefore incorporating) the influences of significant non-procurement variables. A viable model of a decision support system is thereby developed to help optimise project-specific procurement decisions by clients and their advisers.

Keywords: construction, decision support, knowledge-based, performance, procurement

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Series: itaec:2003 (browse)
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Manu Venugopal, Charles Eastman, Rafael Sacks, Ivan Panushev, Vahideh Aram

Engineering Semantics of Model Views for Building Information Model Exchanges Using IFC

Abstract: The data schema of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) schema is generic, designed to support the full range of model exchanges needed in the construction industry. While it has a rich ontology of building part entities and relationships, it does not impose any fixed structure on the ways in which entities should be aggregated or represented, with the exception of the project-building-space containment hierarchy. Thus the IFC model, in and of it-self, is inadequate for ensuring interoperability between software applications. For any given set of use cases for a sub-domain of building construction, a set of model view definitions (MVD) is required to specify exactly what information should be exchanged, and in what form and structure the IFC entities are to be used. Compiling a model view definition, presently based on human intuition of industry knowledge, is challenging. What should be the level of detail to be included in case of geometry, classification and aggregations, and parts and relationships etc.? IFC, which is based on STEP and is represented in EXPRESS language, is known to be good in expressivity but lacks in a formal definition of its concepts. Thus in preparing a set of MVDs, information modellers must determine the appropriate level of meaning to require and they must define the typing structure to be used. If the structure is too simple, the exchanges will only have value for importing software able to apply some level of expert knowledge to interpret the information. If it is too rigid, then it will only be appropriate for a narrow range of use case exchanges and a large number of model view definitions will be required, which also implies that software companies will need to prepare multiple export and import routines. This paper discusses the spectrum of possibilities, using examples from concrete construction in general and precast concrete construction in particular.

Keywords: Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), Model View Definitions (MVD), National BIM Standard (NBIMS), Product Modeling, Process Modeling

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Ozsariyildiz S S, Tolman F P

First experiences with an inception support modeller for the building and construction industry

Abstract: Inception and very early design of complex building and construction projects requires a large number of decisions to be made, considered, rejected, changed, or confirmed. Many views on the project co-exist at the same time, requiring complex communications and access to complicated knowledge covering the complete project and product life cycles.Balancing the results of this non-monotonic decision taking process is (1) not a trivial task and (2) very important for the project outcome, as most of the product and construction process characteristics (like performance and cost) will largely be fixed. Further optimizations in later design stages will only be marginally possible.In order to support the inception and very early design of complex construction project we are developing an Inception Support Modeler (ISM) that guides the user through the decision taking process. Decision taking is supported by a combined PDT (Product Data Technology) and KT (Knowledge Technology) approach. The focus of the current modeler is on the inception of technical buildings, like Power or Process Plant Buildings, Factory Buildings, Hospitals and such. The product model and the knowledge base are developed in co-operation with the Brite- Euram CONCUR project.The paper reports about the first test case of the ISM. As part of a demonstration in CONCUR, the ISM has been filled with Business Objects and Business Logic concerning the inception of a simple Turbine Building.

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Full text: content.pdf (435,817 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.commerce (0.017970) class.processing (0.012190) class.represent (0.011874)
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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.


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