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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.


Al-Ghassani A M, Kamara J M, Anumba C J, Carrillo P M

A tool for developing knowledge management strategies

Abstract: While organisations recognise that Knowledge Management (KM) is essential for improving performance, many have difficulties in developing strategies for implementation. The nature of knowledge is of particular complexity in organisations such as those within the construction industry characterised by temporary 'virtual' organisations formed for the completion of projects. A significant proportion of construction organisations realise the benefits of KM but most remain at the infancy stages of developing and implementing KM strategies. This paper identifies the need for a methodology to help organisations establishing these strategies. It then describes a framework developed within the CLEVER (Cross-sectoral Learning in the Virtual Enterprise) project at Loughborough University. The framework introduces a methodology that supports KM at both the tactical and strategic levels in order to aid organisations, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries, in developing KM strategies. The methodology was encapsulated into a prototype software system to achieve a simpler format and is easier to use. Industrial collaborators evaluated both the paper format and the prototype software and it is evident that the developed methodology has the potential to provide a very useful way for developing KM strategies and that very little exists elsewhere to assist companies in developing KM strategies in this way. The software prototype was seen as an important enhancement to the paper version. The inviting format, simplified guidance, reduced input duplication, and automated report generation were found the most significant enhancements. The focus of this paper is on the development and operation of the prototype. Its key benefits and lessons learned in implementing it are highlighted in the paper.

Keywords: Construction organisations, knowledge management, KM strategies, software prototype.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/5 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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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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Full text: content.pdf (557,833 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Allweyer T, Babin-Ebell T, Leinenbach S, Scheer A W

Model-based re-engineering in the European construction industry

Abstract: Due to increasing competition, the European construction industry is forced to improve their business processes and support them with integrated information systems. Approaches for Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) from stationary industries need to be adapted to the specific requirements of the construction industry. For being successful, BPR requires the use of powerful methods, tools and procedures. The Architecture of Integrated Information Systems (ARIS) is presented as a framework for BPR, integrating business aspects with IT development. BPR projects can be improved by the use of pre-defined industry-specific reference models. The application of the ARIS framework to the construction industry is currently demonstrated in the European research project CORE (Construction Companies Processes Re-engineering). The CORE approach and its results are demonstrated with examples from project planning and management.

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Full text: content.pdf (85,237 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.commerce (0.030342) class.strategies (0.022992) class.impact (0.015474)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Ljubljana. The assistance of the editor, Prof. Ziga Turk, is gratefully appreciated.


Alonso J M, Alvarruiz F, Hernandez V, Vidal A M

HPC in the building construction sector

Abstract: In the context of the HIPERCOSME project (1) (ESPRIT project 20059), the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (UPV) in collaboration with Spanish partners, developed a new High Performance Computing (HPC) demonstrator to calculate Reinforced Concrete Building Structures. Starting from a sequential software package, the objective of that project was to develop a portable parallel software package, able to cope with large scale problems and more realistic models (more information could be obtained in http://wwwcopa.dsic.upv.es/copa_eng.html). The performance of the prototype was analysed by means of a test battery composed of 4 real buildings. The performance of the prototype was compared to that of the original sequential package, showing that the former was from 20 up to 60 times faster than the latter. Besides, since a trial and error process must be carried out, the best and cheapest structural solution can be obtained. This leads to a reduction of the cost of the constructive elements and an increase in safety. On the other hand, and as a consequence of the code performance, a 3D approach to the problem of computing the building structure can be performed. Hardware and software requirements for this prototype are very common.The parallel platform can be a cluster of Ethernet linked PC's running under an easily available operating system such as LINUX (public domain) and the PVM passing message environment (public domain also). Moreover, the application is portable and can be run on other computers and parallel systems. Thus, in the context of the project, five Workshops were organised to promote the results in the European regions where the project partners belonged to. In these Workshops, Demonstration Actions were carried out with the presence of different small and medium size construction enterprises of each region. Co-operation among the partners led to contacts with new construction companies interested in the HPCN framework. As a consequence, six Assessment Studies were developed with European construction companies from Spain, Portugal, France and Greece, in order to understand the needs of the European market. UPV is the Valencian Community node of HIPERTTN. This technological Transfer Node is part of the METIER action in the HPCN PST activities of the IV ESPRIT Programme. TTN's try to stimulate the technology transfer and dissemination of the results of the HPCN projects in Europe. As a consequence, a Construction Sector Group has been recently created in this TTN Network. In the full paper, we will describe the technical work developed in the project, both from the point of view of the computational tools and the experience of transference of technology to the Construction Sector.

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Full text: content.pdf (51,870 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.030939) class.bestPractise (0.026703) class.communication (0.025338)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Bjrk and Dr. Adina Jgbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Alshawi M

A strategic integration of information technology and buisness strategies: a structured methodology

Abstract: It is anticipated that the future role of IT in the conseruction industry will be consolidated. Construction firms will move away from traditional ad-hoc IT investments and go towards well planned strategies. This paper reports on a proposed structured methodology to integrate business with IS/lT strategies. Factors such as mission, objectives, critical success factors, information technology, information systems are: defined and assessed in an overall framework. The amalgamation of business objectives and ISflT strategies is highlihgted as king vital prerequisite for suceessful IT investments. Finaly, the paper explains how the proposed structured methodology will be implemented on a private practice.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,344,550 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.063525) class.commerce (0.024035) class.roadmaps (0.010487)
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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.


Amin Hammad, Elaheh Mozaffari, Basheer Khabeer, and Khaled EL-Ammari

Framework For Virtual And Mixed Reality Applications In Civil Engineering

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Full text: content.pdf (5,105,436 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Anastasiya Yurchyshyna, Catherine Faron Zucker, Nhan Le Thanh, Celson Lima, Alain Zarli

Towards an ontology-based approach for conformance checking modeling in construction

Abstract: This paper gives an overview of a formal ontological approach of conformance models for regulations in Construction aiming at answering the research question: is an IFC-represented building project compliant to a set of construction rules? The study analyses three key subtasks: (i) transformation of the IFC of the construction project; (ii) regulations formalisation; (iii) conformance checking reasoning. While analysing the IFC model redundancy and/or insufficiency for conformance checking reasoning, we suggest an intermediate RDF-based model, semantically en-riched and regulation-oriented. The regulation formalisation is studied under two viewpoints: the formalisation of pa-per-based regulation texts to be automatically used in reasoning and the development of the representation of ontology-based regulations. The construction rules are represented as a set of rules which premise and conclusion are RDF graphs. The conformance checking starts from the alignment of the construction project ontologies to the prem-ise/conclusion ontologies of the construction rule. Then, the checking in construction is seen as reasoning in terms of the corresponding RDF graphs. The paper concludes with a preliminary conceptual framework based on Semantic Web technologies modeling the conformance checking problem, as well as the technical solutions for its implementation. The respective architecture and future challenges of the work are also discussed.

Keywords: conformance checking, ontologies in construction, e-regulations, construction project conformance to regulations, semantic web in construction

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Full text: content.pdf (428,706 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Anders Ekholm

ISO 12006-2 and IFC could they be harmonized?

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

Keywords: Product models, Process models, Ontologies, Interoperability

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

Series: w78:2004 (browse)
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Anders Vennstrom, Thomas Olofsson, William Fawcett, Attila Dikbas, Esin Ergen

Determination and Costing of Sutainiable Construction Projects: Option Based Decision Support

Abstract: The building stock in Europe accounts for over 40% of the final energy consumption in the European Union. Moreover, the construction sector is one of the largest producers of industrial waste contributing 40-50% of landfill in some EU countries. A common way of creating a forward planning for optimal resource efficiency in construction project is to apply Life cycle cost (LCC) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the decision process. There are, however, difficulties in assessment of the impact of the whole project on the environment and estimating its sustainability. The EU funded 7th framework project CILECCTA sets out to develop a LCCA (Life Cycle Cost and Analysis) tool supporting the determination and costing of sustainable project strategies.Current LCC software can assist the decision making process in simulating different alternatives for the design, build, maintenance and demolition of assets – allowing both client and builder to determine the favoured alternative for them. Through linking LCC and LCA methodologies, the CILECCTA project will go one stage further by enabling an assessment of the impact of the whole project on the environment and estimating its sustainability. It will also include the recently developed new generation of Whole Life Costing (WLC) methodology including a probabilistic approach to the development of sustainable WLC strategies, using a real options approach. This paper sets out the framework of current LCCA tools and the challenges in developing a modular LCCA engine integrating asset-related data in price banks and life cycle inventories across Europe. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Program FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no 229061.

Keywords: Decision support, Life Cycle Cost, Life Cycle Assessment, real option analysis

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Full text: content.pdf (116,904 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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