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Meinecke C, Scherer R J

Blackboard based expert system for the reinforcement layout

Abstract: This paper presents a design expert system for the layout of the reinforcement for concrete members. The system has a blackboard architecture and a hybrid structure to integrate different sources. A domain independent process model is implemented to represent the design cycle. The domain knowledge is encoded in rules and in object-oriented structures. Hierarchical planning is used in order to decompose the design task to gain more clarity for the design elements.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,536,565 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.analysis (0.065451) class.synthesis (0.041424) class.software development (0.028504)
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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.


Miles J, Foley A, Moore L

Metaphors and cost significance in a conceptual design decision support system

Abstract: "Currently in the research community, there are a number of styles of conceptual design software being developed. This paper describes the development of a Decision Support System (DSS) which belongs to that class of systems where the search is undertaken by the user with the software providing information and answers. Industrial evaluation by the authors and others has shown that such a style of interaction is well received by practising designers provided that the algorithms and processes used are sufficiently transparent for them to understand and have confidence in the way that the system reaches derives its answers. The system which forms the subject of this paper fully conforms to the above, with all algorithms, constraints and rules being easily accessible to the user. The system is known by the acronym COSTEST. COSTEST provides facilities for the designer to undertake the conceptual design of beam / slab bridges to a far higher level of accuracy than is possible with current practice. It includes facilities for sizing the super and sub-structures as well as FE analysis, a cost estimation routine, a database of structural sizes and material properties and the ability to produce a simple general arrangement and a client report. To enable the user to navigate through the system, understand what facilities are available and what their significance is, the user interface has been structured using the metaphor of the design office. The interface is arranged as a corridor off which are facilities such as a superstructure design office, an estimator’s office, etc. These are arranged around a direct manipulation representation of the sectional general arrangement. It is postulated that such an arrangement reduces the distance between the user’s way of thinking about the design problem and the system’s representation, thus making the system easier to use. Such Visual Interactive Modelling of the domain has been shown to allow users to use the software to learn about their own subjective values while dealing with the technical issues. The cost estimation component of COSTEST is based on the concept that for any bridge 80% of the total cost is contained in the 20% of items that are most cost significant. This idea has been developed by Horner but further analysis of existing bridges was undertaken as part of this work. The result is a simple cost model which is easy to use and yet far more accurate than current conceptual design practice. In particular it allows an accurate comparison to be made between options. COSTEST has been developed in conjunction with a number of practising bridge designers and the final system has been evaluated both by these people and other independent designers. The results of the evaluation are generally positive."

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Full text: content.pdf (276,555 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.056510) class.bestPractise (0.043429) class.economic (0.015023)
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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


Mohd Fairuz Shiratuddin, Walid Thabet

Information-rich virtual environment (VE) for design review

Abstract: In the A/E/C industry, design review techniques are used to improve design quality, insure compliance with current codes and standards, improve design constructability, and meet project’s goals and owner’s objectives. Design review is a multi-tasking approach; information from various independent sources (e.g. building codes and standards, design specifications, design manuals, etc.) needs to be referenced concurrently while reviewing and coordi-nating plans of various design disciplines. Current common design review methods rely mainly on paper-based checklists and 2D plans to perform the review. Several disadvantages of these manual methods can be identified, including: 1) checklists are generic and reviewers need to identify the guidelines that apply to a given review; 2) checklists are also linear in nature which may force the review to follow a pre-defined top-to-bottom sequence; 3) current methods do not allow for a structured automated approach to capturing and sharing reviewers’ comments and feedback; 4) information may not be retrieved quickly and efficiently within the limited review time frame. This renders the design review process time- and resource-intensive which may force reviewers to sacrifice the thoroughness of their reviews. This paper describes an information-rich virtual environment (VE) framework for design review. The framework util-izes a real-time intelligent algorithm to access needed data and information to perform a design review while viewing the 3D model. The algorithm provides various search and retrieval modes to assist the user in filtering, querying, sort-ing and displaying data and information during the 3D model walkthrough. Reviewer’s comments and changes are cap-tured and shared by others. A proof of concept prototype is being implemented using the Torque 3D Game Engine.

Keywords: 3D modeling, design review, game engines, rule-based, torque game engine, virtual environments

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Full text: content.pdf (773,170 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Pantouvakis J P

Software tools for the implementation of relational databases describing the building product

Abstract: The implementation of relational databases describing the building product has to face difficulties imposed by the very nature of buildings, such as large amounts of data with complex interrelationships which are time and place dependent and dynamically changing integrity constraints. This paper suggests that a successful implementation should be based on relatively few concepts and a set of powerful techniques by which these concepts can be transformed into a database. Subsequently, these techniques can be used as the basis for the development of software tools. When software tools are available, the creation and/or modification of the database describing the building product can be easily achieved. Two such tools have been identified, designed and implemented at Nottingham University and are described in this paper. A database design tool, based on state-of-the-art relational database theory and a generalized integrity preservation tool. These tools can be linked together to form an integrated building product modeling environment. The major advantage of this approach is that the dynamic in nature Building Product Model produced is independent from software and hardware systems and is capable of adapting to different working practices.

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Full text: content.pdf (2,418,829 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1988 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.store (0.016589) class.environment (0.010394) class.represent (0.009569)
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Permission to reproduce these documents has been graciously provided by the Lund University and the Swedish Building Centre. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Per Christiansson and Prof. Henry Karlsson, is gratefully appreciated.


Petric J, Maver T, Conti G, Ucelli G

Virtual reality in the service of user participation in architecture

Abstract: The issue of user participation in the processes of building and urban design is enjoying renewed attention following its relative neglect over the last 20 years due, in large measure, to significant advances in emerging information technologies, particularly multimedia, virtual reality and internet technologies. This paper re-established the theoretical framework for participatory design evolved in the late sixties and early seventies as part of the movement towards a more explicit design methodology and attempts an explanation of why the concept failed to gain commitment from the architectural and urban design professionals. The paper then gives an account of two significant developments in the evolution of the application of information technologies with which the authors have been engaged. These are: i. a responsive and interactive interface to wholly immersive and realistic virtual reality representations of proposed buildings and urban neighbourhoods. ii. an intuitive and platform-independent VR modelling environment allowing collaborative evolution of the scheme from within the virtual world. The impact of these IT developments is demonstrated in the context of the design of a leisure facility for a community of users with physical impairment.

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Full text: content.pdf (805,878 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.037720) class.environment (0.037067) class.man-software (0.034126)
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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.


Qi Zhong, Mathur K S, Kwok Wai Tham

A construction process model by using designddef

Abstract: There are a few ways to model the construction process, which is an essential step when it comes to Computer-Integrated-Construction (CIC). IDEFO together with NIAM, IDEFlX and EXPRESS or EXPRESS-G, the graphical presentation techniques used within IS0 10303 (IS0 TC184/SC4/WG PMA Part l), are the basic and popular modelling tools and languages in both manufacturing and construction projects. This paper presents a model which is an attempt to combine many aspects of the construction process description into a single comprehensive picture using IDEFO representation. Based on the analysis of information generated in a construction project life span, including classification, evolution and exchange of information, first an information classification system is established, in which information for a construction project can be classified as project-dependent-information, project - independent-information, standards and codes, etc.. Second, a construction process business model is set up using the IDEFO modelling technology. Software Design/IDEF version 2.5 is used for the realization of the graphics. At last an IDEFlX conceptual model is presented to illustrate the relationship between the entities of this construction process model.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,353,886 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.067633) class.commerce (0.013372) class.synthesis (0.012902)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


Rivard H, Fenves S J, Gomez N

A classification and indexing scheme for conceptual building design

Abstract: SEED is a multidisciplinary project whose goal is to provide support for the early phases of building design. SEED-Config is the module of SEED that focuses on the generation of 3-dimensional configurations of spatial and physical building components. A building design environment consisting of four software modules has been implemented in a prototype. The four modules are: a design information repository, which records design data and manages design cases; a design knowledge manager, which handles the collection of technologies selected for the current project (technologies encapsulate the design knowledge applied to building entities); a classification reference manager, which is used to define, manage, infer about, and query classifications; and a geometric modeler, which is used to define, reason about, and render both topology and geometry. A classification and indexing scheme has been developed to complement a generic information model so that design solutions can be easily classified, retrieved, and accessed. The generic information model, called the Building Entity and Technology (BENT) model, stores design data as they are generated during conceptual design, supports case-based reasoning, and shares data among all design participants. The model represents each building entity as a generic container that encompasses its geometry, taxonomy, design knowledge, composition, relationships, and properties. The classification and indexing scheme uses a faceted classification to define the controlled vocabulary from which indexes are obtained. In this approach, classification is independent from the information model. The classification is extensible and designers have the freedom to complement the vocabulary with their own idiosyncrasies. Indexing is performed automatically as building entities are designed through the selection and application of technologies. Hence, a design is already indexed when it is added to the case library. A case library was implemented in an object-oriented database management system for accumulating cases and for providing efficient query facilities.

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Full text: content.pdf (109,553 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.078140) class.synthesis (0.021896) class.software development (0.017891)
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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 Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Sami Karna, Juha-Matti Junnonen

Towards Project Success through Mutual Feedback in Construction

Abstract: The success of construction project is based on performance of multiple networks, where customer and end-user satisfaction is highly influenced through independent work done by the parties and the co-operation between parties. Team member’s satisfaction has found to be one of the key performance indicators (KPI) of project success amongst other subjective measures. This paper examines evaluation of project success through different parties: project consultant, designers and main contractor. This is done by analysing results of the web-based project feedback system (ProPal), which have been recently developed in the Finland. ProPal project feedback system is a technically developed and versatile feedback system for the entire construction business. With the help of a simple Web interface, the various parties in construction project can give and receive feedback in the different stages of the project. Additionally, the reporting tool of the project feedback system enables versatile benchmark comparisons between different projects and companies. Through versatile feedback information the various parties can observe the essential needs for development and target the necessary actions. In the feedback system, the project is evaluated by four factors: project management, co-operation, staff and accomplishing goals. Preliminary analysis of the feedback, given by different project parties, shows that they differ at least some extent. For example designers were critical to main contractor’s project management tasks. In general all parties were satisfied co-operation between parties.

Keywords: Project success, ICT in construction, customer satisfaction, team members’ satisfaction, feedback

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Sander van Nederveen, Reza Beheshti, Edwin Dado, Hennes de Ridder

Towards a consistent role for information technology in civil engineering education

Abstract: For decades computers have influenced civil engineering education. Their role is significantly changed in due course of time in accordance with developments in both construction and information technologies. At Delft University of Technology the role of information and communication technology (ICT) has not been identified as a separate subject for many years. This has resulted in a very fragmented usage of ICT in the current curriculum. Students learn to use applications such as AutoCAD, Matlab, Maple, Powersim, etc. in all kind of engineering courses. They are also introduced in information modelling with the modelling language UML and the modelling tool Together. And they learn programming in the Java language using the JBuilder programming environment. But these ICT topics are spread over the curriculum and a comprehensive view on ICT education for Civil Engineering is missing. Recent discussions in the faculty regarding (1) laptops for all students and (2) the role of programming with Java in our study prompted a more fundamental discussion of these issues in a working group to discuss the role of ICT in civil engineering education. This paper reports the findings of this discussion. First an overview is given of the ICT methods and tools currently used in the curriculum. These methods and tools are taught in a fragmented way. In addition, clear opportunities for integration of ICT methods and tools in relevant courses are hardly considered. An important factor in this context is the curriculum structure of the faculty that gives room to different courses to be developed and offered independent of other courses. The paper also discusses the required objectives for civil engineering education. These objectives play a significant role in the formulation of proposals for improvements of the curriculum. The paper presents such a proposal devised for the improvement of ICT in the civil engineering education in Delft. Finally, findings and ideas are positioned in a broader context in an attempt to formulate some fundamental issues that are related to the education of ICT at any civil engi-neering faculty.

Keywords: ICT, education, civil engineering

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Full text: content.pdf (151,377 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Schreyer M, Schwarte J

New building materials - knowledge transfer via the world wide web

Abstract: Web-based interactive information systems create new ways to transfer knowledge from civilengineering research institutions to practicing engineers. Although various systems have beendeveloped, the search for sophisticated technical knowledge is still unsatisfactory for architects andcivil engineers. The full text searches commonly used today do not fulfill the complex informationneeds on the rapidly expanding Internet. This paper describes the reasons for the current situationand it suggests, by example of the knowledge-based system "BiM-Online", solutions for betterinformation retrieval of materials data using metadata structures. In a first example the metadata ismodeled in a local relational database on a Web server. In section 5, the same concrete metadatastructures are modeled using the machine readable Resource Description Framework (RDF)standard, an XML application that allows searches on independent information systems on the Web.

Keywords: Retrieval of building material information, Internet, WWW, BiM-Online, Metadata, material testingdatabase, knowledge based dialog, XML, RDF

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Full text: content.pdf (480,192 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: ecce:2001 (browse)
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