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Olatunji Oluwole Alfre, Willy Dd Sher

Experimentation of Collaborative Learning for Construction Estimating

Abstract: The success of project documentation and implementation depend on an effective collaboration within project teams. However, fragmentation has been a major concern in the industry for many centuries. Evidence suggests that this phenomena challenge weakens value integration among project teams; and regrettably, most academic programs are still tailored to service this limitation. As BIM is driven by integrative skills, this paper describes the formulation of an academic course for a multidisciplinary and integrative study of an estimating course. Specifically, it is targeted at a class of undergraduate students with backgrounds in project team disciplines – architecture, quantity surveying, structural engineering and services engineering. The focus is to engage students in collaborative learning such that they are able to develop technical briefs, design tender programmes, estimate and analyze tenders. A model for formulating groups and group assignments is proposed. At the end of the experimentation, study outcomes reveals that students are multi-skilled and are better team players than those under fragmented learning environment. Conclusions are drawn on curriculum development for integrative innovations such as BIM and virtual project management.

Keywords: blackboard learning system (BLS), building information modeling (BIM), collaborative learning (CL), estimating and teamwork

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Oostra M

Stimulating innovation by making project-related information available on internet

Abstract: Nonaka and Takeuchi state in their book 'The knowledge-creating company' that product development is the very process in an organisation to generate new knowledge. This makes product development an important motor for acquiring new knowledge in a line of business like the building industry. Product innovations in our industry are due to initiatives by a range of parties. These parties start from an assumption of what should be technically feasible when initiating innovation. Of these parties, manufacturers are generally regarded as the ultimate product developers. Innovation in the form of new products contributes much to safeguard the continuity of the firm. Since their interest is survival and they focus on certain production techniques, most manufacturers are well aware of technical developments within their field. Manufacturers have a great interest in making the new product known to the world. They therefore diffuse selected information of their products to the industry. Manufacturers are, however, not the only actors initiating development of building products, architects play an important role as well: they can initiate project-related product development. Since architects operate as generalists within the industry, combining different products and techniques to realise their buildings, they can not be completely informed on the latest technological developments. In order to realise products, which are tailor made to the project, they therefore need the expertise of others; manufacturers, contractors and/or different advisors. It is here where the availability of information on expertise and interest becomes important to the architects. On the other hand, nobody really has a specific interest in promoting project-related products. This means that this type of information is only passed along accidentally and not intentionally. As a result, knowledge related to these specially developed products diffuses very slow compared to knowledge related to standard products, or in the worst case the information disappears altogether. Dissemination of information or technology transfer is an important condition for achieving innovation, as shown by Rogers in his book 'Diffusion of innovations'. To stimulate project-related innovation that is initiated by architects, the information flow within the industry needs to be smoothened. Architects do not want to be disturbed with all this technical and product information when they do not need it. However, a database containing this information that would be accessible via the Internet when it is needed by the architects would be the most optimal solution.

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Full text: content.pdf (218,762 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.021362) class.education (0.014322) class.collaboration (0.009822)
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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


Ott E

The paperless building site - legal aspects in an IT-environment

Abstract: At present there is a anachronism using modern IT-Equipment for building projects: Files and data are transmitted between persons, far away from each other, within seconds. But legally binding orders or requests, what to do with this data, are transmitted in a written form on a sheet of paper by registered mail, the delivery takes days and weeks. Or CAD-files are distributed to the building participants for being able to work with them. But legally binding are only the drawings on paper. In a IT-environment the consideration of legal aspects is far behind the level of the achieved technical progress. Up to now only technical aspects have been considered when doing IT-based work. Worldwide ToCEE, funded partially by the European Commission, is the first research project dealing with IT in the construction industry which also addresses the legal aspects, especially when developing the CAD - environment further to a Concurrent Engineering Environment (CEE) using electronic transmission of documents and files. Many legal aspects arise because of using files and electronically stored data instead of paper. This leads for instance to the following problems: * How can legal actions be documented and transferred using electronic media instead of paper? ,Electronic signature" and ,Encryption" is one of the key points in this field. * How is it possible to extract and present evidence from the mass of electronically stored data? * How can defects and relative responsibilities of the parties involved later be reconstructed? * Which of the national laws and which directives of the European Union have to be taken into consideration? * How can AEC-objects be expanded with legal elements in order to be able to avoid the use of paper in a building project? ToCEE tries to give solutions for these problems. The legal part of ToCEE is managed and supervised

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Full text: content.pdf (53,948 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.105956) class.social (0.026189) class.environment (0.018255)
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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.


Ozsariyildiz S, Tolman F

IT support for the very early design of buildings and civil engineering works

Abstract: Despite a general agreement about the importance of very early design decisions (various sources estimate that between 60% to 80% of the total project costs are determined during this stage), the very early design stage of building and civil engineering projects is not yet adequately supported by IT. The paper focusses on the problems that are causing the lack of IT support and reports on a possible solution based on the application of Product Data Technology (PDT) and Knowledge Engineering. The paper will show some initial experience with the development and application of an Inception Modeller that implements ideas from the General AEC Reference Model (GARM) as proposed by Wim Gieling in 1988. The development takes place in co-operation with the Brite-Euram CONCUR-project. The system concentrates on the inception and very early design of technical buildings, i.e. buildings in which equipment plays a major role, like power plant buildings, hospitals, factories, etc. The basic idea is to support the choice and elaboration of Technical Solutions that fulfil the requirements of Functional Units. The knowledge base is structured according to a FU-TS decomposition, or Hamburger model, of the building. A knowledge acquisition tool based on the same Hamburger model is under development and will be explained in some detail in the final paper. The system is implemented in Java, using Clips as the knowledge engine and VRML for the visualization. Though it is probably still too early to draw any definitive conclusions, it looks as if the structure provided by the FU-TS decomposition is ideal for very early design support. It provides a means to capture and re-use knowledge of successful earlier designs, thus providing a mechanism still missing in the building and construction industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (115,004 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.007643) class.deployment (0.005435) class.education (0.005124)
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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.


Psunder I, Rebolj D

Product model based quality management system

Abstract: The idea of this research is to build an integrated computer aided quality management system of building projects. Making use of expert knowledge, we are building an information system which will supervise, in each phase of a building project, the fulfilment of the required conditions for undisturbed and quality project continuation. Finally the quality control system will be supported by a computer program which is based on an expert system. In the basic version of the program the user will be guided through the control sheets so that the required control data will be collected. In the case of unfulfilment of quality conditions, the system will suggest possible solutions based on experiences. The program will compare present project to past ones and determine weak points of the project to assure total quality. The program will also help to evaluate statistically the project success, to compare it to other projects and to determine the weakest points of the project to assure total quality. In the upgraded version of development the program will be supported by a product model of the building with aim to reach integrated quality management of building projects.

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Full text: content.pdf (74,082 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.036443) class.analysis (0.019744) class.software development (0.017198)
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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.


Raimondi A, Salvioni G

A construction product browser

Abstract: The World Wide Web contains a wealth of information from manufacturers of building products which needs to be gathered and reorganized in order to be used by designers. Currently there is a tendency to develop systems based on database architecture that require large amounts of structured data newly compiled from the sources, and it takes great effort to update the data in the database that changes with time. This process can be supported only by large and expensive organizations. In this paper we discuss the requirements and conceptualize an information system that knows where certain pertinent information is and helps the users to find it by means of a retrieval system based on natural and controlled querying language. Our system also helps the user decide between alternatives and lets him select only some information out of all the data that usually comes in a product’s data sheet. The program further allows the user to download the data and use it in his project. In order to allow the producers of building products to give information according to their own layouts without being forced into a rigid standardized layout, we propose an indexing system based on the application of blind labels (tags) to the existing source code (html) which describes the information about a product that is already on the Internet. The tags are based on the Master Lists and EPIC’s construction-product grouping. Each piece of information indexed by its own tag will be handled by a specialized software that will put it in the right place in our newly developed product data sheet. This mechanism avoids the construction of a centralized database, and replaces the need for it by accessing a series of indexed documents containing indexed information already on the Internet.

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Full text: content.pdf (278,398 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.025719) class.represent (0.016246) class.store (0.013301)
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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.


Rezgui Y, Cooper G, Vakola M, Tracey A

Advanced electronic document management solutions for the construction industry: the CONDOR project

Abstract: The paper is based on research carried out within the CONDOR project funded under the European ESPRIT programme. CONDOR is specifically concerned with defining the working practices, processes, techniques, tools and technical infrastructure to allow the construction industry to progress from its current position towards a large scale, computer integrated industry. Furthermore, the project aims at bridging the gap between current information systems and future ones, and provides a migration path from document-based to model-based approaches to information representation and structuring. After a brief overview of the state of the art of Electronic Document Management systems in the construction industry, the paper presents the overall CONDOR system architecture, along with a detailed description of its components. The latter include: * the CONDOR Integration Services (implemented as a class library in the CONDOR demonstrator); * the CONDOR API: it defines the services to allow on the one hand, inter-working between the project’s legacy EDM systems, and on the other, semantic linking between different documents and between documents and other information objects (the precise services that are provided have been largely determined from the results of the analysis conducted by the project’s end-users), * the Adaptors: they provide the mapping between the CONDOR API and each of the document and object management systems to be integrated. It is worth pointing out that the CONDOR system is designed to be open enough to coexist and inter-operate with construction legacy applications, as with other existing and emerging distributed components, in a seamless way. These legacy applications can then, in turn, take advantage of the generic, and construction specific, advanced document management functionality developed within the CONDOR project. The paper then presents the conceptual models that support the CONDOR system, this includes the CONDOR Information Management Model (CIMM). The CIMM is concerned with the management of information produced within a project’s lifecycle, from inception to demolition. Whilst the CIMM is developed within the frame of the construction industry, it is aimed to be generic enough to be used in any other industrial context. CONDOR addresses four primary issues that are central to information management: ownership, rights and responsibilities; versioning of information; schema evolution ; and recording of intent behind decisions leading to information. Finally, the paper presents one of the project end-user’s implementation strategy of the Condor approach. The CONDOR project is ongoing and supported by a user interest group, which involves representatives from a variety of non-construction industry companies all over Europe.

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Full text: content.pdf (80,216 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.store (0.032403) class.social (0.011299) class.represent (0.009936)
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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.


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.


Samuelson O

A study of the use of IT in the construction industry

Abstract: The rapid development in the IT use in Construction during the last two decades has not been systematically studied in Sweden. A few wide-ranging surveys were carried through by Byggtjänst during the eighties. After that, our knowledge of the use of IT is partial. Big changes in the use of IT have occurred lately. For example, the use of CAD is far more frequent than a few years ago, the access to Internet and computer communication has increased, and the use of common administrative software’s that is not trade specific, has also increased greatly. This paper describes a survey method and a survey tool, to be used for broad and recurrent investigations of the IT situation in the Swedish Construction sector, and the result of the first implementation of the survey, 1997/1998. The survey provides a possibility to make comparisons over time and between countries. The survey will be performed by some other countries in parallel and can be repeated with two or three years interval. The result of the survey can be used by everyone who in some way invests in IT, those who sell, buy and use IT-tools as well as those who work with research and development. The survey is divided in two parts, one postal questionnaire and one more extensive interview questionnaire. Totally the survey is send to almost 3000 statistically chosen companies in the Construction industry, which includes contractors, architects, technical consultants, property managers, manufacturers, property developers and town planning offices. The questionnaire is divided into three main areas, where the first handles the quantity, quality and distribution of different types of IT tools in the sector. The second area will provide information about the extent, distribution and sophistication and trend of use of different types of IT tools. The last area handles the impact of IT on the companies business, such as the outcome of IT use in terms of cost, time and quality, the effect of IT on the business areas, and the attitude and expectations to IT. The result of the survey is going to be described in the paper but the result is, at this moment not finished

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Full text: content.pdf (23,221 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.047154) class.strategies (0.046885) class.environment (0.039349)
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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.


Sandakly F, Kloosterman S, Poyet P

PerDiS: persistent distributed store for virtual enterprise concurrent engineering *

Abstract: The availability of a host of software systems for the architects, the engineers and more generally for the construction practitioners has changed the business practice and modified the construction processes. Most of the project data are stored in some electronic form and most of the activities from the brief down to facility management resort to these data. The term Virtual Enterprise (VE) is more and more used to refer to this new complex information technology infrastructure. Exchange and sharing of technical data between construction project's partners, all along the project life cycle, is an important requirement for all participants in a VE. During the last few years an important effort has been undertaken in different research projects to define the software infrastructure of the future VE. While data modeling was mainly based on STEP methodology and norms, software solutions in these works were extremely varied. Studies cover distribution of data and applications, concurrent access as well as security, authentication and data ownership. Among these works we can cite those of NIIIP (and its derived works in SHIIP and SPARS) in US and European ESPRIT projects like VEGA and GENIAL. Nevertheless, the problem of sharing and concurrently accessing data by different partners during a product life cycle still far from being solved. In this paper we present a new approach to build a software infrastructure for the VE. It is based on a platform of persistent-distributed and shared memory called PerDiS. In this approach memory is shared between all applications, even located at different site or running at different times. Coherent caching of data improves performance and availability, ensures that applications have a consistent view of data, and free developers from manually managing object location. Persistence by reachability, based on a distributed garbage collector frees programmers from dealing with explicit data storage. PerDiS offers transactional mechanisms and checkpointing as well as notification when data is dirty. Applications can defines their security policy and data access right based on a task/role model. Distribution granularity can be tuned at application level and/or PerDiS platform level. This allows an easy porting of existing applications where default distribution granularity can be adopted and shift this delicate problem from programming/object level to the applications/VE level for new application development. To port STEP existing applications, we implement the STEP Data Access Interface (SDAI) on the top of PerDiS after extending its main concepts to meet the requirements of distribution, concurrent access and data security. We will show some experiment results and performance measurements. * This work is partially sponsored by PerDiS Esprit Project (22533).

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Full text: content.pdf (92,319 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.051509) class.software-software (0.010990) class.software development (0.009899)
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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.


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