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A. Al-Bazi, N. Dawood & Z. Khan

Development of Hybrid Simulation and Genetic Algorithms System for Solving Complex Crew Allocation Problems

Abstract: This paper presents an innovative approach to solving complex crew allocation problems in any labour-intensive industry. This has been achieved by combining simulation with Genetic Algorithm (GA). The integrated system determines the least costly and most productive crews to be allocated on any produc-tion processes. Discrete Event Simulation methodology is used to simulate a manufacturing system. A special PROCESS module is developed to overcome limitation of the used simulation software that appears when us-ing normal PROCESS module. A concept of multi-layer chromosome is proposed to store different data sets in multi-layers structure. GA operators were developed to suit such chromosome structure. As a case study, a sleeper precast manufacturing system is chosen to prove the concept of the proposed allocation system. The results showed that adopting Manipulating a number of multi-skilled workers to be allocated among different production processes had a substantial impact on reducing total allocation cost, process-waiting time, and op-timising resource utilisation. 3D visualisation is presented.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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A. Guerriero, L. Johannsen & S. Kubicki

Designing IT services for the Construction Industry. Lessons learnt for Selection of Validation Techniques

Abstract: Setting up collaborative working practices is a major stake in construction projects because each project is specific in terms of actors involved, documents produced and building elements designed. In such contexts the use of IT groupware tools to improve collaboration and their efficient appropriation by AEC practitioners is really a challenge. Designing such innovative collaboration-support services is an issue largely addressed in the scientific community especially to identify the factors of success/failure of the tools, but also to identify the scientific experimental approaches underlying it. This article describes five case studies of cooperation-support IT developments and for each of them the validation techniques used. It suggests an analytic framework distinguishing between 1) research project aims, 2) working practices and 3) IT developments types. Finally it introduces three experimental levels to be achieved in various research projects types and describes their related experimental properties.

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Ahmed Laaroussi, Bruno Fiès, Rémi Vankeisbelckt, Julien Hans

Ontology-aided FMEA for construction products

Abstract: The goal of improving the quality and the maintenance of building products, and the will to integrate the sustainable development objectives led us to propose an original method based on the use and adaptation of the Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMEA). This method relies among others on ontology use. It facilitates the FMEA proceeding. This paper aims to introduce innovative software specifically developed to perform more easily FMEA on building components. This software takes advantages of a structured knowledge base and an inference rule engine that allow a complete and formal description of the product to be analysed and an exhaustive analysis of all failures (degradations) that may occur.

Keywords: FMEA, ontological approach, knowledge capitalisation, degradation analysis, construction product

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Ahmed V, Mahdjoubi L, Feng X, Leach M

The learning of CAD for construction: technical abilities or visual?

Abstract: The increasing demands of the construction industry for individuals with good IT skills add continuous pressures on higher education to improve their methods of teaching. CAD training, as an important part of IT training for construction students, is becoming an essential part of the curriculum in most built environment schools. However, general CAD training is mostly concerned with providing students with technical skills rather than the initial ability of spatial visualisation. Indeed, existing training methods of CAD applications, do not take into consideration students? learning styles, and the differences in their spatial visualisation abilities. Considering that CAD students need to perform various activities within CAD applications to develop an understanding of building concepts and components, their spatial visualisation abilities and their learning style, remain the main barriers. This paper identifies the learning strategies required to assist with the learning of 3D modelling and describes a new approach adopted to examine students' Special Visualisation Skills. The paper also describes innovative e-learning approaches developed to reinforce students' learning of 3D CAD, tracking their progress and highlighting qualitative measures of their effectiveness.

Keywords: 3D modelling, e-learning in construction, CAL, CAA

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Akinsola A, Dawood N, Hobbs B

Construction planning process improvement using information technology

Abstract: "Construction is a multi-organisation and interactive process. Successful completion of a project therefore depends on the accuracy, effectiveness and timing of communication and exchange of information and data between the supply chain. Unfortunately, the inefficiency of the existing method of communication has become a barrier to several innovative construction processes developed for the industry over the past four decades. Thus, research efforts and direction have since changed. Several studies now focusing on integration of the construction process with communication and standardisation of data exchange, taking advantage of evolving computer technologies. The capability of these technologies, object-oriented technology and the Internet has made a significant impact on other economic sector such as finance, manufacturing, insurance, etc., with significant improvement in performance and productivity. Thus the technology is available but the challenge is utilising the technology to develop method of improving the construction process. To ensure efficient utilisation of IT as enabling tools, formalisation and understanding of the construction processes are required. This will enable the identification of the problems and opportunities of the strategy, and its implementation and performance in practice. The paper presents a detailed model of pre-construction and construction planning processes, based on an on-going research project, that form the basis of the developed planning system. The detailed process mapping methodology using CASE tools and the associated integration of IT tools, as an enabler to aid and improve the planning process, are described. The system provides an interface for integration of CAD data, using IFC objects, within the system. The application of the system offers a promise of significant improvement in both pre-construction and construction processes."

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Full text: content.pdf (375,439 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.028439) class.environment (0.027790) class.impact (0.027062)
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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


Alexander J, Coble R, Crawford J, Drogemuller R, Leslie H, Newton P, Wilson B, Yum Kwok-Keung

Information and communication in construction : closing the loop

Abstract: Both nationally and internationally, the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector is highly fragmented : it is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the nature of information and knowledge can be dispersed among firms and organisations, and consortia are frequently formed from geographically dispersed firms. In recognition of the potential improvements to be gained through an integrated approach to project information used throughout the design, documentation, construction and operation processes, substantial research is underway in Australia to "close the loop" of information flows between designers and constructors. The paper will explore and discuss both the technology platform in terms of information and communications technology (mobile, high-speed and wide area networking linking the design and engineering offices with the construction site) and the information platform in terms of the content of communications between project stakeholders and the requisite information (traditional spatial as well as non-spatial data) of key concern to the stakeholders at various stages of the project lifecycle. The paradigm shift that has occurred over recent years from stand-alone personal computing (which reinforced fragmentation) to mobile and Wide Area networked computing now provides a platform capable of promoting integration, accessibility and co-operation within the sector with attendant gains in efficiency. A minimum requirement to achieve these gains is access to the right information (not just simple data) at the desired level of scale and detail for a particular stakeholder’s view - information which once collected can be stored and refined and then held for use elsewhere on the project without loss and without the need for subsequent re-entry. The information needs to be available quickly and easily, that is at the right time and in the right location for maximum benefit and project efficiency. Demonstration collaborative systems to support interactive Computer Aided Design and information exchange between project stakeholders such as architects, various engineers (electrical, hydaulic, mechanical, structural) and project managers, in an innovative collaborative manner have become available to bring dispersed project members together electronically. Such systems allow project members attached to a network to undertake a range of information access and exchange from simple e-mail; through on-site access to central project data sources via handheld computers; right through to the use of optional live (or pre-recorded) video to enhance collaboration. Using communications infrastructure, this functionality can be shared in various ways - in a corporate-wide environment between regional and/or interstate offices within a company, or in a consortium situation (between offices of a consortium working together on a specific construction project). The questions then arise as to how such systems fit into industry practice, and how the industry might adapt to embrace new opportunities provided by such technological advances. Ease of access to up-to-date, accurate project information for a range of project stakeholders is being extended through research in the US and Australia to close the loop between some of the stakeholders, and this will be discussed in detail in the paper. As well, the progress of industry-based support for a level of interoperability for building and construction information by organisations such as the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI Australasian chapter) will also be discussed, plus the likely impact of the adoption of Industry Foundation Classes in the Australian building and construction industry in areas such as the design life for buildings based on durability of materials.

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Full text: content.pdf (719,511 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.057235) class.environment (0.023003) class.synthesis (0.022896)
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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.


Ammar Al-Bazi

ENTERPRISE SIMULATION OF THE PRECAST CONCRETE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY

Abstract: The lack of applied innovative tools, for improving the performance of the precast concrete products manufacturing industry, has led the researchers in this paper to develop an Enterprise Simulation Precast Concrete (ESPC) model, to improve the performance of the precast industry. As an initial stage, a detailed layout for the precast concrete production processes is developed in order to understand the relationships amongst the manufacturing processes in such industry. In addition, simulation methodology is developed to analyse the precast manufacturing system and identify the resource bottlenecks. Heuristic searching rule is developed in order to simulate the accommodation process of the produced items in a temporary stockyard area.The results indicated low utilisation of the used resources due to using only one curing area for storage and retrieval processes.

Keywords: Precast concrete products, enterprise simulation model, discrete event simulation modelling, manhole manufacturing system, heuristic searching rule

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Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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Anfas Thowfeek, Nashwan Dawood, Ramesh Marasini, John Dean

Industrial case study of innovative managerial control system applied to site control process (IMCS-CON)

Abstract: Construction projects are complex, fragmented and highly risk business, due to the nature of construction operations. Therefore project managers require more efficient techniques and tools to plan and monitor the construc-tion project. In recent years many research studies have been carried out in order to make construction industry more efficient, profitable and attractive business. The IMCS-CON developed as decision support system for project mangers to assist project-controlling processes using a holistic approach. The IMCS-CON provide a framework to measure, analyse, review, and report performance data and enabling project management team to make corrective decision and keep project on track. The IMCS-CON system was evaluated using a case study of £2.3 million, three-story residential apartment building project in UK. The IMCS-CON system utilises multivariate statistical process control techniques to monitor the construction site variables. The MSPC combines a large number of variables into few independent vari-ables, which then can be monitored and any process deviations from the normal operating conditions can be identified with corrective actions suggested. The IMCS-CON models on-site information as quantitative variables and uses his-torical data and establishes patterns of correlated variables and assists project management in making future decisions. The outputs can also be visualised in multi-dimensional graphs. Statistics of external variables and internal variables influencing construction site operations were identified using a real life case study. The results of modelling the vari-ables and conducting experiments with IMCS-CON are analysed and discussed in this paper.

Keywords: performance measurement, construction process variables, statistical process control, construction proc-ess benchmarking, construction process improvement, construction productivity

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Full text: content.pdf (1,290,858 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Antonio Grilo, Ricardo Jardim-Goncalves, Adolfo Steiger-Garcao

A methodology using domain ontology and SOA for better interoperability in AEC mass customization

Abstract: Today, the OMG’s Model Driven Architecture (MDA) makes available an open approach to write specifi-cations and develop applications, separating the application and business functionality from the platform technology. As well, the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) establishes a software architectural concept that defines the use of services to support the requirements of software users, making them available as independent services accessible in a standardized way. Together, these two architectures seem to provide a suitable framework to improve construction company’s competitiveness through the adoption of a standard-based extended environment, challenging and enhanc-ing the interoperability between computer systems and applications in industry. Nevertheless, Domain Ontologies (DO) have been recognized more and more as a challenging mechanism to bridge knowledge. The paper, after illustrating the general motivations the construction companies have to adopt open architectures to achieve interoperability for extended and collaborative enterprise practices, presents the emerging model driven and service oriented architectures. Then, it describes an innovative methodology for better interoperability in AEC mass customization. The paper finishes with discussion and concluding remarks concerning the empirical results obtained from the pilot demonstrator.

Keywords: interoperability, mass customization, domain ontology, SOA, MDA

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Bingunath Ingirige, Ghassan Aouad

Awareness and usage of information standards in the uk construction industry: a survey by the SIENE network

Abstract: Developments in information standards and interoperability in the construction industry are becoming increasingly popular. Much of this development is centred on the Internet for sharing of information and generic data exchange. However many industry participants are unaware of the benefits of information standards and reluctant to make long-term investment on them unless there is clear evidence of business benefits. The Network on Information Standardisation, Exchanges and Management in Construction (SIENE) was launched in March 2000 to streamline information standardisation and interoperability in the construction industry. It is an international network consisting of academics and industry practitioners in the UK and elsewhere whose work on the subject is of international reputation. The project is funded by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under The Innovative manufacturing Initiative (IMI). The main source of knowledge gathering is through workshops conducted in the UK. The website of SIENE also provides opportunity for the members and other participants to enhance the knowledge base of the network. SIENE’s main objective is to explore current research being undertaken in the area of information standardisation and to benchmark UK performance with the rest of the world. It has also conducted workshops to investigate sources and types of barriers that prevent the adoption of information standards and to identify business benefits for construction firms. The findings of the project will be disseminated amongst industry and academia. The paper deals with the results of a questionnaire survey conducted by SIENE in the UK on awareness and usage of information standards among contractors, consultants, suppliers and clients in the construction industry. Forty members of the Construct IT, Centre of excellence in UK were selected as the initial target audience for the questionnaire survey. It is expected to broaden the scope of the survey to a wider audience in its second stage. The paper will discuss the information standards, which are widely being used in the UK construction industry and will highlight any organisational problems, which hinder the adoption of standards. It will also propose areas, which need to be improved for the firms in the industry to gain business benefits.

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Full text: content.pdf (385,336 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.031105) class.roadmaps (0.019768) class.commerce (0.017889)
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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.


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