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A decision support system for building refurbishment design

Abstract: "Refurbishment work in the EC currently accounts for more than one-third of the total construction output. This market is expected to grow stronger with the progressive ageing of buildings and the environment impetus to retain buildings. A further dimension is the need to adapt buildings for a greying population. There are important differences between refurbishment and new construction works. The existing building constraints the design solutions, construction technologies and work methods. Mechanisation, planning, and efficient organisation of refurbishment work is difficult, due to the small, labour intensive, and ad hoc, dynamic nature of the work. Also due to the relatively small scale of refurbishment projects, there have been no opportunities for standardisation and the applications of prefabrication and industrialisation are limited. Today, larger sized contractors are rapidly moving into the refurbishment market, in response to the shrinking new-build market and the higher technological demands of large scale refurbishment projects. The EC funded Brite Euram project 4670 is titled ‘Decision Support Systems for Building Refurbishment.’ This project has started in August 1998 and will finish in July 2001. Its objective is to develop a socio-technological-commercial framework and corresponding Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for housing refurbishment, to achieve: ? refurbishments which are more focused on user requirements; ? refurbishment designs which take into account the constraints of the existing building structure; ? increased incorporation of industrialised systems and components; ? organisational procedures and production technologies that recognise the unique nature of refurbishment work. The project is divided into three tasks. Task one aims at developing a DSS for the determination of the refurbishment demand and ballpark costs. Task two involves the development of a DSS for refurbishment design. Task three will result in a DSS for refurbishment process planning and control. This paper describes the approach followed for the ongoing development in task two, the DSS for refurbishment design. The main objectives of this task are to provide decision support at the project level. It will develop a database of layouts of representative existing housing estates and a database of preferred refurbishment layouts for these representative existing housing estates. Another database will be developed containing information on building systems and components that are relevant for the refurbishment process. Task two will establish a protocol for refurbishment design support. This protocol, which is implemented in a decision support information system, involves a number of steps that aid the user in selecting an appropriate housing layout and building systems and components that meet the user’s requirements. These steps involve the evaluation of a the user’s refurbishment demands and selection of a matching representative existing housing layout. Based on further dialog with the system, a preferred refurbishment layout is selected, which in turn is used as the basis for the selection of building systems and components that meet the performance requirements as stated by the user. The paper describes the methodology that is implemented in the system for retrieving performance requirements from the user, and the approaches for matching these to the stock of existing and preferred housing layouts available in the system’s database. The system is characterised by a flexible architecture of both the databases and the user interface, which results in a scalable system that allows the expansion of the databases with new graphical layouts and building systems and components, as well as the addition of new kinds of performance requirements. The system is implemented as an Internet application, which allows the database to be maintained centrally and facilitates world wide access to the system. The system’s implementation involves the combination of graphical and non-graphical data that can be queried and matched with only typical Internet browsing software installed at the client-side."

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Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.029035) class.environment (0.012122) class.impact (0.010657)
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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


A Almohsen, Janaka Ruwanpura

Logistics Management in Construction Industry

Abstract: The construction industry is often slower to adopt new technologies than other industries. Yet the construction industry shall embrace these technologies sufficiently in order to keep up with advances in other trades. One of the most crucial elements in construction management is productivity. And the adopting of new technologies such as mobile-based application can increase construction project productivity in such areas as materials management, tool use time, and labour motivations. Most of these aspects have been thoroughly investigated in academia; however, logistics management and its contribution to construction productivity have been insufficiently investigated, especially with respect to the use of advanced technologies. In this paper, we propose to develop a new platform to utilize modern technologies in the construction industry. Hence, the main objective of this paper is to introduce mobile-based application technologies into construction industry that will improve construction productivity by enhancing logistics management practices. The use of this model will not only help increase productivity in the construction industry but also it will make this industry more competitive with other industries. In order to achieve the main the goal of the paper, different building construction sites have been selected from which to collect data using direct observation, interviews and questionnaires. In order to ensure a high quality result, all participants were selected based on their relationship to the subject being examined. By using the outcomes of the data analysis to identify a potential solution, a computerized logistical management model was developed to examine how to enhance construction productivity and to improve logistics management practices. Many positive opinions have been granted form different constriction experts. Facilitating the communications between such project participants as contactors, subcontractors and suppliers is another expected result. Also, the model would help in organizing the schedule for the use of such heavy equipment as cranes.

Keywords: logistics management, advanced mobile-based application technologies, construction materials and equipment.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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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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Can Ersen Firat, David Arditi, Juho-Pekka Hamalainen, Johan Stenstrand, Juhani Kiiras

Quantity Take-Off in Model-Based Systems

Abstract: In recent years, as Information Technology (IT) tools and Building Information Models (BIM) are adopted by more practitioners, it has become apparent that it is possible to have a faster and more efficient quantity take-off system. The efficiency of quantity take-off lies in the smart transfer of the information produced in the design process to construction. Existing BIM-based quantity take-off is performed in the design phase of a project. BIM-based systems provide a smart platform for information exchange between design and construction.A “model-based” system refers in this paper to a Building Construction Information Model (BCIM)coupled with a location-based scheduling process.BCIM offers an environment in the construction phase, where data are stored, updated, and reused via the evolving project libraries of a building contractor. BCIM is composed of three submodels:(i) a building product model that provides the sections and quantities, (ii) a building resource and cost model that provides activity lists and labour consumptions to calculate activitydurations, and (iii) a building process model that introduces the interdependencies of the activities.· In the location-based scheduling process, a preliminary master schedule is obtained automaticallyfrom an information database, and then improved by the planner to fit the conditions of the company and of the project. The use of Advanced Line of Balance (ALoB) is proposed in location-based scheduling.The objective of this paper is to introduce the principles involved in quantity take-off in a “modelbased” system as implemented by a contractor. The paper consists of three parts: (1) the “modelbased” system (composed of BCIM and ALoB) is introduced as the theoretical background; (2) the steps in performing quantity take-off in “model-based” systems are described; and (3) a residential construction project is used to test the proposed quantity take-off principles.

Keywords: building information modeling, BIM, model-based systems, location-based scheduling, quantity take-off

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Daoud Kiomjian, F. Jordan Srour and Issam Srour

Using ABM to Evaluate the Impact of Social Networks on Construction Labor Productivity

Abstract: Labour productivity depends on a wide variety of factors, some of which pertain to characteristics of the construction crews themselves. Several of these factors such as language and demographics are described in the literature as soft or intangible and are of stochastic nature. As such, traditional deterministic modelling techniques are not sufficient to capture the full picture of the factors that come into play when considering construction labour productivity. Agent based modelling (ABM), a simulation technique with growing popularity, presents a powerful candidate for modelling construction sites due to its properties and ability to consider social aspects. This paper demonstrates that ABM is an acceptable paradigm for studying the effect of both tangible and soft features on construction labour productivity.

Keywords: Labour Productivity, Agent Based Modelling, Social Networks, Simulation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0112

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Hammad, Amin and Motamedi, Ali

Framework for Lifecycle Status Tracking and Visualization of Constructed Facility Components

Abstract: Four-dimensional (4D) models link 3D construction models with schedule data. The visual representation of the schedule is capable of facilitating decision making during the planning and construction phases as well as the maintenance phase. However, the process of conventional data collection methods for progress monitoring is labour intensive, time consuming and error-prone; therefore, updating the virtual model based on status information is not practical. In this research, we propose a framework for lifecycle status tracking and visualization of constructed facility components using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. The proposed approach facilitates and enhances the process of data acquisition not only during the construction phase, but also during the subsequent maintenance phase. The components of the facility are tagged after being manufactured with RFID tags that remain on the components throughout their lifecycle. Each component is scanned in several phases and data are collected. The real-time interaction between the facility and its virtual model results in automatic creation of an accurate 4D model which can be used for progress monitoring and visual comparison of the planned schedule against the actual progress. The feasibility and challenges of the proposed framework are discussed and demonstrated using a prototype system and a real-world case study.

Keywords: RFID, Progress Management, 4D Modeling, Lifecycle status tracking, Visualization

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Series: convr:2007 (browse)
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Helena Johnsson, Linus Malmgren, Stefan Persson

ICT support for industrial production of houses – the Swedish case

Abstract: The Swedish construction sector is currently undergoing great changes. The large costs for labour have forced the construction companies to rationalise and minimise labour intense work operations. Therefore, the current trend in construction to adopt the principles of lean production and transform it into lean construction, suits the Swed-ish way of working and the entire Swedish construction sector has caught on. A growing market is the prefabrication of building elements that are transported to site and then erected. The development has been taken so far that modular houses i.e. vol-umes/rooms are prefabricated. Companies in the prefabrication industry within construction fall between two sectors; the construction industry and the manufacturing industry. In terms of IT support the contradiction between the two sectors become evident. Software developed for the construction sector seldom provide enough detailing to suffice as a basis for industrial production, while software supporting the manufacturing industry are incapable of delivering standard construction documenta-tion. The current study presents a multiple case study where six Swedish industrial manu-facturers of timber houses were studied. The process from tender acceptance to mod-ule delivery is described. Alongside, a survey of the building sys-tem revealed that much still needs to be done in terms of documenting a building system. The results show that the ques-tion of IT support is more a question of consequent information strategies than eloquent IT tools. The pressing need for a method for documenting building systems is stressed and different methods are discussed.

Keywords: timber houses, industrial construction, lean construction, timber buildings

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Jan Tulke, Jochen Hanff

4D construction sequence planning – new process and data model

Abstract: Model based working is only just getting introduced in the construction sector to support design and pro-ject management. In particular, construction sequence planning as one of the key processes in a construction project can benefit from model based working. Since the time schedule defines sequences of activities and allocates resources such as material and labour, it plays an important role in optimizing and managing a construction project. In this respect, model based working can offer more to construction sequence planning than just a visualisation of the construction sequences, in which the term ‘4D simulation’ is today commonly understood. Still, available 4D simulation software packages do not engage in the scheduling work but require major additional effort after the time schedule has been finished. The links between the objects of the 3D CAD model and the activities of the time schedule have to be established manually, i.e. the user has to select certain objects and assign them to a related activity in the time schedule. Furthermore, a 4D simulation merely adds limited value due to a restriction to visualisa-tion of construction sequences only. This additional effort for creating the 4D simulation and limited benefit of having a visualisation of construction se-quences only, seem to be the main drawbacks as a result of which 4D simulation still has not crossed the threshold to daily practice. To significantly improve the efficiency of creating a 4D simulation this article presents a solution for creating time schedules and 4D simulations based on data stored in a building model.

Keywords: 4D simulation, scheduling, construction planning, model based planning, building information model

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Kiroff L, Ostrowski P

It and E-architecture – a technological breakthrough, a techno knowledge race or a new paradigm in business?

Abstract: The impact of Information Technology on the growth of the knowledge society is profound. In an era when human intellectual creativity is highly valued, IT is a powerful tool enabling the analysis and development of ideas and concepts. Regarding IT as a means to automate business tasks aiming at some labour savings would be an extremely simplistic approach to a more complex concept. Designing systems that augment user capabilities, encourage further exploration and foster creativity will enable users to do what they have not been able to do before. Business environments where collaborative work relationships flourish become highly successful in the intensely competitive global marketplace. The synergy between IT and teams working together to accomplish mutual goals becomes the key to organisational performance. The AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry in particular is undergoing dramatic changes due to the pervasive use of networked computers and multimedia equipment. The advent of the first PCs in the architectural profession in the early 1980s gradually started adding a new element of complexity to the architect’s job. The essence of the architectural work is the teamwork environment and IT is able to facilitate the design process and make project collaborations effective. Our research focuses on IT and its impact on architectural team environments. Recent emerging trends that will be analysed include architecture firms’ collaborations on national and international projects (firms experts in particular building types associate with local or regional firms called “architect of record” commissioned for the contract documentation and the contract administration stages of the project). The Royal Sun Alliance Building, Metropolis Apartments, Botany Downs Shopping Centre, DFS Galleria (all in Auckland) are some NZ examples of international collaborations with the design coming from the USA and Australia and Auckland firms commissioned as “architect of record”. Such trends necessitate the use of new technologies like advanced digital communications and hence the unprecedented boom of project extranets, or project WEB sites, and the emergence of the WEB-based architecture. Highly sophisticated architectural environments are built around Intranets, Extranets, the Internet and Video Conferencing systems. This enables the integration of architectural design, business management and team collaborations through computer technology. As a consequence, traditional roles and responsibilities in an office environment will change dramatically with fewer lower level routine tasks being available. Continually updating skills through on-going education becomes a lifetime commitment for the highly qualified industry professionals and for the company as a whole. A large number of computer software applications become indispensable for the highly efficient everyday functioning of an office. Some of the most significant buildings of the 1990s like F. Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and S. Calatrava’s Extension for the Milwaukees’s Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA couldn’t have been made without CAD. Another interesting trend is the use of IT to define a building through its entire life cycle in a more comprehensive way. This covers not only the traditional design and construction phases of a project but also automated facilities management and even the building’s eventual demolition. Our research methodology encompasses an array of primary and secondary sources of information – literature review, international case studies and projects both pre and post IT revolution, interviews with experienced industry professionals, hands-on experience demonstrating WEB based concepts in practice and individual professional expertise. Research Outcomes and Conclusions: · Although technology has given us numerous new tools to be more productive and innovative creatively, the amount of quality architecture being designed may not necessarily increase. · It is academia that drives innovative uses of technology not industry. Academia has more time and resources to experiment and is not at the mercy of the vendors’ vision or how technology can or should be used. · Computing is in a never-ending flux. This change, for better or worse dynamically drives the way we do business. The entire industry must seek out these changes, create them, challenge them, foster, adopt or discard them to suit. · As object oriented CAD becomes more pervasive, more value will be added to the construction documentation. This value-add needs to be recognised and exploited. · As technology pervades, the design process, regardless, remains relatively the same. · Hierarchical business models and decision-making processes are no longer the norm. This fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and employee empowerment. · Talent is talent. Technology is no substitute for it.

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Full text: content.pdf (170,944 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.044696) class.collaboration (0.038235) class.environment (0.034749)
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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.


Leijten E, Vastert E, Maas G

Knowledge aspects of construction planningredesign

Abstract: Traditionally seen a construction company starts working on a project the moment thedesign phase is finished and the specifications of the project are defined. At this point in thebuilding process the company has to decide, in a rather short period of time, how, withwhat and with whom they are going to produce the specified design. Also traditionally,these actions of the construction company are regarded to be rather banal and they carrywith them the image to prepare a production process in which a lot of errors occur. Earlierresearch indicated a different approach to this planning process to be successful. Thisdesign approach however asks for new theoretical concepts and new working methods.In this paper we will present the temporary results of an ongoing research project inwhich we will develop a theoretical concept of designing construction processes and adesign tool for the planning engineer with which it becomes easier to monitor internalcohesion of the construction plan. The theoretical concept contains a description of theresults of the design process. This so called production plan consists of a set of plans and aset of scenarios. Each plan contains all collected information on one single productionaspect (e.g. labour and safety, timetables, measurement information). Each scenario orscheme contains all information concerning the production of a single part of the building(e.g. foundations, glazing, inner walls). The tool to be developed will be a knowledge basedsystem with which knowledge can be managed.The article is concluded with a description of the expected results of our research.

Keywords: planning; construction plan; knowledge based system.

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Series: w78:1997 (browse)
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