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Avani Goyal, Ahmet Kilinc, Minkyung Kang and Burcu Akinci

Energy Efficient Improvements to the Envelope of Low-Income Housing: A Case Study of Habitat for Humanity Homes

Abstract: Low-income families pay substantial portions of their total expenditure on household energy bills, making them vulnerable to rising energy costs. Habitat for Humanity houses are built for low-income families and made affordable with volunteer work and construction material donations. Hence, the trade-off between the homesŐ initial construction costs and their life-time energy costs must be evaluated carefully. This paper targets to support better-informed decisions that balance the affordability of certain construction materials with their potential for energy efficiency. In collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, we created an energy simulation model of an existing low-income house and calculated the homeŐs annual energy usage with different design alternatives for windows and walls. The resulting estimated annual energy savings are then evaluated alongside their initial investment costs, which were retrieved from RS Means standard construction cost data and quotations from industry. The results show that it is possible to reduce the energy cost of these houses without significantly increasing the construction costs through exploration of different wall and window options. While specific enclosure suggestions apply to this case-study, the utilized approach on exploring different options to identify opportunities to save energy can be used to understand impact on the lives of low-income families.

Keywords: Low-Income Housing, Energy Efficiency, Cost Analysis, Residential Housing, Habitat for Humanity

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0067

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Bella Nguyen and Ioannis Brilakis

Minimising Misclassifications of Over-Height Vehicles Due to Wind

Abstract: Over-height vehicle strikes with low bridges and tunnels are an ongoing problem worldwide. While previous methods have used vision-based systems to address the over-height warning problem, such methods are sensitive to wind. In this paper, we propose a constraint-based approach to minimise the number of over-height vehicle misclassifications due to windy conditions. The dataset includes a total of 102 over-height vehicles recorded at frame rates of 25 and 30 fps. At this frame rate, we analysed sampling rates to determine the sufficient number of positive frames required to provide accurate warnings to drivers. Optical flow and KLT feature-tracker algorithm was used to detect and track feature points of motion. Motion captured within the region of interest was treated as a standard two-class binary linear classification problem with 1 indicating over-height vehicle presence and 0 indicating noise. The algorithm performed with 100% recall, 83.3% precision and false positive rate of 8.3%.

Keywords: Bridge Strike, Tunnel Strike, Over-Height Vehicle, Over-Height Vehicle Detection System, Bridge Strike Prevention

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0249

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Brandon P, Watson I

An expert system for strategic maintenance planning

Abstract: Recent changes in legislation have made housing associations (HAs) more financially responsible for all aspects of maintenance of their new housing stock. Because of the levels of funding within HAs and the need to provide accommodation at a "fair rent,"the planning of maintenance, and the consequent planning of expenditure has never before been so vital. Moreover, most literature on maintenance, including government reports and research by professional bodies or academic institutions, identifies a need for improvement in decision making regarding building maintenance. The project has provided an expert system (ES) that assists maintenance and finance officers in strategic planning of maintenance. The system (called EMMY) is not a database for HAs building stock and their tenants, or a program that itemises maintenance jobs, handles invoices, and performs various accounting tasks. It is a strategic management tool. Whilethere are many programs in existence that estimate the life-cycle costs of buildings or provide maintenance management, they all share two major problems: They require voluminous data input to describe each building; They function as "black boxes;" that is, data is put in and answers are given with little indication ofhowthe answers were generated and what variables affected the results. Storing all the relevant information in a database and selecting only that information required for the building under consideration is one method of reducing data input. In this way one can construct a modelof the building from pre-packaged components, and calculations can then be performed using spreadsheets. This approach has the advantage ofreducing data input and being relatively low cost (Tuts 89). Althoughthere is avariety of computer software available to the industry, thetechnology with potentially the greatest benefits is still the least known and most rarely used - the ES. ESs can directly address both of the problems outlined above: by reducing t

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Series: w78:1992 (browse)
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Class: class.strategies (0.055604) class.social (0.033963) class.synthesis (0.021859)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editor, Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


C Changxin Wang,

Ontology based Knowledge Retrieving in a Web Collaboration Environment for Construction Industry

Abstract: As the amount of information and knowledge that we deal with in construction projects are huge, computerized collaboration and management systems have been seen as effective tools for construction project participants. While a vast amount of information and knowledge can be stored in these systems, how to retrieve knowledge when needed is a challenge. Traditional keyword search usually results in high returns but low precision, as context and terminology difference are not considered. This research implements construction domain ontology into a web collaboration environment. Domain ontology provides a common understanding of a domain (a particular area) in which people and the application system communicates with each other. The ontology is composed of a network of concepts, which are clearly defined and interlinked based on their context. Knowledge items published in the web are annotated according to the ontology, and enable the semantic inference to locate a particular knowledge items during the retrieval process. In this paper, some knowledge items (knowledge stories) are published as blog entries in the web collaboration systems, and a comparison between traditional keyword search and ontology based retrieval is reported. The ontology based knowledge retrieving gives much more accurate returns, and therefore can facilitate the web-based knowledge sharing practice more efficiently in the construction industry.

Keywords: Ontology, Knowledge management, Knowledge retrieving, Construction industry, Web-based collaboration.

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C Gouy-Pailler, H Najmeddine, A Mouraud, F Suard, C Spitz, A Jay, P Maréchal

DISTANCE AND SIMILARITY MEASURES FOR SENSORSSELECTION IN HEAVILY INSTRUMENTED BUILDINGS:APPLICATION TO THE INCAS PLATFORM

Abstract: Energy management in residential buildings is taking an increasing role in the construction workflows.It entails understanding thermal processes at stake in the buildings and quantifying energyconsumption, which meets inhabitants comfort requirements. Experimental platforms such as INCASaim at providing experts with a practical way to study such problems in real conditions. These heavilyequipped buildings yield huge amounts of real-time data (sampling rates, number and types of sensors)for which new automatic approaches could be useful to thermal experts. Generic similarity measuresfrom data-mining could therefore provide comprehensive analysis tools to thermal experts. This paper focuses on the ability of some distance and similarity measures to organize millions ofdata from homogeneous and heterogeneous sensors into coherent clusters. Simplifying datainterpretations to thermal experts in highly equipped buildings, this approach could also stand as abasis for studying smart grids of less equipped domestic houses studies. Two types of similarity measures are explored. The first one consists of a set of three distances,and accounts for differences in terms of amplitude scaling and shifting between pairs ofmeasurements. It relies on the comparison of homogeneous sensors by quantifying the relativeproximity of their amplitude in terms of mean value, variance and time shift. The second type ofsimilarity measure employs a pre-processing step transforming continuous signals into binary events.The resulting spike trains are then compared by quantifying the amount of unitary transformations(events moves or events deletions/additions) needed to align pairs of events sequences. These proximity measures are computed on real data from experimental buildings of the INCASplatform. It comprises three experimental buildings (with different construction types) dedicated totesting various approaches regarding systems, control and energy-saving policies. These geometricallyidentical buildings are equipped with hundreds of sensors measuring temperature, humidity,differential pressure, and others data at various positions of the structures with sampling rates of onemeasurement per minute. Simulation-based temperatures are integrated in the sensors set providing acomparison between real and simulated data. Results illustrate the contribution of the applied methods when dealing with large amounts ofmeasurements related to instrumented buildings behaviors. Actually results show that coherent clustersregarding distinct signal properties are automatically generated. These clusters can be used fordimensionality reduction (clusters of sensors could be summarized by a single virtual measurement),or relative comparisons between sensors or between real and simulated datasets.

Keywords: INCAS, low-energy consumption, sensor selection, multivariate data mining

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Charalambos Kyriakou and Symeon E. Christodoulou

Detecting Pavement Patches Utilizing Smartphones Technology and Vehicles

Abstract: Presented herein is a study on the utilization of low-cost technology for detection of roadway pavement anomalies (patches and potholes), by use of sensors on smartphones and of automobilesŐ on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) devices for the collection and analysis of vibration-related data while vehicles are in movement. The mobile data collection kit consists of a triaxial accelerometer, a gyroscope and a global positioning sensor. The smartphone-based data collection is complimented with robust regression analysis and a bagged-trees classification model for the classification of pavement anomalies. The proposed system is readily available, low-cost and adequately accurate, and can be utilized in crowd-sourced applications for pavement monitoring. Further, the proposed methodology has been field-tested, exhibiting detection accuracy levels higher than 90% for pavement patches, and it is currently expanded to include larger datasets and a bigger number of pavement defect types.

Keywords: Pavement Anomalies, Detection and Classification, Smartphones Technology, Robust Regression, Bagged Trees

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0109

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Cho-Chien Lu, Shih-Chung Kang, Shang-Hsien Hsieh

SimuSurvey: a computer-based simulator for survey training

Abstract: This paper presents the development of a computer-based simulator for survey training, referred to as SimuSurvey. Because modern survey instruments are usually expensive, difficult to maintain, and sensitive to weather conditions, surveying course instructors often find it difficult to supply sufficient high-quality instruments for the class. Also, the instructors often suffer the need to repeat similar instructions about instrument operations to individual stu-dents; and, lack a good means of recording each student’s learning progress. SimuSurvey was designed to address these issues - for use in survey training in a computer-generated virtual environment at a low cost. The functions cur-rently provided by SimuSurvey include: (1) the visualization of a survey instrument and measurement poles involved in an assigned survey task; (2) the simulation of the control interface of a real surveying instrument; (3) the recording of each student’s performed operations; and (4) design of learning activities for students to practice surveying tasks in a simulated environment. The focus of this paper is on the design and implementation of SimuSurvey. An example is pro-vided to demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of SimuSurvey to survey training.

Keywords: simulator, survey training, engineering education, virtual reality, augmented reality

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Cooper R, Fleming A

A project knowledge management tool for the construction industry

Abstract: Knowledge Management has attracted a lot of attention in the last decade and it has widely been cited as a major competitive tool for many businesses. In the UK construction industry, it has been identified that one third of major clients are dissatisfied with contractor and consultant performance. Similarly, the Egan Report [1], 'Rethinking Construction?, stated that the industry suffers from low and unreliable profitability, insufficient research & development, and a lack of customer focus. These problems in addition to the project based business environment of the sector, typically relate to the industry's adversarial nature, and to move forward the industry needs to capture the knowledge that is generated by the project team, share it, and more importantly, determine how it can be reviewed and used by other project teams for future projects. This paper introduces an IT approach, the Process Protocol Toolkit to satisfy the needs in managing knowledge in construction projects based on the Process Protocol framework. The paper also suggests that significant realisation of IT benefits can only be achieved by knowledge based systems, which are underpinned by a consistent design and construction knowledge framework.

Keywords: knowledge management, information technology, construction process, project management

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Dimitra Chondrogianni, Christos Gioldasis and Yorgos Stephanedes

Low-Cost Fleet Management Solutions in the Framework of Emerging Markets

Abstract: Implementation of ITS solutions in the emerging market of Egypt is at an early stage, yet has made significant progress. In the framework of PHAROS project, low-cost smart solutions have been developed for fleet managers to facilitate efficient route choices and eco-driving that minimize fuel consumption and carbon emissions. These solutions were integrated in an existing fleet management system. This paper presents the theoretical and practical formulation of the rescheduling component added to the already existing fleet management system. The rescheduling component is based on the development of an eco-path that considers the "cost" between two consecutive nodes. By the term "cost", more parameters such as path length, travel time, operating costs, energy consumption required for each route, are taken into account. Based on the above decision-routing parameters, through the use of a routing algorithm, the optimal path between the origin and the destination node is proposed.

Keywords: ITS, Fleet Management, Rescheduling, Emerging Markets

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0180

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Drogemuller R, Hampson K, Yum K K

An IT infrastructure for long term research & development at the CRC for construction innovation

Abstract: The Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (CRC CI) started operations in July 2001. One of its aims is to address the relatively low level of R&D activity within the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management industry in Australia. This paper briefly describes the general goals of a Cooperative Research Centre within the Australian national context. Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) are playing a significant role in the deliverables of the CRC CI. This has necessitated the definition of an ICT architecture at both the software application level and the project server level to provide a framework to maximise the effectiveness of the CRC CI's R & D expenditure. The current architecture is described and some key issues that will need to be resolved are identified.

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Series: w78:2003 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


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