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Doherty J M

Maximising the benefits from IT integration for architectural project documentation

Abstract: The development of Information Technology is traced. The impact of this on the communication processes of the AEC industry is noted. The paper identifies current trends and imminent developments. Out of this it projects some of the options that might be regarded as feasible, likely, and to safe to assume. It suggests that present technoloy and imminent technology have reached the stage in which a fundamental shift in the methods USed for architectural project design and documentation is already occurring. This has created a major dilemma for designers and project managers. It is suggested that there is no middle ground or evolutionary choice and the paper warns of the practical consequences of an ill planned transition. lt presents a strategy for maximising the benefits in the production of architectural communication and project documentation through the use of IT.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,585,795 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.037471) class.environment (0.033993) class.impact (0.033102)
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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.


Drewer S, Hazlehurst G

Myth and reality in the use of IT and computer based technologies in construction

Abstract: IT and computer based technologies are a catalyst for focusing attention of managers on technical and commercial efficiency. It is sometimes argued that a detailed evaluation of existing practices, in itself, generates a better understanding of the factors constraining efficiency. But it is also argued that it is the computer based technologies themselves which deliver improvements in efficiency. Because the construction process is fragmented, the overall efficiency of the process might ' a priori ' be enhanced by the use of IT and computer based technologies. However, this assumes that a coherent strategy for their use is in place, both within individual companies and practices, and within the wider construction process. Our current research has highlighted a problem, within a majority of construction engineering and design organisations, which constrains the development of 'IT' beyond that of discrete applications. The lack of a coherent strategy for the integration of these technologies within a company is a major constraint on their effective use within the organisation. The integration of the use of the technologies between separate organisations within the construction process, posits problems of an even greater level of complexity. This paper, has two primary objectives: to articulate the major constraints to the effective use of ' IT ' in order to develop a set of relevant criteria for evaluating future investments; and to examine the rationale for, and mechanisms through which, integrated systems, both within organisations and the construction process, may be introduced.

Keywords: construction; information technology; management; technology transfer; corporate strategies

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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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.


Faisal Manzoor Arain

IT-based approach for effective management of project changes: a change management system (CMS)

Abstract: In a perfect world, changes will be confined to the planning stages. However, late changes often occur during construction, and frequently cause serious disruption to the project. The need to make changes in a construction project is a matter of practical reality. Even the most thoughtfully planned project may necessitate changes due to vari-ous factors. The fundamental idea of any variation management system in a building project is to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, resolve, control, document, and learn from past variations in ways that support the overall viability of the project. Learning from past variations is imperative because the professionals can then improve and apply their experi-ence in the future. Primarily, the study proposes six principles of change management. Based on these principles, a theoretical model for change management system (CMS) is developed. The theoretical model consists of six fundamen-tal stages linked to two main components, i.e., a knowledge-base and a controls selection shell for making more in-formed decisions for effective management of variations. This paper argues that the information technology can be ef-fectively used for providing an excellent opportunity for the professionals to learn from similar past projects and to better control project variations. Finally, the study briefly presents a knowledge-based decision support system (KBDSS) for the management of variations in educational building projects in Singapore. The KBDSS consists of two main components, i.e., a knowledge-base and a controls selection shell for selecting appropriate controls. The KBDSS is able to assist project managers by providing accurate and timely information for decision making, and a user-friendly system for analyzing and selecting the controls for variation orders for educational buildings. The CMS will enable the project team to take advantage of beneficial variations when the opportunity arises without an inordinate fear of the negative impacts. By having a systematic way to manage variations, the efficiency of project work and the likelihood of project success should increase. The study would assist building professionals in developing an effective variation management system. The system would be helpful for them to take proactive measures for reducing variation orders. Furthermore, with further generic enhancement and modification, the KBDSS will also be useful for the man-agement of variations in other types of building projects, thus helping to raise the overall level of productivity in the construction industry. Hence, the system developed and the findings from this study would also be valuable for all building professionals in general.

Keywords: CMS, information technology, KBDSS, changes, management

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Fischer M, Aalami F, Kuhne C, Ripberger A

Cost-loaded production model for planning and control

Abstract: This paper describes a cost-loaded production model that supports integrated project planning, scheduling and estimating and real-time cost and schedule control. The production model integrates product, process, and resource information between all levels of detail and within each level of detail of construction management information. It describes and calculates project schedules and cost estimates explicitly at any level of detail desired by project participants. A hierarchical construction planning, scheduling, and estimating process and corresponding software prototypes assist the user in generating and updating the cost-loaded production model. The main contributions of this work are the consistent representation of component, action, resource, and sequence constraint objects at all levels of detail and the formal planning, scheduling, and estimating processes and mechanisms. These are the two essential components that make the cost-loaded production model possible. The production model enables construction managers to work from general project information to detailed project information, generate detailed what-if scenarios rapidly and control and manage a project's progress on a frequent and precise basis.

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Full text: content.pdf (125,932 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.029387) class.economic (0.019346) class.software development (0.009485)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


G Gudnason, J Hyvärinen, C Finne & S Larsson

eProCon: electronic Product Information in Construction

Abstract: The lack of industry standards and agreements for electronic presentation of information on building products is hampering seamless eWork, eProcurement and integration of value chain activities in the construction industry. Technical and trade information about building products is not available in electronic form to designers, contractors and facility managers that would make it possible for them to easily re-use it in design systems and to find, compare and procure products on-line. The eProCon project brings together nine partner organizations: the Building Information Centers in all five Nordic countries, two technology partners and two research institutes. The purpose of this consortium is to demonstrate a dynamic value adding information services network in the Nordic countries for brokering building product information by electronic means. The Building Information Centers have been brokering building product information on behalf of manufactures for more then 20 years to the construction sector, using proprietary information systems that are incompatible in content, functionality and technical solution. The primary impact the eProCon project will have on the current state of the art is enabling interoperability between these systems and allowing them to share content (and enrich the content), thus becoming one virtual service available for all Nordic end-users. The demonstrated integration platform, applying Service Oriented Architecture, includes: 1) the core integration layer enabling the existing Nordic information services and a new product portal to act as a single Nordic virtual service to its end-user, 2) the update layer enabling manufacturers and suppliers to interact with the information contained in the services and 3) the catalog layer, which enables 3rd party buy applications to access the information. The paper will report on the approach selected in the eProCon project and first prototype implementations.

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Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


G Kapogiannis, F Khosrowshahi, J Underwood

Digital Services for Construction Small and Medium Enterprises: A Conceptual Business Model

Abstract: The rapid deployment of web technologies delivers information from diverse sources in the world of digital business in a unified way. Within the construction industry the demand for investments in the digital dimension has raised very fast indicating a trend towards on-line collaboration services usually offered through a web portal. The main purpose of this research is to examine how the use of a web portal enhances the mission of construction Small Medium Enterprises (SME) in the local, national and international economy. Therefore, features and services captured from existing construction web portals are listed quantitatively to indicate those that are important to support the enterprise needs of construction managers and directors. Additionally the common practical and essential features considered in the technical and contextual design of a web portal geared for the use within the domain of construction SMEs in order to promote enterprise continuity in digital business are briefly presented. Results indicate potential support of interaction and collaboration among partners in the construction industry due to direct information accessibility as well as an attractive web platform developed based upon their daily needs. Therefore the need to develop a web business model is suggested to enhance the role of construction SMEs with a focus on online collaboration (online services). This model aspires to provide potential practical on-line dissemination of knowledge within construction SMEs to help the world of construction managers and directors in order for them to be more efficient, effective and creative when developing new businesses, new ideas and new projects. This model is partitioned to accommodate for flexible and scalable technological infrastructures that offer the necessary web services addressed to construction SMEs.

Keywords: Construction SME, Web Portal Technologies, Web Services, Virtual Organisation, Communication

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Ghanbari A, Froese T

Product modeling for construction management

Abstract: With the ever-increasing use of computer technologies for managing the information involved in business processes, information standardization has been identified as an important step towards improving the efficiency and effectiveness of these processes. Over the past two decades, many research and development projects have worked towards standardizing existing information in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Many information models at different levels have been proposed and many prototypes have been developed. The major part of this effort has focused on modeling product information in AEC projects (as opposed to process, organizational, or other project information), and has concentrated on the designer's perspective. Our interest, however, is from the perspective of project managers. Although project management introduces a spectrum of process information that governs the act of constructing a project, the product information that describes the facility itself is still central. Yet this product information is not explicitly represented in existing project management software such as estimating and scheduling software. This paper outlines the dimensions of a research project aimed at product modeling for project management. It discusses some of the specific requirements of product models for the purpose of supporting project management functionality. The paper also describes a framework that has been devised for categorizing project management functions.

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Full text: content.pdf (153,603 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.039791) class.commerce (0.013965) class.software development (0.013423)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


Gurevich U,Sacks R

Integrated virtual reality and discrete event simulation methods for production system research in construction

Abstract: Researching the behavior of production systems in construction is challenging because outcomes depend not only on production system design and on control strategies, but also on the decision-making behavior of works managers, crew leaders and suppliers. People make decisions within their context, and with limited and often uncertain information. This is especially true in the case of construction projects, where production is dependent on close coordination between multiple independent subcontractors. Theoretical models of the systems are limited if they ignore the human element, or if they assume rationality in decision-making. Thus experimental setups designed to test proposed production control systems or strategies should incorporate live experiments with human subjects. Virtual reality (VR) environments linked with discrete-event simulations (DES) provide an excellent platform for this kind of experimental setup. They enable, for example, experiments to compare performance with and without proposed information systems or other tools. We review the state-of-the-art in research of production control systems in construction management, with emphasis on VR and DES. We describe the experience gained in using a hybrid 'Virtual Construction Site' (VCS) system in which construction crew leaders were immersed in a virtual reality (VR) CAVE where they worked in a DES controlled site. The VCS proved its efficacy by allowing the researchers to observe, record and analyze the decision-making behavior of human subjects in a controlled environment, with high accuracy and in relatively very short times.

Keywords: Computer aided simulation,Construction management,Discrete-event simulation,Experimentation,Production system design,Virtual Reality

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Guss C

Virtual teams, project management processes and the construction industry

Abstract: Process is the "action of going through, a progressive forward movement from one point to another, with the goal of reaching an end point" 1. Project managers in the construction industry tend to regard process as the completion of separate technical tasks to reach an end. What project managers do not ask is, what happens in the process of communicating that contributes to a successful or poor project. The answer remains elusive because project managers expend energy finding better management tools and techniques, not communication processes to help expose and overcome limitations and inefficiencies of projects. Some tools provide a means to examine overall project success, but typically discrete time phases are examined in projects. Deming’s teachings are clear in that improvement in the quality of projects demand improvements in processes. One of the key process improvements that the construction industry needs to make is the area of communication to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between teams and projects. In the future, the industry will find it more difficult to rely on tacit knowledge (on the job know-how) of organizations or individuals in virtual environments.movement from one point to another, with the goal of reaching an end point” 1. Project managers in the construction industry tend to regard process as the completion of separate technical tasks to reach an end. What project managers do not ask is, what happens in the process of communicating that contributes to a successful or poor project. The answer remains elusive because project managers expend energy finding better management tools and techniques, not communication processes to help expose and overcome limitations and inefficiencies of projects. Some tools provide a means to examine overall project success, but typically discrete time phases are examined in projects. Deming’s teachings are clear in that improvement in the quality of projects demand improvements in processes. One of the key process improvements that the construction industry needs to make is the area of communication to facilitate the transfer of knowledge between teams and projects. In the future, the industry will find it more difficult to rely on tacit knowledge (on the job know-how) of organizations or individuals in virtual environments. Global trends to outsource work and downsize employee pools combined with the widespread availability of telecommunications devices continue to push organizations into considering ‘virtual employment’. Despite knowing that additional full-time employees often cause greater negative utility, the construction business continues to lag behind in use of communication technology and in the development of virtual teams. In the future, a shift to virtual teams will be a consequence of the need for high speed communication of new ideas among experts world-wide, for a competitive edge. Challenges are in using telecommunications tools to overcome geographic and psychological distance in managerial and technical communication. This paper discusses the future need for virtual teams in the construction industry. Some useful communication processes and technologies that facilitate a transition to virtual teams are introduced. These include: desktop videoconferencing, public video networks, Group Decision Support Systems, and the Internet. Advances in procurement capability is discussed to show impacts on the construction industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (60,477 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.033332) class.communication (0.027279) class.social (0.025990)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Ljubljana. The assistance of the editor, Prof. Ziga Turk, is gratefully appreciated.


Ha_kan Norberg & Thomas Olofsson

A PROCESS MODEL FOR CONSTRUCTION SYNCHRONISATION USING TIME-SPACE PLANNING METHODS AND FIELD FORCE AUTOMATION

Abstract: This paper explores a proposed process model for construction synchronisation. The aim of the paper is to show the potential of working according to the Last Planner System of production and control by combining time-space planning methods and Field Force Automation. In addition, the paper aims to show the benefits of working with real time support regarding taking control actions in the schedule and to collect data for follow- up analysis. The paper first provides a background of the research and a description of the various methods and tools used in the process model. A process model is proposed based on the last planner and control system for the implementation of a new ICT tool with the purpose to enhance, planning and control in order to enhance construction synchronisation. It is concluded that site managers needs tools to change their view of planning from static view of the schedule which can be revised once or twice per project to the view that the schedule is a total dynamic instrument to be used to develop prognosis and measure for avoiding waste and delays in the realisation phase of the construction project. The paper is concluded with suggestions for how the method can be further developed and improved.

Keywords: Construction synchronisation, Last Planner, 4D modelling, location based scheduling, field force automation

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Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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