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Ayer S,Messner J,Anumba C

ecoCampus: a new approach to sustainable design education

Abstract: Civil and architectural engineering education programs strive to prepare students to design built environments that will be used by society. Some of these built systems can be challenging for laypeople to visualize while learning the design process. This research focuses on improving the way that students visualize and engage with building design content through the creation of a novel educational tool for designing sustainable building elements. The tool prototype, called ecoCampus, is an educational game that uses augmented reality technology on a mobile computing platform. It allows users to visualize a possible building retrofit design in the context of an existing built space and also receive tailored feedback about their design. The prototype application was tested with 47 first-year architectural engineering students to better understand the benefit of this tool. The results of this implementation were analyzed and compared to the results of prior semesters’ students who were tasked with completing a similar retrofit design activity without the use of ecoCampus or a mobile computing device. This comparison suggests that students who completed the ecoCampus activity were more likely to complete multiple design iterations as well as experiment with materials other than those present in the existing wall, suggesting that ecoCampus may help to break the tendency toward design fixation. Additionally, students generally rated the experience as highly enjoyable, suggesting engagement with this teaching tool. Future work will implement the ecoCampus experience with students in several building-related majors to identify possible additional benefits that can be observed.

Keywords: ecoCampus,Simulation Game,Augmented Reality,Engineering Education,Situated Learning Theory

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Full text: content.pdf (1,511,909 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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B de Vries

Building management simulation center

Abstract: Introduction to the BMSC In the Building Management Simulation Center new and experienced construction managers are trained. The center is unique because of the use of a virtual building site that can be inspected by the trainees. The actual status of the building and of the building materials and equipment on the building site is simulated by the system dependent on the trainee’s actions. The main part of the center is the simulation hall. Here, ten cabins are located with a view on a large parabolic projection screen. The trainee has to execute tasks in the cabin in an environment that is familiar to him/her. On the projection screen the building under construction can be viewed and it can be inspected by navigation through the full-scale model. Similar VR based training systems can be found in the aircraft industry, the automotive industry [http://www.ttsl.co.uk/home.htm] en de shipbuilding industry [http://thor.sv.vt.edu/crane/]. These examples inspired the initiators of the BMSC to investigate if the same methodology could be used in the building industry. Building site activity patterns Construction process simulation research has mainly been focused on the development of a construction planning analysis tool [e.g. V.R. Kamat, J.C. Martinez in proceedings of CIT2000]. In the BMSC though, interaction between the construction manager and the building on the building site will steer the construction process simulation. Investigations on the building site and discussions with experienced construction managers learned that they work in fixed patterns. A pattern consisting of a list of activities is called a transition type. These transition types describe all kinds of procedures that a construction manager performs to fulfill a specific tasks (e.g. ordering of new material). Transition types also take into account actions required to perform corrections beforehand or afterwards. For a specific case the transitions were entered into the system. The transitions were deduced from the construction managers that had worked on that building project when it was actually built. For the training purposes every possible situation the trainee can end up with has to be covered by the transitions. The interactive 3D training system The trainee’s actions are logged by a kind of Electronic Data Management System. All documents that are created during a training session are stored in the system. The system itself also contains project information that can be consulted. Finally the system offers an interface to communicate with the other participants in the project. After the training session that consists of the execution of a set of tasks, the system has stored all actions, their order and the produced documents. These data are compared with the predefined transitions for the case that was used. The document contents are compared with the predefined activity results. With this method it is easy to detect if the trainee missed certain activities in a transition and if the information is consistent. Finally, a visual feedback can be created be regeneration the 3D model in the VR environment in accordance with the trainee’s actions. The 3D model will show has far the building could have been built successfully. The learning effect After the training session the trainee will be confronted with the (possible) mismatch between has own actions and the preferred actions following from the predefined transitions. Evidently this is discussed during the evaluation after the training. Recognition of the right transition by the trainee to solve a specific task is considered one of the major learning effects of a BMSC training. Paper Outline In the paper the software architecture of the system will be explained. The activity patterns and the management of the system are discussed in more detail. A layout of the building where the BMSC is hosted is presented. Finally some examples of the training sessions will illustrate how the BMSC operates in practice and an overview will be presented of the first experiences.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,053,282 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.deployment (0.027827) class.man-software (0.018630) class.communication (0.013308)
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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.


B. Omar, S. Abu Hassan & T. Ballal

Exploring Context-Awareness in the construction logistics services delivery

Abstract: Managing a construction project supply chain effectively and efficiently is extremely difficult due to involvement of numerous sectors that are supported by ineffective communication system. An efficient construction supply chain system ensures the delivery of materials and other services to construction site while minimising costs and rewarding all sectors based on value added to the supply chain. The advancement of information, communication and wireless technologies is driving construction companies to deploy supply chain management strategies to seek better outputs. As part of the emerging wireless technologies, context-aware computing capability represents the next generation of ICT to the construction services. Conceptually, context-awareness could be integrated with Web Services in order to ensure the delivery of pertinent information to construction site and enhance construction supply chain collaboration. An initial study has indicated that this integrated system has the potential of serving and improving the construction services delivery through access to context-specific data, information and services on as-needed basis.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Bergsten S, Knutsson M

4D CAD- an efficient tool to improve production method for integration of apartments in existing buildings

Abstract: This paper describes an ongoing research project on application of a 4D CAD tool for design and production planning of vertical extensions of existing buildings (over-roofing) in Stockholm city, for creation of a more densely populated city as the demand for apartments in the city centre increases. 4D CAD is a concept, which combines an object oriented 3D CAD model with time. 4D CAD is a kind of information visualisation that is easier to understand than traditional methods, such as 2D drawings and time schedules, which are used to manage construction projects. 4D CAD is a logical way of imaging a construction management tool. It is a tool that is conceptually much closer to an intuitive picture of a construction process than 2D drawings and time schedules. The 4D concept is developed at Stanford University and to support the concept researchers at Stanford have developed a prototype that is being used in some complex construction projects in California. The focus of the research project “Integration of apartments in existing buildings by use of Light Gauge Steel Framing”, which this paper is a part of it, is to improve production methods in order to reduce design, planning and construction time for conversions of, and extensions to existing buildings in the city centres. A way to improve the production methods is by utilising a 4D planning process in combination with industrialised production of building components. Extensions to existing buildings are due to the demand for new apartments in attractive locations in the city centres and shortage of land for housing in city centres. The Light Gauge Steel constructions have many benefits for conversions of, and extensions to existing buildings. According to research results the Light Gauge Steel Framing system is suitable for industrial production. This building system results in a very light weight building compared with traditional materials e.g. concrete which makes it suitable for over-roofing extensions. The materials used in the Light Gauge Steel Systems is thin steel members, plaster boards and mineral wool. Many of the problems, which occur during vertical extensions of existing buildings today, are solved when they are discovered, that is sometimes on the site. Some examples of these problems are poor compatibility between the existing building (structural components and material) and the Light Gauge Steel Framing, detail solutions of the building components, shafts and piping for ventilation, water, sewage and drainage etc. It is less expensive to discover and to correct errors at an early stage compared to solving them on the site. Further a lot of construction time will be saved, which will decrease the disturbance on existing surroundings. Several problems have to be considered in the planning process in order to minimise the disturbance on existing activities and surroundings. This could be done by the use of a 4D CAD planning tool. An over-roofing project located in the city means that the land to use during the production period is limited and expensive. Thereby is the logistic to and from the site more complicated. Consequently the site management and logistic of building components to the building site and their storage on the site is most important. In fact the 4D concept is an efficient planning tool to organise the logistic of the site during the planning phase instead of as today during the production. The site layout can be simulated and visualised with a 4D CAD tool for the actors in the project which in particular will help the site engineer to organise the activities, material flow and site logistic. The value of using the 4D CAD concept is studied by comparing the traditional planning process of a number of over-roofing projects in Sweden with the planning process of the 4D CAD concept. This paper discusses how a 4D CAD tool together with an industrialised production method can be used for improving the production process for an over-roofing project in order to reduce the construction time and with secured quality. The reader will understand and appreciate the added value in form of a more efficient way of managing construction projects.

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Full text: content.pdf (708,786 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.022264) class.impact (0.010607) class.software development (0.010605)
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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.


Blackmore J M

Computer aided development of knowledge in the construction process

Abstract: Modern regulations control the performance of our built environment rather than the methods and materials of construction. The designer has freedom to fulfil specified objectives any way he chooses, but he must show that he is fulfilling the regulatory intention, and fulfilling it well enough. How does he convince the building surveyor that his building will provide an acceptable level of compliance? Where does he find the information to justify his choice of solutions to the regulatory problems? And where does the regulator find the information needed to determine whether or not a proposed solution is acceptable? The answers lie in the sea of regulatory information and research that is the source of all building reedation. Required levels of compliance are implicit in ixaditional, prescriptive regulations. Background research data, legal rulings, records of committee decisions, articles, advisory notes, commentaries, accreditation reports, cornon practice - all give an indication of the level of compliance that society and the regulators are willing to accept and help the designer and the regulator establish criteria of acceptance. This vast array of knowledge helps the regulator determine the intentions of existing regulations and write realistic rules for the performance of buildings. But where does the search fgr knowledge begin? Information technology can structure the search and help find a way through the jungle of data, macheteing obstructions to the introduction of innovative solutions. A structured, selective search can give the regulator access to all the data he needs to support his arguments, allowing the full realisation of the benefits of performance regulation. Linked to a powerful expert system that assists and checks his passage through the regulations, CSBO is creating an IT system to facilitate these benefits.

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Full text: content.pdf (2,214,097 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.085813) class.analysis (0.024178) class.synthesis (0.023322)
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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.


Boshoff N, Coetzee G

The use of electronic commerce in the materials procurement in SA construction industry

Abstract: South Africa is facing the challenge of providing housing and infrastructure to millions of its residents. The improvement of the construction process to enable and improve delivery of such scale, is of paramount importance to the industry. The paper focuses on the use of Internet enabled electronic commerce in the procurement of building materials. The CSIR in South Africa is developing a product "Eze-build" in collaboration with the construction industry, IT companies and the major banks. Eze-build consists of a core building product library, tender management and bill of materials systems integrated with an Internet enabled ordering and payment gateway. Eze-build gives contracting companies access to building materials suppliers via the Internet for the ordering and payment of building materials from a pre-compiled bill of materials.Eze-build provides materials suppliers, contractors and construction managers an easy to use tool that improves the overall management of materials procurement significantly. It also improve site processes since the procurement of materials can now be pre-scheduled and delivery of materials can occur on a just in time basis reducing materials storage and wastage significantly. Specific items addressed in the paper includes: A process analysis of Eze-build and the related changes in the construction management process. 1. The technologies used to implement Eze-build. 2. A brief description of the project including: * the merging of these diverse technologies to develop an integrated materials procurement solution for the construction industry; and * some of the difficulties that are encountered during the roll out of such a integrated system in the construction industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (51,611 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.commerce (0.029106) class.store (0.024954) class.communication (0.023370)
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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.


Bügler M,Dori G,Borrmann A

Swap based process schedule optimization using discrete-event simulation

Abstract: Large construction projects usually involve many tasks, which are connected through dependencies and usage of common resources and materials. Determining the optimal order of task execution is in most of the cases impossible to do by hand. Therefore different methods for automatic optimization of large process schedules using a discrete-event simulation system were investigated. This paper introduces a new heuristic method for the resource constrained project scheduling problem, called swap-based optimization. Compared to creating an optimal schedule from scratch, the swap approach facilitates obtaining metrics about the performance of the result, before having worked through the entire construction process. Swaps are introduced into the simulation model by assigning priorities to the tasks. After running a simulation a list of possible swaps is created. Applying one of them and restarting the simulation will introduce a change into the sequence of the tasks within the schedule, generating a different schedule than the one before. Different tree search algorithms, traversing the space of possible swaps throughout a construction process, were analyzed. The suitability of the method is proven by an extensive case study.

Keywords: Resource Constrained Project Scheduling Problem,Project Schedule Optimization,Discrete-event Simulation,Task Swaps,Construction Site,Tree search

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Costin A,Shaak A,Teizer J,Pfeffer G,Khanzode A,Saripally D,Chao O,Schoner B,Shah S

Passive RFID-based asset tracking and project management on a large hospital project

Abstract: As construction job sites get larger and more complex, the need to increase building protocol control and safety is becoming more necessary. Having a real-time tracking system for materials, equipment and personnel of a job site will help project managers to enhance the safety, security, quality control, and worker logistics of a construction project. In this paper we will present the method of integrating Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) for real-time tracking of materials, equipment, and personnel. The purpose is to generate real-time data to monitor for safety, security, quality control, and worker logistics, and to produce leading indicators for safety and building protocol control. The concept of reference tags will be utilized along with a cloud server, mobile field devices, and software to assist the project managers with staying connected with the job site, from supply chain management to installation. Hardware components include RFID tags, portal RFID readers, fixed turn-style readers, and mobile handheld devices. The system was deployed on a 900 thousand square feet hospital project that consisted of three major buildings, 125 contractors, and 1,200 workers. Preliminary results show that the integration of these technologies enhances productivity, reduces scheduling issues, assists in subcontractor management, and provides real-time information on deployed crews and building activities. High-level metrics have been developed at the project and large contractor level. Additionally, the system also provided real-time information on local worker participation as part of the project goal. Based on experimental analysis, we demonstrate that the RFID and BIM system is a practical and resourceful tool to provide real-time information and location tracking to increase safety, security, and building protocol control.

Keywords: Asset tracking,Building information modeling (BIM),Building protocol,Cloud Server,Human resources,Passive radio frequency identification (RFID),Project management,Quality control,Safety,Security,Worker Logistics

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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D. Grau, C. H. Caldas, C.T. Haas, P.M. Goodrum & J. Gong

Leveraging Materials Tracking Technologies to Improve Industrial Project Performance

Abstract: The perception that the intertwinement between field materials management and advanced sensing technologies can highly benefit field operations has gained widespread acceptance among industry representatives. Indeed, past research efforts have demonstrated the feasibility of technology-based and automated approaches to handle materials. In spite of their success, material components are still manually handled. This lack of innovation is mostly a consequence of the undemonstrated cost effectiveness of these technology-enabled approaches. This study evaluates the impact of an automated tracking approach on project performance. For this purpose, a massive experiment was designed. In this experiment, the site tracking approach was taken as the baseline for comparison with an automated tracking approach, which was supported by localization and identification sensors. For each tracking method, field records associated with four hundred steel components were collected. The experimental results demonstrate that sensing technologies have a clear and positive impact on craft labor and installation processes.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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D. Grau

Characterizing the Non-Value-Added Relocation of Non-Bulk Components on Storage Yards

Abstract: In order to improve the effectiveness of an uncertain process _the outcomes of which cannot be predicted, key players need to unfold the variables that hide behind it and measure their impact on the process. Currently, the process of relocating non-bulk materials on storage yards mostly falls under this uncertainty domain. While the fact that pre-fabricated items need to be repositioned for purposes other than those strictly productive is widely assumed by industry organizations, there is a lack of detailed research to understand these non-value-added relocations. This research relies on a case study to analyze and to quantify the non-value-added relocation of steel components. The analysis of their daily position coordinates coupled with the characteristics of these steel components is used to characterize their relocations on a typical yard. Preliminary results indicate that the percentage of components unnecessarily repositioned is much larger than actually perceived by industry organizations.

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