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Vanier D J, Mellon B S, Thomas R, Worling J L

Management of Construction Information Technology

Abstract: Technology transfer is a buzz word of the 1990's; in many cases this means making research results and technical information available to construction practitioners. Large government and professional organizations own, manage and distribute tomes of information to a wide selection of clients. In the existing situation the default medium is paper; most agencies in an industry work independently of each other; and the distribution network for the information is slow and uncoordinated. Conventional computer technology provides an inexpensive alternative to the paper medium. Compact Disk Read Only Memory is one of many technologies available to information suppliers; others include read-write optical disks, Compact Disk-Interactive and distributed networks such as Gopher or the World Wide Web. Off-the-shelf packages now enable information suppliers to produce and distribute their information using in-house resources without having to go to outside sources. Many technologies permit cooperative publishing and distribution ventures between industry-related suppliers without affecting the suppliers ' document pricing. In light of these new technologies, distribution could be near instantaneous and accomplished at significantly reduced costs, In addition, many software companies are now providing turnkey services to capture, organize and distribute electronic information for the information suppliers. This paper outlines the information technology activities of the Institute for Research in Construction -- past, present, and future. It describes the experience gained from the production of the Construction Resources compact disk by the Institute and summarizes the findings of a survey of the beta test sites using user-friendly, interactive software. The paper outlines technologies available to information suppliers including distributed networks, the Internet, and optical disk technology.

Keywords: information technology; technical information; building standards; computers

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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.


Weener R J

"The concept of hierarchical levels; an overall concept for a full automatic concrete design including the education of concrete. The case MatrixFrame? versus EuroCadCrete."

Abstract: "1. The exception proves the rule; Knowledge Based Automatic Concrete Design From the early 80 till the second half of 1990 the software Matrix developed for structural engineers was based on the MsDOS platform. In those years the codechecking distinguished itself by an extremely enforced integrated approach. A complete structural design including the generation of drawings could be realized at once, with one press on the button. In this concept there was no room for the intervening interaction of civil engineers. They had little or no influence on unforeseen situations or shortcomings in the automatic analysis of boundary conditions or the automatic design. The fact that we were secured of the cooperation of civil engineers (experts) concerning improvements makes it possible for us to make our knowledge based system even more complete. 2. The exception becomes the rule; Interactive Concrete Engineering A disadvantage of a full automatic structural design is the existence of exceptional cases. Every case needs to be programmed which leads to a huge programming effort. In order to complete the last 20% you need a programming effort of 80% of the total period. Another disadvantage is the different approach by the government for using software for code checking. The new Windows software is based on a structure very close related to the level of code checking. All the relevant parameters can be manipulated. The link to the code is absolutely clear by the visualization of the applied code article as well as the provided value and the required value. 3. The 80-20 rule; The concept of hierarchical levels 80% of his time a civil engineer is using only 20% of the functionality of his software for structural analysis. A program doesn’t need to be too complex for daily use. When you think in different levels you can manage the 80% for daily use, as well as the 20% for the advanced topics in 1 program. The computer, using generative processes, without intervening interactions can work out 80% of all calculations. When you think in levels it is possible to work out the other 20% by the same program. 4. Ruling by exception; Computer Aided Learning system 10 years ago the TU-Delft developed a CAD exercise. During this period more than 1500 students used these exercises for their training. This CAD exercise was developed in order to support students in dimensioning, analyzing and detailing concrete structures, after the introductory lecture in designing and constructing concrete in their third academic year. EUROCADCRETE is a continuation of the CAD exercise mentioned above and is based on the educational version of MatrixFrame 2D-Frame and on the experience of the TU-Delft during the lessons of the CAD Concrete exercise. Students at home can define the structural analysis part of the exercise. Then the prepared job can be worked out according to the EuroCode in the EUROCADCRETE environment. The last part of the exercise gives the student the opportunity to perform parametric studies. By means of exercises and by providing interactive tools students gain a clear insight in the nature of reinforced concrete, which is the aim of this job. A learning system like EUROCADCRETE is a combination of, on the one side, a Graphical User Interface based on the lowest level, and a check mechanism and parametric study on the other side, which is based on the advanced level within the concept of hierarchical levels."

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Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.062219) class.analysis (0.050748) class.deployment (0.037199)
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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


Woksepp S, Tullberg O

VR modeling in built & environment - some experiences and directions in site operations

Abstract: In this paper, we will share our experiences of producing a Virtual Reality (VR) model of a large and complex building, and indicate some areas where this can be implemented in the normal planning and construction process. The approach will be applied in an actual project – the building of a new hotel and office block in Gothenburg, Sweden. The relevance of the VR model created in this study was investigated and reported separately (Woksepp, 2002). The VR concept used in this study can briefly be described as: Firstly, a 3D model was created from traditional paper and 2D/3D CAD drawings. Then, the 3D model was imported into a rendering program where mapping coordinates, textures and additional objects were added. The complete model was then converted to a suitable VR format. Finally, the model was imported to a VR visualisation tool where additional user oriented features were added. Although the method used to produce the VR model described in this paper by no means represents the optimal course of action, we can nevertheless conclude that the investment required to create a VR model is low, while offering extensive potential. Our on-site research demonstrated widespread agreement that the VR model enhanced understanding of the building for all involved. This study relates not only the experiences gained from producing the VR model and the new directions this has opened up, but also certain new issues of interest for future studies.

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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.


Wu K-C,Tang Y-M,Chen H-C,Lin C-J,Lee Y-H

The information seeking navigation interface with spatial icons for children

Abstract: This study is to develop an Information Seeking Navigation Interface with Spatial Icons for children. Designing a way-finder in Human–computer Interaction (HCI) will make seeking information easier for children. Developing a spatial icon-seeking interface can assist children as they explore digital learning. It is for this reason that we designed a new user interface in 3D which assists the human user in seeking information through the way-finder. The original idea of this study arose from the fact that humans have different spatial abilities, and that means humans should benefit from using a mental map before searching for information on the Web. Children have limited information-searching skills and exhibit different information seeking behavioural patterns through different media-type interfaces. The field testing part of this study was done at Taiwan’s National Library of Public Information using its resource database. Taking into account the varying spatial abilities in children, this study uses three research impact factors: (1) Spatial Visualization, (2) Associative Memory, and (3) Spatial Memory. With a focus on these three factors, the recording of the experiment data, which was taken from elementary school students ageing from 7 to 11 years old, was conducted. The goal of this study is to assist children in building a mental map from this user interface. Through usability testing and statistical analysis, we not only can better understand the way children use the spatial iconography seeking interface, but also the underlying cognitive theory, and find out how the way finding behaviour emerges. The spatial information search system can be used as an information base to improve the development of the spatial Interface design.

Keywords: Information seeking habits of children,child spatial cognition,HCI

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Y Kawanai

A Study on the Asset Management of Japan Road Bridges for the Future - Plan for the Low Cost Maintenance with New System and IT Means

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Yang Ji, Andre Borrmann, Johannes Wimmer, Willibald A. Gunthner

Bidirectional Coupling of Macroscopic Optimization and Microscopic Simulation Of Earthwork Processes

Abstract: In the research project “ForBAU – The Virtual Construction Site” [Bormann et al. 2009], an integrated 3D model-based framework for simulating earthwork processes has been developed. This simulation framework consists of two major parts: an earthwork modeling and assessment tool ForBAU Integrator which integrates road, subsoil and terrain model in a holistic model and provides high-accurate quantity takeoffs of the earth movement as simulation source data [Ji et al. 2009]; The second important part is a discrete event-based simulation tool used to model and simulate earthwork processes in detail [Wimmer et al. 2010]. Both tools communicate via an XML interface. In addition of generating quantitative simulation source data, the ForBAU Integrator has been extended by the ability to model earthwork optimization problems using bipartite graphs and to solve these problems with linear programming techniques [Ji et al. 2010]. One of these problems is the Earthwork Allocation Problem (EAP). Here, the optimization objective is determining the optimal assignments of cut to fill areas such that minimal transportation costs incur. Beyond these research results, this paper presents a bidirectional coupling concept between microscopic simulation and macroscopic earthwork optimization. The aim of this approach is iteratively increasing the accuracy of the simulation results in the entire framework. On the one hand, the exactly optimized cut-to-fill assignments are subjected to the mathematical equations which describe upper and lower capacity limitation of respective cut or fill areas as well as the efficient distance between them. This optimization result implies the most effective way for the earth movement from a global point of view, regardless of any resource restrictions. On the other hand, the resource assignments and processing details are modeled on the simulation platform. The actual transportation time of the cut-to-fill earth movement (excavation, load, transportation, compaction, etc.) can be closely estimated in the simulation environment. The key issue behind this concept is to define an iterative parameter exchange between the two different subsystems. Obviously, two possible coupling-parameters can be applied in this case: the cut-to-fill assignments and the corresponding processing time. The iteration starts by initializing the cost function with an average processing time. The optimizer calculates based on this trivial cost function the optimal cut-to-fill assignments as input data for the simulator. After the simulation is finished, the simulated processing times will be re-imported for updating the cost function in the optimizer. The iteration process should end with a converging processing time of earthwork movements. This concept is already implemented and will soon be evaluated by means of a federal high-way construction project in Germany.REFERENCESA. Borrmann, Y. Ji, I-C. Wu, M. Obergrießer, E. Rank, C. Klaubert, W. Günthner: ForBAU - The Virtual Construction Site Project. In: Proc. of the 26th CIB-W78 Conference on Managing IT in Construction. Istanbul, Turkey, October 2009. Y. Ji, A. Borrmann, E. Rank, J. Wimmer, W. Günthner: An Integrated 3D Simulation Framework for Earthwork Processes. In: Proc. of the 26th CIB-W78 Conference on Managing IT in Construction. Istanbul, Turkey, October 2009. J. Wimmer, Y. Ji, T. Horenburg, A. Borrmann, W. Günthner, E. Rank: Evaluation of the 3D Model-based Earthwork Process Simulation in Practice. In: Proc. of the 14th ASIM-Conference Simulation in Production and Logistic (ASIM2010), Karlsruhe, Germany, October 2010, (to appear).Y. Ji, F. Seipp, A. Borrmann, S. Ruzika, E. Rank: Mathematical Modeling of Earthwork Optimization Problems. In: Proc. of the International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering 2010 (ICCCBE 2010), Nottingham, UK, Juli 2010.

Keywords: bidirectional coupling, earthwork, optimization, simulation, road construction

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Yaqub Rafiq, Martin Beck, Pieter De Wilde

Interactive visualisation as a tool for interpreting building thermal simulation results

Abstract: During building design there is a growing need to reduce energy usage whilst maintaining the comfort of the occupants. The latter is referred to as ‘thermal comfort’ and can be measured by the extent that the internal tem-perature of the building does not exceed a specified comfort level. Traditionally these two measures of building per-formance are seen as a trade off. Moreover, energy efficient building design is a complex process involving a large number of design variables each of which differentially affect both energy usage and thermal comfort. There is a vast search space to be traversed to find an optimal set of potentially good designs. This coupled with computationally ex-pensive building performance simulation software leads to a problem which is potentially intractable. In the past the authors have used the Interactive Visualisation Clustered Genetic Algorithms (IVCGA) to address some of the com-plexities of multi-disciplinary building design problems. The aim of this paper is to apply the IVCGA to allow the build-ing designer (physicist) to: Firstly discover a set of potential design solutions which meet the design objectives of mini-mal energy usage and maximal thermal comfort individually; Secondly discover a set of potential design solutions which are common to all objectives (mutually inclusive region); Thirdly present a means to understand the impact that particular design variables have upon each objective.

Keywords: genetic algorithms, visualisation, design, thermal simulation

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Zarli A, Rezgui Y

A survey of internet-oriented technologies for document-driven applications in construction open dynamic virtual environments

Abstract: "Various technologies ranging from standards for data exchange and product / process modeling, to integration through the use of object-oriented technologies, have been experimented and used in order to highlight the benefits of information and communication technologies in the construction domain. In particular, this last decade has seen a tremendous activity in new specifications and developments of standards and architectures for enterprise application integration. Indeed, integration and seamless communication between software applications (proprietary and commercial) are increasingly becoming fundamental issues tackled by a variety of emerging technologies. However, all these latest IT developments didn’t have the expected impact on the construction industry. This is due to several factors, including poor investment in construction IT by SMEs, and mismatch between IT innovations and Construction industry needs. In fact, behind the global issue of application integration within the (real or virtual) enterprise, appear a lot of architectural problems (along with the “right” selection of tools, toolboxes and infrastructures) that take a critical dimension in the case of open systems and standard issues. The building sector is essentially characterised by its fragmentation, with a high proportion of SMEs involved in the design and build process of Construction projects: this means, from a macroscopic point of view, that designed infrastructures must be adequate to support Extranets and Virtual enterprises. Consequently, the problematic is not only to ensure internal communication between systems as in a single, even large, company, but to provide the required capacity to exchange information and collaborate outside the boundaries of the information systems constituting the IT infrastructure of a company, including means to organise the flow of information and the co-ordination of tasks. To address the issues of communication and interoperability, several routes have been explored and are still under development: after an initial phase related to bulk exchange of documents, middleware has become the focus, with investigations around CORBA or DCOM (for middleware-oriented application integration), and MOM (for the routing and formatting “on-the-fly” of messages). More recently, new architectures have been suggested, especially the now well-known 3-Tier based architecture and application servers (Client desktop – middle-tier Web or application server – DBMS/persistent storage). Eventually, technologies dedicated to the Web has risen, particularly the XML technology, and Java-oriented technologies like JSP and servlets. Driven by the identification of intra- and inter-company business processes and information / process requirements of the Construction domain, and also on case studies and experiments conducted in previous European projects, including VEGA, GENIAL and CONDOR, this paper proposes a survey and first evaluation of open Internet-oriented technology and standards for use in open dynamic virtual environments, and analyses the potential usefulness of some current technologies, specifically MOM, CORBA, XML, and application servers (for the handling of business objects). The paper also highlights the benefits of using XML, as a technology for flexible and dynamic representation of complex objects (including documents) and their stream-based interchange, along with distributed object frameworks such as CORBA for remote access to data. Finally, the paper concentrates on the need related to the design of an infrastructure for application integration and tasks collaboration, and elaborates on how recent IT fit into architectures required for the specific needs and peculiarities of the construction industry. 1. Message Oriented Middleware. 2. Java Server Pages. 3. This work is realised in the scope of the OSMOS European project: Open System for inter-enterprise information Management in dynamic virtual envirOnmentS, IST-1999-10491 project."

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Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.software-software (0.082384) class.communication (0.039950) class.collaboration (0.028661)
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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


Žiga Turk

Migration risks OF construction informatics research

Abstract: The paper presents a study on the barriers to the implementation of construction informatics research results. The study was based on a survey among the participants of the 5th Framework EU projects, particularly among the members of the ICCI Project Cluster. Underlying the study is a generic process model of research, development and technology transfer (RDPM) that claims that research results are fed into the industrial use by means of (1) software development, (2) standardization and (3) education. The RDPM model is used to identify the frictions and barriers obstructing the migration of knowledge and introducing risks of a created technology not being implemented by the industry. A survey has been designed and executed on-line in the fall of 2003 asking specific questions about the current and future research as well as about the obstacles. Three groups of persons were invited to take the survey: (1) partners in the ICCI member projects, (2) partners in other EU projects related to construction as well as (3) other members of the construction IT scientific community.

Keywords: technology transfer, barriers and frictions, construction informatics, research policy, European Projects, ICCI

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Series: w78:2004 (browse)
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