Akbas R, Fischer M, Kunz J, Schwegler B
Use of domain knowledge, product models and geometric algorithms for generation of construction zones
Abstract: We present a layered approach for automated generation of construction zones from 3D CAD models for construction planning and scheduling. The existence of 3D models and product models provides an opportunity for planners and schedulers to consider zoning alternatives and represent and visualize production information in detail. Construction zones are spaces, or groups of spaces, which serve as units of work in the construction planning process. Failure to define construction zones properly may increase overall project duration and impact workflow adversely. Today, zone definitions are generally ad-hoc. Formal definitions and mechanisms to generate construction zone information are not available in commercially available software.We have defined a three-layer computational framework in a prototype construction management software tool to generate detailed information about construction zones. The framework separates the construction-based information from the product model representation and geometric information. Each layer is extensible and testable without the other layers. The highest layer (Layer3) contains domain knowledge about zones, i.e., types of zones and factors or constraints affecting construction zone definition. For example, a shape factor takes into account the changes in production rates due to local variations of geometry. The shape factor also allows the representation of an idle crew because of a nearby activity, missing support or unavailability of materials. Layer 2 manages the changes in the product and process models that are necessary to generate zones. Additionally, it uses zoning knowledge to maintain consistent schedules at multiple levels of detail. Layer 1 is the geometric level that contains the geometric algorithms to create the subdivisions and aggregations using the geometric shape representation of the building components. Instead of considering a fixed geometric representation for a component, we provide a flexible triangular mesh shape representation, breaking-up or aggregating component geometry as necessary.
With the results of this research, professionals will be able to simulate and visualize construction processes more accurately and link design and construction data more tightly to explore design-build scenarios rapidly and communicate them effectively.
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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.
Fischer M, Betts M, Hannus M, Yamazaki Y, Laitinen J
Goals, dimensions, and approaches for computer integrated construction
Abstract: The recent years have seen significant research in the area of
computer-integrated construction (CIC). CIC research has been largely
technology driven and is usually seen as good per se. Researchers often
neglect to describe the expected engineering impact of the solution they
propose and typically fail to test how well the developed solution addresses
particular problems of industry or whether any such problem is being faced.
An important reason for this, we argue, is that we still lack an overall vision
for the goals of CIC and are missing a unifying framework that defines CIC
and its application in the engineering context. Furthermore, CIC research has
been surprisingly fragmented. This paper proposes a framework that
measures several main dimensions of CIC. The purpose of this framework
is to assess the current state of CIC in particular frms, to provide a focus for
research and implementation of CIC, and to position and compare different
Keywords: information technology; integration; automation; computer integrated
construction; engineering process
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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.
Gustav Jansson, Helena Johnsson
CONCURRENT ENGINEERING IN EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS: CASE STUDY SVARTO_BERGET
Abstract: Each year, Lulea_ University of Technology teach 40 civil engineering students and 45 architectural engineering students basic knowledge in the construction process through a simulated real-life situation. In the third year, the grand total of 85 students is brought together and taught their respective professional roles through acting as experts within 6 different fields in the realization of a residential area. Research in the last decades has identified concurrent engineering as a possible method for streamlining the design phase in the construction process. The student project was therefore planned with a concurrent engineering approach, where all student groups start their work at the same time. The pedagogy was to teach students a new approach to working in large projects, with the side effect of testing if concurrent engineering is feasible also in educational projects.Information is shared between groups through live documents on a project portal. Project coordination and communication is handled by 21 project leaders who meet regularly to exchange information between groups and detect missing information needed from other groups. Project planning is made through a method adopted from lean construction; Look Ahead Planning, which is part of the Last Planner method. IT-support is used to produce data and perform calculations but also as a tool for quality assurance across groups. All data is eventually summed up and presented in a virtual reality model of the new residential area. The VR model is gradually refined and the structure for delivering information into the model is drawn up by 6 appointed IT coordinators.
Keywords: concurrent engineering, construction process, under-graduate education, last planner method
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Ivan Mutis, Raja R.A. Issa, Ian Flood
Missing fundamental stratum of the current forms of the representation of concepts in construction
Abstract: The generation of concepts in the construction industry involves the interpretation of syntactically defined symbolic notations, such as logic, frames, semantic networks, natural language, and of other forms such as visual rep-resentations. These notations are deliberately organized to define concepts. Models as forms of representations are based on symbols that are aimed at referring to some entities of the world with properties and relations apprehended within them. Models involve grouping a set of relations, which characterize concepts, with the purpose of sharing and understanding these concepts by members of the community. However, models suffer the limitations that logic and the symbolic notations bear, because they cannot capture the richness of the phenomena of the world in their syntactic no-tation nor other intentionality features. Other forms of representations such as visual representations suffer the same limitations. An analysis of the nature of the representations employed in the construction industry suggests the inclusion of the ac-tor’s role in a new stratum for generating representations of construction concepts. This actor, who manipulates or generates the representation for communicating concepts, is committed to the intentionality aspects of the represented concept that are not captured in current forms of the representation. The inclusion of these and other phenomenological aspects concerning the nature of the representation are intended to generate representations for accurate interpreta-tions. The modus operandi with these representations indicates a subsequent interpretation by other actors or project participants. The inclusion of this stratum promises a significant progress in creating efficiency in interoperability on construction projects. The assumption is that the representations are cognitive manifestations of common, shared con-cepts employed by the construction industry community. This analysis is supported and developed through the semiotic theory which addresses the nature of the representations through signs and the role of agents with the representations and with the external physical domain. This study attempts to approximate semiotics as an experience that illustrates the reasoning process from external rep-resentations and the role of intentionality in employing external representations. This experience inquires about the form of the correspondence of the perceived, entity, event, and relations, or, in other words, a correspondence of a phe-nomenon in the world with the concept in the construction participant’s mind. In addition, the purpose of this experi-ence is to provide direction to the method of how semantics aspects should be understood to give interpretations for concepts employed in the construction industry.
Keywords: semiotics, construction concepts, representations, interpretation
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Ling Ma, Rafael Sacks and Uri Kattel
Building Model Object Classification for Semantic Enrichment Using Geometric Features and Pairwise Spatial Relationships
Abstract: Semantic enrichment is a process of supplementing/correcting information in a poorly prepared BIM model. Object classifications are essential information, but are commonly missing or incorrectly represented when transferring a BIM model or creating a model using tools customized for other domains in design. Automated compilation of 'as-is' BIM models from point cloud data also requires object classification, as well as 3D reconstruction. We present a systematic approach to classifying objects in a BIM model, for use in future semantic enrichment systems. Previous work on object classification in BIM model enrichment was restricted by its limited ability to accurately interpret geometric and spatial features and by the constraints of Boolean logic rules and the rule compilation process. To address these issues, we propose a procedure for establishing a knowledge base that associates objects with their features and relationships, and a matching algorithm based on a similarity measurement between the knowledge base and facts. An implementation on a synthetic bridge model shows that whereas some objects can be classified by shape features alone, most objects require the use of spatial relations for unique classification. Spatial context is more likely uniquely identify an object than shape features are.
Keywords: Building Information Modelling, Semantic Enrichment, Geometric Feature, Spatial Relation, Object Classification
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M Otreba, D Brennan,K Menzel
Knowledge Management for Integrated Energy Demand, Supply in Buildings ,Campus and District
Abstract: The aim of this research is to produce, from an energy management perspective, a detailed description of the University College Cork, (UCC), campus district heating network. Based on the detailed description of the Campus Network and gathered data, multiple simulations will be carried out to test behavior of three selected buildings with regard to the network’s and buildings’ performance. This paper introduce to the exercise of data collection of existing network. It also defines how to use simulation where some data is missing. Finally it proposes a general idea for knowledge management system that could compile all the information that is necessary to determine campus performance.
Keywords: District energy management, performance analysis, building stock, Building Information Modeling.
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Markus Schorr, Andre Borrmann, Cornelia Klaubert, Yang Ji, Willibald Gunthner, Ernst Rank
A Product Lifecycle Management Approach for Civil Engineering Projects
Abstract: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) is a strategic concept to develop, manage and keep control of industrial products over their entire lifecycle. The concept comprises IT-systems as well as methods, business processes and organizational structures (Arnold, 2005). The most essential component for a PLM implementation is product data management (PDM) systems that administrate all the data from initial ideas, drafts and drawings to information on the manufacture and maintenance on a central storage platform (Stark, 2005). Compared to document management systems, PDM systems provide part-oriented functions required for linking components, corresponding 3D models and drawings as well as any other related documents in a clearly arranged pattern. In addition, they also provide a convenient means of transferring and incorporating data from CAD-systems into the central storage platform. Combined with cleverly devised access rights management and an integrated workflow engine, PDM systems appear to be a good information management solution in civil engineering projects.Since those systems are designed to serve in-house information management procedures in the mechanical engineering industry, however, they have not been used for civil engineering projects so far (Borrmann, 2009). This is due to the fact that special requirements needed in construction projects have not been fulfilled yet. This paper describes both the concept and the implementation of a PDM system customized to manage data arising in civil engineering projects. As well as discussing specific requirements, it also introduces the implementation of necessary adjustments and several add-ons are presented. Thus the paper shows how an adapted PDM system originally developed for the mechanical engineering industry enables a company-wide component-oriented management of all relevant data over the entire lifecycle of a building. Beyond that, todayâ€™s inadequacies and missing features for using PDM systems in civil engineering projects are described.
Keywords: Building Lifecycle Management, Product Data Management, Document Management, Data Acquisition and Storage, Information and Knowledge Management
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Martin Hooper, Anders Ekholm
A Pilot Study: Towards BIM Integration - An Analysis of Design Information Exchange & Coordination
Abstract: Construction projects are costing too much and taking too long as a consequence of unnecessary omissions and errors in project documentation and sub-optimal co-ordination of design information between consultant disciplines. One reason for this is that much project production information relies substantially on human input and subsequent multiple manual checks and cross-referencing operations which, on projects laden with design data, inevitably leads to errors or missing information. If implemented intelligently BIM may offer a solution.Typically projects are becoming increasing complicated in nature, requiring more specialist discipline input resulting in a much greater volume of technical information which in turn requires to be co-ordinated and kept up-to-date and relevant through the life cycle of a project. In such contexts conventional project filing systems and information work-flows are becoming un-manageable and there appears to be a need for more clearly defined and agreed information deliveries which if adequately tested, could be standardised. The theory behind BIM provides an exciting integrated solution for project information management however in this new process further effort is required to define the content of information deliveries and a number of basic who?- what?- when?- how?- questions relating to object and property definitions need to be resolved.This study investigates and attempts to define the functional requirements for integrated information management through the design stages of a construction project focusing on architectural practice requirements within the residential sector in Sweden. The pilot study aims to prepare for the development of an extensive study of information deliveries and standardisation needs using BIM.The study utilises buildingSMART Alliance's new Building Information Modelling Execution Planning Guide together with a case residential construction project in Sweden. The principle BIM planning procedures are applied to the case, tuning requirements to the specific project and localised to support Swedish classification standards. Through the enquiries required to develop and define these processes, a new information exchange protocol emerges, tuned to the Swedish residential sector.
Keywords: BIM, information exchange, design coordination
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Converting CAD Drawings to Product Models
Abstract: The fundamental aim of this study is to examine whether it is
possible to automatically convert vector-based drawings to product
models. The reason for doing this is that the new object-based
systems cannot make use of the information stored in CAD
drawings, which limits the usability of these systems.
Converting paper drawings to vector-format is used today and
provides recognition of lines and text, but does not interpret what
the shapes represent. A language for describing the geometrical
representations that could be processed directly into a recognition
program for building elements is missing. It is easier to describe
how to recognize a line as a series of dots in a raster image, than it
is to describe how a complex symbol of a building element looks
The approach in this research work has been to test different
shape recognition algorithms. The proposed method can be divided
into four processes: grouping of geometrical primitives, classifying
these groups, interpreting the content and analyzing the
relationships between the groups. The algorithms developed here
are based on research within related domains, such as pattern
recognition and artificial intelligence.
The algorithms have been developed in a prototype implementation
and were tested with three layer-structured drawings used in
practice. The results of the tests show that there are no crucial
obstacles to recognizing a large part of the symbols of building
elements in a CAD drawing. The requirement is that the
recognition system is able to differentiate one from another and be
tolerant of errors and variations in the shapes.
Keywords: Product Model, CAD
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Ozsariyildiz S, Tolman F
IT support for the very early design of buildings and civil engineering works
Abstract: Despite a general agreement about the importance of very early design decisions (various sources estimate that between 60% to 80% of the total project costs are determined during this stage), the very early design stage of building and civil engineering projects is not yet adequately supported by IT.
The paper focusses on the problems that are causing the lack of IT support and reports on a possible solution based on the application of Product Data Technology (PDT) and Knowledge Engineering. The paper will show some initial experience with the development and application of an Inception Modeller that implements ideas from the General AEC Reference Model (GARM) as proposed by Wim Gieling in 1988. The development takes place in co-operation with the Brite-Euram CONCUR-project. The system concentrates on the inception and very early design of technical buildings, i.e. buildings in which equipment plays a major role, like power plant buildings, hospitals, factories, etc.
The basic idea is to support the choice and elaboration of Technical Solutions that fulfil the requirements of Functional Units. The knowledge base is structured according to a FU-TS decomposition, or Hamburger model, of the building. A knowledge acquisition tool based on the same Hamburger model is under development and will be explained in some detail in the final paper. The system is implemented in Java, using Clips as the knowledge engine and VRML for the visualization.
Though it is probably still too early to draw any definitive conclusions, it looks as if the structure provided by the FU-TS decomposition is ideal for very early design support. It provides a means to capture and re-use knowledge of successful earlier designs, thus providing a mechanism still missing in the building and construction industry.
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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.