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Bloomfield D P

The role of case studies in the uptake of innovation in construction

Abstract: The UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has initiated a Construction Best Practice programme. The primary objective is to improve management best practices. The technical performance of the industry also needs to be improved by identifying and promoting opportunities for industry to adopt new technical innovations and incorporate them into standard practices. Accordingly, a series of Technical Best Practice initiatives will be set up. One of these will cover Construction IT. It is expected that Case Study material will form an important element of the IT Best Practice programme. Concrete examples of use of technology in practice are likely to be more convincing than simple exhortations and theoretical reports. There are three major issues that need to be addressed. 1. A Case Study is, by its nature, very specific and it can be difficult for the reader to ascertain if there is sufficient commonality between the problem described and the situation that he/she faces in order to assess whether the solutions are applicable. 2. It is difficult to describe the problem and solutions in sufficient detail, yet in a way that encourages the material to be read, understood and used. Ideally a common format needs to be developed for describing the key facts. 3. A further aspect of importance is how to determine what applications are most in need of Case Studies. Limited resources are available and it is essential that these are targeted in such a way as to produce maximum returns for the industry as a whole. This paper describes a framework for addressing these three issues and will provide an update of the work of the UK Construction IT Technical Best Practice programme.

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Full text: content.pdf (48,114 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.009079) class.social (0.005934) class.legal (0.002856)
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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.


Brien M J O', Al-Biqami N M

Survey of information technology and the structure of the Saudi Arabian construction industry

Abstract: While technical advances are the main drivers in the adoption of Information Technology (IT) in the construction industry, such advances can only be incorporated through a due appreciation of the structures of the industry. Earlier work has shown how the organisational structure of the industry is in large part determined by the nature of the economic and financial exchanges which takes place. New IT initiatives succeed to the degree to which they are congruent with those financial exchanges. In short, economic benefits must accrue. This in turn begs the questions: who benefits, and how are the benefits to be distributed amongst the various parties? The answers to these questions provide the basis for establishing a successful implementation. This short-term 'economic benefits' argument does not, however, preclude a more substantial organisational shift at some later point. In this paper we provide an analysis of the economic structure of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia, and in particular the degree to which IT has established itself in that industrial sector. The Saudi Arabian Construction industry is one of the largest in the world, being devoted to the provision of a large-scale infrastructure. However, in many of its characteristics it is unique. It is these elements of uniqueness which make this particular industry interesting: the uniqueness poses new problems for the developers of novel and innovative IT construction systems. Yet despite these aggregate figures and anecdotal facts the small-scale nature of the construction industry has been poorly researched and documented. The analysis of the economic and organisational structure of the Saudi Arabian IT construction industry provided in this paper provides the fine-grained matrix within which new IT systems can be built. The paper describes an ongoing study of the Saudi Arabian construction industry. It draws together existing facts on the industry and new ones which are being elicited though a large survey of the industry. Finally, it is envisioned that tentative conclusions will be provided on the economic and organisational structure of the industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (82,648 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.028723) class.strategies (0.014463) class.roadmaps (0.014116)
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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.


Chao L C

Simulation of construction operation with direct inputs of physical factors

Abstract: The deterministic approach to estimating the production rate of a construction operation assumes constant midpoint physical attributes without addressing the effect of randomness of job conditions. On the other hand, most simulation models bypass physical factors and rely on secondorder inputs of probability distributions of task times, the judgements of which have been cited as difficult for users to make. This paper presents an alternative approach to production estimation, based on simulating directly the effects of changing job factors on task times, while addressing the probabilistic nature of construction. The neural network model is used as the computing mechanism for determining the cycle times of the equipment in given conditions and provides the basis for estimation. The obtained times are then fed directly into a discrete-event simulation model to simulate the process and establish the production capacity of the system as constrained by first-order factors. The approach is illustrated using a hypothetical excavating and hauling operation while the object-oriented programming technique is used to implement the computing procedure.

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Full text: content.pdf (72,259 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.analysis (0.027295) class.software development (0.021146) class.software-machine (0.005241)
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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.


Chiu M-L

The Nature of Managing IT and Its Managerial Challenges

Abstract: Management of information technology (IT) is increasingly important for organizations and users at the work environment. This paper, first, introduces the way IT is changing the work environment. Second, failure to integrate IT, building systems and the work environment is addressed as a result of the subdivision of responsibility by professional discipline and poor communications in team decision-making. Third, this paper describes the nature of managing IT, which is a life-cycle activity and a problem-solving business. Furthermore, managing IT requires multi-disciplinary participation in the delivery process. Finally, four managerial challenges are provided for all professions in the field, including to assess what the users need, plan for better systems integration, manage the project delivery process effectively, and use computer aids for education and training.

Keywords: information technology; project delivery process; decision-making; management; computer aids

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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.


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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Full text: content.pdf (832,570 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Costa F

The S:ITEC model: An integrated system of treatment of data and knowledge in construction

Abstract: Recently, in the field of Computer Aided Design (CAD), notable efforts have been made with theoretical results largely unproven due mainly to the difficulties of the large scale production required. On the other hand, other applications of an excessively practical nature have been developed which, however, present a high degree of difficulty in bringing about their integration. In the first case we would include, for example, representational Models and Classification Systems andin the second case the various CAD systems as well as the partial integration work carried out although often at a high level of specialization. This work means that, although each time we get nearer to reaching the goal where all these efforts would coincide, no concrete systemadaptable to the majority of models proposed has really yet been put forward or used for the various applications developed. A system whichwould meet these needs must do so in a single, integral manner (whicheven could be standardized in the most universal way possible) so that finally-the user could at any moment control in real time each and every one of the various decisions which must be taken along the difficult design path, understood as the process of conception. In order to achieve these objectives, what becomes fundamental is the adequate treatment of the various methods and elements on which we depend, in order to carry out our task so that, in some way or other, we can simplifyand reduce them to two single elements: Data and Knowledge. While it is certain that in the first case there is almost complete coincidenceamong most of the existing proposals in various parts of the world, in the second case there exists a wide range of approaches as well as arelative lack of concretion. The SITEC model (Integrated System for Treatment of Construction Elements), a research project being developedby the Catalan Institute of Construction Technology, is shown to be capable of providing the necessary integrat

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Full text: content.pdf (1,001,313 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1992 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.028882) class.impact (0.010540) class.analysis (0.008722)
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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.


Crook D, Rooke J, Seymour D

Research techniques in construction information technology

Abstract: An important strategic issue in the use of IT by construction organisations is its use as an enabling technology for re-engineering the construction process. An examination of research reveals a tendency in IT research to adopt a mechanical systems view of an organisation’s activities: the organisation is treated as a complex of ‘black box’ processes or sub-systems linked by information flows. It is suggested that although this may be necessary for the production of a computer model, a detailed study of the empirical world, which the model is intended to represent, is a prior requisite if the system designed is to meet its purposes.We argue that the current assumptions made in construction IT research characterise a dominant ‘rationalist’ research paradigm. The main feature of this paradigm is belief in the objective reality of information or data: this has the effect of excluding from consideration the meaning or semantic content of information. A consequence is that the processes which are the interpretive context for information and data are ignored as matters for study. Information requirements within the system are treated as unproblematic, and do not seem to be adequately addressed by researchers within this paradigm.We suggest that research where an insufficient examination of the empirical world is undertaken misrepresents the nature of the processes under study. It also highlights the limitations of a positivistic approach to research. We note the emergence of ‘soft systems methodologies’ as an attempt to address these issues, and a call within the construction IT research community to recognise their importance, albeit one which may as yet have gone unheeded.In order to develop a more coherent research strategy for construction IT, we present an alternative, interpretive research paradigm which seeks to provide an appropriate footing on which to model socio-technical phenomena. We introduce the concept of participant observation-supported software development, which may help to remedy some of the problems identified.

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Full text: content.pdf (57,809 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.022904) class.strategies (0.019865) class.communication (0.008767)
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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.


D. Chitchian & S.I. Sariyildiz

A Pattern Based 3D Modeling Tool

Abstract: Historically human beings have tried to decorate their environment with various elements such as symbols, shapes, textures and so on. Therefore, in various cultures and periods beautiful patterns and textures have been created by humans. Geometry helps us not only to understand also to recreate existing patterns in nature. Our aim was developing a 3D modeling tool for patterns deployment in design. Not to reinvent the wheel, we based our development on Maya one of the best existing graphical modeling software. Developed tool eases and facilitates deployment of patterns in design. Our tool’s features and functions help users to create patterns, to transform patterns into design objects such as building blocks, green areas, water ponds and so on, also to create final design from a few initial patterns using some kind of spatial transformations. We do believe introducing this tool to the community of designers, like architects, urban planners and site constructors, will be appreciated by them as a desirable modeling tool they need.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Daoud Kiomjian, F. Jordan Srour and Issam Srour

Using ABM to Evaluate the Impact of Social Networks on Construction Labor Productivity

Abstract: Labour productivity depends on a wide variety of factors, some of which pertain to characteristics of the construction crews themselves. Several of these factors such as language and demographics are described in the literature as soft or intangible and are of stochastic nature. As such, traditional deterministic modelling techniques are not sufficient to capture the full picture of the factors that come into play when considering construction labour productivity. Agent based modelling (ABM), a simulation technique with growing popularity, presents a powerful candidate for modelling construction sites due to its properties and ability to consider social aspects. This paper demonstrates that ABM is an acceptable paradigm for studying the effect of both tangible and soft features on construction labour productivity.

Keywords: Labour Productivity, Agent Based Modelling, Social Networks, Simulation

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0112

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Series: jc3:2017 (browse)
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Debras P, Rezgui Y

Software systems for the integration of documentary engineering within a construction project

Abstract: Numerous documents of diverse nature are involved in the construction process. Some of them such as building codes, examples of technical solutions, computation rules, define the legal context of a project. Others like technical specification documents or bills of quantities are generated by the engineering activities and often have a contractual importance. Quality of the laters may be measured by their coherency with the regulation, with the documents previously approved, but also by their coherency with the construction project itself through the absence of errors, omissions or redundancies. Once elaborated, these documents should also prove ability to be used by various actors with specific needs or requests. We describe here our approach to manage the production of these documents in tight connection with the engineering entities describing a construction project. Such a connection is based on a conceptual model of the project through its various systems and entities as proposed within the STEP framework. Such a connection relies also on a formal representation of the documents, practically SGML Document Type Definitions, and on a set of document templates linked to the construction project model and from which the project documents will be derived :from a global set of documentary items, we will only retain the relevant sections towards a given project. Then we present a software platform we develop to operate such an approach. This platform encompasses various modules taking in charge the elaboration of project data models according to the Express-G methodology, supporting the production of SGML DTDs and associated documents templates, providing some frames and facilities to link the project model and the document templates.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,572,450 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.legal (0.045495) class.store (0.018764) class.synthesis (0.017579)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


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