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Brien M J O', Baig A

A semantically rich reference model for building design

Abstract: Much effort has been expended by software developers attempting to build databases suitable for use by those working within the construction industry. Various models from the original RATAS relational database model through to sophisticated process models have been proposed, developed and evaluated. It is probably fair to say that these research efforts have only recently begun to effect the practices of professional construction engineers. This, in part, is due to the need for more sophisticated systems. This paper describes a database that is usable throughout the design and construction processes in the construction industry. The method uses the well-established idea of generic components that can be combined to create a large scale artefact. The novelty of the approach described herein allows the components to embody facts and rules that allow design knowledge to be modelled, captured and retrieved. The facts and rules encapsulate not only the interactions of the various products but also the processes involved in their use. In effect, the atomic primitive elements (both components and rules) can be combined to create complex elements which are semantically rich. The basic ideas and fundamental philosophy of this approach have been described elsewhere. This paper is devoted to describing the detailed implementation of this approach. The content is technical and thorough; it describes how a passive relational database management system, Oracle, has been used to create a new metadata structure for the creation, control and management of the components - both simple and complex. In effect, the relational database becomes active. Thus, the database reacts to design decisions by firing rules which then govern the interaction of the components. The paper presents a detailed description of the underlying architecture and the data model which has been developed. The paper is interesting not only to construction engineers but also to software designers in that it shows how existing database models can be extended by using their predefined data types to create new, and more complex, ones. While this is an old, well-established trick, this application to a real-world problem is a good test of its viability. Finally, a brief review puts this particular approach into the context of the other myriad attempts to create product and process reference models with an evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses.

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Full text: content.pdf (90,426 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.analysis (0.047518) class.man-software (0.016724) class.store (0.013661)
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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.


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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Costin, A., Sedehi, A., Williams, M., Li, L., Bailey, K., and Teizer, J.

Leveraging Passive Radio Frequency Identification Technology in High-Rise Renovation Projects

Abstract: The hypothesis is that leveraging automated data collection technology for site status analysis would play a more significant role in advancing decision making in construction projects if applied to traditional labor intensive management work tasks such as manual data record keeping, progress tracking measurements, and reporting of daily work tasks and process flows; and further, if applied in distributing information back to decision makers including the field management and workforce level. This paper will demonstrate results to a one year long case study on the design, development, and furthermore and mainly, the effective and very affordable implementation of a state-of-the-art wireless passive RFID based technology system that collects and distributes information from and to decision makers. The developed technology was tested for several consecutive months on more than 50 construction workers, material carts, personnel and material lifts, and hundreds of construction material items that were critical in a high-rise building renovation project. Recent research on material tracking, has demonstrated that the implementation of material tracking technology is feasible. Studies have yet to demonstrate whether the same or other technology can be used on other resource types, including workers, and furthermore in advancing technology that works bi-directional: (1) collect and analyze data, and (2) return feedback or other information back to the decision makers. Despite a rigorous cost-benefit, hardware reliability and safety tests, implementation of technology in field operations is often performed on an as-needs basis. Project based case studies are effective research tools to measure the benefits and barriers that technology comes with. This paper defines key metrics to measure success in the phases of data collection, the signal and data processing, and in the use of newly generated or already available information for advanced decision making based on passive RFID technology.

Keywords: RFID; productivity; renovation project; workforce, material, and workforce tracking; automation

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Danijel Rebolj, Riko Šafarič, Andrej Šorgo and Nenad Čuš Babič

SMARTCON, Self-Maintaining and Rejuvenating Constructions

Abstract: Infrastructure systems are established and maintained to satisfy our societal needs for living and transport. The European Roadmap for Cross-Modal Transport Infrastructure Innovation states that by 2030 an improvement of 50% in infrastructure performance, risk and cost versus a 2010 baseline should be achieved. However, current maintenance methods require intense engagement of highly trained experts and exposure to hazards, they are time consuming and hinder the normal use of constructions. Since infrastructure systems are not able to "care for themselves" they create a heavy burden for society in terms of regular maintenance and total cost of ownership. Therefore, SMARTCON proposes to transform passive constructions into smart structures able to take care of themselves. The envisaged system shall consist of a biomimetic swarm of robots able to perform continuous inspection, analysis of inspected indicators, decision support systems to advise on necessary maintenance or rejuvenation actions and to evaluate implemented actions. The paper is presenting the SMARTCON concept, the preliminary research, and the intended results of a three-year project beginning in early 2017. The project is focusing on bridges as they are considered to be among the most critical infrastructure objects.

Keywords: Automation, Infrastructure, Bridges, Inspection, Maintenance, Rejuvenation, Robot Swarm, Biomimetics

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0164

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Series: jc3:2017 (browse)
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Hand, J.W. and Higgs, F.S.

EDT: An Expert Adviser for Energy Design of Passive and Conventional Buildings at the Sketch Design Phase

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Jahnkassim P-S,Abakr Y,Ibrahim I-F

Integrating simulation and visualisation for energy efficiency in a large public mall in the tropics

Abstract: This paper reports on a case study that involved an integrated design process of a large commercial development. In particular, it utilized simulation and visualization to inform strategic design decisions that could reduce heat gain while admitting usable daylight. Additionally, the design intended to avoid extensive air conditioning energy of a large shopping mall in the tropical context of Malaysia. Simulation inputs were presented to a design team throughout the design process and on completion of the building, post occupancy studies were carried out to verify the results. At present, air conditioning is not used in large common public areas and hence, this case study represents a successful application of simulation and visualization tools of such context. The airflow and monitored temperature results verified the simulation output - however, the daylight measurement recorded higher distribution compared to the predicted performance. This may be due to the standard use of 10 k Cie overcast sky in simulation to represent the worst cloudy scenario in Malaysia. Regardless, the results will benefit future planners and developers of large shopping malls by recommending the integrated design process. This process introduces the usage of strategic passive design approach that can save a large amount of energy used in common areas.

Keywords: multivolume,atria,canopy,thermal comfort,bioclimatic,ventilation

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Maher M L, Liew P-S, Gero J S

An agent approach to data sharing in virtual worlds and CAD

Abstract: This paper describes an agent approach to sharing and synchronising building model data among CAD and virtual world systems. Virtual worlds facilitate a level of communication and collaboration not readily available in conventional CAD systems. The integration of virtual worlds and CAD systems using a common data model can make a significant impact on synchronous collaboration and real time multi-user multi-disciplinary modification of building data. By using agents, the integration of virtual worlds and conventional CAD systems can go beyond that of passive data transfer. Data within a central database is monitored and the relevant applications using the data are notified automatically of any changes through sensors and effectors embedded within agents that define their interface to the database. We use an object-oriented EDM database as the central repository of data and Active Worlds as the virtual environment that is coordinated with the shared data within the database. An interface agent is being developed to connect the virtual world to the database to allow active data access and modification. This agent approach can be extended to the integration of other applications and data models.

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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.


Ranjith K. Soman and Jennifer K Whyte

A Framework for Cloud-Based Virtual and Augmented Reality Using Real-Time Information for Construction Progress Monitoring

Abstract: Researchers are developing techniques to use augmented reality for construction progress monitoring, but these are not widely diffused. A barrier to wider use is that BIM software is often not updated in real-time between the construction office and the construction site. This paper proposes an integrated cloud-based framework to enable construction progress monitoring by creating an automated real-time bidirectional flow of information between the construction site and planning office. This seeks to take advantage of the new opportunities arising because of the consumer VR/AR devices that have come to market in the last year, and the potential for engineers and site personnel to take ownership of these low-cost devices and use them in their role. It contributes to the trajectory of research on virtual and augmented reality in construction by articulating a novel approach to construction progress monitoring through passive data acquisition, cloud-based processing and use of consumer VR/AR devices. The paper concludes by articulating next steps to develop prototypes and work with industry partners to enable them to engage in innovation.

Keywords: Construction, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Cloud Computing, Automatic Data Collection

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0273

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Rischmoller L, Fischer M, Fox R, Alarcon L

4D planning and scheduling (4D-ps): grounding construction it research in industry practice

Abstract: Several authors have lamented that research efforts in construction IT have not embraced the issues associated with implementation and industry practice (Betts, 2000) and that the rhetoric and visions associated with construction IT are sometimes distant from the reality of construction usage (Koskela, 2000). This paper discusses the observation-participation method (Yin, 1994) as a way to ground construction IT research in industry practice. This research methodology considers the industry as a point of departure, followed by examination of a case study using the observation participation method (Yin, 1994). In this methodology, the researcher is not merely a passive observer, but assumes a variety of roles within the case study and participates in the studied activities. The observation-participation method application to the case study offers the opportunity to see what others have not yet seen (Stake, 1998) and allows gaining access to events and groups, which, in other ways, are inaccessible to scientific research. The researcher perceives reality from the point of view of someone “in” the case study instead of someone “external” to it. The research goal was to test 4D Planning and Scheduling (4D-PS) to demonstrate its benefits as a CAVT (Computer Advanced Visualization Tool) applied to the case study. The objective was to find out how 4D model reviews can help generate more constructible projects by assisting construction planners in optimizing construction sequences, identifying and resolving schedule conflicts and providing feedback from construction teams to design teams. To get tangible results, 4D-PS needed to be researched in a real life context. Hence, the observation participation method was the most suitable research methodology to accomplish this task. This paper presents our experience with the observation-participation approach on a large construction project. It details some of the organizational and business challenges of creating synergies between a business and a research focus. 4D-PS uses 4D models to accomplish construction planning and scheduling tasks. It was applied on the case study project by the first author in collaboration with other project construction Planning team members. The result was an optimized, detailed, construction schedule for 100,000 cubic meters of concrete that was verified and visualized by using the 4D-PS methods developed by the team. Opportunities for improving the schedule were detected through 4D simulations, and the sequence of activities was quickly adjusted in response to feedback from the project planners. The corrected sequence was then again verified using the 4D method. 4D-PS lets planners formulate tighter, more finely tuned construction plans, and it also helps to develop contingency plans to handle delays in material deliveries or unavailability of resources. Important decisions concerning deadlines, sequences, and resource utilization, which ordinarily would have been made later at the job site, were better made ahead of time to avoid rework in the case study project, and the construction team became convinced of the value of improving the construction plan through the use of 4D-PS.

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Class: class.communication (0.023958) class.roadmaps (0.013642) class.impact (0.013278)
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Rose, A.F.

A Passive Solar Heating System with Microprocessor Control

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