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Alonso J M, Alvarruiz F, Hernandez V, Vidal A M

HPC in the building construction sector

Abstract: In the context of the HIPERCOSME project (1) (ESPRIT project 20059), the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (UPV) in collaboration with Spanish partners, developed a new High Performance Computing (HPC) demonstrator to calculate Reinforced Concrete Building Structures. Starting from a sequential software package, the objective of that project was to develop a portable parallel software package, able to cope with large scale problems and more realistic models (more information could be obtained in http://wwwcopa.dsic.upv.es/copa_eng.html). The performance of the prototype was analysed by means of a test battery composed of 4 real buildings. The performance of the prototype was compared to that of the original sequential package, showing that the former was from 20 up to 60 times faster than the latter. Besides, since a trial and error process must be carried out, the best and cheapest structural solution can be obtained. This leads to a reduction of the cost of the constructive elements and an increase in safety. On the other hand, and as a consequence of the code performance, a 3D approach to the problem of computing the building structure can be performed. Hardware and software requirements for this prototype are very common.The parallel platform can be a cluster of Ethernet linked PC's running under an easily available operating system such as LINUX (public domain) and the PVM passing message environment (public domain also). Moreover, the application is portable and can be run on other computers and parallel systems. Thus, in the context of the project, five Workshops were organised to promote the results in the European regions where the project partners belonged to. In these Workshops, Demonstration Actions were carried out with the presence of different small and medium size construction enterprises of each region. Co-operation among the partners led to contacts with new construction companies interested in the HPCN framework. As a consequence, six Assessment Studies were developed with European construction companies from Spain, Portugal, France and Greece, in order to understand the needs of the European market. UPV is the Valencian Community node of HIPERTTN. This technological Transfer Node is part of the METIER action in the HPCN PST activities of the IV ESPRIT Programme. TTN's try to stimulate the technology transfer and dissemination of the results of the HPCN projects in Europe. As a consequence, a Construction Sector Group has been recently created in this TTN Network. In the full paper, we will describe the technical work developed in the project, both from the point of view of the computational tools and the experience of transference of technology to the Construction Sector.

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Full text: content.pdf (51,870 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.030939) class.bestPractise (0.026703) class.communication (0.025338)
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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.


Arif A, Karam A

Architectural Practices and Their Use of IT in the Western Cape Province, South Africa

Abstract: The application of Information Technologies (IT) is moving forward with tremendous speed affecting all industries and professions; our building profession is no exception. To identify the extent of IT application in the building construction context of South Africa, a survey was conducted in the year 2000; it included IT as one of the many topics investigated. The Western Cape Province (WCP) was selected as the first subject of the ambitious national survey. The survey provides insight into the particular patterns in IT applications within the local architectural industry of the WCP and tracks its implications in terms of human resources and technical needs. This research paper presents a focused perspective of the findings of the survey on the local practices; their general profile, their computer technology profiles, their particular applications of technology and finally the effect of computer use on the profitability and cost reduction of their practices. The data presented in this paper highlights the high numbers of small-sized offices as a general characteristic of the local profile. Although a good percentage of these small offices seem to have a high need and use for IT applications, larger-sized offices are totally computerised and are all networked as well. The use of computers is clearly concentrated in three areas: administration, communication in addition to the core activity of construction drawings production. The survey reveals a major dependency on computer-aided-design (CAD) software where its use extends, in most cases, to clients' presentations. This dependency makes high demands on staff and principals' literacy and on the high competency levels needed for their use of technology. On the financial effect of IT use, many practices are not fully convinced that there is an actual reduction in their running costs. The exception occurs in the case of practices run by principals who use computers themselves; they have a positive perception of the financial benefits of technology. This research establishes a baseline from which to scale the progress in the use and application of IT in the architectural profession, being a key player in the construction industry. It serves as a measure for future surveys of the other provinces. It is hoped that it provides a foundation for many assumptions made by practitioners, technologists, consultants and educators of this field.

Keywords: Architecture - South Africa, Architectural Practices, Building Construction, Computer-Aided-Design (CAD), Survey - Cape Town

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2001/2 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2001 (browse)
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C Gouy-Pailler, H Najmeddine, A Mouraud, F Suard, C Spitz, A Jay, P Maréchal

DISTANCE AND SIMILARITY MEASURES FOR SENSORSSELECTION IN HEAVILY INSTRUMENTED BUILDINGS:APPLICATION TO THE INCAS PLATFORM

Abstract: Energy management in residential buildings is taking an increasing role in the construction workflows.It entails understanding thermal processes at stake in the buildings and quantifying energyconsumption, which meets inhabitants comfort requirements. Experimental platforms such as INCASaim at providing experts with a practical way to study such problems in real conditions. These heavilyequipped buildings yield huge amounts of real-time data (sampling rates, number and types of sensors)for which new automatic approaches could be useful to thermal experts. Generic similarity measuresfrom data-mining could therefore provide comprehensive analysis tools to thermal experts. This paper focuses on the ability of some distance and similarity measures to organize millions ofdata from homogeneous and heterogeneous sensors into coherent clusters. Simplifying datainterpretations to thermal experts in highly equipped buildings, this approach could also stand as abasis for studying smart grids of less equipped domestic houses studies. Two types of similarity measures are explored. The first one consists of a set of three distances,and accounts for differences in terms of amplitude scaling and shifting between pairs ofmeasurements. It relies on the comparison of homogeneous sensors by quantifying the relativeproximity of their amplitude in terms of mean value, variance and time shift. The second type ofsimilarity measure employs a pre-processing step transforming continuous signals into binary events.The resulting spike trains are then compared by quantifying the amount of unitary transformations(events moves or events deletions/additions) needed to align pairs of events sequences. These proximity measures are computed on real data from experimental buildings of the INCASplatform. It comprises three experimental buildings (with different construction types) dedicated totesting various approaches regarding systems, control and energy-saving policies. These geometricallyidentical buildings are equipped with hundreds of sensors measuring temperature, humidity,differential pressure, and others data at various positions of the structures with sampling rates of onemeasurement per minute. Simulation-based temperatures are integrated in the sensors set providing acomparison between real and simulated data. Results illustrate the contribution of the applied methods when dealing with large amounts ofmeasurements related to instrumented buildings behaviors. Actually results show that coherent clustersregarding distinct signal properties are automatically generated. These clusters can be used fordimensionality reduction (clusters of sensors could be summarized by a single virtual measurement),or relative comparisons between sensors or between real and simulated datasets.

Keywords: INCAS, low-energy consumption, sensor selection, multivariate data mining

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Full text: content.pdf (803,535 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Carter G, Smith S

IT tool for construction site safety management

Abstract: The UK construction industry kills some 80 employees per year. This corresponds to a fatal accident rate of roughly 4.4 per 100,000 employees. Furthermore, major injury and 3-day injury rates are approximately 400 and 900 per 100,000 employees, respectively. Figures for the rest of Europe are similar, if not worse. It has long been realised that the reduction of hazardous events is fundamental to good construction safety management because these events have the potential to cause accidents, which may result in injuries and fatalities. However, there have been examples within the industry where hazard identification and the subsequent assessment of risk have been carried out by people ill equipped to identify all the hazards, assess their risks and suggest appropriate responses. Our research aim is to develop a knowledge-based system to aid in site safety management. The system will consist of a centralised database containing the combined knowledge and experience of all personnel within the company. This database is accessed via a user interface, which takes the form of a dynamic data-driven website and consists of four main applications that focus on the main areas of site safety management. The first application concerns creating and maintaining a company risk log, which can be used to identify hazards, assess risk, establish adequate hazard responses and report risk reduction performance. The second application is intended to aid in the method statement preparation process. Hazard referencing to tasks within the methodology and assigning significance values to tasks based upon assessed risk are the main features of this application, which should improve the level of hazard identification and enhance safe systems of work on site. Our system relies heavily upon historical data to provide an objective and dynamic evaluation of risk, rather than current subjective and static estimations of risk using the traditional method of risk matrices. Thus the other two applications are concerned mainly with entering data from accident reports and site safety tours into the central database. The other function of these applications will be to perform detailed analysis of accident causes, which will help safety managers to better respond to hazards to prevent future accidents. We are currently at the stage of developing a prototype version of the system. Field trials will be conducted between February and May for validation of the prototype. Validation will take the form of analysing method statements and risk assessments before and after implementation if the system to determine its effect on improving hazard identification, the assessment of risk, hazard response and accident rates. Qualitative evaluation will also be carried out. Questionnaires to, and interviews with, safety managers will give an indication of the usefulness of the system from a management and operational perspective. Doing the same thing with site foremen and operatives will allow us to determine the effectiveness of the outputs of the system, i.e. method statements and risk assessments, in enhancing safe systems of work.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,139,352 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.026762) class.social (0.018951) class.impact (0.007440)
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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.


Clarke P

Effectiveness of I.T. in computerised maintenance management: a longitudinal study of the analysis of phenomenological perceptions.

Abstract: The longitudinal study was conducted in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment where a new computerised maintenance management system is in use in New South Wales, Australia. The aims of this longitudinal, empirical research are to examine the phenomenological perceptions of both asset managers and support or ancillary staff using qualitative and quantitative analysis for the purpose of assessing efficiency of information technology in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment and to develop a framework technique that will be useful to investigate such fundamental facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, and a summative evaluation of information technology in the asset management environment. Empirical investigation was carried out through structured interview with both management and support staff within a public sector asset management organisation, subsequent to the introduction of a new computerised maintenance management system in the environment being studied. The data was analysed through unpaired t-tests between asset managers and support staff, and dichotomous questions for experienced versus inexperienced employees and employees as differentiated by age. The tentative results of the analysis revealed that both asset managers and support staff perceive information technology as beneficial in terms of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Individuals from both levels of the environment being studied exhibited phenomenological perceptions of information technology that were particularly favourable and overall were consistent with the conclusions of researchers who had observed information technology’s benefits in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes together with a comparable study of this environment carried out previously. Differences between the two studies indicate a reduction in the significance of the differences between the two groups regarding satisfaction with information technology as a whole. Further research is suggested in customer satisfaction, productivity levels and the interaction between perceptions and outcomes.

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Full text: content.pdf (184,921 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.050079) class.impact (0.031689) class.economic (0.020147)
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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


Claudio Mirarchi, Daniela Pasini, Alberto Pavan and Bruno Daniotti

Automated IFC-Based Processes in the Construction Sector: A Method for Improving the Information Flow

Abstract: One of the main challenges in the implementation of BIM-based processes concerns interoperability issues. In fact, even if IFC format is recognised as an ISO standard, different barriers and problems are often encountered in IFC adoption. Generally, obstacles are due to the difficulty of users in personalising import and export options of IFC formats in BIM authoring tools with the consequent possibility of information loss.The paper presents a method for improving the information flow, based on the connection of information stored in IFC files and in external databases through automated processes. Therefore, information concerning one single project can be stored in BIModels and linked to external sources or, conversely, referred from external databases to objects in BIModels.Benefits deriving from the adoption of the proposed solutions concern the limited size of BIModels, the possibility to store information not considered in the IFC schema, and the reduction of IT skills required to building operators for exchanging information in an interoperable way.

Keywords: Building Information Modelling, Sharing Data, Interoperability, IFC

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0274

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Ekaterina Petrova, Mai Brink Rasmussen, Rasmus Lund Jensen and Kjeld Svidt

Integrating Virtual Reality and BIM for End-User Involvement in Design: A Case Study

Abstract: The outcome of projects within Architecture, Engineering, and Construction is highly dependent on the quality of the collaboration between the involved actors. The end-users occupy the buildings on a daily basis, and therefore their involvement in the design process is essential to the output. However, traditional practices place the responsibility of decision-making mostly in the architectsĠ hands. Virtual Reality technologies coupled with Building Information Modelling have the potential to improve the collaboration and data visualization in the building design.This paper presents the findings from a case study on the integration of Building Information Modelling and Virtual Reality for user-centred participatory interior furnishing of a new university building. Besides a significant reduction in the time for generation of alternative proposals, the end results show an increased attachment of the employees to their future workplace and a high level of acceptance towards the technology. Finally, the authors present suggestions for further work, which could improve future design processes utilizing the Virtual Reality technology.

Keywords: Virtual Reality, Building Information Modelling, End-User Involvement, Interior Design, Participatory Design

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0266

Full text: content.pdf (1,308,997 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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Griffith E D, Hicks D K, McGraw K D, Case M P

Towards model based design - a case study: the modular design system

Abstract: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed a tool called the Modular Design System (MDS) to assist design professionals in the processes of planning, design, and construction document preparation for repetitive facility types. The use of early versions of MDS has demonstrated a reduction in time by nearly two-thirds typically required to design and award a construction contract. Initially developed to support Army Reserve Training Centers, the USArmy Corps plans to expand its use over a wider range of repetitive facility types. The current implementation is a hybrid document/model approach consisting of electronic drawings linked by an external database. Data consistency issues associated with this architecture limit its scalability. To meet expanded requirements, the USArmy Corps is developing a model based information approach utilizing emerging commercially available object based CAD systems. This redesigned information infrastructure marks a fundamental change from an implicit to an explicit model-based representation. Three key capabilities make MDS a powerful tool. First, the ability to capture and reuse corporate design criteria at the architectural function level. Second, it provides an integration framework for engineering analysis. Third, it manages and integrates the contract document production.The underlying MDS information infrastructure will move towards a model based approach. Future work will focus on collaborative processes such as conflict resolution and design review. Additionally, MDS offers the opportunity to transfer an information rich model downstream to operations and maintenance.

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Full text: content.pdf (98,970 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.023318) class.bestPractise (0.016810) class.store (0.013255)
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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.


H.U. Gökçe, K.U. Gökçe, Donal Browne, Karsten Menzel

Dynamic System Architecture for Energy Efficient Building Operation: A Case Study of Kiptas Residential Building

Abstract: Buildings account for almost 40 percent of total energy in Europe. Holistic monitoring and analysis methodologies can reduce this by up to 30%. However, the adoption of monitoring and control systems for building management and control applications is hampered by the unavailability of appropriate tool environments. In this paper an integrated model-driven approach that automates the design from component to application level will be presented to provide optimized building operations. The aim is to create a holistic environment for wireless embedded monitoring and control systems to increase the efficiency of the overall system development process and to exploit their potential for reduction of building energy consumption. To reach this objective, new methods, tools and equipments were researched and integration methods covering integrated design, energy simulation models and data warehouse technologies were developed. The findings were applied to a residential building of Kiptas in Istanbul, Turkey and possible energy saving improvements were suggested.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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H.U. Gökçe, P. Stack, K.U. Gökçe, K. Menzel

Maintenance Scheduling based on the Analysis of Building Performance Data

Abstract: Many efforts are invested in the facility management (FM) of buildings. This can be a major contributor to the reduction of the overall energy consumption and the reduction of CO2 emissions. Sophisticated Building Services Systems are available, integrating conventional energy systems with renewable energy systems. However, the performance of installed systems is insufficiently monitored and analysed leading to a slow degradation of the system performance and finally to increased energy consumption and CO2 emissions. This paper introduces an Information Technology (IT) based solution to assist the maintenance process.

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