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Alexander J, Coble R, Crawford J, Drogemuller R, Leslie H, Newton P, Wilson B, Yum Kwok-Keung

Information and communication in construction : closing the loop

Abstract: Both nationally and internationally, the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector is highly fragmented : it is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the nature of information and knowledge can be dispersed among firms and organisations, and consortia are frequently formed from geographically dispersed firms. In recognition of the potential improvements to be gained through an integrated approach to project information used throughout the design, documentation, construction and operation processes, substantial research is underway in Australia to "close the loop" of information flows between designers and constructors. The paper will explore and discuss both the technology platform in terms of information and communications technology (mobile, high-speed and wide area networking linking the design and engineering offices with the construction site) and the information platform in terms of the content of communications between project stakeholders and the requisite information (traditional spatial as well as non-spatial data) of key concern to the stakeholders at various stages of the project lifecycle. The paradigm shift that has occurred over recent years from stand-alone personal computing (which reinforced fragmentation) to mobile and Wide Area networked computing now provides a platform capable of promoting integration, accessibility and co-operation within the sector with attendant gains in efficiency. A minimum requirement to achieve these gains is access to the right information (not just simple data) at the desired level of scale and detail for a particular stakeholder’s view - information which once collected can be stored and refined and then held for use elsewhere on the project without loss and without the need for subsequent re-entry. The information needs to be available quickly and easily, that is at the right time and in the right location for maximum benefit and project efficiency. Demonstration collaborative systems to support interactive Computer Aided Design and information exchange between project stakeholders such as architects, various engineers (electrical, hydaulic, mechanical, structural) and project managers, in an innovative collaborative manner have become available to bring dispersed project members together electronically. Such systems allow project members attached to a network to undertake a range of information access and exchange from simple e-mail; through on-site access to central project data sources via handheld computers; right through to the use of optional live (or pre-recorded) video to enhance collaboration. Using communications infrastructure, this functionality can be shared in various ways - in a corporate-wide environment between regional and/or interstate offices within a company, or in a consortium situation (between offices of a consortium working together on a specific construction project). The questions then arise as to how such systems fit into industry practice, and how the industry might adapt to embrace new opportunities provided by such technological advances. Ease of access to up-to-date, accurate project information for a range of project stakeholders is being extended through research in the US and Australia to close the loop between some of the stakeholders, and this will be discussed in detail in the paper. As well, the progress of industry-based support for a level of interoperability for building and construction information by organisations such as the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI Australasian chapter) will also be discussed, plus the likely impact of the adoption of Industry Foundation Classes in the Australian building and construction industry in areas such as the design life for buildings based on durability of materials.

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Full text: content.pdf (719,511 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.057235) class.environment (0.023003) class.synthesis (0.022896)
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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.


Anders Ekholm

ISO 12006-2 and IFC – could they be harmonized?

Abstract: Today, there are two major candidates for core ontologies common to the construction and facilities management sector, the ISO 12006-2 Framework for classification of information, and the Industry Foundation Classes, IFC. ISO 12006-2 has been developed as a step in harmonizing different national and regional classification systems for construction and facilities management. The main purpose of the IFC standard is to enable effective information sharing, within the AEC/FM industry throughout the project lifecycle. These standards have similar objectives but show fundamental differences in semantics and structure. The presented study compares the standards and points at differences and similarities, firstly in order to understand their structure, and secondly to initiate a discussion about the need and the possibility to co-ordinate them. The analysis indicates a fundamental difference in view between the standards. The starting point of IFC was to reject classification, and therefore a harmonization with ISO 12006-2 would require a major shift of approach.

Keywords: Product models, Process models, Ontologies, Interoperability

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

Series: w78:2004 (browse)
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Hajime Daimon, Hirotaka Koike and Akinori Morimoto

Comparison Of Trip Generation Rates Considering Regional Characteristics

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Full text: content.pdf (650,512 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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João A. Zeferino, António P. Antunes, and Maria C. Cunha

An Efficient Simulated Annealing Algorithm For Regional Wastewater Systems Planning

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Full text: content.pdf (888,419 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Kiroff L, Ostrowski P

It and E-architecture – a technological breakthrough, a techno knowledge race or a new paradigm in business?

Abstract: The impact of Information Technology on the growth of the knowledge society is profound. In an era when human intellectual creativity is highly valued, IT is a powerful tool enabling the analysis and development of ideas and concepts. Regarding IT as a means to automate business tasks aiming at some labour savings would be an extremely simplistic approach to a more complex concept. Designing systems that augment user capabilities, encourage further exploration and foster creativity will enable users to do what they have not been able to do before. Business environments where collaborative work relationships flourish become highly successful in the intensely competitive global marketplace. The synergy between IT and teams working together to accomplish mutual goals becomes the key to organisational performance. The AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry in particular is undergoing dramatic changes due to the pervasive use of networked computers and multimedia equipment. The advent of the first PCs in the architectural profession in the early 1980s gradually started adding a new element of complexity to the architect’s job. The essence of the architectural work is the teamwork environment and IT is able to facilitate the design process and make project collaborations effective. Our research focuses on IT and its impact on architectural team environments. Recent emerging trends that will be analysed include architecture firms’ collaborations on national and international projects (firms experts in particular building types associate with local or regional firms called “architect of record” commissioned for the contract documentation and the contract administration stages of the project). The Royal Sun Alliance Building, Metropolis Apartments, Botany Downs Shopping Centre, DFS Galleria (all in Auckland) are some NZ examples of international collaborations with the design coming from the USA and Australia and Auckland firms commissioned as “architect of record”. Such trends necessitate the use of new technologies like advanced digital communications and hence the unprecedented boom of project extranets, or project WEB sites, and the emergence of the WEB-based architecture. Highly sophisticated architectural environments are built around Intranets, Extranets, the Internet and Video Conferencing systems. This enables the integration of architectural design, business management and team collaborations through computer technology. As a consequence, traditional roles and responsibilities in an office environment will change dramatically with fewer lower level routine tasks being available. Continually updating skills through on-going education becomes a lifetime commitment for the highly qualified industry professionals and for the company as a whole. A large number of computer software applications become indispensable for the highly efficient everyday functioning of an office. Some of the most significant buildings of the 1990s like F. Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and S. Calatrava’s Extension for the Milwaukees’s Art Museum, Wisconsin, USA couldn’t have been made without CAD. Another interesting trend is the use of IT to define a building through its entire life cycle in a more comprehensive way. This covers not only the traditional design and construction phases of a project but also automated facilities management and even the building’s eventual demolition. Our research methodology encompasses an array of primary and secondary sources of information – literature review, international case studies and projects both pre and post IT revolution, interviews with experienced industry professionals, hands-on experience demonstrating WEB based concepts in practice and individual professional expertise. Research Outcomes and Conclusions: · Although technology has given us numerous new tools to be more productive and innovative creatively, the amount of quality architecture being designed may not necessarily increase. · It is academia that drives innovative uses of technology not industry. Academia has more time and resources to experiment and is not at the mercy of the vendors’ vision or how technology can or should be used. · Computing is in a never-ending flux. This change, for better or worse dynamically drives the way we do business. The entire industry must seek out these changes, create them, challenge them, foster, adopt or discard them to suit. · As object oriented CAD becomes more pervasive, more value will be added to the construction documentation. This value-add needs to be recognised and exploited. · As technology pervades, the design process, regardless, remains relatively the same. · Hierarchical business models and decision-making processes are no longer the norm. This fosters an atmosphere of collaboration and employee empowerment. · Talent is talent. Technology is no substitute for it.

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Full text: content.pdf (170,944 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.044696) class.collaboration (0.038235) class.environment (0.034749)
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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.


Line L, Syvertsen T G

Virtual engineering teams: strategy and implementation

Abstract: A medium-sized and distributed (16 regional offices) Norwegian engineering company (ASPLAN-VIAK) has started a transformation to exploit information and communication technology as a potential for organising knowledge work in new modes. The effort does not only challenge technology, but also organisational systems and social constructs. The paper provides a philosophical, technological and social context for a full-scale experiment, and also summmarizes some experiences

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Full text: content.pdf (81,881 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1996 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.123392) class.deployment (0.019280) class.communication (0.016344)
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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.


Line L

Virtual Engineering Teams: Strategy and Implementation

Abstract: A medium-sized and distributed (16 regional offices) Norwegian engineering company (ASPLAN-VIAK) has started a transformation to exploit the potential of digital information and communication technology for organising knowledge work in new modes. The effort does not only challenge technology, but also organisational systems and social constructs. The paper discusses a philosophical, technological and social context for a full-scale experiment, and also summarises some experiences. The study indicates that virtual teams are becoming an interesting and viable way of organising knowledge work. The author believes that virtual teams will be a common and natural organisational form for companies who wants to be part of the open information society.

Keywords: Virtual Engineering Teams, Knowledge Work, and Coordination

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1997/3 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1997 (browse)
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Mattias Jacobsson, Henrik CJ Linderoth

User Perceptions of ICT in a Major Swedish Building and Construction Company

Abstract: The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in building and construction companies has steadily been growing during the last decade. In the Scandinavian context 100 % of all employees work at workplaces with computers and 70 % of them, including site workers, have their own computer, their own e-mail address and access to the Internet at their workplace (Samuelsson 2008). Moreover is the use of applications like project webs and electronic trade widespread in the construction industry (ibid). However, despite the rapid diffusion of ICT in the industry, are there not yet many studies inquiring perceptions of the ICT actually being used. Accordingly is the objective of the paper to explore and analyze perceptions of ICT used in a major Swedish building and construction company. Data was collected by a web-based survey in two regional units of the company. 292 completed surveys were returned that corresponds to a response rate of 49 %. The data was analysed by a various set of statistical methods like T-test, bi-variate analysis, linear regression and factor analysis.It can be concluded that respondents are generally fairly satisfied with their ICT and it is perceived as necessity for the fulfilment of work tasks and a valuable support in various areas of decision making. There are, however, some significant differences in perceptions of the outcomes of ICT-usage among professional groups. Moreover, perceptions of a single system were positive correlated with the frequency of use of the system and perceptions of ICT in general could be categorized into three main categories.ReferencesSamuelsson, O. (2008) The IT-barometer – A decade’s development of IT-use in the Swedish construction sector. ITcon Vol. 13, pg. 1-19, http://www.itcon.org/2008/1.

Keywords: Perceived usefulness, post-adoption, surveys, IS-success, construction companies

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Full text: content.pdf (133,454 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Naaranoja M, Oestman L

Information technology strategies and adaptation of knowledge - a conceptual analysis in the construction industry

Abstract: The goal of this study is to construct an understanding of preparations, made for strategic decisions of information technology. The focus is on adaptation of knowledge and the types of knowledge adapted. The study concentrates on the software and hardware used for producing drawings and specifications in the construction industry - the companies suffer an unpredictable market environment and a large amount of published data. The study is based on two case studies - made in two different companies – a multinational with operations in different countries, the other a medium size, mainly active on the regional market. Both of the companies are forced to make development decisions about information technology by estimating future benefits, costs, risks and intangible values. This should evolve from a thorough reflection based on selected information and an assessment of the situational data. According to their attitude towards CAD development these companies belong to different classes: pioneer and follower. The pioneer makes a broad scope selection of information and organises it for decision making. The follower estimates both the benefits of the software and the actions of the competitors. He calculates the revenues and costs carefully before the decision. There is a large amount of information offered by software developers, scientist and other experts. On the other hand the knowledge needed for strategic decisions has to be inside the company. According to the pragmatist philosophy, knowledge is gained through elaboration of experiences. In a fast developing field - such as software development and communication tools - the possibility of gaining experiences is good. The problem is - due to continuous progress - that new experiences are the only that can help you construct adequate knowledge. Sustainable decisions need to be based on long term experience, but in the case of information technology, the emphasis must

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Full text: content.pdf (50,324 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.026554) class.synthesis (0.015250) class.software development (0.012514)
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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.


Paine K,Marasini R

Adoption of building information modelling (BIM): an evaluation through a case study of a regional contractor

Abstract: The Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been adopted by construction companies in the UK owing to the stipulated potential benefits and a push for its widespread uses on a national level though the new Government Construction Strategy. Large companies in the UK and the BIM software industry have suggested that the benefits of the technology are higher than the associated costs. This paper investigates challenges and issues faced by a regional contractor specialising in building projects under most Forms of Contract, including Design and Build and Traditional Contracting. Through a case study of a regional contractor, the process of implementation using BIM framework such as BIM plan and strategies is evaluated. The challenges as well as considerations that need to be taken into account in order to achieve, if at all possible, integrated building information model through the integration of architectural, structural and MEP models are evaluated and discussed in the paper.

Keywords: Building Information Modelling,Regional,Contractor,Adoption,Challenges

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Full text: content.pdf (733,452 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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