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A Kiviniemi, M Fischer & V Bazjanac

Multi-model Environment: Links between Objects in Different Building Models

Abstract: The current IFC specifications include relations between objects and enable representation of complex structures in a building product model. However, several research projects have addressed the problem of one integrated model by pointing out the different content and structure of different design domains. The existing software products cannot support all features of the IFC specifications, and because of the structure of AEC industry there are no potential customers for applications which would cover all different information needs. We believe that there will be several instantiated models representing a building project, and these models share some parts of the information which must be linked between the models. However, IFC specifications do not enable links between objects in separate instantiated models. This paper will (1) discuss the reasons for the separation of instantiated models, (2) present the necessary extensions of the IFC specifications, (3) include examples of the links between the requirements model and architectural design model, and (4) discuss some possibilities how to implement this link in a model server environment.

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Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


A Löfgren

Socio-technical management of collaborative mobile computing in construction

Abstract: The constant changes of plan and unanticipated events in the production process at construction sites result in communication patterns that are dynamic, spontaneous and informal. Most of the existing ICT tools do not sufficiently support informal communication for powerful collaborative problem-solving, management of site resources, handling of parallel process activities and do not correspond to the basic needs and work patterns at the construction sites. Mobile computing technologies have the potential to provide an inclusive wireless mobile ICT platform (voice and data) that can enable improved support for informal communication and on-demand data at construction sites, which can result in improved project collaboration leading to increased efficiency and productivity in the construction process. Still, an implementation strategy for collaborative mobile computing at construction sites is complex and must consider numerous issues regarding system capabilities, mobility, applications, services, integration of existing ICT systems, user interface and user devices to meet the requirements and behaviors of site workers in the mobile distributed heterogeneous construction environment. A mobile computing platform needs to be designed, implemented and managed with a socio-technical bottom-up approach realizing end user and group needs, understanding the separate issues of adoption on different organizational levels, and recognizing mobile computing as a process integrated enabling technology for improving collaboration and project communication throughout the whole construction process.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


Augenbroe G L M

Enterprise integration of future building design systems

Abstract: The paper deals with the project and enterprise environment of integrated building design systems (IBDS), such as the one targeted in the European collaborative research project COMBINE. "he research has concentrated on the concept of a set of separate actors, grouped around a common data repository. Its deliverable consists of the first large-sized fully implemented conceptual building model. The actual data exchange is realized by STEP interfaces supported through a COMBINE interface kit. The resulting prototype was demonstrated in a workshop with design practitioners. The second phase of COMBINE has started recently and will build upon the above deliverables by combining them into an operational system, according to functional specifications derived with the help of practitioners in typical design office settings.

Keywords: information modelling; CAD; building design; design management; enterprise management

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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.


Bjork, Bo-Christer

Requirements and information structures for building product data models

Abstract: The term computer-integrated construction (CIC) is often used to describe a future type of construction process characterised by the extensive use of information technology. The key to successful CIC is the comprehensive integration of currently isolated computing applications in different phases of the construction process. Among the several types of data exchange standards needed to support such integration, the standards for structuring the information describing buildings (building product data models) are particularly important. No fully operational building product data models have as yet been formally standardised either on the national or international level, but the topic has been a subject of intensive research during the last few years. Building product data model proposals are usually defined using object-oriented information modelling techniques. The research which is presented in this summarising thesis was carried out primarily during the years 1988-92 at the Technical Research Centre of Finland. The report begins with a brief introduction to the general background of research concerning CIC and building product data models. Fundamental concepts of object orientation and product modelling are explained in a separate chapter. In order to position the author's research results, the "state of the art" in this research field is briefly reviewed. The research results are presented against the background of a kernel-aspect model framework, in line with current thinking among several leading researchers in this field. The results can loosely be classified into three distinctive groups: a number of requirements which building product data models should fulfil; specific information structures in building product data models; and the integration of product models with other types of information used in the construction process. The specific information structures which were studied include the abstraction hierarchies used in building product data models, the type object mechanism and information structures needed for modelling spaces and enclosing objects. The report ends with a discussion of the results, comparing them with the proposals and results of other researchers. Some directions for further research are also outlined.

Keywords: Building Product model, computer-integrated construction

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Dennis Peeten, Herm Hofmeyer

Visualisation and Research Strategy for Computational Spatial and Structural Design Interaction

Abstract: At the department of Architecture, Building and Planning of the Eindhoven University of Technology, a new research project has recently been initiated with the goal to develop a research engine for studying the interaction of spatial and structural design processes. Each design process will be implemented as two separate configurable transformation steps; a conversion step and an optimisation step. The idea is to start with an initial spatial design and measure how the design changes after subsequent iterations through the conversion and optimisation processes. A significant part of the spatial-to-structural conversion step together with a first version of a visualisation tool have been implemented and both perform as expected. During the course of the research project, a first version of the complete research engine will be developed. The performance of this first version will be compared to case studies. Based on these results, adjustments and/or additions to the research engine’s transformations will be made. The final version of the research engine will also be used to experiment on academic designs in order to develop insights in the fundamental relation between space and structure.

Keywords: spatial design, structural design, computational design, visualisation

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Dikbas A, Yitmen I, Morten B

An integrated management information system for construction projects

Abstract: Current research focus in the construction industry is directed at implementation of an effective information management based integrated system environment. Construction organizations are developing methodologies of integrating information technology in the work environment of their operations. All construction process improvement strategy is based on integration of effective project planning, monitoring and control techniques provided by an enterprise level of integration of all organizational parameters, functions, members and incorporated technologies. Creating an automated information system in computerized environments via networks using web-based technology enables top-level management to visualize various types planning information to support decision making. Based on the Donation Program which, began in 1997, ITU Campus Construction Projects have been multiplying due to the increased donations from volunteer companies and individuals. Istanbul Technical University’s Project Management Center, established as a research institute center under ITU Rectorate with the main aim seeking efficient solutions in planning, executing and controlling all construction projects within the university campus. The university construction projects are financed through two separate funds. PMC is responsible of managing multiple projects financed through the funding bodies, State Budget and ITU Foundation. For this purpose PMC has undertaken a research project “An Integrated Automation System for ITU Campus Construction Projects”. The objective of this project was to develop an integrated information management tool for effective management of multiple construction projects consisting of monitoring schedule, cost and funding components. This paper describes the model involving the integration of an automation system through decision support utilities for multi-project analysis using web-based technology. The system formulates a process for accumulating the data (all project related documents) in a multi-project environment for multi-task decisions to achieve completion of the multi-projects on time within budget. A review of similar systems available in other countries will be discussed in detail. The paper concludes with a discussion of how the proposed system contributes to the development of the construction industry

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Full text: content.pdf (312,374 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.store (0.036075) class.collaboration (0.017098) class.environment (0.017034)
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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


Drewer S, Hazlehurst G

Myth and reality in the use of IT and computer based technologies in construction

Abstract: IT and computer based technologies are a catalyst for focusing attention of managers on technical and commercial efficiency. It is sometimes argued that a detailed evaluation of existing practices, in itself, generates a better understanding of the factors constraining efficiency. But it is also argued that it is the computer based technologies themselves which deliver improvements in efficiency. Because the construction process is fragmented, the overall efficiency of the process might ' a priori ' be enhanced by the use of IT and computer based technologies. However, this assumes that a coherent strategy for their use is in place, both within individual companies and practices, and within the wider construction process. Our current research has highlighted a problem, within a majority of construction engineering and design organisations, which constrains the development of 'IT' beyond that of discrete applications. The lack of a coherent strategy for the integration of these technologies within a company is a major constraint on their effective use within the organisation. The integration of the use of the technologies between separate organisations within the construction process, posits problems of an even greater level of complexity. This paper, has two primary objectives: to articulate the major constraints to the effective use of ' IT ' in order to develop a set of relevant criteria for evaluating future investments; and to examine the rationale for, and mechanisms through which, integrated systems, both within organisations and the construction process, may be introduced.

Keywords: construction; information technology; management; technology transfer; corporate strategies

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Full text: content.pdf (682,544 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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.


Eastman C, Lee G, Sacks R

A new formal and analytical approach to modeling engineering project information processes

Abstract: A current research project within the North American Precast Concrete Industry aims to integrate information both within precast producer companies and between the companies and their suppliers, consultants, contractors, and clients. The first step was to undertake a process modeling study of the activities performed within each consortium company, so as to form the basis for the software specification and later data model. Existing process modeling methods and tools were considered . They do not support: · extraction of information used in the activities, · analytical validation of the process model and its information flows, · comparison of models collected from separate companies across an industry sector, · effective use of process model information in deriving a product model. To these ends, we developed an analytic modeling methodology, and implemented a new tool for its use.

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Full text: content.pdf (298,706 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.044021) class.represent (0.012790) class.software-software (0.004154)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


Ekholm A

A conceptual framework for classification of construction works

Abstract: Classification is a means to facilitate communication among actors in a field of practice. In the construction sector classification plays a major role in specifications, structuring of documents, calculation of costs, etc. The need for general classification systems grows with the increased internationalisation of the construction market and the rapid development towards a computer integrated construction process based on computer aided product data modelling. These processes require standardised ways of describing construction artefacts, and classification is a means to achieve this. Classification within the construction sector is based on pragmatic tradition and national needs, but internationally applicable classification tables must be founded on a neutral conceptual framework. The ISO Technical Report 14177 "Classification of information in the construction industry" aims at providing such a framework. This study analyses some basic concepts within the ISO Technical Report, among others facility, space, element, and work section, and suggests further developments. Fundamental semantic and ontological theories are applied to define some basic concepts within classification and to build a conceptual framework for construction works. A general conclusion of the study is that the proposed framework is useful as a foundation for identifying classes for construction works. Among the more specific conclusions are that: 1) a separate classification of socio-technical user systems may be a useful background for classifying infrastructure units, construction works, and spaces according to the activities they support; 2) a classification of construction work parts as "shape objects" is needed in the earliest stages of the computer-aided design process; and 3) a definition of space that includes its boundaries is proposed.

Keywords: classification, construction, facility, element, work section, space, CAD

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1996/2 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1996 (browse)
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Engdahl S

Product identification systems for construction and facility management

Abstract: This paper presents a study of the concept of a common construction product identification system with a focus on the establishment of principles for its use within computer integrated construction and facility management processes. An analysis of current systems for product identification utilized within the Swedish sector of construction and facility management is presented in an addition with a discussion of the concept of object and class identification in information systems development. The study is a part of the industry doctorate research project ‘Product information in computer-integrated construction and facility management processes’, which aims at studying methods for handling product information and contribute to the development of computer based systems for product information management. A main hypothesis within this project is that an information platform enabling efficient integration of IT in handling construction product information is composed of an identification-, classification-, and an attribute system. These components should be mutually independent and implemented as sector wide standards. This study specifically deals with the first component, a common system for identification of construction products. During recent years an increasing amount of research has been dedicated to define methods to integrate and utilize information technology in handling the vast amount of information used, created and transferred within construction and facility management processes. In Sweden, the focus has been on classification systems and product models as central means for establishing a framework for information handling. A common system for product identification would in general facilitate handling of product information in computer integrated construction and facility management processes. Specific advantages would be to enable; - Dynamic invocation of distributed components (e.g. CORBA) representing the product via a link relation residing in a database connected to the Internet. - Direct product information retrieval in case of a present identifier on a product, catalogue page or advertisement. - Exactness in production follow-up, i.e. when consumed production resources are registered. A common system for product identification is considered to be relatively easy to define and implement in comparison with common standards for product classification, attributes and product models, since the latter ones are aspect dependent and involve numerous actors and divergent interests. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze current systems for product identification used within the Swedish sector of construction and to demonstrate the role of such systems in IT based environments for handling construction product information. The study shows that separate actors within the building process so far have developed systems for product identification without support for the process as a whole. Among the systems analyzed is EAN-13 regarded as most suitable since it is international, non-sector specific, in correspondence with a barcode standard for automatic data capture and has the widest propagation. However, the EAN-13 system, like the other systems, lacks explicit norms that guarantee valid identification in a historical perspective especially required for product information management within facility management processes. EAN-13’s main disadvantage in the construction context is its total focus on trade items, thus its deficient handling of standard product units, which is the common view for actors outside the sector of trading. The conclusion implies that a common system for product identification with characteristics of being international, non-sector specific, without property or class referencing attributes and with explicit criteria regarding changes of identifiers as a result of property alteration would be most advantageous and that such system is a central component in an information platform with means for achieving efficient utilization of IT. None of the systems in current use is featured with all these characteristics.

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Full text: content.pdf (527,797 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.020441) class.software-software (0.015031) class.bestPractise (0.012129)
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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.


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