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A. Al-Bazi, N. Dawood & Z. Khan

Development of Hybrid Simulation and Genetic Algorithms System for Solving Complex Crew Allocation Problems

Abstract: This paper presents an innovative approach to solving complex crew allocation problems in any labour-intensive industry. This has been achieved by combining simulation with Genetic Algorithm (GA). The integrated system determines the least costly and most productive crews to be allocated on any produc-tion processes. Discrete Event Simulation methodology is used to simulate a manufacturing system. A special PROCESS module is developed to overcome limitation of the used simulation software that appears when us-ing normal PROCESS module. A concept of multi-layer chromosome is proposed to store different data sets in multi-layers structure. GA operators were developed to suit such chromosome structure. As a case study, a sleeper precast manufacturing system is chosen to prove the concept of the proposed allocation system. The results showed that adopting Manipulating a number of multi-skilled workers to be allocated among different production processes had a substantial impact on reducing total allocation cost, process-waiting time, and op-timising resource utilisation. 3D visualisation is presented.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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A. Fuertes, M. Casals, N. Forcada, M. Gangolells & X. Roca

Creating new ways of learning in architecture and building: MACE Project

Abstract: This paper presents the European MACE project (Metadata for Architectural Contents in Europe), a project that sets out to transform the ways of e-learning about architecture and building in Europe by integrating vast amount of content from diverse repositories created in several previous projects as well as from existing architectural design and building engineering communities. Moreover, an application scenario dealing with management aspects in construction engineering is presented in order to show new ways of learning through the use of online repositories such as MACE is.

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Anders Vennstrom, Thomas Olofsson, William Fawcett, Attila Dikbas, Esin Ergen

Determination and Costing of Sutainiable Construction Projects: Option Based Decision Support

Abstract: The building stock in Europe accounts for over 40% of the final energy consumption in the European Union. Moreover, the construction sector is one of the largest producers of industrial waste contributing 40-50% of landfill in some EU countries. A common way of creating a forward planning for optimal resource efficiency in construction project is to apply Life cycle cost (LCC) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in the decision process. There are, however, difficulties in assessment of the impact of the whole project on the environment and estimating its sustainability. The EU funded 7th framework project CILECCTA sets out to develop a LCCA (Life Cycle Cost and Analysis) tool supporting the determination and costing of sustainable project strategies.Current LCC software can assist the decision making process in simulating different alternatives for the design, build, maintenance and demolition of assets – allowing both client and builder to determine the favoured alternative for them. Through linking LCC and LCA methodologies, the CILECCTA project will go one stage further by enabling an assessment of the impact of the whole project on the environment and estimating its sustainability. It will also include the recently developed new generation of Whole Life Costing (WLC) methodology including a probabilistic approach to the development of sustainable WLC strategies, using a real options approach. This paper sets out the framework of current LCCA tools and the challenges in developing a modular LCCA engine integrating asset-related data in price banks and life cycle inventories across Europe. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Program FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no 229061.

Keywords: Decision support, Life Cycle Cost, Life Cycle Assessment, real option analysis

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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B Firmenich, C Koch, T Richter & D G Beer

Versioning structured object sets using text based Version Control Systems

Abstract: With the availability of an affordable and ubiquitous network environment the distributed cooperation of projects can be supported by computer software. Currently, the degree of support of a distributed cooperation is very different in the diverse classes of applications. While in the field of text-based applications the synchronous distributed cooperation is already state-of-the-art, the users of document-based applications can currently only cooperate asynchronously in terms of a workflow by exchanging documents. This contribution describes a solution approach for the re-use of existing document-oriented applications in net-distributed processes. The synchronous cooperation is realized by a novel procedure that stores the structured object sets of existing single user applications in version control systems, where the well proven tools of the software configuration process can be used in distributed construction planning processes as well.

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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.


B Vladimir, T Maile, J T. O’Donnell, C M Rose, N Mrazovi_

DATA ENVIRONMENTS AND PROCESSING IN SEMI-AUTOMATED SIMULATION WITH ENERGYPLUS

Abstract: Building energy performance (BEP) simulation is increasingly used worldwide to quantitatively justify building design decisions and building operations strategies. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the results of such simulation are often questionable, cannot be trusted, and may lead to wrong decisions. Poor simulation model definition and the use of inappropriately acquired and transformed data are two of the most common causes of this. The use of LBNL methodology for semi-automated BEP simulation data input automates data acquisition and transformation, which removes human decision making from the simulation input data definition process. The first of the three major software components (the Geometry Simplification Tool or GST) is already in use. Work on the second component (an interoperable HVAC graphic user interface for EnergyPlus) is under development. The third component (an internal loads generation tool) will be developed in the near future. The original HVAC GUI for EnergyPlus component has evolved into a BEP simulation platform code-named Mojito. A new internal data model which defines all object/attribute/ relationship sets used in BEP simulation, called SimModel, is the central feature of Mojito. Modeling imprecision is very characteristic of geometry representation in building models submitted by the Architecture-Engineering-Construction-Owners-Operator (AECOO) industry. This, and the lagging and very slow development of CAD utilities that can generate higher-level space boundaries needed in BEP simulation, has forced the development of a new tool (SBT) that calculates higher-level space boundaries from IFC-compliant definition of basic building geometry from any model-based CAD tool. It has also forced the addition of new data transformation rules in GST. This paper describes the principles and high-level views of SimModel, SBT and GST internal architectures, and discusses some of the model and tool functionalities. It also provides a brief summary of quality assessment characteristic of building models generated in the AECOO industry.

Keywords: Building data, semi-automated simulation, simulation software, energy simulation data model, data transformation.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Bakis N, Sun M

Intelligent broker for collaborative search and retrieval of construction information on the WWW

Abstract: "CONTEXT In recent years, the construction industry began to use the World Wide Web (WWW) as an information dissemination vehicle. The amount of construction information available on the WWW is increasing exponentially, ranging from product data to technical publications, from building regulations to best practice guides. However, the task of finding the right information becomes more and more difficult. At present, users rely on two types of solutions to the information discovery and retrieval problem on the Internet, “yellow pages like information gateways” and “robot-based Internet search engines”. While acknowledging the success for both solutions so far, the authors will discuss their growing evident limitations in supporting construction specific information retrieval on the WWW. OBJECTIVES AND METHODOLOGY The aim of this study is to develop an intelligent information broker for the construction information on the Internet, which will facilitate collaboration between users for the benefit of improved information search and retrieval on the WWW network. The objectives are: ·to examine the information needs of different types of users in the construction industry; ·to capture these information needs conceptually as user profiles and information context models; ·to incorporate construction domain knowledge into the information network; ·to improve speed and accuracy of users search for construction information by developing a information network that facilitates the sharing of search results and knowledge; ·to develop a hierarchical distributed client/server architecture to enable the most efficient service both Intranet and Internet users. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS The intelligent information broker described in paper has a client/server architecture based on software agents technology. It has two distinct features: (1) supporting user collaboration; (2) applying construction domain and user profile knowledge to improve the information search. Collaborative Information Searching Collaborative searching or social filtering is often the most effective method of ranking Internet documents. The developed information broker enables users with the same interest to share the results of their search and their rating of each document’s quality and relevance. Construction knowledge and User Profile The information broker server is in essence a construction oriented WWW searching engine. What distinguishes it from other searching engines is its evolving knowledge base of construction specific keyword sets and construction user profiles. Using the knowledge base, the information broker server is able to answer intelligent queries other than simple keyword matching."

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Full text: content.pdf (197,260 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.054837) class.retrieve (0.047943) class.social (0.030880)
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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


Brien M J O', Al-Biqami N

XML, flexibility and systems integration

Abstract: "O'Brien (1997) outlined the two primary ways in which data can be integrated. One invloves the establishment of a centralised data store that meets all the needs of a construction project; the other recognises the geographical and functional fragmentation of the industry and views data integration as a conceptual process. From a purely technical point of view the first is perhaps the easiest, but it fails to meet the organisational and economic demands of the construction industry. Thus the second approach is more likely to be adopted by the participants of that industry. The problem then becomes one of mapping the meta-data structures of one participant onto those of another. Various efforts at the development of standards have attempted to address this issue. However, standards can be both complex and inadequate. The complexity is a demand of the industry while the inadequacy stems from the impossibility of coping with every eventuality - a severe problem given the essential uniqueness of each building product. This is not to say that standards are not required, merely that their limitations are fully realised from the outset and that expectations are not raised to the point where disappointment sets in and they fall into disrepute. EDI is a perfectly good standard but has failed to make a great impact on the construction industry. The volume of application-to-application communications remains small. This paper argues that while standards such as EDI can form the backbone of data communications - and therefore provide a vehicle for data integration in the construction industry - they are insufficient to cope with the desired flexibility demanded by the industry. The paper then develops this idea by suggesting that something more is required, something flexible. Extensible markup language (XML) is a tool which can help provide the necessary flexibility. XML is a language which provides a common syntax for expressing the structure of data. While it can be seen as an extension of the commonly used Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) this fails to recognise that XML has uses beyond the creation of Web pages. In its broadest sense XML allows systems developers to define the structure of a document. Currently its main uses are for data interchange between humans and machines, but the ability to facility machine-machine interactions is the most exciting concept for construction industry systems. Now EDI is a perfectly good tool for such interactions but in the event of any new requirements the standards need to be extended. This is such a long process that by the time it is completed it is of no use to the original users. XML however provides a dynamic mechanism which can be adapted as required to meet the needs of the users. This is its great strength for the construction industry - an industry that is ""document-rich"". In effect by using XML to specify meta-data structures one overcomes the differences between the data structures of different trading partners. No longer will we require all parties to conform to the tramlines of a strictly enforced standard, but rather those parties will be able to exchange data merely by changing the XML description of their documents. Thus in conclusion this paper shows that the use of XML within the construction industry will facilitate data, and hence systems, integration. O'Brien, M.J. 1997. Integration at the limit:construction systems, International Journal of Construction Information Technology, Vol 5, No 1,pp 89-98."

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Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.051918) class.standards (0.032166) class.software-software (0.030798)
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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


Chassin D P

Computer software architecture to support automated building diagnostics

Abstract: Developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Building Sciences Group, Honeywell Technology Center, and the University of Colorado Joint Center for Energy Management with support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Whole Building Diagnostician is a Windows-based application that provides building operators with easy access to system diagnostic information. The architecture of the software infrastructure presented provides essential data collection, validation, integration, analysis, and management functions for the large sets of discontinuous asynchronous time-series data used by all the modules in the application. The proposed architecture uses a central database to store both the data and the diagnostic results from the various modules. Although the use of a centralized database has many advantages, it has several shortcomings. This paper will discuss the advantages and shortcomings of such an approach when deployed on a large scale.

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Full text: content.pdf (413,036 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.033279) class.impact (0.013789) class.software development (0.011533)
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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.


De Grassi M, Giretti A, Caneparo L, Mecca S

Teaching construction in the virtual university: the WINDS project

Abstract: "This paper introduces some of the Information Technology solutions adopted in Web based INtelligent Design Support (WINDS) to support education in A/E/C design. The WINDS project WINDS is an EC-funded project in the 5th Framework, Information Society Technologies programme, Flexible University key action. WINDS is divided into two actions: ·The research technology action is going to implement a learning environment integrating an intelligent tutoring system, a computer instruction management system and a set of co-operative supporting tools. ·The development action is going to build a large knowledge base supporting Architecture and Civil Engineering Design Courses and to experiment a comprehensive Virtual School of Architecture and Engineering Design. During the third year of the project, more than 400 students all over Europe will attend the Virtual School. During the next three years the WINDS project will span a total effort of about 150 man-years from 28 partners of 10 European countries. The missions of the WINDS project are: Advanced Methodologies in Design Education. WINDS drives a breakdown with conventional models in design education, i.e. classroom or distance education. WINDS implements a problem oriented knowledge transfer methodology following Roger Schank’s Goal Based Scenario (GBS) pedagogical methodology. GBS encourages the learning of both skills and cases, and fosters creative problem solving. Multidisciplinary Design Education. Design requires creative synthesis and open-end problem definition at the intersection of several disciplines. WINDS experiments a valuable integration of multidisciplinary design knowledge and expertise to produce a high level standard of education. Innovative Representation, Delivery and Access to Construction Education. WINDS delivers individual education customisation by allowing the learner access through the Internet to a wide range of on-line courses and structured learning objects by means of personally tailored learning strategies. WINDS promotes the 3W paradigm: learn What you need, Where you want, When you require. Construction Practice. Construction industry is a repository of ""best practices"" and knowledge that the WINDS will profit. WINDS system benefits the ISO10303 and IFC standards to acquire knowledge of the construction process directly in digital format. On the other hand, WINDS reengineers the knowledge in up-to-date courses, educational services, which the industries can use to provide just-in-time rather than in-advance learning. WINDS IT Solutions The missions of the WINDS project state many challenging requirements both in knowledge and system architecture. Many of the solutions adopted in these fields are innovative; others are evolution of existing technologies. This paper focuses on the integration of this set of state-of-the-art technologies in an advanced and functionally sound Computer Aided Instruction system for A/E/C Design. In particular the paper deals with the following aspects: Standard Learning Technology Architecture The WINDS system relies on the in progress IEEE 1484.1 Learning Technology Standard Architecture. According to this standard the system consists of two data stores, the Knowledge Library and the Record Database, and four process: System Coach, Delivery, Evaluation and the Learner. WINDS implements the Knowledge Library into a three-tier architecture: 1.Learning Objects: ·Learning Units are collections of text and multimedia data. ·Models are represented in either IFC or STEP formats. ·Cases are sets of Learning Units and Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describes solutions, integrate technical detail, contain relevant design failures etc. 2.Indexes refer to the process in which the identification of relevant topics in design cases and learning units takes place. Indexing process creates structures of Learning Objects for course management, profile planning procedures and reasoning processes. 3.Courses are taxonomies of either Learning Units or a design task and Course Units. Knowledge Representation WINDS demonstrates that it is possible and valuable to integrate a widespread design expertise so that it can be effectively used to produce a high level standard of education. To this aim WINDS gathers area knowledge, design skills and expertise under the umbrellas of common knowledge representation structures and unambiguous semantics. Cases are one of the most valuable means for the representation of design expertise. A Case is a set of Learning Units and Product Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describe solutions, integrate technical details, contain relevant design failures, etc. Knowledge Integration Indexes are a medium among different kind of knowledge: they implement networks for navigation and access to disparate documents: HTML, video, images, CAD and product models (STEP or IFC). Concept indexes link learning topics to learning objects and group them into competencies. Index relationships are the base of the WINDS reasoning processes, and provide the foundation for system coaching functions, which proactively suggest strategies, solutions, examples and avoids students’ design deadlock. Knowledge Distribution To support the data stores and the process among the partners in 10 countries efficiently, WINDS implements an object oriented client/server as COM objects. Behind the DCOM components there is the Dynamic Kernel, which dynamically embodies and maintains data stores and process. Components of the Knowledge Library can reside on several servers across the Internet. This provides for distributed transactions, e.g. a change in one Learning Object affects the Knowledge Library spread across several servers in different countries. Learning objects implemented as COM objects can wrap ownership data. Clear and univocal definition of ownerships rights enables Universities, in collaboration with telecommunication and publisher companies, to act as “education brokers”. Brokerage in education and training is an innovative paradigm to provide just-in-time and personally customised value added learning knowledge."

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Full text: content.pdf (417,738 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.088602) class.deployment (0.042591) class.bestPractise (0.035370)
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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


Eastman C M

Life cycle requirements for building product models

Abstract: If progress is to be made in developing integrated computer models for representing buildings, then a careful understanding of the uses and criteria regarding buildq information over the complete life cycle is needed. This paper sets forth the expected use and general criteria regarding the phases of feasibility, design, construction planning construction and operation. Some generalizations of these criteria are identified that have implications for the architecture of a building model environment

Keywords: building product models; lifecycle; computer-aided design

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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.


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