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A Galach & Z Kotulski

Risk assessment in disaster recovery strategies development

Abstract: The paper describes the model for selecting disaster recovery strategies for information system. The risk assessment covers the threats and vulnerabilities related to the problem of losing the availability of information processes in the particular information system model. The analysis takes under consideration the relationships between the components of information system in order to find the risk of availability lost propagation within the system. That is the basis for finding the candidate disaster recovery strategies, which have to fulfil these basic requirements. Such an approach allows sifting these ones, which are basically not suitable for the security requirements of the information system. The preliminary accepted strategies are to be analyzed regarding to the estimated cost of implementation and maintenance. The next phase covers the detailed analysis of confidentiality and integrity risks in the candidate strategies. The level of risk related to the confidentiality and integrity of information processed in the disaster situation using given strategy is to be estimated.

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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 Lähr & K-U Bletzinger

Prediction of consequences for planning situation based decisions

Abstract: Consequences of a decision made by a planner (e.g. a project manager, or an engineer) within a collaborative environment can hardly be foreseen. For example, such a collaborative scenario is represented by a planning process in AEC. In particular, during certain planning stages alternatives have to be considered which significantly influence the overall result. Todays AEC planning procedures can be very much improved by predicting simulation methods to judge about the quality impact of certain design or planning modifications. Also, the proper interpretation of data is very crucial to give suitable insight into the characteristic consequences of individual planning decisions. This contribution presents an approach to achieve this goal by discussing needs, problems and implementation for the actual state of our research.

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


Ahmed Laaroussi, Alain Zarli, Jean-Claude Bignon, Gilles Halin

Towards a flexible IT-based system for process steering in architecture design

Abstract: This paper tackles the problem of assisting the steering distributed design processes in architecture. It suggests a macro model oriented steering, based on breakpoints notion borrowed from computer field. We formalize the use of breakpoint into process based on two notions: Concern Situation and Aimed Situation. A first software imple-mentation is tried starting from this modelling.

Keywords: steering of distributed design processes, breakpoint, concern situation, aimed situation

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Aisha Abuelmaatti, Vian Ahmed

Collaborative Environments and its Effects on Construction Companies: The Current Context

Abstract: The ability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve and enhance organisation’ productivity as well as their competitive situation has never been greater. Emerging technologies in the UK offer the construction industry many opportunities for computer supported collaborative environments, with regards to addressing some of the aspects that result in a complicated and complex construction process. However, the organisations adopting these technologies usually fail in achieving the full benefits from their implementations. Previous studies in the area have shown that 80 to 90 per cent of ICT investment did not meet their performance objectives. The fact of the matter is that collaborative environments have been evolving and effectively employed in large organisations and are believed to have high potential for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but the use of collaboration technology remains low among 99% of enterprises in the UK construction industry usually referred to as SMEs employing less than 250 employees. The growing popularity of collaborative environments in the construction industry has, unfortunately, not been matched by parallel empirical research for SMEs.The work reported in this paper serves two purposes. First, the results of an intensive literature review reveals general causes of failure in ICT implementations, and the key areas to focus on during ICT implementation for collaborative working. Second, results from exploratory case study that was conducted in order to assess the use of collaborative environments and their adaptation approaches are analysed in order to further explain what issues are preventing SMEs from achieving their utmost collaboration potential. Therefore, the paper blends a combination of factors which may affect the success of collaborative environments for SMEs and are believed to contribute towards the improvement and implementation of collaboration systems.

Keywords: Construction, ICT standards, re-engineering

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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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.


Andresen J L

Cost and benefit assessments of IT systems in the construction industry

Abstract: This paper presents the results of four case studies that focus on cost and benefit assessments of IT systems in the Danish construction industry. The primary objectives in the case studies have been to (a) explore the difficulties with evaluating IT systems in the construction industry, (b) complete evaluations on particular IT systems in companies from the construction industry using four different IT evaluation methodologies and, ultimately, (c) develop a framework for how to select an IT evaluation method in different IT evaluation situations. The case studies are conducted as a part of a three-year Ph.D. project in order to collect the necessary data to fulfil the objectives stated in the Ph.D. project. The overall objective of the Ph.D. project is how to improve the knowledge and use of IT systems in the construction industry. To achieve this aim the Ph.D. project focuses on how construction companies can increase their knowledge about costs and benefits in their different IT applications by evaluating future IT investments and current IT systems. Specifically, the Ph.D. project focuses on developing a framework for how to select an appropriate IT evaluation method among the many available methods. Earlier in the Ph.D. project a questionnaire survey was completed analysing the current state (1999) of IT evaluation practices in the Danish construction industry. In the four case studies the following IT systems were evaluated: · An electronic document management system called Documentum · Upgrading AutoCad 14 to AutoCad 2000 · Two different ProjectWeb systems The case studies are completed in collaboration with four Danish [RH1] companies based on IT evaluation situations identified in the companies. The construction companies in the case studies comprise three large consulting engineers (Rambøll, Cowi and NIRAS) and one large contractor (Højgaard and Schultz). In each case the IT evaluation situation is identified and described in detail. Four different IT evaluation methods, each representing a larger group of IT evaluation methods, have been used and these are: · Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation (developed by Construct IT in UK) · Information Economics (developed by M. M. Parker and R. J. Benson) · Net Present Value (unknown origin) · Critical Success Factors (J. Rockart) The case studies provide some hard data on the costs and benefits (both quantitative and qualitative) of the evaluated IT systems. The collected data can be used to create the basis for comparison in other similar cases (although one has to be aware that the data are very context dependent) and the result of the IT evaluations is in itself very interesting. Perhaps more interesting is the data collected about the IT evaluation process. This comprises, among other things, data on the usefulness of the evaluation methods in each of the IT evaluation situations and the identified strengths and weaknesses of the four IT evaluation methods. Lastly the four case studies are compared with some case studies conducted in UK during a six months stay at the University of Salford. The case studies in the UK were conducted in collaboration with another Ph.D. student, Nick Bunyan, on some large contractors (Costain, Alfred McAlpine and Taylor Woodrow). The case studies in the UK were using the IT evaluation method “Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation”. This enables an international comparison between UK and Denmark to be carried out.

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Full text: content.pdf (183,662 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.028296) class.economic (0.020015) class.store (0.013421)
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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.


B de Vries

Building management simulation center

Abstract: Introduction to the BMSC In the Building Management Simulation Center new and experienced construction managers are trained. The center is unique because of the use of a virtual building site that can be inspected by the trainees. The actual status of the building and of the building materials and equipment on the building site is simulated by the system dependent on the trainee’s actions. The main part of the center is the simulation hall. Here, ten cabins are located with a view on a large parabolic projection screen. The trainee has to execute tasks in the cabin in an environment that is familiar to him/her. On the projection screen the building under construction can be viewed and it can be inspected by navigation through the full-scale model. Similar VR based training systems can be found in the aircraft industry, the automotive industry [http://www.ttsl.co.uk/home.htm] en de shipbuilding industry [http://thor.sv.vt.edu/crane/]. These examples inspired the initiators of the BMSC to investigate if the same methodology could be used in the building industry. Building site activity patterns Construction process simulation research has mainly been focused on the development of a construction planning analysis tool [e.g. V.R. Kamat, J.C. Martinez in proceedings of CIT2000]. In the BMSC though, interaction between the construction manager and the building on the building site will steer the construction process simulation. Investigations on the building site and discussions with experienced construction managers learned that they work in fixed patterns. A pattern consisting of a list of activities is called a transition type. These transition types describe all kinds of procedures that a construction manager performs to fulfill a specific tasks (e.g. ordering of new material). Transition types also take into account actions required to perform corrections beforehand or afterwards. For a specific case the transitions were entered into the system. The transitions were deduced from the construction managers that had worked on that building project when it was actually built. For the training purposes every possible situation the trainee can end up with has to be covered by the transitions. The interactive 3D training system The trainee’s actions are logged by a kind of Electronic Data Management System. All documents that are created during a training session are stored in the system. The system itself also contains project information that can be consulted. Finally the system offers an interface to communicate with the other participants in the project. After the training session that consists of the execution of a set of tasks, the system has stored all actions, their order and the produced documents. These data are compared with the predefined transitions for the case that was used. The document contents are compared with the predefined activity results. With this method it is easy to detect if the trainee missed certain activities in a transition and if the information is consistent. Finally, a visual feedback can be created be regeneration the 3D model in the VR environment in accordance with the trainee’s actions. The 3D model will show has far the building could have been built successfully. The learning effect After the training session the trainee will be confronted with the (possible) mismatch between has own actions and the preferred actions following from the predefined transitions. Evidently this is discussed during the evaluation after the training. Recognition of the right transition by the trainee to solve a specific task is considered one of the major learning effects of a BMSC training. Paper Outline In the paper the software architecture of the system will be explained. The activity patterns and the management of the system are discussed in more detail. A layout of the building where the BMSC is hosted is presented. Finally some examples of the training sessions will illustrate how the BMSC operates in practice and an overview will be presented of the first experiences.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,053,282 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.deployment (0.027827) class.man-software (0.018630) class.communication (0.013308)
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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.


B Otjacques & F Feltz

Characterizing the visualization techniques of project-related interactions

Abstract: All construction projects can be considered as cooperative undertakings. Their strategic management as well as the daily operations causes numerous interactions to occur, either among persons or among persons and resources. These interactions have been studied from various viewpoints but few researchers have focused on their visualization. The graphical representation of the cooperation is however a powerful tool to help the project participants to get a correct understanding of the situation. This paper proposes thus a structuring framework (IVF - Interaction Visualization Framework) of the visualization techniques used to display such interactions. Three basic axes of classification are used to structure the study. Which objects are visualized? Why are they visualized? How are they visualized? For each axis, several properties have been identified and the admitted values have been specified. This work can be considered as a first step towards a structured view of the 'visualization of cooperation' domain.

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Becerik B

A review on past, present and future of web based project management & collaboration tools and their adoption by the US AEC industry

Abstract: The term "Construction Project Extranet" (CPE) in this paper refers to Internet sites, which offer communication platforms, project management functionalities and hosted collaboration spaces for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) Industry projects. The paper focuses on web-based CPE offerings and examines in-depth analysis of the past, present and future of CPE solutions for design and construction projects as implemented by the AEC industry in United States. The paper builds upon previous research as well as structured interviews that were conducted with technology providers, users, and experts. The findings from the interviews and literature search were analyzed to address these questions: How has CPE technology been developed? How much are these systems accepted and used? What are the barriers to widespread adoption? How will the market for such systems evolve? The main goals of this paper are to fulfill the need of research related to the developments in this field, to provide a concise, updated overview of existing implementation practices and the current situation of CPE market, to discuss the reasons for slow adoption of CPE technology by the industry, and to understand the adoption and technology development patterns to forecast the future trends in this field.

Keywords: adoption, AEC Industry, communication, extranets, information technology, and web-based project management

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Bindslev B

Facing a new reality in the computerazationN of the industry

Abstract: The introduction of computers in the management of building projects has gone on since the early sixties. In recent years the use of personal computers has increased and will soon become widespread within the organizations of the industry. This development has followed the mechanization of manual work on building sites and in component factories in the fifties. The mechanization of information processing is a logical consequence of the ongoing industrialization of the society, because mechanized production requires adequate and efficient management of activities, In this situation organizations will undergo changes and will collaborate according to new patterns in order to profit by the new technology [ref 11. In Europe the introduction of the Inner Market will have effects which will require measures to ease communication between the parties of the industry. Therefore, the idea of a common artificial language has gained increasing interest. It has become necessary for technical reasons but also in order to facilitate communication among nations that use different natural languages. This paper outlines some of the problems related to formalization of co-ordinated communication in an industry facing a new reality [ref 21. Keywords Classification; Communication; Computer-aided Design; Databases; Neuro-linguistics; Project Management; Symbolic Logic.

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Full text: content.pdf (2,016,066 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1988 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.053222) class.social (0.037187) class.synthesis (0.026611)
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Permission to reproduce these documents has been graciously provided by the Lund University and the Swedish Building Centre. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Per Christiansson and Prof. Henry Karlsson, is gratefully appreciated.


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