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A decision support system for building refurbishment design

Abstract: "Refurbishment work in the EC currently accounts for more than one-third of the total construction output. This market is expected to grow stronger with the progressive ageing of buildings and the environment impetus to retain buildings. A further dimension is the need to adapt buildings for a greying population. There are important differences between refurbishment and new construction works. The existing building constraints the design solutions, construction technologies and work methods. Mechanisation, planning, and efficient organisation of refurbishment work is difficult, due to the small, labour intensive, and ad hoc, dynamic nature of the work. Also due to the relatively small scale of refurbishment projects, there have been no opportunities for standardisation and the applications of prefabrication and industrialisation are limited. Today, larger sized contractors are rapidly moving into the refurbishment market, in response to the shrinking new-build market and the higher technological demands of large scale refurbishment projects. The EC funded Brite Euram project 4670 is titled ‘Decision Support Systems for Building Refurbishment.’ This project has started in August 1998 and will finish in July 2001. Its objective is to develop a socio-technological-commercial framework and corresponding Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for housing refurbishment, to achieve: ? refurbishments which are more focused on user requirements; ? refurbishment designs which take into account the constraints of the existing building structure; ? increased incorporation of industrialised systems and components; ? organisational procedures and production technologies that recognise the unique nature of refurbishment work. The project is divided into three tasks. Task one aims at developing a DSS for the determination of the refurbishment demand and ballpark costs. Task two involves the development of a DSS for refurbishment design. Task three will result in a DSS for refurbishment process planning and control. This paper describes the approach followed for the ongoing development in task two, the DSS for refurbishment design. The main objectives of this task are to provide decision support at the project level. It will develop a database of layouts of representative existing housing estates and a database of preferred refurbishment layouts for these representative existing housing estates. Another database will be developed containing information on building systems and components that are relevant for the refurbishment process. Task two will establish a protocol for refurbishment design support. This protocol, which is implemented in a decision support information system, involves a number of steps that aid the user in selecting an appropriate housing layout and building systems and components that meet the user’s requirements. These steps involve the evaluation of a the user’s refurbishment demands and selection of a matching representative existing housing layout. Based on further dialog with the system, a preferred refurbishment layout is selected, which in turn is used as the basis for the selection of building systems and components that meet the performance requirements as stated by the user. The paper describes the methodology that is implemented in the system for retrieving performance requirements from the user, and the approaches for matching these to the stock of existing and preferred housing layouts available in the system’s database. The system is characterised by a flexible architecture of both the databases and the user interface, which results in a scalable system that allows the expansion of the databases with new graphical layouts and building systems and components, as well as the addition of new kinds of performance requirements. The system is implemented as an Internet application, which allows the database to be maintained centrally and facilitates world wide access to the system. The system’s implementation involves the combination of graphical and non-graphical data that can be queried and matched with only typical Internet browsing software installed at the client-side."

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Full text: content.pdf (465,782 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.029035) class.environment (0.012122) class.impact (0.010657)
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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


A.V. Hore, R.P. West & A. Redmond

The Future Scenario of Creating a Digital SME Community in the Irish Construction Industry

Abstract: The problems associated with the Construction Industry not being able to manage and communicate electronically product and project data between collaborating firms and within individual companies is compounded by the large number of small companies that have not adopted advanced Information Communication Technology (ICT). The typical nature of the service provided in construction, being an on-site and often highly customised service are generally identified as the reason for the low ICT uptake. The majority of Irish companies in the construction sector are Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). As eBusiness opens up the Irish economy to international competition Irish SMEs should use ICT as a generator of competitive advantage to become more effective and efficient with eBusiness technologies. The Construction IT Alliance in Ireland has identified a programme that can create a digital SME community that will promote ICT services in the Irish Construction Industry in order to compete in the global economy.

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Full text: content.pdf (193,989 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Agger K

Facilities management IT tools: building model, basic information and graphics

Abstract: The need for small easy to use Facilities Management IT tools for the existing building stock has led to the development of IokalEjdlnFo a windows based managementhnformation system with graphical navigation. The first version is in use in public institutions and the second version is under consideration among a broad group of FM experts in DK. IokalEjdlnFo has been implemented as a database system with graphicdCAD added on. The paper will discuss the building model used in the system, the sufficient model for FM in comparison with the necessary CAD model for building and the possibilities for extracting the FM building model from the CAD model. Basic information on the property is extracted from public databases and is used for automated generation of part of the objects in the building model. Graphic information is extracted from CAD models of the building or created from scanned drawings by the means of simple CAD tools added to the database tool as extensions. Graphics are used for graphic navigation in the model, for extracting quantities and for presentation of information. The paper discuss strategies for FM and CAD.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,174,117 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.036948) class.man-software (0.031639) class.communication (0.011701)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


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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Full text: content.pdf (102,812 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Alan Redmond, Alan Hore, Roger West, Mustafa Alshawi

Building Support for Cloud Computing in the Irish Construction Industry

Abstract: The construction industry has been traditionally recognised as a fragmented sector associated with a poor level of implementation and penetration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) by Small to Medium Size Enterprises (SMEs). The ability to collaborate in parallel with a change management process system that requires a central repository that can act as a base for interoperability between various construction disciplines and their software applications has long been sought. The proposed collaborative solution is not an invention, but more of a practical innovation combining several earlier inventions into something new and compelling. Cloud computing is a collective term for a large number of developments and possibilities. It is a new layer of internet architecture that creates an open opportunity to add functionality to an increasingly global network. The characteristics of Cloud computing such as shared infrastructure, on-demand applications, elasticity and consumption-based pricing, allows all disciplines in the sector to benefit. As part of the Irish Construction IT Alliance (CITA) Enterprise Innovation Network (EIN) research on investigating eBusiness technologies for the Irish construction industry, this paper will present the findings of its research methodology in developing a Web based collaborative platform for the SME market. It is envisioned that this opportunity gap will enable SMEs to support data exchange, information sharing and supply chain collaboration across a secure and affordable network that will allow them to compete in a global environment.

Keywords: Construction, Cloud Computing, Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SME)

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Full text: content.pdf (182,855 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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.


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

HPC in the building construction sector

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

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

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.030939) class.bestPractise (0.026703) class.communication (0.025338)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Amor R, Marsh R, Hutchison A

Electronic news service for the european construction industry

Abstract: "Abstract The Electronic News Service (ENS at http://www.connet.org/NS/Intl/) is an AltaVista-like service which is specialised for the construction industry. It has been developed as one of the services in the EC project CONNET (Construction Information Service Network, at http://www.connet.org/). The ENS provides a searchable index of the contents of Internet sites relevant to the built environment. The database containing the source set of Internet sites to index has information on over 14,300 Internet sites across the world, categorised and classified by several criteria. This base set of Internet sites is drawn from all major lists offered to the construction industry (e.g., Yahoo, EEVL, UK-BRP, etc) and from published sources (e.g., Architect's Journal, Building magazine, etc). Over 35 major lists of site sources are utilised to build, maintain, and grow this set of 14,300 resources for the construction industry. The ENS service provides all in the industry with a free method of identifying sources of information based on the content of a web page or service based classifications. Users are able to define profiles for news they have an interest in and to be periodically, and automatically, notified of new or modified web pages and sites which meet their criterion. Running the ENS within the CONNET network provides mechanisms to link together all news services, which are available, to provide answers to user requests across complimentary systems, or even to take requests established for news and use them to identify other information sources of relevance (e.g., publications, software, products). This paper will describe the ENS, the methods it uses to gather and index construction information across the world, and the services it offers to the construction industry. However, the main content of this paper will be an analysis of the references gathered from the 35 major lists of resources which are established across the world. This analysis looks at the overlap that exists between the Internet sites referred to by each of these lists (which is remarkably small), the particular biases which appear in the lists (mainly towards English language and USA-based information), the currency of the sites in the lists (quite poor), and the predicted coverage of total construction-based Internet resources found in all of these lists. Our analysis of the lists also shows a relatively small number of 'must have' sites, which are included in the majority of the lists operated around the world. These 'must have' sites are highlighted and analysed to provide an understanding of what makes these sites of such great importance to the whole industry."

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Full text: content.pdf (885,898 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.028828) class.man-man (0.010240) class.analysis (0.010151)
Similar papers:
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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


Anotnio Grilo, Ricardo Jardim-Goncalves

Changing E-Procurement in the AEC Sector with BIM

Abstract: The paper will analyze how the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are changing the processes within the AEC sector, namely the Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach; Service Oriented Architecture, and the emerging of Cloud Computing. The combination of these approaches enable a full de-materialization of the whole building or life-cycle and the possibility of e-procurement become more efficient and increase market competitiveness. Cloud Computing is an evolution over the traditional hosting and application service providers, though more aligned with the service-oriented environments. The advent of Cloud computing is likely to take the burden of internal and external ICT challenges off of micro-size and small-size firms, and particularly alleviate the interoperability problem and thus sustaining the possibility of having the full transactional cycle fully integrated between the public entity issuing a tender and would-be suppliers within the AEC sector, particularly when combined with the BIM approach. This will support the possibility that electronic procurement does not become a too high burden to micro-sized and SMEs companies and thus maintaining their ability to tackle e-procurement of building and construction works public goods and services.The paper describes how BIM, SOA and Cloud Computing can change traditional e-procurement functions, namely the elaboration of tendering documents, as the technical data can be automatically coupled with transactional information, as in RFP, Order, or Invoice, and published in electronic procurement platforms. The paper will present results of current R&D of the application of this approach in the construction phase of building development projects.

Keywords: Building Information Modeling, Electronic Procurement, Service Oriented Architecture, Cloud Computing

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Full text: content.pdf (321,615 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Arif A, Karam A

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

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

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

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

Series: itcon:2001 (browse)
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