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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 Kiviniemi & J Haymaker

Integration of Multiple Product Models

Abstract: The development of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) started from the vision that an integrated building product model would cover all necessary information for a buildings’ entire lifecycle: from requirements management, through different design processes to construction and maintenance processes. Although the IFC model specification covers a substantial part of the required information, AEC projects still have encountered many problems putting this model into practice. AEC professionals still find it difficult to have dynamic, lossless, truly effective data flow amongst the different participants and applications. It is obvious that file based data exchange alone is not a feasible solution - some other solution for integrating project information is necessary. This workshop discusses some viewpoints and potential solutions to the above issues and problems.

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Full text: content.pdf (117,391 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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


A Kiviniemi, M Fischer & V Bazjanac

Integration of Multiple Product Models: IFC Model Servers as a Potential Solution

Abstract: The development of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) started from the vision of an integrated building product model which would cover all necessary information for buildings' whole lifecycle: requirements management, different design activities and construction and maintenance processes. Although the IFC model specification covers a substantial part of the required information its implementations into practical applications have shown several serious problems. One of the main problems is that the internal structures of the different software products do not support the information needs for the whole process. Thus, the idea of lossless, incremental data flow through the different applications used by the project participants has not come true. It is obvious that file based data exchange is not feasible solution, and some other solution for integrated project data model is necessary for the AEC industry. This paper discusses some viewpoints and potential solutions to the above problem.

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Full text: content.pdf (842,373 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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


A Mediavilla, A Romero, J Pérez,F J Mata

Energy efficiency assessment in urban environments using GIS

Abstract: Energy simulation tools are commonly used in building design processes. Their calculation methods are comprehensive and widely accepted. However, the increasing requirements imposed to comply with low emission urban scenarios demand a wider scope analysis, taking into account not only the building, but also the interactions between urban elements (buildings, green areas, urban lighting…). GIS technology seems suitable for this purpose, but current solutions do not include deep energy demand calculations. On the other hand, building simulation tools do not consider the city environment and terrain influence. To evaluate a district by manually adding single building simulations results is an overwhelming process, prone to errors and very time-consuming.In this scenario, urban planners demand Decision Support Systems that go beyond traditional building-scope simulation engines and consider both building and urban-level variables in order to assess the energy efficiency of the urban design.Aware of this issue, the platform presented in this paper fills this gap between building and city approaches. It consists of an ArcGIS customisation, implementing energy simulation models for radiation, energy demands, consumption, energy costs and CO2 emissions. The results are simulated and visualized at different levels (façades, buildings and city). Thus, it is possible to benchmark the district against a reference scenario and certify the sustainability of a district. It has been validated with a new urban development scenario in northern Spain.The platform seamlessly integrates CAD cartography, GIS geoprocessing and the calculation strength of excel sheets, enhanced with 3D energy mapping outputs which can be seen in Google Earth. It does not require deep technical knowledge, being suited for multicriteria analysis. Its modularity allows extending it with future extensions.

Keywords: GIS, energy efficiency, low carbon cities, urban planning, simulation

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Full text: content.pdf (228,375 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A. Dikbas, P. Ercoskun & K. Ercoskun

Enabling Sustainability through SOA within the AEC/FM Domain

Abstract: Sustainability is one of the most important research topics for the Architecture/Engineering/Construction & Facility Management (AEC/FM) domain. Two basic factors which enable sustainability are the technology background and the acquisition capability of this technology to the end users – society. Sustainability requires state of the art technologies which reduce the negative impact of population and affiliation. Key aspects of such technology are; it should depend on renewable resources, without waste, cyclical, based on resource productivity rather than labor productivity, and should even be restorative in its effects on the biosphere. Theproblem is, today establishing such technology is not affordable for the average end user. Development, implication, and acquisition of such technologies takes reasonable time though signs from our earth warns usthat we have no more time. The problem itself contains a lot of interoperability challenges in Information Technology (IT), Process and Organizational levels. Although many governments deploy incentives to promote investments on sustainable technologies, money is not the only measure for the market penetration of a technology. A user oriented approach is developed and a proposal is made to elaborate on the problem as a whole within a reference process model. The model determines the key functions, mechanisms and controls, to enable the design and development of sustainable technologies and facilitate the acquisition of those technologies to the society. The process model basically focuses on the Facility Management processes and addresses many aspects of the problem including financial, legal, and ethical issues. The model benefits from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions for construction sector from a previous research and promotes a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) for tracking the lifetime of sustainable technologies. The model includes decision support functions for the design phase, marketing and competency functions for the implication and acquisition phase, and measurement and evaluation functions for the use phase. The preliminary solution includes business processes rather then IT solutions but interoperability solutions on the IT layer also have been discussed for sustainable development. The model is under development within the joint efforts of a EU funded FP6 project I3CON (Industrialised, Integrated, Intelligent Construction) and a PhD research. It is believed that the model would facilitate the widespread recognition of the requirement of a radical switch to the sustainable technologies.

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Full text: content.pdf (365,990 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Abduh M, Skibniewski M J

Utility assessment of electronic networking technologies in construction

Abstract: Despite an explosive growth in virtually all areas of industry and commerce, Electronic Networking Technology (ENT) has only begun to make inroads into the construction industry practice. Although information exchange protocols in construction firms and on construction project sites make it difficult to take advantage of most ready-made solutions applicable in other industries, there is a significant potential of large benefits from the correctly developed and applied ENT solutions for construction firms and construction project site offices. This paper describes the ongoing research effort to determine variables related to the application of ENT protocols for the main types of construction project delivery systems and to measure the utility of ENT configurations in facilitating communication between parties involved in a construction project with respect to specific project delivery systems.

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Full text: content.pdf (74,489 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.commerce (0.026075) class.communication (0.012214) class.collaboration (0.009528)
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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.


Addison A,O’Hare W-T,Kassem M,Dawood N

The importance of engaging engineering and construction learners in virtual worlds and serious games

Abstract: The engineering and construction industries require their workforce to undertake complex learning and training activities. Exposing new employees, graduates, or apprentices to these environments could endanger their safety and the safety of those working with them. On site education and training also requires an investment of time from skilled individuals and companies. Problems accessing environments, such as construction sites, heavy plants or chemical manufacturers, are substantially heightened by the need to risk assess and comply with Health and Safety legislation making the traditional “hands on” and “shadowing” approaches to training and education more complicated than in the past. These difficulties are also compounded by changes to the geographical locations (e.g. distance learning, on site) of those studying to join these career paths or progress within them. Therefore, educational institutions and trainers must consider how to deliver this skill based learning for both those with access to academic premises and those learning at a distance. New technologies such as serious games are one of the solutions being explored. This paper undertakes an analysis of safety issues and safety training and learning methods relating to the construction industry. The paper takes its start point from a Health and Safety Executive commissioned report in 2003 (Hide et al, 2003) and questions if sufficient improvements in safety have been achieved within the construction industry since its publication. Then, the paper investigates the development of education and training that meets the necessary reality and complexity of engineering and construction sectors and the ability of serious games to provide timely and accessible training to achieve competency within these sectors.

Keywords: Competency,learning,safety,serious games,training,virtual worlds

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Full text: content.pdf (579,452 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Aish R

Extensible enterprise computing for construction as a necessary pre-cursor for collaborative engineering

Abstract: "Our focus is to consider the construction industry as essentially an information processing system. In its ideal form, practitioners (each with an individual internal representation of design intent) interact with other practitioners by first interacting with an information processing system that manages various shared external representation of design intent. The underlying assumption (from an information technologist's perspective) is that design data is held in a sufficiently complete representation, and that changes to this representation are transactions that move the representation from one consistent state to another. We might call this 'enterprise computing' for construction. This ideal of 'enterprise computing' for construction can be compared to the realities of current practice. - Due to its fragmentation, the construction industry generally perceives its use of information technology in terms of multiple discrete 'individual' systems (with the resulting proliferation of discrete documents) rather than as an enterprise systems. - The drawing tradition, which represents building in 2D, with different representations of the same design split across multiple independently editable documents inhibits consistent management of design and the use of analytical tools. While these may be familiar arguments, there are new object oriented and data management tools emerging from key software developer, such as Bentley Systems, that are designed to address the specific needs of a 'construction enterprise', namely geometric generality, multiple application semantics, multi-user access, and transaction management. These systems also address the scalability and reliability issues required for deployment in practice. Again, arguments for (and advantages of) systems of this type have been discussed in the research literature for more than two decades. The difference is that these systems are ready for deployment. But with this prospect for a broader application of 'Enterprise Computing' for Construction, there are associated other significant issues which may concern both the 'strategic' and the 'creative' practitioners, namely: - Semantic completeness: building a sufficiently complete multi-disciplinary representation of design intent - Data integrity: where any intelligent components are used, these should not become 'orphaned', for example, by object ""instance"" data being detached from the definitions of the corresponding class - Data longevity: the integrity of design and other data should be maintained for the life-time of the building, across new hardware platforms and operating systems. Upgrades to the application and any intelligent components should not disrupt or invalidate existing data - Parallelisation of design: individual designers or engineers should be able to work in parallel, and then be able to synchronize their changes to design data with co-workers - Expressibility: architectural design and construction engineering are open-ended domains. Additional intelligent components should be capable of being added on a ""per project"" basis. Within this context, this paper will explore the essential 'tension' that exists within the Architecture and Construction sectors. On the one hand, there is a perceived need by construction managers for computing tools based on clearly defined and agreed schema to control the construction process (thereby giving economic advantage, comparability, etc.). On the other hand, creative designers who are under other competitive pressures, are expecting a different set of computing tools to allow the exploration of new building configurations and construction geometry. While in the former case a standardisation of schema (as the foundation of a traditional ""Enterprise Computing"" system) would appear to be in order, in the later case the essential 'open-ended-ness' of the creative process demands ""extensibility"" as a pre-requisite of any computing system. These differing requirements (and indeed, attitudes) within the user community, presents software developers with interesting challenges. What technologies (for example, object and/or relational) and what 'domain abstractions' are appropriate foundations for solutions for these differing requirements. Or indeed, what technologies and 'domain abstractions' can be used as the basis for broader set of applications whose design is intended to unify across this apparent ""management-creative"" divide…hence the theme of this paper: ""'Extensible Enterprise Computing' for Construction"". Fundamentally, this is not exclusively an issue of technology. We need to address both the technical and cultural issues if we are to realise our collective ambition of providing effective tools with which to support collaboration between the diverse range of interests that occur within the Architecture and Construction sectors."

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Full text: content.pdf (827,728 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.034023) class.software development (0.019513) class.represent (0.017320)
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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


Al-Hajj A, Aouad G

The development of an integrated life cycle costing model using object oriented and vr technologies

Abstract: There is an increasing realisation of the importance of operation and maintenance as opposed to capital costs throughout the life of an asset. In addition, new styles of contracts such as PFI (Private Finance Initiative) are becoming more popular. This will require that the building product is addressed within its holistic picture including the design, construction and maintenance. It is therefore vital to embed the life cycle costing element of a facility within its design and construction. Whole Life Costing is a technique used to facilitate effective choice between alternatives in the search of economic solutions. Information technology, particularly integrated databases and VR (Virtual Reality), can provide the mechanism to facilitate the integration of the whole life cost information. The research project described in this paper aims to add a life cycle costing element to the design phase of the OSCON integrated database developed at Salford University in the UK. The current integrated database within OSCON supports the functions of design, estimating and planning. The proposed system will allow the user within a VR environment to navigate inside the building retrieving information about building components that need replacement or repair. A colouring mechanism will be developed to show various elements in different colours according to cost criteria. This would allow the user to easily inspect the building and get rough ideas of repair and maintenance programmes, running costs and cash flows. The system will allow data to be updated continuously so that it will enable the comparison with initial plans and estimates and provides a fresh view of future action and feedback.

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Full text: content.pdf (77,170 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.029049) class.processing (0.019301) class.software development (0.013495)
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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.


Al-Jibouri S, Mawdesley M, Al-Mohamdi G

Information link model for construction using artificial intelligence

Abstract: This paper reports on a novel project model developed to help clients plan, monitor and control their construction projects. It describes a knowledge-based system designed for this purpose. The paper initially concentrates on the practical aspect of knowledge acquisition indicating problems that were faced and solutions employed. Following this, the structure of the knowledge-based system which was developed is outlined and its use described. Conclusions are drawn as to the applicability of the model and the final system. The work undertaken shows that it is feasible to benefit from the field of artificial intelligence to develop a project manager assistant computer program that utilises the benefit of information and its links.

Keywords: construction, information model, project control, knowledge-based system, artificial intelligence

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Full text: content.pdf (450,482 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: itaec:2003 (browse)
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