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Nashwan Dawood, Sushant Sikka

Measuring the efectiveness of 4D planning as a valuable communication tool

Abstract: Construction industry is very much information hungry and is often described as a slow adopter of new IT technologies. The importance of sharing and communicating information is becoming increasingly important through out the whole life of a construction project. Communication of information among different stakeholders is becoming critical as each stakeholder possess different set of skills. As a result, extraction, interpretation and communication of complex design information from drawings is a time consuming and difficult process. Advanced visualisation technolo-gies, like 4D planning (3D product model integrated with schedules) have tremendous potential to increase the commu-nication efficiency and interpretation ability of the project team. Visualisation is the process of displaying information which assists in understanding and evaluating information. However, its use as an effective communication tool is still limited and not fully explored. The main objective of this research is to investigate and measure the effectiveness of communicating construction in-formation of product and processes using 4D models over traditional 2D (two-dimensional) CAD drawings. A 4D ex-perimental exercise has been developed and an experiment has been conducted among participants in different age groups (11 to 22 + yrs) and profiles. The purpose of this research is to evaluate how much information participants are able to extract and retain in their mind by analysing two different graphical representation formats (2D CAD or 4D models). The experiments had been carried out with two groups (2D & 4D). One group used 2D CAD drawings de-scribing the plans, elevation and section, and a bar chart showing the construction schedule. Other group used a 4D visualisation model of the house showing the construction sequence. Participants in both the groups are required to construct the physical model of the house using Lego kit (423 bricks) in the allotted duration of two hours. The results of the experiments showed that the 4D group were able to communicate, coordinate and retain more infor-mation as compared to 2D group. The outcomes of the research has provided quantitative evidence of the benefits of 4D planning as an efficient communication tool as compared to two-dimensional paper approach.

Keywords: communication, information retention, 2D CAD, 4D planning, visualisation, lego bricks

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Nora El-Gohary

Model-Based Automated Value Analysis of Building Projects

Abstract: Axiology is a theory about values and value measurement. Axiology addresses two key questions: 1) What are the ‘things’ that we value? (What is of worth, merit, utility, or importance?) and 2) How to measure the value of the ‘things’ that we value? Axiology-based construction is defined in this paper as a theoretical-based approach to the planning, design, and construction of buildings and infrastructure systems that accounts for human (clients, stakeholders, etc.) values, in a formalized and holistic way. In this context, ‘value’ is viewed as a complex concept that carries rich and varied meaning depending on the type of value being considered (economic, environmental, social, technological, ideological, etc.) and the assessor of the value. This paper focuses on introducing the theory and method of axiology-based construction of building projects. The approach for axiology-based building construction entails: 1) developing a formal (computer-understandable) axiology for building projects and 2) integrating the axiological model with the building model (the Building Information Model (BIM)). The formal representation, along with the integration with BIM, will facilitate the automation of the value analysis process. The paper starts by discussing the need for formalized and comprehensive solutions for value analysis and follows by introducing axiology in the context of building value representation and measurement. Then, the paper presents a preliminary axiological model for building projects. Finally, the paper discusses the approach for integrating the axiological model and the BIM model.

Keywords: value analysis, axiology, BIM, knowledge modeling, model-based construction management tools and systems

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Ozan Koseoglu, Dino Bouchlaghem, David Kerr

Collaborative mobile visualisation in construction (MobVisCon) framework development and validation

Abstract: Mobile technologies and wireless communication experienced a rapid development over the last decade, with many industrial sectors realising the benefits of mobile collaboration. The advantages of using mobile computing are in the ability to share data remotely in real time, reduce rework and paperwork, being able to solve problems on site, construct accurate databases by the timely and continuous collection of data, improve the quality of information, and decrease operational costs. Mobile technologies are now widely available offering good opportunities to the con-struction industry to work collaboratively. Due to the limitation in computational resources of mobile devices, the use of visualisation of design documents through mobiles has not been investigated in detail. However, mobile devices for the visual representation of design documents and specifications may offer new opportunities for accessing and moni-toring the construction remotely. The latest developments in mobile hardware and software enable unconditional ac-cess to 2D and 3D design information and corresponding documents. Mobile visualisation and visual communication may completely change collaboration between the project stakeholders during the execution of the construction activi-ties. The main aim of this research is to investigate the use of mobile communication and visualisation technologies during the exchange of information between design teams based in the office and construction sites with a focus of achieving real-time collaboration. This paper presents the development of a Collaborative Mobile Visualisation in Construction (MobVisCon) framework based on knowledge from the literature, results of a detailed industry survey, and construc-tion scenarios. Results from the application of the MobVisCon framework on a live construction project case study are also presented.

Keywords: mobile and wireless technologies, visualisation, collaboration, construction, MobVisCon

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Pham N, Dawson A

Data rich digital architectural environments: managing rich information flows in architectural practices of australia

Abstract: The development of data rich digital environments for the construction industry has been problematic despite the initial optimism when their application to design and construction was first considered. This paper reviews the current state of the art research into the application of information technology in design and construction and identifies the more critical issues in its adoption. In conclusion the paper then proposes a preliminary theoretical model being developed as a research tool for investigation into highly detailed information flows in a case study building renovation project. This investigation aims to track the detailed information flows and knowledge system used by the stakeholders in the building project.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


Porkka J,Kuula T,Khknen K,Rannisto J

Virtual reality for meeting interaction in infrastructure construction projects

Abstract: Urban planning and infrastructure projects of varied sizes are increasingly utilizing model-based applications at planning phase. Although the use of virtual models has its advantages, there are multiple challenges that diminish their potential in project use. These challenges are related to either non-human or human topics. The non-human topics cover issues like deficient processes, practices and tools. The human-related topics include for example lack of communication and interaction between relevant stakeholders. The interaction is a key element in current design practice due to the high number of disciplines involved in design formation and decision-making. During the past years, many key stakeholders have experienced difficulties in changing the current way of working with model-based practices. Virtual reality (VR) has been found to offer promise for design visualisation to convey messages with reduced communication difficulties between stakeholders. This paper draws findings from observations in one meeting at an on-going large infrastructure construction project in Finland. In this case study, virtual reality has been used in project management meetings to facilitate communication and to support decision-making. We consider how the use of virtual reality actually influenced on group dynamics and make concluding remarks underpinning the use in a traditional meeting room environment. We have used activity theory as a framework to begin method development for observing and analysing the effects of virtual reality on interaction and related work practices. The empirical findings point out, that new visualization instruments have effects on the division of labour. Following five traditional meeting interaction characteristics showed changes at group dynamics. When virtual reality was used as a presentation tool, the interaction between participants became more balanced. Activation of all participants, most probably, leads to enhanced mutual understanding, and furthermore to better results in the whole project.

Keywords: Infrastructure construction,Virtual Reality,Meeting,Interaction,Decision making

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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R. K. Shah, N. Dawood

IMPROVING COMMUNICATION OF SCHEDULING INFORMATION OF EARTHWORK CONSTRUCTION PROCESS USING 4D VISUALISATION MODEL IN ROAD PROJECTS

Abstract: Innovative visualization technology applied to construction simulation and optimization has the potential to improve communications and coordination amongst the project stakeholders. In this context and in the drive for innovation in construction management, this paper introduces a framework of a 4D prototype for the automatic generation of visual terrain surfaces during earthwork construction processes. The framework has been designed and developed by integrating road design data, quantities of cut and fill, productivity models, algorithms for modelling terrain profiles and a road profile visualiser. The paper details the prototype of 4D visualization model (4DVM) that has been designed and developed in this research using innovative methodology where 4D models of terrain surfaces are generated based on coordinate data and the productivity of earthwork. The model has been demonstrated with a case study that was used to validate the model. The 4DVM is intended to assist project planners/construction managers in logical decision making processes for construction scheduling and resource planning. It will also improve the communication gap amongst the construction team and consequently improve site coordination and operations.

Keywords: Earthwork operations, innovative methodology, road profile generation, schedule communication, 4D visualization model (4DVM)

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Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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R. P. West, A. V. Hore

CITAX: defining XML standards for data exchange in the construction industry supply chain

Abstract: The current methods of ordering, delivering and invoicing of products in the construction industry is enormously inefficient, with vast quantities of paperwork, duplication of effort, scanning, re-keying and resolving mis-matches between invoices, delivery dockets and purchase orders. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Con-struction IT Alliance eXchange (CITAX) project and, in particular, to outline the work carried out-to-date by a special interest group within the project. They are seeking to define a universal set of eXtensible Mark-Up Language (XML) message standards that will allow suppliers and contractors to exchange information with each other in supply chain activity. While the group cannot ensure that suppliers and contractors use the standard, the ultimate goal of the project is not only to have the standard in place, but also to provide the impetus to ensure that as many stakeholders as possi-ble use them. How this might be achieved is also part of the project and its success will be judged by the extent of the adoption of the standard by the industry.

Keywords: e-procurement, standards, trading, XML

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Rasys E,Hodds M,Dawood N,Kassem M

A web3d enabled information integration framework for facility management

Abstract: Managing capital oil and gas and civil engineering facilities requires a large amount of heterogeneous information that is generated by different project stakeholders across the facility lifecycle phases and stored in various databases and technical documents. The amount of information reaches its peak during the commissioning and handover phases when the project is handed over to the operator. The operational phase of facilities spans multiple decades and the way facilities are used and maintained have a huge impact on costs, environment, productivity, and health and safety. Thus, the client and the operator bear most of the additional costs associated with incomplete, incorrect or not immediately usable information. Web applications can provide a quick and convenient access to information regardless of user location. However, the integration and delivery of engineering information, including 3D content, over the Web is still at its infancy and is affected by numerous technical (i.e. data and tools) and procedural (i.e. process and people) challenges. This paper addresses the technical issues and proposes a WEB3D-enabled information integration framework that delivers engineering information together with 3D content without any plug-ins. In the proposed framework, a class library defines the engineering data requirements and a semi-structured database provides means to integrate heterogeneous technical asset information. This framework also enables separating the 3D model content into fragments, storing them together with the digital assets and delivering to the client browser on demand. Such framework partially alleviates the current limitations of the JavaScript based 3D content delivery such as application speed and latency. Hence, the proposed framework is particularly valuable to petroleum and civil engineering companies working with large amounts of data.

Keywords: Information integration,Facility Management,Class Library,Web3D,WebGL

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Sebastian R,Bhms M,van den Helm P

BIM and GIS for low-disturbance construction

Abstract: Construction and maintenance activities of bridges often bring negative impacts to the urban environment in terms of disturbance, traffic jams and disruptions, noise, dust, and air pollution. Lack of coordination between the stakeholders in strategic, tactical and operational construction planning process has been identified as a key factor behind these negative impacts. Attempts to solve this issue critically depend on an effective interoperability between ICT tools from the building domain (based on Building Information Model or BIM) and the urban planning domain (based on three dimensional Geographical Information System or 3D GIS). Research on the interoperability between BIM and GIS requires knowledge of Open BIM as well as Open GIS and their interconnection. Unfortunately, Open BIM and Open GIS have been developed separately and they have pursued different standards and technologies. Open BIM for civil infrastructure projects is still limited, especially due to the fact that the IFC open standard currently targets the building sector. Open GIS mainly relies on the use of GML/CityGML standard. This paper focuses on research to develop a solution for the interoperability of BIM and GIS, especially for the purpose of low-disturbance construction. It reports the on-going EU FP7 collaborative research project PANTURA. The preliminary achievements include a prototype solution that consists of: an architecture for the integration solution between BIM and GIS data and tools - an Application Domain Extension (ADE) that connects BIM data from the bridge with the computational parameters on disturbance in a GIS-based planning tool Urban Strategy, a configuration of open-source Deegree 3D model server, and a query interface between the model server and the decision-support tool. The prototype solution is verified using two case studies: on-site assembly of a new bridge on La Palma island, Spain, and refurbishment of existing bridges in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Keywords: BIM,GIS,interoperability,decision-support tool,low-disturbance construction,bridge project,urban environment

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Song Y, Chua D K H

COSSE: component state network centric model for verifying temporal and spatial consistency in project schedules

Abstract: Constructability analysis is critical for the success of an AEC project, but its effective implementation is difficult due to the inherent complexity and multi-trades interaction over a frequently long development period. A consistently integrated project model can provide a collaboration platform among project designers, constructors, suppliers and owners/stakeholders to jointly improve the project construction. This paper looks at the integration of the key aspects, namely product, process, resource, and function, to facilitate the collaboration in constructability analysis. Specifically, it presents a COmponent State nEtwork cEntric (COSEE) Model to integrate these 4 important project aspects. Moreover, the relationships among product, construction work package, intermediate function system, and space resource model are examined. Based on the centric component state network and the relationship among the 4 aspect models, the spatial and temporal consistency in the project schedule can be verified.

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Full text: content.pdf (376,684 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


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