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Li H-X,Liu H,Zhou X,Sun C,Ngan K-H,Al-Hussein M

Cash flow optimization and visualization of residence housing for builders

Abstract: Cash flow management is widely considered to be a key issue within the construction industry, especially for residential homebuilders. Cash flow in the residential housing industry involves multiple stakeholders, such as lot developers, banks, clients, trades, and builders - usually the builder initiates a complex plan involving lot procurement, construction investment, and housing sales, which has the potential to lead to more profitable solutions for the builder. This research develops a decision support system subject to variable developer and bank payment schedules, and is based on a twofold objective: (1) Maximize cumulative (negative) cash flows, subject to the guaranteed net present value (NPV) for developers and bank. The optimum solutions help builders to stay within the bank overdraft limit and reduce the pressure of cash demands for builders. (2) Maximize builder’s NPV and increase the NPVs of developers and banks as much as possible. With the multi-objective optimization, the win-win optimal solutions serve as negotiation strategies between these stakeholders. The proposed decision making system is highlighted by the application of visualization techniques - two types of visualization techniques, i.e., a combined Excel and add-in and a preliminary Augmented Reality (AR), are utilized to illustrate the optimizing process and the optimal solutions, with the cash inflows, outflows, and the net cash flows for different time periods displayed dynamically. A case study based on a project in Edmonton, Canada is utilized to demonstrate the proposed methodology.

Keywords: Cash Flow Management,Cash Flow Optimization,Residential Housing,Builder,Visualization,Decision Support System

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Lippold A

Immersive conceptual design in a 3d city model

Abstract: Facing the challenges of aging infrastructure, the search for better renewable energies and growing population in cities, Government agencies, municipalities and utilities are looking for more accountability, risk mitigation and collaborative decision making around investments in infrastructure design and construction. Often, what’s requested by stakeholders is a better overall process to understand, experience, and collaborate around infrastructure development while balancing the demands for sustainability with the need for economic growth and livability. For many stakeholders, an accurate 3D city model can help design professionals, agencies, and public stakeholders alike understand the impact of projects more intuitively than can 2D plans. The visually immersive presentation and interaction (interactive 3D navigation, manipulating, annotating, publishing, collaborating and distributing information on-demand) of 3D models can help to meet these challenges. Infrastructure planning processes typically involve several parties, from designers, agencies, and public stakeholders. Collaborative processes require that information is available from different platforms at any time. Collaboration includes the ability to markup and comment so that reviewers can share feedback with designers, as well as the ability to allow teams to improve efficiency by distributing design across communities of editors. Cloud-centric workflows enable users to enhance the process of collaboration throughout the planning process, such as comments and collaboration, in order to achieve a more confident and sustainable decision on infrastructure design and construction. This means being able to pass information, connect to the team or doing editing work on the same dataset using the internet connection to reach the model stored in the cloud. Moreover, 3D models enable all stakeholders to stay on the same page regarding proposed development, because of the more natural, intuitive way for communicating with non-technical stakeholders. Besides the collaborative environment the way those 3D models are visualized are important in terms of acceptance. Based on even simple GIS and CAD data the look and feel should be as realistic and immersive as it can represent the reality as it is or as it can be.

Keywords: infrastructure design,conceptual design,3D sketching,Cloud-centric workflows,Collaboration,3D modeling,immersive visualization

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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M Golparvar-Fard, A Ciribini, Francesca Fascioli, E Piccinni

Challenges and Benefits of D4AR – 4 Dimensional Augmented Reality - Modeling on the Milano Bicocca Housing Project

Abstract: In this paper, the challenges and benefits of creating D4AR – 4 dimensional augmented reality– models and their applicability and usefulness for automated and visual monitoring of construction progress, safety and quality issues on typical housing projects are presented. D4AR models are generated by superimposing two emerging sources of information: (1) Building Information Models (BIM), and (2) daily construction photographs and videos. Using these two emerging and already available sources of information, the D4AR models extend the application of BIM which is primarily used for design coordination, system clash prevention and constructability analysis, to the construction phase of a project. These models automatically measure physical progress and visualize performance deviations by superimposing color-coded BIM elements over unordered and uncalibrated daily site imagery in a common 3D environment. In this study, the applicability and usefulness of these models and the prototype software developed by Golparvar-Fard et al. (2010) is tested and validated on the Bicocca housing project in Milan, Italy. The granularity of the underlying BIM and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for an accurate construction monitoring and control is studied. Furthermore, it is examined how the D4AR models can help practitioners to remotely and easily find schedule deviations, safety issues and quality inconsistencies, resolve such issues in a timely manner, inform stakeholders of the most updated status of a project on a regular basis, and engage project participants early in the revision process to minimize the negative impacts of schedule delay and cost overrun. The challenges and benefits of generating and using the D4AR models, the requirements for the granularity of the BIM and WBS for planning and scheduling are presented and their applicability and usefulness based on the research conducted on the Milano Bicocca housing project are further discussed.

Keywords: D4AR Models, Augmented Reality, Photogrammetry, Building Information Models

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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M. El-Saboni, G. Aouad, A. Sabouni

Effect of electronic communication management systems on the success of construction projects in United Arab Emirates

Abstract: Good communication during all phases of the project lifecycle is an important factor for the project suc-cess; in fact it is the prime factor that connects all of the project success factors together. Often, construction projects suffer from the lack of efficient communication due to many reasons, among which are the enormous versatility of stakeholders during project lifecycle, and the adversary relations which may appear among the construction project parties. This research is investigating the effect of using modern electronic communication management systems on the success of the construction projects in United Arab Emirates, trying to survey the effect on the project success criteria which were identified by the authors for the construction projects in this country. Two case studies, one of them coupled with action research are presented, interviews, surveys document review and progress feedback have been used to collect the evidence, preceded by a literature survey and a brief study to clarify how the communication mechanism works, and how it affects the trust and relations among the project stakeholders and consequently the project success. Some of the results are in agreement with pertinent published literature and research findings, an example of this would be the improvement on schedule and project control. On the other hand, the benefits for quality control during design and construction phases of the project in addition to HSE potential improvement remain debatable. At the same time the current investigation on one of the cases has revealed an organisational transformation trend from functional to-wards matrix and project structures, this kind of change is taking place after the implementation of project electronic communication management system into the client organisation, this transformation has enhanced chances of project success.

Keywords: construction project success, electronic communication, organisational transformation and UAE

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Marianthi Leon, Richard Laing, Jake Loveday, David McClean and Sandy Beattie

Development of an Urban As-Built Model: The Case Study of Aberdeen

Abstract: This paper is focusing on the local strategic development plan for the city of Aberdeen, UK, and examines the initiation of applying a regeneration plan to the city centre. For that purpose, Aberdeen City Council commissioned Robert Gordon University to develop a 3D as-built model of the city centre. The researchers developed a novel process to tackle data acquisition for urban scale as-built visualisations that would afterwards promote stakeholders' collaboration. A workflow was developed and tested with the aim to provide not only geometric accurate data of the current state but also meta-data in relation to historic and future applications. Terrestrial LiDAR systems were employed and rapidly advancing hardware and software was tested, evaluated and utilised.This project aims to have an impact to the 3D data acquisition in relation to urban scale projects that apply Terrestrial Laser Scanning technologies. Furthermore, the suggested workflow can be generalised for the production of urban scale as-built models for the purposes of design and planning decision making and delivery of sustainable infrastructure, transportation systems and overall sustainable communities. The paper concludes with further suggestions for the generalisation of the process and its adaptation depending on the application, i.e. transportation, green spaces.

Keywords: 3D Laser Scanning, As-Built Modelling and Visualisation, Data Acquisition

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0141

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Martin J W, Haque M E

Distance learning in engineering and construction education: pros and cons

Abstract: Distance education has rapidly emerged as a new avenue for teaching and learning in the engineering and construction disciplines. Much has been written about the benefit and the downside of distance education. Many stakeholders in the construction and engineering fields remain sceptical about the validity of distance education. In spite of this scepticism the American Council of Education estimated that 85 percent of traditional colleges and universities offered, or soon would offer distance accessible classes. China alone produces more than 100,000 graduates, with more than half of China’s 92,000 engineering and technology graduates having attained their degrees through distance education. A universal model for distance education in engineering and construction would include answers to questions about the reliability and validity of the distance curriculum. The virtual engineering and construction classroom will become much more student centred. The traditional classroom will likely be replaced with a more intimate virtual environment. The student centred distance learning archetype will include dynamic demonstrations of theoretical engineering and construction models allowing students to manipulate, experiment, and translate theories into real-world applications. The distance education curriculum in engineering and construction will likely include the creative use of virtual technologies, theoretical adaptation, and the incorporation of comprehensive evaluation of student performance. Distance education in engineering and construction in the future must provide an element of comprehensive student evaluation to be universally valued and accepted.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,089,664 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.108034) class.deployment (0.038926) class.software development (0.006953)
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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.


Masi Mohammadi, Peter Erkelens

Old and at Home in an Intelligent Environment

Abstract: Due to the rapid aging of the Dutch population and aging-in-place policies, an increasing demand for suitable dwellings is to be expected. A significant contribution can be provided by domotics defined as: the advanced technological equipments and services in the domestic environment to sustain and to enhance the quality of aging in place as well as empowerment of the senior citizen (in daily life). This paper, based on literature review and qualitative and quantitative studies, (i) seeks to inform the development of domotics technology in the living environment of the older adults; (ii) provides an overview of the multiplicity of needs and attitudes of the older citizens regarding smart technology in the domestic environment; and (iii) develops recommendations to incorporate domotics in the architectural structure of the dwelling. Study to senior citizens’ needs and attitudes toward domotics is based on triangulation of cohort-group discussions, enabling techniques and in-depth interviews followed by a postal questionnaire survey. Hence, based on the identified needs, two houses, occupied by the elderly, have been upgraded by domotics. The findings indicate that needs, perceptions, environmental and personal attributes of the senior determine the attitudes towards automation. This attitude can best be described as ‘critical/positive’. Too much automation is undesirable. Ethical considerations are particularly related to professional stakeholders, especially caregivers, whereas seniors are mainly interested in the functionality of domotics. In the elderly housing, the stage of stand-alone devices is outdated. It should be focused on the networked home and the integration of domotics in the house. Innovation by addition in a traditional construction environment often results in sub-optimal solutions. The results confirm that the integration of intelligent technology in a house needs to be a synthesis of the user’s needs, technology, the living environment and healthcare.

Keywords: aging in place, domotics, attitude, residential needs, senior citizens, case study

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Mauricio Toledo & Martin Fischer

GPOP: REPRESENTATION OF SUSTAINABILITY CONSIDERATIONS ON BUILDING PROJECTS

Abstract: Sustainable development has attracted much attention in recent years and has created an increasing awareness of environmental issues affecting construction projects. Stakeholders of sustainable building projects seek inspiration and benchmarks on existing sustainable buildings. However, the documentation of the sustainability considerations (SC) on building projects is inconsistent and usually focused on the design solution with little or no attention to the project requirements or process and organizational aspects of the design. The comparison of sustainable projects is therefore difficult due to the varied nature and extent of the documented sustainability considerations. We propose a systematic representation of the SC, which we call gPOP model, that facilitates the comparison of sustainable projects. We created gPOP models of twelve recognized green buildings which led to a list of the 36 most common sustainability considerations (MCSC). We show that our representation of the SC allows the comparison of sustainable projects and helps uncover insights that otherwise remained hidden in the free-form text-based narratives used for documenting the SC.

Keywords: Sustainability, product model, process model, green building

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Series: w78:2008 (browse)
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McMeel D,Amor R

Ecosystem information models: visualizing complex data to support collaborative decision making

Abstract: There is considerable interest in ‘open data’ with many administrations launching, or involved in, programmes to make government data open and available. From geographical information systems (GIS) to infrastructure data and building information models (BIMs), it is believed that access to this data will contribute to productivity and efficiency gains. Yet there remains uncertainty surrounding how stakeholders involved in design, construction and maintenance of the built environment might benefit from this unlocked information. We begin this paper by looking at a specific government initiative providing access to built environment datasets - we investigate and compare the different approaches for accessing this information-base. With speculation that open access will lead to huge benefits in productivity, particularly through interoperability, the second part of our paper implements a system to explore the federation of this data and the results of its interoperation in a collaborative visual environment. While prediction models continue to be problematic when simulating multiple complex and interdependent factors of the built environment concurrently, here we appropriate data and exploit it within decision-support systems. A Systems that provides a qualitative virtual 3D rendering of what is otherwise prosaic or opaque technical information, providing the potential to federate, align and compare otherwise disparate sources of data. Arguably access to open data has not revolutionized consumer computing, but it has played an important part in combination with the emergence of other technologies such as mobile devices, Wi-Fi and location aware computing. Here we critique ‘open data’ initiatives for design and construction, and ask what part they might play—in combination with other technologies—to help deliver on the promise of productivity.

Keywords: Design,Digital Media,Interoperability,Data,Ecosystem

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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N El-Gohary & T El-Diraby

Achieving ontology interoperability using formal concept analysis: an approach to inter-organizational collaboration

Abstract: Semantic systems that are based on ontologies are required to facilitate the collaboration between project teams and stakeholders in the infrastructure and construction domain. However, since no one ontology will be universally accepted, techniques are needed to achieve interoperability between different ontologies. This paper proposes an approach based on formal concept analysis (FCA) and relational concept analysis (RCA) for ontology merging that aims at enhancing inter-organizational collaboration among different organizations that use different ontologies / models.

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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.


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