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Ahmed V, Mahdjoubi L, Feng X, Leach M

The learning of CAD for construction: technical abilities or visual?

Abstract: The increasing demands of the construction industry for individuals with good IT skills add continuous pressures on higher education to improve their methods of teaching. CAD training, as an important part of IT training for construction students, is becoming an essential part of the curriculum in most built environment schools. However, general CAD training is mostly concerned with providing students with technical skills rather than the initial ability of spatial visualisation. Indeed, existing training methods of CAD applications, do not take into consideration students? learning styles, and the differences in their spatial visualisation abilities. Considering that CAD students need to perform various activities within CAD applications to develop an understanding of building concepts and components, their spatial visualisation abilities and their learning style, remain the main barriers. This paper identifies the learning strategies required to assist with the learning of 3D modelling and describes a new approach adopted to examine students' Special Visualisation Skills. The paper also describes innovative e-learning approaches developed to reinforce students' learning of 3D CAD, tracking their progress and highlighting qualitative measures of their effectiveness.

Keywords: 3D modelling, e-learning in construction, CAL, CAA

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Full text: content.pdf (595,899 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Amor R, Hosking J, Mugridge W

A declarative approach to inter-schema mappings

Abstract: The requirements for the specification of mappings between tools in an integrated and interactive design system are described in this paper. The declarative mapping language, VML, is introduced. VML allows a high level, bidirectional specification of mappings between two arbitrary schemas. To illustrate the utility of VML, a demonstration system consisting of plan definition and code conformance tools is integrated via a common data model using VML mappings. The VML mappings are capable of handling both relational and object-oriented style schemas as well as interactive and batch style design tools. We illustrate the use of VML to specify correspondences between classes, conditional application of correspondences, different styles of equivalence, initialisation conditions as well as method handling for interactive systems.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,068,779 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1995 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.030558) class.software development (0.027038) class.represent (0.019168)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Stanford University, USA. The support of the editors, particularly Prof. Fischer is gratefully appreciated.


Costin A,Shaak A,Teizer J,Pfeffer G,Khanzode A,Saripally D,Chao O,Schoner B,Shah S

Passive RFID-based asset tracking and project management on a large hospital project

Abstract: As construction job sites get larger and more complex, the need to increase building protocol control and safety is becoming more necessary. Having a real-time tracking system for materials, equipment and personnel of a job site will help project managers to enhance the safety, security, quality control, and worker logistics of a construction project. In this paper we will present the method of integrating Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) for real-time tracking of materials, equipment, and personnel. The purpose is to generate real-time data to monitor for safety, security, quality control, and worker logistics, and to produce leading indicators for safety and building protocol control. The concept of reference tags will be utilized along with a cloud server, mobile field devices, and software to assist the project managers with staying connected with the job site, from supply chain management to installation. Hardware components include RFID tags, portal RFID readers, fixed turn-style readers, and mobile handheld devices. The system was deployed on a 900 thousand square feet hospital project that consisted of three major buildings, 125 contractors, and 1,200 workers. Preliminary results show that the integration of these technologies enhances productivity, reduces scheduling issues, assists in subcontractor management, and provides real-time information on deployed crews and building activities. High-level metrics have been developed at the project and large contractor level. Additionally, the system also provided real-time information on local worker participation as part of the project goal. Based on experimental analysis, we demonstrate that the RFID and BIM system is a practical and resourceful tool to provide real-time information and location tracking to increase safety, security, and building protocol control.

Keywords: Asset tracking,Building information modeling (BIM),Building protocol,Cloud Server,Human resources,Passive radio frequency identification (RFID),Project management,Quality control,Safety,Security,Worker Logistics

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Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Gu, Ning

A Grammatical Approach to Autonomous Design in 3D Virtual Worlds Using Generative Design Agents

Abstract: 3D virtual worlds are networked environments designed using the place metaphor. 3D virtual worlds as Computer-aided Design (CAD) tools have shown promising potentials in areas such as design simulation, distant team works as well as interdisciplinary design collaboration. Recent developments in collaborative 3D virtual worlds focus on interactivity, flexibility and adaptability. Rather than creating virtual environments in which the 3D objects have intelligent behaviors, we take a different approach to develop an agent model that is associated with an individual designer in a 3D virtual world as a personal design agent. This paper presents Generative Design Agents (GDA), a kind of rational agents that dynamically and automatically generate, simulate and modify designs in 3D virtual worlds. The core of a GDA’s design component is a generative design grammar that is able to generate designs capturing a specific style in 3D virtual worlds. 3D virtual worlds augmented with GDAs provide a grammatical approach to developing autonomous generative design systems.

Keywords: Autonomous agents, 3D virtual worlds, design grammars, generative design

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Full text: content.pdf (694,329 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2007 (browse)
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J van Leeuwen, Hendricx A, Fridqvist S

Towards dynamic information modelling in architectural design

Abstract: Product modelling has received a lot of attention in the last decennium and is now growing into a successful means to support design and production processes, also in the area of building and construction. Collaboration through data exchange and model integration are coming within reach for all participants in the building process. However, the applicability of the current approaches in product modelling for architectural design is still very limited. It is the nature of architectural design to give much importance to issues such as uniqueness and diversity in relation with architectural style. Particularly in the earlier stages of the design process, not just technical but also cultural issues play an important role. Standardisation and predefined methodologies of design are not generally appreciated during early design, when ambiguity and a dynamic way of handling design information is often considered very important. The success of computer support for architectural design therefore depends on how well it supports ambiguity and a dynamic handling of design information. This criterion for successful design support systems seems to oppose the need for standardisation and classification that is felt so strongly in the later stages of the building process. The paper describes and discusses three long-term, independent research projects that are being carried out in three European universities: the BAS·CAAD project [1], the IDEA+ project [2], and the VR-DIS project [3]*. While their initiatives were independent and the developments are not formally related, these three projects show strong similarities in terms of objectives, conceptual approach, and methodology. The paper demonstrates that these parallel research projects are paving a new way for the development of design support systems, allowing architects to profit from the benefits of product modelling technologies and enabling integration of early design stages in the complex process of building design and construction. The common objectives of the projects are identified in detail. One of the major issues is schema evolution, or the necessity for a design model to be conceptually adaptable as design proceeds and more information is becoming available or design decisions are reversed. It is also recognised that no assumptions can be made about design methods, and that design information models must support, for instance, both spatial design and design that starts from building elements. Design concepts such as space and user activity play an important role in early design stages and must take a central role in design models as well. Approaches to achieve these objectives can be positioned in the force-field of two pairs of opposite characteristics of design information models. The first pair is (1a) maximum consistency and optimal data exchange through rigidly predefined typologies, versus (1b) maximum flexibility and extensibility of typologies in the conceptual schema. The second pair distinguishes approaches based on (2a) domain independent concepts from those based on (2b) specific domain concepts. The paper discusses the position in these force-fields of each of the three projects, which also clarifies their individual theoretic bases for information modelling. Although these theoretic bases are different in the three projects, common for all three is the object orientation of their approach and, more importantly, the effort to disconnect the identification of objects from the properties of objects. This appears to be an effective means to facilitate flexibility. Also common to the three projects, but elaborated very differently in each of them, is the capability of user-defined extensions to the conceptual schema. Both these issues of flexibility and extensibility are discussed in detail in the paper. Finally, the paper summarises the individual conclusions drawn in three PhD theses reporting intermediary and final results from the projects. This leads to the final discussion of the potentials of schema evolution for the integration of early design stages in the product modelling process. As a basis for the next generation of architectural design support tools, dynamic information models can be expected to deliver an important contribution to the rationalisation of architectural design and are an important next step in solving the conflict between computer tools and designers’ creativity.

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Full text: content.pdf (251,036 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.026635) class.communication (0.026053) class.represent (0.024858)
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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.


Miles J, Foley A, Moore L

Metaphors and cost significance in a conceptual design decision support system

Abstract: "Currently in the research community, there are a number of styles of conceptual design software being developed. This paper describes the development of a Decision Support System (DSS) which belongs to that class of systems where the search is undertaken by the user with the software providing information and answers. Industrial evaluation by the authors and others has shown that such a style of interaction is well received by practising designers provided that the algorithms and processes used are sufficiently transparent for them to understand and have confidence in the way that the system reaches derives its answers. The system which forms the subject of this paper fully conforms to the above, with all algorithms, constraints and rules being easily accessible to the user. The system is known by the acronym COSTEST. COSTEST provides facilities for the designer to undertake the conceptual design of beam / slab bridges to a far higher level of accuracy than is possible with current practice. It includes facilities for sizing the super and sub-structures as well as FE analysis, a cost estimation routine, a database of structural sizes and material properties and the ability to produce a simple general arrangement and a client report. To enable the user to navigate through the system, understand what facilities are available and what their significance is, the user interface has been structured using the metaphor of the design office. The interface is arranged as a corridor off which are facilities such as a superstructure design office, an estimator’s office, etc. These are arranged around a direct manipulation representation of the sectional general arrangement. It is postulated that such an arrangement reduces the distance between the user’s way of thinking about the design problem and the system’s representation, thus making the system easier to use. Such Visual Interactive Modelling of the domain has been shown to allow users to use the software to learn about their own subjective values while dealing with the technical issues. The cost estimation component of COSTEST is based on the concept that for any bridge 80% of the total cost is contained in the 20% of items that are most cost significant. This idea has been developed by Horner but further analysis of existing bridges was undertaken as part of this work. The result is a simple cost model which is easy to use and yet far more accurate than current conceptual design practice. In particular it allows an accurate comparison to be made between options. COSTEST has been developed in conjunction with a number of practising bridge designers and the final system has been evaluated both by these people and other independent designers. The results of the evaluation are generally positive."

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Full text: content.pdf (276,555 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 (0.056510) class.bestPractise (0.043429) class.economic (0.015023)
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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


Tat N H, Lansley P

Organisation Structure, Management Style and IT The Case of Hong Kong Chinese Building Companies

Abstract: The paper reports a study of how managers of Hong Kong Chinese building firms have changed their styles of management and the organisation of their firms in response to the introduction of information technology. In some cases these changes have been quite marked and have led to the erosion of the role and influence of middle managers as information has become more readily available to senior and lower level managers. The study suggests that the conflicts between traditional management philosophies and those required of IT can be resolved and used to strengthen commitment to organisational performance.

Keywords: information technology; culture; organisation structure; management style

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Full text: content.pdf (673,505 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


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