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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 Hore, F Cullen, R Montague, K Thomas

ADVANCING THE USE OF BIM THROUGH A GOVERNMENT FUNDED CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY COMPETENCY CENTRE IN IRELAND

Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to develop the early case for a new Competence Centre dedicated to industry led research in the Irish construction industry. It incorporates the results of a survey carried out by the Construction IT Aliance (CITA) and also identifies similiar centres carrying out industry led research around the world. Results from the survey show a clear support for the establishment of such a centre in Ireland and, in particular, a strong interest in Building Information Modelling (BIM) as a immediate priority research area. BIM is having a profound effect worldwide on the construction industry. The development and adoption of BIM technologies is in parallel with other major changes relating to project procurement approaches, such as Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), and the general sustainability agenda. Although slow to take off in Ireland to-date, BIM is becoming extremely relevant in other countries, with over 50% adoption in the United States and an average of 36% in Europe. The authors argue that a government funded Competence Centre will facilitate the Irish construction industry in re-establishing itself, domestically and internationally as a competitive entity.

Keywords: Building Information Modelling, Industry, Competence Centre, Collaboration, Integrated Project Delivery, Sustainable Construction

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Series: w78:2011 (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.


AD Dawson & N Pham

Process Complexity and Cultural Baggage - Barriers to Change

Abstract: Recent research at Deakin University in Australia has focused on developing a highly detailed understanding of current organisational interactions and information flows in the construction industry. This is leading to the development of a detailed process model which is being tested against a field study construction project. The field study reveals highly complex information flows and interdependencies between stakeholders such as designers, project managers, clients, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. This, combined with the results from a recent project identifying inhibitors to the take up of IT in the construction industry undertaken by the IAI-Australasian Chapter allow conclusions to be drawn as to whether the current construction industry structure lends itself to increased levels of ICT or whether fundamental cultural changes are required before further beneficial ICT implementation is able to be achieved.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,382,166 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.


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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Alekhin V,Khanina A

The conception of making decision support system introduction into building structures design practice

Abstract: The paper discusses introduction of artificial intelligence into structural engineering practice. The necessity of this paper is accelerated by the information base (IB) and decision support systems exigency, as some standards are not completely designed and there is no statistical information on faults, defects and damage to various buildings. The article suggests creating a decision support system for the optimal structural design of buildings that takes into account a risk of a propagating rupture. The article describes possibilities of a decision support system, the stages of its development and structure. Conceptual solution of the proposed decision support system for the analysis of structures is illustrated by designing trade and business centre high-rise building. The system is based on a knowledge base, which is created during its development and can be updated and expanded with the advent of new codes of practice and new structural design recommendations. Expert system will be built on the basis of clear rules and recommendations from foreign and Russian codes of practice, as well as European standards, and international occurrences of buildings accidents. Optimization of structural elements is performed on the basis of a genetic algorithm. The effect of various genetic operators on the performance of the algorithm is investigated. A model of a genetic algorithm for optimization of steel structural elements is developed. The work is the attempt to create a complex approach to the structural design: the user can not only study the normative documentation, get advice, study the examples of calculation, but also take advantage of the proposed programs for the optimization of the design decisions. It is expected that expert’s knowledge on the analysis of buildings incorporated in expert system will improve the quality of the design, and as a consequence, the reliability of structures.

Keywords: decision support systems,expert systems,optimum design,propagating rupture,genetic algorithm

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Full text: content.pdf (1,730,377 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Alty J L

Information Technology and the Construction Industry: Another Tower of Babel ?

Abstract: The application of information technology (IT) to the construction industry has not been outstandingly successful and does not seem to have produced the benefits which other industries have achieved. A number of reasons for this are highlighted, some already well-known. However some serious mismatches between the technologies and the requirements of the industry are also identified. It is suggested that new developments in multimedia interfaces and computer supported co-operative working may reduce this mismatch and result in a higher level of take-up of the technology.

Keywords: human interface; group working; multimedia; construction industry; groupware

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Full text: content.pdf (733,652 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.


Amor R, Betts M, Coetzee G, Sexton M

Information Technology for Construction: Recent Work and Future Directions

Abstract: Advancing the application of information technology in construction is a major international research and innovation endeavour of concern to scientific establishments and industry. A significant focal point for this research, in terms of its dissemination and the derivation of a shared research agenda, has been the working commission concerned with IT for construction within the International Council for Innovation and Research in Construction (CIB). Working commission 78 of CIB has been active for about 20 years in holding annual meetings of leading scholars in the field. These annual meetings have allowed the principal research activities from around the world to be presented to expert fora and documented in a series of annual proceedings. More recently, some of the more complete research projects have been reported in an on-line electronic journal published in association with the working commission. The meetings have typically allowed debates and discussion to take place regarding the state of progress with key research themes, the emergence of new research themes, and a vision of construction activities in the future to which ongoing research could relate. This paper seeks to capture some of the overall experiences from the activities of this working commission by reviewing the key research issues that have been addressed in recently reported work and seeking to elicit a vision of future IT-enabled construction projects that might inform future research. It reports on an overview of the scope, current approaches and future research agenda that has arisen from consideration of the papers presented, and discussion that took place, at its most recent meetings in South Africa in 2001 and Denmark in 2002.

Keywords: Information Technology, Construction, Research Agenda, Vision.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/16 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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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)
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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


Anders Robertson, Rogier Jongeling, Anders Ekholm, Thomas Olofsson, Alain Zarli

Investigations in the BICT project of state-of-the-art ICT for industrialization of house building processes

Abstract: The research presented here is part of a project named BICT, ”Evaluation of benefits of ICT for the indus-trialization of project and product processes in the construction industry”. Its overall objective is to establish a mutual understanding between the construction industry and R&D actors of the needs and possibilities of ICT. The project is a cooperative effort between Swedish and French researchers and industry representatives within the EraBuild program. It includes an investigation of the processes and ICT tools in a representative house building project, together with a study of the State-of-the-Art of ICT for immediate, short and medium term uptake. This paper presents the main results of the State-of-the-Art study with specific focus on: - Visualization and coordination using digital mock-ups of 3D models; - Model based quantity take-off; - Integration of applications for product design; - Reuse of experience based knowledge. The presented study concludes that the use of integrated 3D applications must be introduced early in the project lifecy-cle in order to pave the way for the use of object-oriented information in downstream processes. This requires common standards for 3D based deliveries developed in cooperation between industry and R&D actors through joint analyses of actual information management both in industrialised partnering-like processes, and fully industrial building proc-esses.

Keywords: construction processes, house building, industrialization, ICT, digital mock-ups, model based quantity take-off, integration of applications

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Full text: content.pdf (748,792 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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