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A Asadi, A Hadavi, R J. Krizek

Bridge Life-Cycle Cost Analysis Using Artificial Neural Networks

Abstract: Life-Cycle Cost analysis can significantly assist in making investment decisions. Several recentstudies have recognized the potential benefits of Life-Cycle Cost analysis and call for use of suchanalyses when making infrastructure investments, including investments in bridges. The Life-CycleCost of a bridge consists of the total investment throughout the life of the bridge. This includes theinitial construction cost, repair and rehabilitation costs, and all maintenance costs. The ability toaccurately determine the Life-Cycle Cost of a bridge will help agencies evaluate the asset value ofexisting bridges, make better decisions on the design and construction of new ones, and chooseimproved methods and approaches for rehabilitating existing structures. Research has shown thattimely maintenance, repair, and rehabilitation can lower the Life-Cycle Cost of a bridge. However, thisis a complex and nonlinear problem, and previous studies have failed to develop a satisfactory model. One effective technique for solving nonlinear problems with complicated functions is an ArtificialNeural Network. A neural network is a powerful data-modeling tool that captures and representscomplex input/output relationships. Using a set of input and output data belonging to a particularproblem, a neural system can be trained to predict outcomes for new versions of the same problem.Accordingly, an extensive set of data (bridge dimensions, age, initial cost, and Life-Cycle Cost) for 14Chicago bridges was used to quantify the degree of success that could be achieved with this model.Sixty percent of the data was used as input to train the model and the remaining forty percent was usedto assess the success of the model for predicting the Life-Cycle Cost. The results achieved wereencouraging and suggest that the neural network model is a promising tool for predicting the LifeCycleCost ofa bridge.

Keywords: life-cycle cost, artificial neural network, Chicago Trunnion Bascule bridges. initial cost, repair and rehabilitation cost

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Löfgren

Socio-technical management of collaborative mobile computing in construction

Abstract: The constant changes of plan and unanticipated events in the production process at construction sites result in communication patterns that are dynamic, spontaneous and informal. Most of the existing ICT tools do not sufficiently support informal communication for powerful collaborative problem-solving, management of site resources, handling of parallel process activities and do not correspond to the basic needs and work patterns at the construction sites. Mobile computing technologies have the potential to provide an inclusive wireless mobile ICT platform (voice and data) that can enable improved support for informal communication and on-demand data at construction sites, which can result in improved project collaboration leading to increased efficiency and productivity in the construction process. Still, an implementation strategy for collaborative mobile computing at construction sites is complex and must consider numerous issues regarding system capabilities, mobility, applications, services, integration of existing ICT systems, user interface and user devices to meet the requirements and behaviors of site workers in the mobile distributed heterogeneous construction environment. A mobile computing platform needs to be designed, implemented and managed with a socio-technical bottom-up approach realizing end user and group needs, understanding the separate issues of adoption on different organizational levels, and recognizing mobile computing as a process integrated enabling technology for improving collaboration and project communication throughout the whole construction process.

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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.


A.K. Jallow, P. Demian, A.N. Baldwin & C.J. Anumba

BPM-driven Construction Client Requirements Change Management

Abstract: Changing client requirements is one of the principal factors that contribute to delays and budget overruns of construction projects which as a result causes claims, disputes and client dissatisfaction. Change management ensures that such changes are handled through a properly coordinated and controlled process and retained throughout the project life cycle. This paper presents an empirical study that investigated the potential for an automated process of managing changes to clients’ requirements in construction projects. An initial focus group meeting was set up as a preliminary study which was followed by two case studies. Participant observation was used to conduct the case studies during which technical documents were also reviewed. The results show that current requirements change management process lacks efficiency. The paper concludes that business process management (BPM) approach could be a solution to better manage the requirements change process

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Aalami F, Fischer M

Joint product and process model elaboration based on construction method models

Abstract: In practice, construction planners need to plan and replan projects at several levels of detail and would like create 4D visualizations to communicate construction schedules. The current construction planning and scheduling process is , however, still largely manual and time-consuming, making it difficult to maintain an appropriate and realistic set of plans, schedules, and 4D visualizations throughout design and construction. Researchers have demonstrated the usefulness of a product model with a decomposition hierarchy and supported-by relationships between project components to generate a construction process model automatically. The product model's decomposition hierarchy supports the generation of hierarchical activities, and the supported-by relationships between components enable automated reasoning. However, the resulting process model is typically not a usable or realistic construction schedule, since activities can only be sequenced if elaborated to the same level of detail, and component-based activity elaboration is limited to the original product model. This paper discusses how a customizable and general representation of construction method models supports the transformation of a design-centric product model into a production-centric view. A formalized hierarchical construction planning process forms the basis of this translation process. The planning process is broken down into method-driven elaboration and hierarchical planning and scheduling steps. User-defined and user-selected construction method models drive the elaboration process by supplying the necessary activity and component elaboration knowledge. The product model undergoes a transformation from a design-centric decomposition to a production-centric decomposition. The elaborated activities are sequenced based on constraints that are passed on to the activities from their construction methods. The output of the planning process is a 4D production model. A 4D production model is a linked representation of an elaborated product and process models. A 4D production model is a flexible representation of the construction process that can support many views for communication and evaluation, e.g., 4D visualization, CPM-network, barchart, or resource histograms.

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Full text: content.pdf (289,626 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.035804) class.processing (0.027755) class.communication (0.018300)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, 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.


Alain Zarli, Eric Pascual, Daniel Cheung

Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Abstract: A common and acknowledged vision today is the one that, in the future, buildings, along with their components, equipments, and their environment will communicate and be able to provide information on their status ubiquitously. This real-time available information will be interoperable via common protocols for holistic automation & control. The whole building will be supervised by intelligent systems, able to combine information from all connected devices, from the Internet or from energy service providers in order to efficiently control HVAC (heating & cooling), lighting, and hot water systems along with energy production, storage and consumption devices inside the building, taking into account the users' needs and wishes. In such a context, ICT is recognised as key for empowering people in the (built) universe in which they live, with smart e-metering and new smart e-devices – as well as becoming fully pervasive in the future optimization of energy in the built environment - where “Energy-efficient smart buildings” are to be buildings which contain systems that manage information for an optimal operation of building energy flows over the whole building lifecycle.In such a context, CSTB has developed an open framework for data collection and processing, to be installed in any built environment. It supports networked heterogeneous sensors and actuators (with appropriate communication protocols technology), allows assembling various “business” functions (with easy evolution and extension capability thanks to a concept of service composition and event-driven management between modules), can accommodate any hardware platform constraint (memory, computing power), and can be executed in any environments supporting a Java SE implementation. The framework is itself based on an OSGi platform. The notion of “sensor” is to be considered in a comprehensive way: physical sensor (analogic or logic), complex sub-system or meta-sensor (e.g. Agilent data acquisition system or alike), or even external services (e.g. getting weather data via the Internet). Fields of applications are energy-efficiency in the built environment, but also Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), internal air quality assessment, collection of data related to inhabitants behaviours, etc..The REEB coordination action (European strategic research roadmap to ICT enabled Energy-Efficiency in Buildings and construction), as a European R&D technology roadmap initiative (achieved in the context of an EC-funded Coordinated Action - http://www.ict-reeb.eu) has identified ICT contributions to the energy efficiency of buildings mainly via improvement (and corresponding RTD) in integrated design (and indeed ICT tools for Energy-Efficient design and production management), integrated and intelligent control, user awareness and decision support to various stakeholders throughout the whole life of buildings, energy management and trading, and integration technologies. As far as the integrated / intelligent control field is concerned, REEB has fundamentally identified the following areas for future investigation:• automation & control: system concepts, intelligent HVAC, smart lighting, ICT for micro-generation & storage systems, predictive control;• monitoring: instrumentation: smart metering;• quality of service: improved diagnostics, secure communications;• wireless sensor networks: hardware, operating systems, network design.The paper will first introduce to expectations, requirements and potential future scenarios for ICT to support integrated and optimised control in future so-called smart buildings. It will then introduce to the current trend of developments at CSTB in this area, and will present the CSTBox as a tool federating and/or complementing functions (potentially relying on already installed systems) in the built environment. After a short presentation of the REEB project, the paper will follow up with exhibiting the outcome of the REEB project in terms of roadmapping RTD activities in this technological field, also providing with a first insight of their potential impact in the future.Acknowledgement: the authors wish to thank the European Commission (DG INFSO) for its financial support to the REEB co-ordinated action. Moreover, the authors are also grateful to the REEB Consortium partners, namely ARUP, ACCIONA, CEA, LABEIN, TUD, UCC & VTT.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Intelligent and Integrated Control, REEB project, CSTBox framework, Data collection and storage

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Alexander J, Coble R, Crawford J, Drogemuller R, Leslie H, Newton P, Wilson B, Yum Kwok-Keung

Information and communication in construction : closing the loop

Abstract: Both nationally and internationally, the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector is highly fragmented : it is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the nature of information and knowledge can be dispersed among firms and organisations, and consortia are frequently formed from geographically dispersed firms. In recognition of the potential improvements to be gained through an integrated approach to project information used throughout the design, documentation, construction and operation processes, substantial research is underway in Australia to "close the loop" of information flows between designers and constructors. The paper will explore and discuss both the technology platform in terms of information and communications technology (mobile, high-speed and wide area networking linking the design and engineering offices with the construction site) and the information platform in terms of the content of communications between project stakeholders and the requisite information (traditional spatial as well as non-spatial data) of key concern to the stakeholders at various stages of the project lifecycle. The paradigm shift that has occurred over recent years from stand-alone personal computing (which reinforced fragmentation) to mobile and Wide Area networked computing now provides a platform capable of promoting integration, accessibility and co-operation within the sector with attendant gains in efficiency. A minimum requirement to achieve these gains is access to the right information (not just simple data) at the desired level of scale and detail for a particular stakeholder’s view - information which once collected can be stored and refined and then held for use elsewhere on the project without loss and without the need for subsequent re-entry. The information needs to be available quickly and easily, that is at the right time and in the right location for maximum benefit and project efficiency. Demonstration collaborative systems to support interactive Computer Aided Design and information exchange between project stakeholders such as architects, various engineers (electrical, hydaulic, mechanical, structural) and project managers, in an innovative collaborative manner have become available to bring dispersed project members together electronically. Such systems allow project members attached to a network to undertake a range of information access and exchange from simple e-mail; through on-site access to central project data sources via handheld computers; right through to the use of optional live (or pre-recorded) video to enhance collaboration. Using communications infrastructure, this functionality can be shared in various ways - in a corporate-wide environment between regional and/or interstate offices within a company, or in a consortium situation (between offices of a consortium working together on a specific construction project). The questions then arise as to how such systems fit into industry practice, and how the industry might adapt to embrace new opportunities provided by such technological advances. Ease of access to up-to-date, accurate project information for a range of project stakeholders is being extended through research in the US and Australia to close the loop between some of the stakeholders, and this will be discussed in detail in the paper. As well, the progress of industry-based support for a level of interoperability for building and construction information by organisations such as the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI Australasian chapter) will also be discussed, plus the likely impact of the adoption of Industry Foundation Classes in the Australian building and construction industry in areas such as the design life for buildings based on durability of materials.

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Full text: content.pdf (719,511 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.057235) class.environment (0.023003) class.synthesis (0.022896)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, is gratefully appreciated.


Anders Ekholm

ISO 12006-2 and IFC – could they be harmonized?

Abstract: Today, there are two major candidates for core ontologies common to the construction and facilities management sector, the ISO 12006-2 Framework for classification of information, and the Industry Foundation Classes, IFC. ISO 12006-2 has been developed as a step in harmonizing different national and regional classification systems for construction and facilities management. The main purpose of the IFC standard is to enable effective information sharing, within the AEC/FM industry throughout the project lifecycle. These standards have similar objectives but show fundamental differences in semantics and structure. The presented study compares the standards and points at differences and similarities, firstly in order to understand their structure, and secondly to initiate a discussion about the need and the possibility to co-ordinate them. The analysis indicates a fundamental difference in view between the standards. The starting point of IFC was to reject classification, and therefore a harmonization with ISO 12006-2 would require a major shift of approach.

Keywords: Product models, Process models, Ontologies, Interoperability

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Series: w78:2004 (browse)
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Atul Khanzode, Martin Fischer, Dean Reed

Challenges and benefits of implementing virtual design and construction technologies for coordination of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems on a large healthcare project

Abstract: This case study presents the challenges that the project team faced and the benefits they realized in imple-menting virtual design and construction technologies to coordinate the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) systems on a $95M healthcare project in Northern California, USA. These challenges include creating a work structure for the MEP coordination process, organizing the project team consisting of designers, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors, determining the handoff of information between the team members, creating guidelines for the most efficient use of virtual design and construction technologies, creating the process of conflict identification and resolu-tion between the MEP subcontractors, and aligning the contractual interests of the coordination team to meet the over-all project schedule. We also discuss the benefits that the project team achieved by using the virtual design and construction tools for the coordination of the MEP systems. These benefits include labor savings ranging from 20 to 30 % for all the subcontrac-tors, 100% pre-fabrication for the plumbing contractor, only one recorded injury throughout the installation of MEP systems over a 250,000 square feet project area, less than 0.2% rework for the whole project for the mechanical sub-contractor, zero conflicts in the field installation of the systems and only a handful of requests for information for the coordination of the MEP systems. The overall benefits to the owner include about 6 months’ savings on the schedule and about $9M in cost for the overall project.

Keywords: virtual design and construction, conflict identification, menoMMechan eal, Electricalpand Plu systemsmbing

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Bibby L, Austin S, Bouchlaghem D

Defining an improvement plan to address design management practices within a UK construction company

Abstract: A UK based design and construction civil and building engineering company has entered into a partnership with Loughborough University and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop and deploy design management tools capable of making significant improvements to its design management performance. Before suitable tools could be identified it was necessary to establish the current state of practices within the organisation. This paper describes the methodology, results and conclusions of this initial study. It discusses the current views and approaches to design management within the company, and identify areas where improvement is necessary. Many of these are likely to be relevant to other design organisations. The paper then puts forward a strategy capable of driving change throughout the company. This paper is likely to be of interest to those involved in design management and the development of tools and practices to help the industry improve design management performance.

Keywords: construction, design, management, industry practice, process, tools

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Series: itaec:2003 (browse)
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