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Akbas R, Fischer M, Kunz J, Schwegler B

Use of domain knowledge, product models and geometric algorithms for generation of construction zones

Abstract: We present a layered approach for automated generation of construction zones from 3D CAD models for construction planning and scheduling. The existence of 3D models and product models provides an opportunity for planners and schedulers to consider zoning alternatives and represent and visualize production information in detail. Construction zones are spaces, or groups of spaces, which serve as units of work in the construction planning process. Failure to define construction zones properly may increase overall project duration and impact workflow adversely. Today, zone definitions are generally ad-hoc. Formal definitions and mechanisms to generate construction zone information are not available in commercially available software.We have defined a three-layer computational framework in a prototype construction management software tool to generate detailed information about construction zones. The framework separates the construction-based information from the product model representation and geometric information. Each layer is extensible and testable without the other layers. The highest layer (Layer3) contains domain knowledge about zones, i.e., types of zones and factors or constraints affecting construction zone definition. For example, a shape factor takes into account the changes in production rates due to local variations of geometry. The shape factor also allows the representation of an idle crew because of a nearby activity, missing support or unavailability of materials. Layer 2 manages the changes in the product and process models that are necessary to generate zones. Additionally, it uses zoning knowledge to maintain consistent schedules at multiple levels of detail. Layer 1 is the geometric level that contains the geometric algorithms to create the subdivisions and aggregations using the geometric shape representation of the building components. Instead of considering a fixed geometric representation for a component, we provide a flexible triangular mesh shape representation, breaking-up or aggregating component geometry as necessary. With the results of this research, professionals will be able to simulate and visualize construction processes more accurately and link design and construction data more tightly to explore design-build scenarios rapidly and communicate them effectively.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,076,021 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.028985) class.environment (0.026386) class.represent (0.022098)
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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.


Clarke P, Heathcote K

A longitudinal study into perceptions of the effect of I.T. on training, human relations and productivity as function of position, age, experience and gender

Abstract: The general aim of this study was to provide an insight into the effectiveness of Information Technology (IT) in computerised maintenance management, with particular emphasis on the effect IT has on training, humsan relations and productivity as a function of position, age, experience and gender. The study follows up on previous work carried out by Clarke into the differing perceptions of management and support staff regarding the introduction of a computerised IT system into a large public service asset management organisation in Australia. The framework technique developed in this study was used to identify trends in perceptions of such fundamental facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, as a function of position (within the organisation), age, experience and gender. The empirical data was collected through structured interview within a large public sector asset management organisation. The data was collated and examined under categories of training, human relations and productivity as a function of position, age, experience and gender. Results obtained from this study were statistically analysed to measure the significance of variations in perceptions between management and support staff, younger and older, inexperienced and experienced together with female and male staff. The analysis revealed that all groups perceived IT as beneficial in terms of training, human relations and both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. The level of satisfaction supports previous researchers findings regarding the benefits of IT in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes, in industry. Further research is suggested in the areas of satisfaction with training for new IT implementations, level of perceived control in occupational performance, level of quality of service provided and the level of output as a function of IT.

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Full text: content.pdf (150,840 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.030330) class.environment (0.027611) class.economic (0.017073)
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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.


Euthimios Glymis, Athanasios Kanelakis, Georgios Aretoulis and Theodoros Mastoras

Predicting Highway Projects' Actual Duration Using Neural Networks

Abstract: The current study predicts the actual duration of highway projects, based on the initial planned schedule. Highway projects suffer from delays and deviations, which in Greece are more often associated with law disputes, project financing, archaeological findings, environmental issues and private land acquisition procedures. In this research, data were obtained from 37 road projects in Greece and the purpose was to estimate the construction duration, using an artificial neural network. The Fast Artificial Neural Network (FANN) Tool program was used. FANN based on the available data, identifies the optimal training algorithm. The training algorithm and the activation function with the lowest mean square error (MSE) are selected. In order to achieve the best possible solution, numerous trials were made, applying different input data combinations, different variations in the architecture of the network, and different data values were used. This paper presents the three more reliable and effective networks produced from the current study. The results indicated that Artificial Neural Networks, employing the appropriate parameters do provide a relatively high accuracy in predicting actual construction time and more specifically appear as one of the most optimal methods for actual highway construction time prediction.

Keywords: Highway Projects, Actual Project Duration, Estimated Project Duration, Artificial Neural Networks

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0260

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Faisal Manzoor Arain

IT-based approach for effective management of project changes: a change management system (CMS)

Abstract: In a perfect world, changes will be confined to the planning stages. However, late changes often occur during construction, and frequently cause serious disruption to the project. The need to make changes in a construction project is a matter of practical reality. Even the most thoughtfully planned project may necessitate changes due to vari-ous factors. The fundamental idea of any variation management system in a building project is to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, resolve, control, document, and learn from past variations in ways that support the overall viability of the project. Learning from past variations is imperative because the professionals can then improve and apply their experi-ence in the future. Primarily, the study proposes six principles of change management. Based on these principles, a theoretical model for change management system (CMS) is developed. The theoretical model consists of six fundamen-tal stages linked to two main components, i.e., a knowledge-base and a controls selection shell for making more in-formed decisions for effective management of variations. This paper argues that the information technology can be ef-fectively used for providing an excellent opportunity for the professionals to learn from similar past projects and to better control project variations. Finally, the study briefly presents a knowledge-based decision support system (KBDSS) for the management of variations in educational building projects in Singapore. The KBDSS consists of two main components, i.e., a knowledge-base and a controls selection shell for selecting appropriate controls. The KBDSS is able to assist project managers by providing accurate and timely information for decision making, and a user-friendly system for analyzing and selecting the controls for variation orders for educational buildings. The CMS will enable the project team to take advantage of beneficial variations when the opportunity arises without an inordinate fear of the negative impacts. By having a systematic way to manage variations, the efficiency of project work and the likelihood of project success should increase. The study would assist building professionals in developing an effective variation management system. The system would be helpful for them to take proactive measures for reducing variation orders. Furthermore, with further generic enhancement and modification, the KBDSS will also be useful for the man-agement of variations in other types of building projects, thus helping to raise the overall level of productivity in the construction industry. Hence, the system developed and the findings from this study would also be valuable for all building professionals in general.

Keywords: CMS, information technology, KBDSS, changes, management

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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G A Bakr

Studying the Status of Variations in Construction Contracts in Jordan

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Series: w78:2014 (browse)
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Howard R, Resen J

Time factors in realising IT benefits in construction

Abstract: "IT context The concern over computer systems at the beginning of 2000 should have settled down by the time this paper is written, but it is symptomatic of an underlying, and recent, public concern that computers are not infallible. This has resulted in growing interest in measuring and predicting the benefits information technology can bring to business. The 'Productivity Paradox' contrasts the readiness with which companies buy individual IT systems with the absence of any proof that IT increases the productivity of whole industries. Paul Teicholz has recently shown that the construction industry in the US is not only falling behind other industries but that its productivity has declined in the last 30 years. Similar data can be presented for Denmark and the UK. Objectives This paper relates the evaluation of benefits of IT systems in construction to the time over which they are developed or implemented, and links this with the cyclic levels of activity from which all construction industries suffer. This leads on to suggestions about when IT systems of different types should be initiated in companies, in order to achieve full productivity at the stage of the cycle of activity when it is most critical. Methodology Ongoing work on how IT productivity is measured is combined with statistics on construction industry workload cycles in Denmark, The UK and the US. These show the variations between these countries and the paper suggests the optimum cycles on which different types of system should be replaced. Ths work is based upon surveys of how companies in construction measure IT benefits and government statistics. Conclusions The different time scales, ranging from development of customised systems to the introduction of off-the-shelf packages, have a major effect on evaluating benefits based on a changing workload. Little numerical evaluation is carried out at present because there are many different methods and reliable data required for these can be difficult to obtain. Major systems may need to be initiated at the peak of a cycle in order to be fully ready for the next peak, assuming that staff will be retained and training can be carried out during the intervening drop in workload. Work is in progress to develop a better method of evaluating benefits and will take these time factors into account"

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Full text: content.pdf (330,052 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.014425) class.impact (0.009302) class.commerce (0.009120)
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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


Howard R

Modelling buildings anti classifying data in cad systems

Abstract: This paper presents the results of some studies of data modeling and layering practice carried out for the draft British Standard 'Construction Drawing Practice - Guide f o r graphic representation by computer'. This standard, BS 1192 Part 5, is currently a draft on which public comments have been received but which will not be final until 1989. Its objectives are to complement developing international data exchange standards by guiding those designing buildings with CAD to organize data so that its structure can be transferred. It has three main elements: 1. Translation of system terminology into standard terms. 2. A simple representation of data structures. 3 . Guidance on allocating building data to layers. In the first study six of the systems most widely used in the UK were represented in IDEF IX data modeling format to show their similarities and differences, and the standard includes a simplified data structure which can be related to each of these. Typical variations are identified and system terminology is related to standard terms proposed. The second study looked at current practice in allocating layers or categories, both by FEDCAD in user groups and by CICA in individual members using CAD. A number of criteria for classifying layers were found and these included, in order of frequency: 1. Job specific elements. 2. Elements of drawings, eg. grids, text. 3 . Elements of buildings, eg. phases, floors, services. 4 . Standard element systems, eg. CI/SfB. 5. Types of drawing eg. plans, elevations, perspectives. The recommendations of the standard are that a common system should be used allowing flexibility in the numbers of layers. CI/SfB Table 1 and the Common Arrangement are seen as suitable systems appropriate to different stages of the design process.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,122,266 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1988 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.032593) class.synthesis (0.032456) class.bestPractise (0.017060)
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Permission to reproduce these documents has been graciously provided by the Lund University and the Swedish Building Centre. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Per Christiansson and Prof. Henry Karlsson, is gratefully appreciated.


Karhu V

A model based approach for construction process modelling

Abstract: Process modelling methods have been developed for describing different aspects of industrial and other processes. Each method, e.g. the widely used scheduling in project planning software, has a specific scope for which it has been designed. Used outside this scope the method may prove quite inadequate. The newer type of modelling method GEPM, generic process modelling method, has been developed. It has borrowed many features from other modelling methods such as scheduling, IDEF0, and the so-called simple flow method. The term simple flow method is a box-and-arrow method that have been used for construction process descriptions in several companies in different variations.The GEPM method is flexible in a sense that the conceptual model, which has been defined using the EXPRESS modelling language, can be changed in order to achieve specialised additional features when needed. The database implementation supports this approach as well. GEPM enables the users to interact with the developed process models through views. The chosen views are scheduling, IDEF0, and simple flow view. The implementation of GEPM in a database and the data exchange with other software tools has proven useful. The view analogy can be compared with advanced CAD tools, where users interact with the designs through design drawings in different scale. GEPM can be used for describing partly company specific quality systems with reference models. The reference models can be converted into project specific models, which in turn are scheduled.

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Full text: content.pdf (254,511 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.026283) class.synthesis (0.018116) class.processing (0.016651)
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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.


Kumar V S S, Hanna A S, Natarajan P

Application of fuzzy linear programming in construction projects

Abstract: In classical optimization model, the objective function and the constraints are represented very precisely under certainty. However, many of the constraints are externally controlled and the variations cannot be predicted to a reliable extent. This may cause difficulties in representing these interacting variables for optimization. To overcome these limitations, Zimmerman's fuzzy logic approach is applied for optimization in this paper. Here, the embedding simulation results are used as inputs to a fuzzy linear programming model to soften the notion of "constraints" and "objective function." This approach will acknowledge and postulate that the objective function and the constraints are of the same nature and the distinction between them is gradual rather than abrupt. An application of this integrated approach to a case study demonstrates the efficacy of this flexible algorithm in dealing with qualitative factors in a more meaningful way than classical linear programming. One of the main advantages of this method is that it can be easily implemented in the existing computer programs for optimization.

Keywords: finear programming, fuzzy sets, tolerance limits, fuzzy goals, fuzzy constraints

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Series: itaec:2004 (browse)
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Leung A W T, Tam C M

Scheduling for high-rise building construction using simulation techniques

Abstract: High-rise buildings are commonly built in densely populated countries or urban areas. A balanced floor construction cycle is critical for construction of the frame structures. The objectives in scheduling the floor cycle are to ensure smooth flows of resources and to optimise the use of formwork and other materials. The floor area is usually divided into zones to allow the labour force and formwork materials moving between zones. The preparation of the floor construction cycle would therefore be a resources allocation exercise. However, the process is complex and difficult when it is done manually. Floats are created deliberately in the schedule to ensure the balance in resources and to provide buffers. Simulation that can demonstrate the real world operations is an effective tool in handling this scheduling problem. This paper examines the constraints in planning the floor cycle and the effects of working period on the overall schedule. Network based simulation model is used to investigate the problems. It is noted that variations in working periods have significant impacts on the time schedule. A saving of 37.2% in time could be achieved when the working period is extended by 20%. The findings indicate that simulation can be used to assist planners to improve their decisions and decide the strategies in scheduling and reviewing the floor construction schedule.

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Full text: content.pdf (132,534 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2003 (browse)
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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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