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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.H. Olivier, K. Beucke, B. Firmenich, and G.C. van Rooyen

Consistent CAD - FEM Models On The Basis Of Object Versions And Bindings

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Full text: content.pdf (2,181,854 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Aulis Kappi

Computer methods in concrete materials technology - an overview

Abstract: This paper describes some examples of computer methods available in concrete materials technology for the precast industry. The most simple and widely used tools are programs or more often just spreadsheet tables for calculation of combined grading curves and batch quantities of available aggregates. Packing programs are used to optimize aggregate combination. Mix simulation and mix design programs are more advanced basic tools in finding the targeted concrete mix. Presently the most helpful computer methods are definitely quality control programs. These are now also being presented in Windows versions. Next generation computer programs for precast plants would combine materials technology and process control.

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Series: ecce:1997 (browse)
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Christer Finne

Perceived customer value in construction information services

Abstract: The information needed to design, construct and manage a building is nowadays mainly produced, stored and made available in digital form. Information is produced partly in the design process itself. Design and procurement documents refer only to information produced elsewhere as external printed matter or databases (for example, describ-ing building products). An important channel for such external information is provided by specialized information service providers. In order to meet competition from companies’ homepages, search machines, internet start-up companies etc, established info-mediaries need to rethink their services as well as their business processes. A key issue is achieving a deep understand-ing of how customers perceive the value of these services and products compared to those of new competition enabled by the internet. A study of new business patterns and networks provides the empirical support for the concepts exam-ined in this paper. Traditionally, value is regarded as something inherent in the product; and which is handed over to the customer. More recently, research argues that value cannot be pre-produced. Value is co-produced by the customer, partly as a result of interactions between the customer and the supplier or the service provider. For services, value is, according to this view, produced and consumed simultaneously. Using this theoretical framework as a basis, the conclusions of the study are that it is not enough for construction infomediaries to produce just digitised versions of their traditional products, e.g. printed standards, and product sheets. They also need to gain a thorough understanding of their customers' busi-ness processes and, instead of producing products (or services), become facilitators of value creation for customers.

Keywords: construction infomediaries, customer value, information service providers, product information

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Full text: content.pdf (783,130 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Gerald Faschingbauer, Raimar J. Scherer

Model and sensor data management for geotechnical engineering application

Abstract: Monitoring is an actual problem in almost all disciplines of civil engineering. Especially in geotechnical engineering monitoring is very frequently applied, mainly during the construction phase. The recorded sensor data must be evaluated against the designed values. Also the models used for the forecasting of the behaviour of the investi-gated engineering structure have to be updated in consideration of the actual situation, i.e. the recorded sensor data. As in geotechnical engineering the actual situation itself and also the information about the soil properties will change several times during the construction phase, a high number of data, models and model versions will be investigated. All these data, models and model versions have to be managed. Therefore we propose an object-oriented framework to holistically model the building system, the engineering system, the sensor system, the workflow and the monitoring data in order to have a proper documentation of data, information and knowledge and to retrieve, combine and alternate any aspect of the overall system in a fast and controlled way. The different monitoring processes to be supported are identified and requirements for the development of an information system for monitoring are specified. A short applica-tion scenario should show the high complexity of the problem and emphasise the need of automation of the information management for monitoring.

Keywords: structural monitoring, model management, data and process modelling

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Griffith E D, Hicks D K, McGraw K D, Case M P

Towards model based design - a case study: the modular design system

Abstract: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has developed a tool called the Modular Design System (MDS) to assist design professionals in the processes of planning, design, and construction document preparation for repetitive facility types. The use of early versions of MDS has demonstrated a reduction in time by nearly two-thirds typically required to design and award a construction contract. Initially developed to support Army Reserve Training Centers, the USArmy Corps plans to expand its use over a wider range of repetitive facility types. The current implementation is a hybrid document/model approach consisting of electronic drawings linked by an external database. Data consistency issues associated with this architecture limit its scalability. To meet expanded requirements, the USArmy Corps is developing a model based information approach utilizing emerging commercially available object based CAD systems. This redesigned information infrastructure marks a fundamental change from an implicit to an explicit model-based representation. Three key capabilities make MDS a powerful tool. First, the ability to capture and reuse corporate design criteria at the architectural function level. Second, it provides an integration framework for engineering analysis. Third, it manages and integrates the contract document production.The underlying MDS information infrastructure will move towards a model based approach. Future work will focus on collaborative processes such as conflict resolution and design review. Additionally, MDS offers the opportunity to transfer an information rich model downstream to operations and maintenance.

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Full text: content.pdf (98,970 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.023318) class.bestPractise (0.016810) class.store (0.013255)
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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.


Harvey S, Marache M, Samad Kazi A, Rezgui Y, Zarli A, Hemio T

Web-based generic services for the construction virtual enterprises in the OSMOS project

Abstract: The challenge addressed by the OSMOS[1] project is to provide construction participants with effective access to project information regardless of its form, format, and location, and on the other hand with increased flexibility to support smooth co-operation between non co-located teams, and the co-ordination of their work and activities in an environment that promotes trust and social cohesion. Driven by requirements specified by industrial partners, OSMOS aims at focusing on the specification of industry requirements including intra- and inter-company information process models, identification of required tools, interfaces and services for the Virtual Enterprise (VE), specification of construction groupware services including system architecture, interfaces and necessary extensions to common construction applications. The OSMOS consortium is developing two Internet-based prototype groupware services, hosted in Finland and France, including low entry tools for accessing project information in a VE. The latter include browsers for accessing distributed project information, tools for quick set up of the infrastructure for a new VE, and tools for typical asynchronous communication. The paper will give, first, a general background on the Information and Communication Technology use in construction, with an emphasis on IT tools supporting team work. This will be followed by a summary of the requirements of the OSMOS system based on the analysis of the current practices within the participating companies. These requirements form the base of the OSMOS specification, comprising a set of information models as well as a set of services packaged in the form of an OSMOS Application Programming Interface. The paper will then concentrate on 2 of the following services: the e-mail based communication service, and the document cross-referencing/information management service, selected as specific targets for the 1st iteration of the OSMOS project. The objective of the e-mail based communication service is to provide users with mechanisms for exchanging electronic information and messages, examples of which include electronic letters, e-mail, documents, etc., and generalised functionality archiving messages within the VE, search and get email addresses according to specified criteria, and so on. The second service (document cross-referencing/information management ) is to provide users with mechanisms to relate any particular nugget of information with other information to which it relates based on its semantics (meaning), regardless of its actual form and storage format. The paper then proceeds with a detailed overview of the application and potential of the web-based generic services for construction virtual enterprises in the OSMOS project. A demonstration of the initial web-based versions of the “Virtual Enterprise Management system” (VEM) and the OSMOS information browser is then presented. The VEM, as the name implies, manages a VE in terms of registering, modifying and deleting users, roles, access rights, classes, objects, services/methods, etc.. More functionality will be added for security, authentication, session management, logging facility, etc. The OSMOS browser on the other hand communicates with the VEM and serves as the main user interface presenting different views to the project data and through these views makes available invokable methods for individual objects based on user roles, rights, and view preferences. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the results presented in this paper though targeted towards the construction industry are in fact generic enough to be translated to other industry sectors. The project is supported by 4 user interest groups in Finland, France, Sweden, and UK.

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Full text: content.pdf (288,277 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-man (0.049106) class.software development (0.041176) class.man-software (0.039832)
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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.


Jakob Beetz, Leon van Berlo, Ruben de Laat, Pim van den Helm

BIMSERVER.Org – An Open Source IFC Model Server

Abstract: In this paper we introduce the ongoing development of a free and open model server to persist, maintain and manage instance models of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) format. By using open standards, robust existing software frameworks, best practices and workflows accepted in the broader software engineering world as the basis of our framework, we hope to gain traction within the research and development community by creating a completely open reference implementation that is free to use and extend within individual research projects and commercial applications. By providing an open and extendable architecture around a robust and performant kernel we hope to be able to encourage the integration of many earlier and current efforts that have been undertaken in the field of IFC-based model processing.We describe the set of features implemented so far and give an outline of a roadmap for future developments. Some of these implemented features include: User management, up- and downloads of models, a check-out and check-in mechanism and versioning. As part of this versioning mechanism we show a tree comparison algorithm that allows the creation of version-deltas we refer to as change sets. These change sets are used to minimize the amount of traffic to and from the central repository by only communicating its differences. All server-side functionality described here is exposed through a web-service API which has been used to implement web-based and standalone client applications. A filtering mechanism allows the extraction of sub-models such as specific element types. We show how we transform original STEP part 11 EXPRESS schemas into a Meta-Object-Facility (MOF), and store them in XMI/EMF models. Furthermore, we describe how our framework provides a mapping to a BerkeleyDB database facilitating its rich set of features. We demonstrate how we use a suite of more than 1600 IFC models from various sources to test the integrity of the framework. To demonstrate that our framework works efficiently enough for real-world building model scenarios, we provide some performance indicators using this extensive suite of test models.We finish our report by laying out some of the ideas and plans for the future development of the server which include query languages (for the definition of IDMs etc.), a viewer (e.g. for the visualization of differences between model versions) and the integration of other model schemas such as the ISO 12006-3.

Keywords: IFC, model server, BIM, CAD, collaboration

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Full text: content.pdf (337,242 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Kiviniemi A

IAI and IFC - state-of-the-art

Abstract: This paper presents the current situation in IAI, the International Alliance for Interoperability, and the different versions of IFC, the Industry Foundation Classes. The issues presented in this paper include IFC versions from R1.0 to R3.0, the current IFC implementations and tools, IAI relations to ISO STEP, the current organisational structure of IAI and the possible future activities in IAI. IAI is an open, worldwide organisation preparing an industry standard for architecture/engineering/construction/facilities management (AEC/FM) software based on product models. The modelling language is EXPRESS and data exchange format is the STEP physical file.

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Full text: content.pdf (131,222 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.049015) class.standards (0.046163) class.software development (0.020063)
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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.


Lownertz K, Tarandi V

Cad components

Abstract: CAD Components is a Swedish research and development project, which was finished 1994. It has resulted in a recommendation for how suppliers and other companies shall formalise the digital description of their products. Instead of using CAD system drawings to distribute components the CAD Components are defined in a neutral ASCII file. The components can have both graphics and alphanumeric information. In addition to a 30 description there are isometric 20 views fined to store a number of levels of detailing, to be used in different drawing scales. To make it possible to use components from the early design phase all the way to the use of the completed building, the components can be easily replaced by more precise supplier specific versions. For this reason each class of components has to have definition points and default rotation. The classification of the CAD Components is based upon the Swedish BSAB system.

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Full text: content.pdf (967,412 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.014627) class.synthesis (0.010084) class.software development (0.010008)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


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