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A Cemesova, Y Rezgui, C J. Hopfe

Possibilities and challenges created by a smart material in building performance simulation

Abstract: Smart materials are predicted to ‘revolutionise’ the A/E/C industry. They are supposed to enable a building to change colour, shape, size and opacity. However, past research shows that smart materials are still not used very often in engineering applications to their full potential. In this publication we advocate that materials should not be only chosen for simple properties such as visual, physical and insulating characteristics, but for capabilities such as being able to save/generate energy, store information, and to react to stimuli from their local environment. Therefore, this paper will research into the addition of SolaVeil to a window, its physical configuration and the possibility to model and analyse it through Building Performance simulation (BPS). This material is primarily designed to eliminate glare and redirect light. As a result it can reduce energy use caused by air conditioning and artificial lighting systems. This paper researches into the behaviour of SolaVeil in a computer simulation using two different case studies. The first will compare how changing the width but maintaining the reflective area affects illuminance distribution, and the second will determine which physical properties of SolaVeil are most effective. Finally, conclusions are drawn based on the case studies and it is shown that smaller width light shelves are the most suitable for an anti glare product. It is also determined that for SolaVeil to minimise glare in a room without compromising illuminance levels, it should have a light shelf angle of 40 degrees, cover between 40-60% of a window and its strips should be spaced 5mm.

Keywords: SolaVeil, smart materials, building system design, illumination.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Khneisseh & R Schach

Application of Coloured Petri-Nets for the Business Process Modelling in Construction Companies

Abstract: Business processes represent a series of added value activities which lead flow-oriented with one or more measurable inputs to a defined, measurable output. The modelling of business process is very complex because of the large number of modelling purposes, modelling subjects and modelling methods and it therefore requires a systematic preparation. The modelling of business processes by means of CPN represents an excellent opportunity to carry out both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the business processes in construction companies.

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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 Lähr & K-U Bletzinger

Prediction of consequences for planning situation based decisions

Abstract: Consequences of a decision made by a planner (e.g. a project manager, or an engineer) within a collaborative environment can hardly be foreseen. For example, such a collaborative scenario is represented by a planning process in AEC. In particular, during certain planning stages alternatives have to be considered which significantly influence the overall result. Todays AEC planning procedures can be very much improved by predicting simulation methods to judge about the quality impact of certain design or planning modifications. Also, the proper interpretation of data is very crucial to give suitable insight into the characteristic consequences of individual planning decisions. This contribution presents an approach to achieve this goal by discussing needs, problems and implementation for the actual state of our research.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


A Mediavilla, A Romero, J Pérez,F J Mata

Energy efficiency assessment in urban environments using GIS

Abstract: Energy simulation tools are commonly used in building design processes. Their calculation methods are comprehensive and widely accepted. However, the increasing requirements imposed to comply with low emission urban scenarios demand a wider scope analysis, taking into account not only the building, but also the interactions between urban elements (buildings, green areas, urban lighting…). GIS technology seems suitable for this purpose, but current solutions do not include deep energy demand calculations. On the other hand, building simulation tools do not consider the city environment and terrain influence. To evaluate a district by manually adding single building simulations results is an overwhelming process, prone to errors and very time-consuming.In this scenario, urban planners demand Decision Support Systems that go beyond traditional building-scope simulation engines and consider both building and urban-level variables in order to assess the energy efficiency of the urban design.Aware of this issue, the platform presented in this paper fills this gap between building and city approaches. It consists of an ArcGIS customisation, implementing energy simulation models for radiation, energy demands, consumption, energy costs and CO2 emissions. The results are simulated and visualized at different levels (façades, buildings and city). Thus, it is possible to benchmark the district against a reference scenario and certify the sustainability of a district. It has been validated with a new urban development scenario in northern Spain.The platform seamlessly integrates CAD cartography, GIS geoprocessing and the calculation strength of excel sheets, enhanced with 3D energy mapping outputs which can be seen in Google Earth. It does not require deep technical knowledge, being suited for multicriteria analysis. Its modularity allows extending it with future extensions.

Keywords: GIS, energy efficiency, low carbon cities, urban planning, simulation

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Al-Ghassani A M, Kamara J M, Anumba C J, Carrillo P M

A tool for developing knowledge management strategies

Abstract: While organisations recognise that Knowledge Management (KM) is essential for improving performance, many have difficulties in developing strategies for implementation. The nature of knowledge is of particular complexity in organisations such as those within the construction industry characterised by temporary 'virtual' organisations formed for the completion of projects. A significant proportion of construction organisations realise the benefits of KM but most remain at the infancy stages of developing and implementing KM strategies. This paper identifies the need for a methodology to help organisations establishing these strategies. It then describes a framework developed within the CLEVER (Cross-sectoral Learning in the Virtual Enterprise) project at Loughborough University. The framework introduces a methodology that supports KM at both the tactical and strategic levels in order to aid organisations, especially in the construction and manufacturing industries, in developing KM strategies. The methodology was encapsulated into a prototype software system to achieve a simpler format and is easier to use. Industrial collaborators evaluated both the paper format and the prototype software and it is evident that the developed methodology has the potential to provide a very useful way for developing KM strategies and that very little exists elsewhere to assist companies in developing KM strategies in this way. The software prototype was seen as an important enhancement to the paper version. The inviting format, simplified guidance, reduced input duplication, and automated report generation were found the most significant enhancements. The focus of this paper is on the development and operation of the prototype. Its key benefits and lessons learned in implementing it are highlighted in the paper.

Keywords: Construction organisations, knowledge management, KM strategies, software prototype.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/5 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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Alonso J M, Alvarruiz F, Hernandez V, Vidal A M

HPC in the building construction sector

Abstract: In the context of the HIPERCOSME project (1) (ESPRIT project 20059), the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (UPV) in collaboration with Spanish partners, developed a new High Performance Computing (HPC) demonstrator to calculate Reinforced Concrete Building Structures. Starting from a sequential software package, the objective of that project was to develop a portable parallel software package, able to cope with large scale problems and more realistic models (more information could be obtained in http://wwwcopa.dsic.upv.es/copa_eng.html). The performance of the prototype was analysed by means of a test battery composed of 4 real buildings. The performance of the prototype was compared to that of the original sequential package, showing that the former was from 20 up to 60 times faster than the latter. Besides, since a trial and error process must be carried out, the best and cheapest structural solution can be obtained. This leads to a reduction of the cost of the constructive elements and an increase in safety. On the other hand, and as a consequence of the code performance, a 3D approach to the problem of computing the building structure can be performed. Hardware and software requirements for this prototype are very common.The parallel platform can be a cluster of Ethernet linked PC's running under an easily available operating system such as LINUX (public domain) and the PVM passing message environment (public domain also). Moreover, the application is portable and can be run on other computers and parallel systems. Thus, in the context of the project, five Workshops were organised to promote the results in the European regions where the project partners belonged to. In these Workshops, Demonstration Actions were carried out with the presence of different small and medium size construction enterprises of each region. Co-operation among the partners led to contacts with new construction companies interested in the HPCN framework. As a consequence, six Assessment Studies were developed with European construction companies from Spain, Portugal, France and Greece, in order to understand the needs of the European market. UPV is the Valencian Community node of HIPERTTN. This technological Transfer Node is part of the METIER action in the HPCN PST activities of the IV ESPRIT Programme. TTN's try to stimulate the technology transfer and dissemination of the results of the HPCN projects in Europe. As a consequence, a Construction Sector Group has been recently created in this TTN Network. In the full paper, we will describe the technical work developed in the project, both from the point of view of the computational tools and the experience of transference of technology to the Construction Sector.

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Full text: content.pdf (51,870 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.030939) class.bestPractise (0.026703) class.communication (0.025338)
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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.


Andresen J L

Cost and benefit assessments of IT systems in the construction industry

Abstract: This paper presents the results of four case studies that focus on cost and benefit assessments of IT systems in the Danish construction industry. The primary objectives in the case studies have been to (a) explore the difficulties with evaluating IT systems in the construction industry, (b) complete evaluations on particular IT systems in companies from the construction industry using four different IT evaluation methodologies and, ultimately, (c) develop a framework for how to select an IT evaluation method in different IT evaluation situations. The case studies are conducted as a part of a three-year Ph.D. project in order to collect the necessary data to fulfil the objectives stated in the Ph.D. project. The overall objective of the Ph.D. project is how to improve the knowledge and use of IT systems in the construction industry. To achieve this aim the Ph.D. project focuses on how construction companies can increase their knowledge about costs and benefits in their different IT applications by evaluating future IT investments and current IT systems. Specifically, the Ph.D. project focuses on developing a framework for how to select an appropriate IT evaluation method among the many available methods. Earlier in the Ph.D. project a questionnaire survey was completed analysing the current state (1999) of IT evaluation practices in the Danish construction industry. In the four case studies the following IT systems were evaluated: · An electronic document management system called Documentum · Upgrading AutoCad 14 to AutoCad 2000 · Two different ProjectWeb systems The case studies are completed in collaboration with four Danish [RH1] companies based on IT evaluation situations identified in the companies. The construction companies in the case studies comprise three large consulting engineers (Rambøll, Cowi and NIRAS) and one large contractor (Højgaard and Schultz). In each case the IT evaluation situation is identified and described in detail. Four different IT evaluation methods, each representing a larger group of IT evaluation methods, have been used and these are: · Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation (developed by Construct IT in UK) · Information Economics (developed by M. M. Parker and R. J. Benson) · Net Present Value (unknown origin) · Critical Success Factors (J. Rockart) The case studies provide some hard data on the costs and benefits (both quantitative and qualitative) of the evaluated IT systems. The collected data can be used to create the basis for comparison in other similar cases (although one has to be aware that the data are very context dependent) and the result of the IT evaluations is in itself very interesting. Perhaps more interesting is the data collected about the IT evaluation process. This comprises, among other things, data on the usefulness of the evaluation methods in each of the IT evaluation situations and the identified strengths and weaknesses of the four IT evaluation methods. Lastly the four case studies are compared with some case studies conducted in UK during a six months stay at the University of Salford. The case studies in the UK were conducted in collaboration with another Ph.D. student, Nick Bunyan, on some large contractors (Costain, Alfred McAlpine and Taylor Woodrow). The case studies in the UK were using the IT evaluation method “Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation”. This enables an international comparison between UK and Denmark to be carried out.

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Full text: content.pdf (183,662 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.028296) class.economic (0.020015) class.store (0.013421)
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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.


Anumba Chimay

Industry uptake of construction IT innovations - key elements of a proactive strategy

Abstract: There is general agreement that the construction industry's uptake of innovations in Construction IT is disappointing, particularly when considered in relation to the huge research effort and expenditure being invested in this field. This is of growing concern to research funding agencies, Construction IT researchers, and some industry practitioners, albeit for very different reasons. This paper examines some of the reasons for this low uptake of Construction IT innovations, drawing on examples of specific technologies and research projects, where appropriate. It highlights the need for partnerships and closer working arrangements between the key actors and stakeholders - researchers, funding agencies, software developers, end-users and industry managers. The paper outlines the key elements of a framework within which technology transfer from research to practice will thrive, and concludes with a review of several initiatives that seek to address the low uptake of Construction IT innovations.

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Full text: content.pdf (45,709 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.022337) class.education (0.014975) class.strategies (0.009723)
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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.


B Firmenich, C Koch, T Richter & D G Beer

Versioning structured object sets using text based Version Control Systems

Abstract: With the availability of an affordable and ubiquitous network environment the distributed cooperation of projects can be supported by computer software. Currently, the degree of support of a distributed cooperation is very different in the diverse classes of applications. While in the field of text-based applications the synchronous distributed cooperation is already state-of-the-art, the users of document-based applications can currently only cooperate asynchronously in terms of a workflow by exchanging documents. This contribution describes a solution approach for the re-use of existing document-oriented applications in net-distributed processes. The synchronous cooperation is realized by a novel procedure that stores the structured object sets of existing single user applications in version control systems, where the well proven tools of the software configuration process can be used in distributed construction planning processes as well.

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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


B Vladimir, T Maile, J T. O’Donnell, C M Rose, N Mrazovi_

DATA ENVIRONMENTS AND PROCESSING IN SEMI-AUTOMATED SIMULATION WITH ENERGYPLUS

Abstract: Building energy performance (BEP) simulation is increasingly used worldwide to quantitatively justify building design decisions and building operations strategies. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the results of such simulation are often questionable, cannot be trusted, and may lead to wrong decisions. Poor simulation model definition and the use of inappropriately acquired and transformed data are two of the most common causes of this. The use of LBNL methodology for semi-automated BEP simulation data input automates data acquisition and transformation, which removes human decision making from the simulation input data definition process. The first of the three major software components (the Geometry Simplification Tool or GST) is already in use. Work on the second component (an interoperable HVAC graphic user interface for EnergyPlus) is under development. The third component (an internal loads generation tool) will be developed in the near future. The original HVAC GUI for EnergyPlus component has evolved into a BEP simulation platform code-named Mojito. A new internal data model which defines all object/attribute/ relationship sets used in BEP simulation, called SimModel, is the central feature of Mojito. Modeling imprecision is very characteristic of geometry representation in building models submitted by the Architecture-Engineering-Construction-Owners-Operator (AECOO) industry. This, and the lagging and very slow development of CAD utilities that can generate higher-level space boundaries needed in BEP simulation, has forced the development of a new tool (SBT) that calculates higher-level space boundaries from IFC-compliant definition of basic building geometry from any model-based CAD tool. It has also forced the addition of new data transformation rules in GST. This paper describes the principles and high-level views of SimModel, SBT and GST internal architectures, and discusses some of the model and tool functionalities. It also provides a brief summary of quality assessment characteristic of building models generated in the AECOO industry.

Keywords: Building data, semi-automated simulation, simulation software, energy simulation data model, data transformation.

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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