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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.


Andreas Kunz, Stefan Dehlin, Tommaso Piazza, Morten Fjeld, and Thomas Olofsson

Collaborative Whiteboard: Towards Remote Collaboration and Interaction in Construction Design

Abstract: The need for improved interaction and sharing of information in construction projects has grown significantly in recent years, especially as projects have become ever more complex.The early design stage is of particular importance for the final results as most of the building lifecycle characteristics are committed at this stage and the opportunity to influence them decreases rapidly as the cost of making changes, or correcting design errors, increases dramatically. Recent advances in information technology offer methods and tools to meet this need. In view of this, CollaBoard – an interactive whiteboard for remote collaboration – was developed to support mixed, geographically distributed teams. Interconnected via a network, two or more system setups allow users to interact and share information over a common interactive vertical whiteboard. Superimposing the live video of the remote partner – “people on content” – also allows the transfer of Meta information such as gestures, et cetera; resulting in a more intuitively distributed collaborative teamwork. Based on technology such as CollaBoard, the envisioned outcome of our research is a system allowing experts from different disciplines to integrate and optimize lifecycle-related parameters into a new product. The resulting system will allow each expert to adjust his/her own set of parameters, giving access to a large database through intuitive interfaces. This article also discusses possible areas of application with focus on early design, recommends future development needs and provides a brief comparison to existing and state-of the-art systems. The development work includes interdisciplinary research and development and interdisciplinary collaboration between academia and industry.

Keywords: design process, lifecycle, remote collaboration, visualization technology, whiteboard

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Bingfei Zhang and Zhenhua Zhu

Vision-Based Detection of Falls at Flat Level Surfaces

Abstract: Workers might experience fall accidents even when they are working at flat level surfaces. These accidents plus other types of fall accidents have been reported as one of the major causes for worker-related fatalities and injuries. Currently, it becomes common to set up video cameras to monitor working environments. The video cameras provide an alternative to detect fall accidents. The objective of this paper is to investigate the feasibility of detecting fall accidents of workers with video. The preliminary focus is put on the fall detection under one single monocular camera. A novel fall detection method is proposed. Under the method, workers in the videos captured by the video cameras are first detected and tracked. Their pose and shape related features are then extracted. Given a set of features, an artificial neural network (ANN) classifier is further trained to automatically determine whether a fall happens. The method has been tested and the detection precision and recall were used to evaluate the method. The test results with high detection precision and recall indicated the method effectiveness. Also, the lessons and findings from this research are expected to build a solid foundation to create a vision-based fall detection solution for safety engineers.

Keywords: Fall Detection, Video Processing, Computer Vision, Safety Management

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0198

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C-W Liu, S-C Kang

A Video-Enabled Dynamic Site Planner

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Series: w78:2014 (browse)
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Charles Woodward, Jani Lahti, Jukka Rönkkö, Petri Honkamaa, Mika Hakkarainen, Jani Jäppinen, Kari Rainio, Sanni Siltanen, Jouko Hyväkkä

Case digitalo – a range of virtual and augmented reality solutions in construction application

Abstract: We describe a range of Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) solutions applied during the planning and construction of VTT’s new head offices, the Digitalo (“Digital House”) in Espoo, Finland. During the building phase as well as in later evaluations 2003-2006, the various approaches used for Digitalo’s visualisation included: radiosity rendering by still images; immersive virtual reality visualisation; mobile outdoors augmenting; augmented scale model; augmented web camera; 3D landscapes; and interior design by means of virtual and augmented reality. We employed various display devices ranging from HMD video glasses to CAVE screens, and from PDA’s to varying kinds of PC solutions. Some of our solutions, for example the augmented web camera and scale model systems, have not been previously presented and they appear here for the first time. Also, we describe the current status of the applied methods, as well as directions for future research. Altogether, we believe this case study to be among the most comprehensive ones in the world to include such a wide variety VR/AR techniques applied in a single building project.

Keywords: virtual reality, augmented reality, CAVE, HMD, web cameras, mobile computing, feature detection, markers, tracking, tangible user interfaces

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Côté S,Barnard J,Snyder R,Gervais R

Offline spatial panoramic video augmentation for visual communication in the AEC industry

Abstract: Renovation of existing buildings is a type of construction work that requires a very good understanding of the existing built environment. Accurate bidding and proper planning for such construction projects requires detailed information both from the 3D CAD model and of the existing building. The problem is both sources of information are heterogeneous: one is in the form of digital data (2D CAD drawings, 3D CAD models), while the other is the actual physical world. The CAD model and drawings deliver the designer’s construction intent, while the physical world provides integration context. A user must do significant mental efforts to merge the 2 types of data and form a mental image of the work that is actually required. In this paper, we present a technique that enables the visualization of augmented scenes, packaged in a visualization application that can be used on site or off site by construction bidders, planners and workers. The building environment is first captured by walking in the area holding a panoramic video camera. The panoramic video stream is then post-processed to align each of its frames with a 3D model of the building. A user can then use the viewer to navigate the pre-recorded photo-realistic scene at any location and orientation along the camera paths, and augment it with the 3D model, to reveal hidden structure represented in the model, or 3D elements showing future portions to be added. Our method was tested on a building for which a detailed 3D CAD model (BIM) was available. Results show that the system could enable a better communication between the designer and the builder by displaying the designed construction intent in its real context, and therefore could allow more accurate bidding and work planning, and generally, could facilitate better understanding of the work to be done.

Keywords: Augmented Reality,environment,panorama,CAD model,BIM,construction,renovation

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Full text: content.pdf (1,418,536 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Côté S,Trudel P,Desbiens M-A,Gigučre M,Snyder R

Live mobile panoramic high accuracy augmented reality for engineering and construction

Abstract: Augmented reality finds many potential uses in the infrastructure world. However, the work done by architects and engineers has potential impacts on people’s lives. Therefore, the data they base their decisions upon must be accurate and reliable. Unfortunately, so far augmented reality has failed to provide the level of accuracy and robustness that would be required for engineering and construction work using a portable setup. Recent work has shown that panorama based augmentation can provide a level of accuracy that is higher than standard video-based augmentation methods, because of its wider field of view. In this paper, we present a live mobile augmentation method based on panoramic video. The environment is captured live using a high resolution panoramic video camera installed on top of a tripod, and positioned in the area to be augmented. The system is first initialized by the user, who aligns the 3D model of the environment with the panoramic stream. The live scene is then augmented with a 3D CAD model, the augmenting elements being properly occluded by live moving objects in the scene. To augment the scene from a different vantage point, the user grabs the tripod and carries it to the new location. During that time, the system calculates the camera position by tracking optical features identified on the panoramic video stream. When the user places the tripod back on the ground, the system automatically resumes augmentation from the new position. The system was tested in indoor and outdoor conditions. Results demonstrate high tracking accuracy, jitter free augmentation, and that the setup is sufficiently portable to be used on site.

Keywords: Live augmented reality,accuracy,panorama,video,construction,3D model

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De Grassi M, Giretti A, Caneparo L, Mecca S

Teaching construction in the virtual university: the WINDS project

Abstract: "This paper introduces some of the Information Technology solutions adopted in Web based INtelligent Design Support (WINDS) to support education in A/E/C design. The WINDS project WINDS is an EC-funded project in the 5th Framework, Information Society Technologies programme, Flexible University key action. WINDS is divided into two actions: ·The research technology action is going to implement a learning environment integrating an intelligent tutoring system, a computer instruction management system and a set of co-operative supporting tools. ·The development action is going to build a large knowledge base supporting Architecture and Civil Engineering Design Courses and to experiment a comprehensive Virtual School of Architecture and Engineering Design. During the third year of the project, more than 400 students all over Europe will attend the Virtual School. During the next three years the WINDS project will span a total effort of about 150 man-years from 28 partners of 10 European countries. The missions of the WINDS project are: Advanced Methodologies in Design Education. WINDS drives a breakdown with conventional models in design education, i.e. classroom or distance education. WINDS implements a problem oriented knowledge transfer methodology following Roger Schank’s Goal Based Scenario (GBS) pedagogical methodology. GBS encourages the learning of both skills and cases, and fosters creative problem solving. Multidisciplinary Design Education. Design requires creative synthesis and open-end problem definition at the intersection of several disciplines. WINDS experiments a valuable integration of multidisciplinary design knowledge and expertise to produce a high level standard of education. Innovative Representation, Delivery and Access to Construction Education. WINDS delivers individual education customisation by allowing the learner access through the Internet to a wide range of on-line courses and structured learning objects by means of personally tailored learning strategies. WINDS promotes the 3W paradigm: learn What you need, Where you want, When you require. Construction Practice. Construction industry is a repository of ""best practices"" and knowledge that the WINDS will profit. WINDS system benefits the ISO10303 and IFC standards to acquire knowledge of the construction process directly in digital format. On the other hand, WINDS reengineers the knowledge in up-to-date courses, educational services, which the industries can use to provide just-in-time rather than in-advance learning. WINDS IT Solutions The missions of the WINDS project state many challenging requirements both in knowledge and system architecture. Many of the solutions adopted in these fields are innovative; others are evolution of existing technologies. This paper focuses on the integration of this set of state-of-the-art technologies in an advanced and functionally sound Computer Aided Instruction system for A/E/C Design. In particular the paper deals with the following aspects: Standard Learning Technology Architecture The WINDS system relies on the in progress IEEE 1484.1 Learning Technology Standard Architecture. According to this standard the system consists of two data stores, the Knowledge Library and the Record Database, and four process: System Coach, Delivery, Evaluation and the Learner. WINDS implements the Knowledge Library into a three-tier architecture: 1.Learning Objects: ·Learning Units are collections of text and multimedia data. ·Models are represented in either IFC or STEP formats. ·Cases are sets of Learning Units and Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describes solutions, integrate technical detail, contain relevant design failures etc. 2.Indexes refer to the process in which the identification of relevant topics in design cases and learning units takes place. Indexing process creates structures of Learning Objects for course management, profile planning procedures and reasoning processes. 3.Courses are taxonomies of either Learning Units or a design task and Course Units. Knowledge Representation WINDS demonstrates that it is possible and valuable to integrate a widespread design expertise so that it can be effectively used to produce a high level standard of education. To this aim WINDS gathers area knowledge, design skills and expertise under the umbrellas of common knowledge representation structures and unambiguous semantics. Cases are one of the most valuable means for the representation of design expertise. A Case is a set of Learning Units and Product Models. Cases are noteworthy stories, which describe solutions, integrate technical details, contain relevant design failures, etc. Knowledge Integration Indexes are a medium among different kind of knowledge: they implement networks for navigation and access to disparate documents: HTML, video, images, CAD and product models (STEP or IFC). Concept indexes link learning topics to learning objects and group them into competencies. Index relationships are the base of the WINDS reasoning processes, and provide the foundation for system coaching functions, which proactively suggest strategies, solutions, examples and avoids students’ design deadlock. Knowledge Distribution To support the data stores and the process among the partners in 10 countries efficiently, WINDS implements an object oriented client/server as COM objects. Behind the DCOM components there is the Dynamic Kernel, which dynamically embodies and maintains data stores and process. Components of the Knowledge Library can reside on several servers across the Internet. This provides for distributed transactions, e.g. a change in one Learning Object affects the Knowledge Library spread across several servers in different countries. Learning objects implemented as COM objects can wrap ownership data. Clear and univocal definition of ownerships rights enables Universities, in collaboration with telecommunication and publisher companies, to act as “education brokers”. Brokerage in education and training is an innovative paradigm to provide just-in-time and personally customised value added learning knowledge."

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Full text: content.pdf (417,738 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.088602) class.deployment (0.042591) class.bestPractise (0.035370)
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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


Dluhosch, E. and Vien, T.

An Integrated Computing and Video-Imaging Environment for Architectural Practice

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Series: w78:1986 (browse)
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Dossick, Carrie Sturts; Rojas, Eddy; Locsin, Susan; and Lee, Namhun

Defining Construction Management Events in Situational Simulations

Abstract: The challenge and promise of educational computer simulations are to provide user experiences that allow for immersion into a dynamic system in which users discover the ramifications of their decisions in a complex environment. Researchers at the University of Washington, in collaboration with Michigan Technological University, are developing situational simulations to meet the needs of construction management education. The simulation environment, known as the Virtual Coach, helps users to further develop their decision-making skills in a problem-based learning setting whereby they investigate, integrate and apply concepts in a participatory, contextually rich, educational, yet fun video game-like virtual environment. This paper explores the development of this contextually rich and general-purpose environment and the user’s experience as they progress from Project Awareness to Project Monitoring and into Project Management. In the Virtual Coach, users view project information in both Project Awareness and Project Monitoring. As the project and Simulation Events unfold, the user interacts with the simulation, making decisions that impact the project outcome. A Simulation Event includes the user’s experience, variables altered by the event, and variables changed by the user. This paper defines the concept of Simulation Events within the context of the Virtual Coach, explains how the users become aware of an Event and how Events are triggered in the simulation, describes how users engage with the simulation (i.e., what variables are in play), and identifies types and formats of information available to a simulation developer to shape the learning outcomes.

Keywords: Simulation models; Construction management; Engineering education; Computer aided instruction

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Full text: content.pdf (96,587 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2007 (browse)
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