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Marasini R, Dawood N

Stockyard layout management for precast concrete products using simulation

Abstract: Stockyard layout management for the efficient storage and retrieval of standard concrete building products offers a complex problem. The demand is seasonal, and massive stock is built in winter for the dispatched in summer. The problem is unique to the industry as the products are heavy in weight, different handling requirements and, large scale production (1000~2000 different products). The industry is suffering from long throughput time for the distribution lorries, space congestion for both storage and dispatch of products. A case study shows that an the throughput time to service an order varies form 60 to 90 minutes, the queuing time for the lorries being 1.5 times more time the time for loading. A simulation model has been developed to assist managers in designing and managing the stockyard layout. Through the simulation model "what- if " analysis can be made for different storage methods, different loading policies and vehicle routings through the yard. Visualising the loading and dispatch process, and evaluating the throughput time, space utilisation and cost of loading and dispatch, a satisfactory layout can be selected for the implementation. This paper presents the simulation model developed using ARENA (SIMAN), the methodology to derive inputs to the simulation model and the results of the simulation model using a detailed case study.

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Full text: content.pdf (233,728 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.014268) class.impact (0.011126) class.retrieve (0.005022)
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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.


Marir F, Aouad G, Cooper G

OSCONCAD: A model-based CAD System integrated with computer applications

Abstract: This paper presents OSCONCAD, an interactive system for integrating CAD and construction related applications to address the problems of design fragmentation and the gap that exists between construction and design processes. It provides a vehicle for storing architectural design information in an integrated construction object-oriented database that can be shared by a range of computer applications. The OSCONCAD model is characterised by several new features. It uses the object-oriented modelling approach to establish standard models for architectural design that comply with Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) for common interpretation of construction design objects and with CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) for distribution of the objects amongst the construction applications. It aims to achieve independence from the display environment by providing a set of Abstract Factory and Abstract Design Classes, which provide abstractions that the design model classes can use to draw and render themselves in any display environments. More importantly, graphical and textual information about the building design components is directly saved as instances in an object-oriented database without passing through the existing CAD databases. To demonstrate the independence from the display environment, two applications using OSCONCAD models are implemented. The first is an interactive AutoCAD application, which creates instances of the OSCONCAD design model and stores them directly in the distributed object database. The second A web-based application using VRML (Virtual Reality Modelling Language) for remotely interrogating information stored within the integrated database, visualising and manipulating the design components in 3D environment. Also, to demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of the OSCON (Open Systems for Construction) object-oriented product model, three OSCON construction applications that access and share the OSCONCAD building design instances are presented.

Keywords: Distributed Construction Object Database, Model-Based CAD System, CORBA, IFC, OSCONCAD, UML, and VRML.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1998/3 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1998 (browse)
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Moore D R

Perception "noise" in the cognition of visualised construction process concepts

Abstract: Within the context of a scoping study the paper examines factors having a possible effect on the nature of cognition achieved with regard to specific construction industry production process concepts. These factors are considered with regard to the level of cognition, as a follow-on from the act of visual perception, that may be achieved by individuals with regard to production process concepts. The key production concepts considered are those of the extent of continuous specific interdependency (CSI) and discontinuous specific interdependency (DSI), as determined through assessing type and extent of discontinuities between construction activities linked by the process logic to form process chains. Existing means of visualising dependencies within and between projects are argued to be deficient with regard to their ability to communicate relationships such as discontinuous specific interdependency. Existing HCIs, for example, are suggested as simply seeking to replicate means of visualisation that are historically established, such as the bar chart, CPN, PERT, etc. This approach is considered within the paper from the perspective of the suggested differing abilities of experts and novices to "fill-in" the gaps presented in the context of communicating relationships such as DSI. The use of a structured entity approach to enhance the communication of concepts such as interdependency through the visualisation of relevant characteristics of individual activities is proposed. This entity is developed from work carried out in areas of research such as thinking with diagrams (TWD), knowledge maps, and the theories of perception with regard to pattern recognition. The suggested entity also seeks to maximise the value of current HCIs rather than imposing a radically new means of visualisation on project planning software.

Keywords: Perception, near-criticality, interdependency, visualisation, TWD, structured entities.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/10 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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Pilgrim M, Bouchlaghem D, Holmes M, Loveday D

Visualisation in building design and analysis

Abstract: "Research on data visualisation is undergoing major developments in a number of different fields. These developments include investigating ways of applying visualisation techniques and systems for more efficient manipulation, interpretation and presentation of data. Research into applied visualisation has so far taken place in the fields of Computational Fluid Dynamics, Medicine, Social Sciences, and the Environment. In the built environment field however, the potential of new visualisation technologies to enhance the presentation of performance data from simulation programmes (of the type used by engineering design consultants, for example) has remained almost unexplored. Improvements in this area would lead to a better and more efficient use of these simulation programs and would facilitate the interpretation of such output data by construction industry professionals, leading to better, more informed design decisions. This paper presents an initial study on Data Visualisation and its effective use in the thermal analysis of buildings. Much of the current data visualisation in the engineering and scientific world focuses on very large data sets produced by applications such as FEA, CFD or GIS. As such the tools developed to date are often too expensive or not appropriate for the visualisation of the relatively smaller data sets produced by thermal analysis tools. The objective of the work summarised here was to develop a method of visualising the data produced by the thermal analysis tools which would run on an average desktop PC and be easy to maintain/customise and above all present the data in an intuitive manner. A workplace observational study of several engineers performing such an analysis revealed each was spending a significant amount of time manipulating the output within commercial spreadsheet packages. Further studies revealed the most common tasks were the inspection of predicted internal conditions, location of glazed elements transmitting significant solar radiation and the identification of high internal surface temperatures. Two applications were therefore proposed. The first is designed to automatically process the output within the spreadsheet environment. The second is designed to display the solution in three dimensions to aid spatial recognition and data navigation. The spreadsheet tools were developed over a period of several months and then released to all users of the analysis tools. The 3D tool was developed over a longer period and has been subjected to small group tests. Each tool was developed using Microsoft Visual Basic making them both easy to maintain and freely available. The 3D tool reads in flat text files produced by the analysis and automatically generates a framed HTML page with an embedded 3D VRML world describing the building and its results. This study shows that each of the proposed applications significantly improves some of the attributes associated with usability, namely; learnability, efficiency, memorability, errors and satisfaction. The spreadsheet tool increased efficiency and decreased errors but offered no real satisfaction. The 3D tool offers increased satisfaction but at present does not efficiently present all of the data required. Finally, It is possible to develop low cost Data Visualisation tools to improve the overall usability of a thermal analysis tool within a built environment consultantcy."

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Full text: content.pdf (404,505 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.027102) class.environment (0.018138) class.economic (0.016196)
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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


Rihtniemi T

Program bridgeCAD 3.0

Abstract: BridgeCAD is an integrated large capacity UNlX workstation modeling software for visualising, analysing, dimensioning and drawing bridge super- and substructures. It is a part of the CityCAD infrastructure design system and it's database is integrated in the CityCADs relational database. BridgeCAD is specialized in modeling concrete girder bridges. In the BridgeCAD the modeling procedure has been split into several well defined parts and related programs. The core of the BridgeCAD consists of the BCMOD, an interactive graphics program, which is used for constructing the three-dimensional model of the bridge superstructure. Other program parts are abutment modeling, bridge visualization, structural analysis, dimensioning and drawing modules.

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

Series: ecce:1997 (browse)
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RJ Scherer & S-E Schapke

Constructing Building Information Networks from Proprietary Documents and Product Model Data

Abstract: The paper presents a novel Building Information Mining Framework (BIMF) that allows utilising building information captured in product model data as a valuable source of background knowledge in information retrieval and mining. Central to the framework is a four layered Bayesian Network adapted from probabilistic Information Retrieval models developed in the 90s. Capturing, combining and visualising the results of various text and model analyses as well as representing aspects of the current mining context, the network allows for explicitly representing content of the repository in personalisable information networks. These networks enable not only the retrieval of information from the text documents but also the explicit interlinking of the document and the product model domain to also support the understanding of the available interrelations and the exploration of new mining and integration strategies. The paper introduces the principal approach, explains the components of the basic network and suggests several further extensions that are currently still under development.

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Full text: content.pdf (458,088 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


White J, Bouchlaghem D, Thorpe A

The industrial implementation of VR: lessons from Japan

Abstract: "Virtual reality (VR) allows the interactive real-time viewing of 3D building models and can greatly facilitate the process of visualising, evaluating and communicating new building designs. Though its use has been widely researched by the academic community, the transfer of VR techniques into industry has been slow. To accelerate the rate of industrial adoption the experience of leading industrial users can be analysed through cross-industry and cross-cultural comparisons. This paper considers the computer-aided design (CAD) and VR use of three large Japanese housebuilders using a multiple case study approach. Interviews were conducted with the housebuilders on a study visit to Japan in June 1999 and the findings of the study are contextualised to provide a greater understanding of the constraints and opportunities for VR implementation, through comparison with the use of CAD and VR in British housebuilding. It was found that advanced 3D CAD and VR techniques are being used extensively in the Japanese housebuilding sector of the construction industry. Unlike in Britain, VR models are used to aid in the house design or customisation process in consultation with the customer, and are created before the customer signs the contract. Uptake of VR and the integration of VR use into the existing company structures and practices have been faster in Japan than in other countries and the reasons for this are considered. The wider implications of the findings for the future industrial use of VR in the construction industry are discussed, and the paper concludes by setting out the lessons that can be learnt from Japan for the promotion of industrial use of VR within the international construction industry."

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Full text: content.pdf (261,524 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.deployment (0.037577) class.synthesis (0.029055) class.communication (0.019752)
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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


Whyte J

Virtual reality (VR) extends the possibilities of visualising the built environment before construction, hence it has the potential of becoming a powerful design tool

Abstract: This paper describes our work in collaboration with a leading British housing developer, and highlights the need to balance the differing agendas of academic research and its practical application in the competitive modern workplace. Through consultation with our industrial partner we identified the potential of VR to contribute to design generation and product marketing. A prototype project raised important issues relating to the smooth transfer of VR techniques from research into practice in the building industry. The major technological issue arising, which we will focus on in this paper, is the inherently different structure of CAD and VR models. As CAD packages are the major way in which the building industry stores three dimensional geometric data, the present differences between CAD and VR systems lead to both implementation and data transfer problems. Construction companies are inhibited from using Virtual Reality as the overlap between CAD and VR skills is insufficient, with building professionals remaining unfamiliar with VR concepts. Transfer of data from CAD to VR systems is problematic. Three different strategies for overcoming this problem are described. These are to build a library of standard parts, to rely on imperfect model conversion through translators, and to use virtual reality as an interface to a central database. The future impact of advances in CAD technology and the emerging standards for data transfer on the integration of CAD and VR data are discussed. Whilst our prototype project demonstrates the potential of Virtual Reality in practice, further work on improving the compatibility of CAD and VR systems is necessary before widespread industrial acceptance and commercial viability are attainable.

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Full text: content.pdf (233,269 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.039251) class.environment (0.031526) class.communication (0.029200)
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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.


Z Liu, M Osmani, P Demian, A N Baldwin

The potential use of BIM to aid construction waste minimisation

Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that the construction industry has a major impact on the environment, both in terms of resource consumption and waste production. The construction industry is responsible for producing a whole variety of different onsite wastes; the amount and type of which depends on factors such as the stage of construction, type of construction work, direct or indirect stakeholders’ design change contribution, and practices throughout the project lifecycle. A number of construction waste minimisation (CWM) techniques and tools are currently available to assist contractors to divert waste away from landfill. However, literature reveals that there are insufficient techniques and tools for reducing construction waste during the design and procurement stages. The last few years saw the emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques, which can be adopted to improve sustainable construction performance. BIM is a maturing modelling philosophy, which has been applied to several building-related functions such as visualising designs, automating quantity takeoffs, checking compliance with regulations, and scheduling construction processes. Furthermore, BIM, as a real-time interactive and collaborative communication system, has the potential to help project stakeholders to collaboratively attain waste minimisation for sustainable construction and building throughout design, construction and throughout the lifecycle by improving building construction performance. Hence, this paper, which is part of an ongoing doctoral study, explores the potential application of BIM to design out waste. An in-depth literature review was conducted to provide a foundation for the doctoral study that aims to investigate the use of BIM as a potential platform for building design waste minimisation. The paper explores construction waste origins and causes, current waste reduction practices; examines current industry BIM practices and investigates BIM tools for sustainable project construction and management; and identifies the knowledge gaps in existing literature that pave the way for the subsequent data collection stages.

Keywords: Environmental impact, Sustainable construction, Construction waste minimisation (CWM), Building Information Modelling (BIM), Designing out waste

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Full text: content.pdf (217,762 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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