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Durmisevic S, Ciftcioglu O, Sariyildiz S

Knowledge modelling of 'soft' data in architectural design

Abstract: IT Context: Information technologies are at present used in various disciplines to address issues such as information processing, data mining, knowledge-modelling etc. Its final goal is to provide necessary aid to professionals during decision-making process. This raises already few questions such as, what type of data is considered and are there some new emerging technologies that can improve knowledge modelling and therefore provide better decision support to the professionals. Design professionals are very often confronted with soft data that they somehow need to interpret and finally integrate in a design. Situations dealing with the numerical data may occur quite naturally in exact sciences like engineering sciences, life sciences etc. However, the quantities subject to consideration in soft sciences are often qualitative rather than quantitative so that we relate to that type of data as 'soft' data. As an example, in such cases, the quantities may be linguistic so that such quantities have to be somehow expressed in numerical form for treatment by conclusive numerical analysis methods. Objectives: The architectural design task is one example having linguistic qualities as priory design information. This is especially the case when qualities of certain space are discussed, like for example in post occupancy evaluation of the buildings, where the relationship between spatial characteristics and psychological aspects plays an important role. Expressions such as: bright colour, light room, large space are some of these examples and therefore a special method is needed for representation and processing of such vague expressions and concepts. Better understanding of these concepts is necessary so that the knowledge can be modelled in a proper way. Methodology: The analyses are performed by means of soft computing methods. The data subject to analysis and later to knowledge modelling belongs to an underground station that is already being used. For this purpose, the data on psychological aspects are obtained via comprehensive inquiry of the users of underground station. For the analysis, the linguistic information is firstly converted to terms in fuzzy logic domain and after appropriate treatment, the data analyses are carried out and the results are expressed in most comprehensible form for design assessments. Such conversions are referred to as fuzzification and defuzzification, where the data are expressed in numerical form and therefore become convenient for mathematical treatment. Conclusions: Referring to the complexity of task in dealing with the soft data as well as dealing with soft computing, the paper first identifies the source of these complexities referring to the architectural design tasks. Following this, a soft computing analysis method based on one case study will be presented, whereby the focus will be on knowledge modelling. Finally, the results of the analyses together with the conclusions regarding the observed effectiveness of the approach are presented.

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Full text: content.pdf (242,586 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.036108) class.impact (0.013187) class.analysis (0.007731)
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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.


E Hjelseth, N Nisbet

Capturing normative constraints by use of the semantic mark-up RASE methodology

Abstract: The AEC industry is highly regulated by a large number of rules given by public laws, codes, and regulative standards at both national and international levels. The relevant information in these documents need to be captured as rules for model checking in a time and cost effective way. The foundation for the RASE concept is using mark-up based on the four operators; requirement (R), applicabilities (A), selection (S) and exceptions (E) on normative text. The RASE technology has been tested on following three categories of documents: standard (case: NS 11001-1.E:2009 Universal design of building constructions - Part 1: Work buildings and buildings open to the public), standards with tables (Dubai regulations) and guidelines (case: GSA court design guidance document, USA). In each case expectations have been documented using free prose. On examination, the key clauses and phrases can be identified along with their role, allowing a testable, logical statement to be generated. The logical statement is then ready to be used by a compliance-checking engine to apply tests to a description of the facility. The results indicate that the RASE methodology can operate on a different types of normative documents with a trustworthy results.

Keywords: Knowledge representation, Semantics, Ontology, Classification, Model checking

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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Earl M

A design automation paradox

Abstract: There seems to be a 'tyranny' of predefined purpose in some highly automated CAD products. For example, a CAD product for architects may provide 'high level" commands for trimming 'walls'. However, unless the 'wall' types conform to a particular topology, they can not be trimmed. On the other hand , there are 'low level' commands which can be used to trim more general types of graphic entities. However, unless the graphic entities are tediously decomposed into primitive elements, such as line segments and arcs, they also can not be trimmed. A paradox of design automation is that adding higher level functionality to a CAD product bounds its use within a specific design modeling domain and restricts its use from other more general domains. On the other hand, more general CAD products are flexible at a primitive level, but can not be used to provide 'high level' functionality. Although design specific knowledge within a CAD product may prove to be a great utility in some instances, it is typically paid for in terms of pre-conceived constraints on modeling. Artificial Intelligence techniques may provide a way of offering high level functionality with less pre-conceived constraints; however, it may be fallacious to assume that o particular modeling domain will not be Imposed on the user. This paper illustrates how a modeling domain is typically defined with a commercial CAD product . It takes notice of how the assumptions underlying any particular modeling domain may be challenged by design theory. It then cautiously explores a scenario for how the need for a modeling domain may be reconciled in a "thousand flowers bloom" approach.

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Full text: content.pdf (3,047,902 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1988 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.021123) class.analysis (0.008794) class.man-software (0.003701)
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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.


Eastman C, Augenbroe F

Product modeling strategies for today and the future

Abstract: Today, there is a growing set of technologies being developed for information exchange in the construction industry. These range from Aspect Models in specific product areas to large scale integrated product models, to new languages such as EXPRESS-X and EXPRESS-2. The purpose of this paper is to sort out and review these various efforts, from several different perspectives: * in terms of what can be used now or in the near future in a production form; * in terms of the significant technical issues and limitations that may require generation changes in exchange technologies; * in terms of external business practices (reflecting case studies), practical benchmarks and adoption criteria, political and other externalities that are affecting these efforts. The survey will review the following issues: * current capabilities of ISO-STEP Part definitions to support information exchange in the building industry; * current efforts by IAI, BCCM in STEP, and other parallel activities and their potential contribution and pitfalls (problems to be overcome); * different current research efforts and the problems and solutions they identify, including COMBINE, EDM-2, VEGA, work at CIFE at Stanford University. Hitherto underdeveloped model aspects, such as capturing the semantics of the client's brief, or capturing design evolution (program, decisions and rationale), modeling performance assessments, and others such as relevant standards, construction site handling, etceteras will be reviewed and priorities assessed. Over the last ten years, the set of requirements that a building product model must meet in order to be accepted in practice as a significant 'productivity enhancement has incrementally expanded. That is, as various research goals have been set, then met, the true extent of the challenge for realizing production-based building product modeling has grown. We will review this expanding set of requirements and attempt to scope their final range. These requirements include, among other aspects: * 'semantic coverage', * level of interoperability across applications, * level of embedded project management control, and * maintained linkages to parallel 'unstructured' information flows, e.g. managed by Engineering Data Management and Document Management software. It will be argued that a viable growth scenario regarding the semantic coverage of building models is likely to be a determining factor in the way that CAD vendors will embrace these as the basis for developing the next generation of architectural CAD software. Priorities of development will be identified and compared with perceived market pulls. The perspective taken will emphasize the US point of view. However, we will endeavor to also weight significantly the European situation and efforts. The result of these perspectives will be to identify 2-3 scenarios of future evolution in the area of building product modeling, with an assessment of their likelihood of coming to be, and the critical issues needed to accomplish them.

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Full text: content.pdf (86,802 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.store (0.031024) class.roadmaps (0.018975) class.strategies (0.018828)
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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.


Eden J, Eng C S, McGeorge D

Directions in construction IT strategies in Australia

Abstract: "There is a growing awareness of the value of information and communications technology to bring together the major parties in the construction process and share information in a meaningful way. A number of organisations in Australia are providing leadership and direction through the development and implementation of policies on the use of information technology in the construction industry. These include NSW Government, the Australian Procurement and construction Council (APCC) and the International Alliance for Interoperability ? Australasia Chapter (IAI-AC). In April 1998 the NSW Government launched its discussion paper, Information Technology in Construction setting out propositions as to how information technology could be effectively used to provide value for money for NSW Government capital works procurement by improving communication and teamwork during all phases of design, construction and facilities management. A policy document is to be prepared during early 2000 to further develop and implement the ideas and strategies in the discussion paper. The Australian Procurement and Construction Council with representatives from Commonwealth, State and Territory jurisdictions in Australia, is drafting a framework to provide industry and government agencies with an awareness of issues and to set directions for the take up of information technology. The IAI-AC has adopted a new direction for a broader role in information technology usage rather than just concentrating on the technology tools such as Industry Foundation Classes. This strategy should be developed by February/March 2000. The combined strategies of the NSW Government, the APCC and the IAI-AC crystallise time frames and objectives for the construction industry in terms of IT take up, and what can be achieved by effective communication and information sharing through the whole of a project's life cycle. This paper reviews the current aims and strategies of the three organisations in promoting IT uptake in the Australian construction industry."

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Full text: content.pdf (203,274 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.030126) class.man-man (0.029118) class.communication (0.025878)
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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


Edward Jaselskis, William Rasdorf, Min Liu, Abdullah Alsharef, Frank Bowen, Majed Al-Ghandour and Larry Goode

Factors Affecting Bid Let Dates on Transportation Mega Projects

Abstract: North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) projects with construction costs of $50 million or more, known as mega projects, make up more than 50% of their total construction expenditures while representing less than 10% of the total project count. The estimated let dates and construction expenditures for these projects can vary significantly based on the type of project, work to be accomplished, and unpredicted events. This paper presents study results of various internal and external factors that relate to bid let date delays. The research methodology involved an extensive literature review and interviews with 23 NCDOT subject matter experts and construction contractors to better understand why mega project miss their planned let dates. Results revealed several factors that affect the let date including the owner's ability to acquire the right-of-way in a timely manner, the ability to coordinate with utilities and railroads, and delays in obtaining environmental permits. The study also collected and analysed data pertaining to strategic milestones and provides insights into the likelihood of meeting a particular let date.

Keywords: Transportation Mega Project, Contract Award, Let Day Delay

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24928/JC3-2017/0081

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Elvekrok D R, Johansen B W, Syvertsen T G, Totland T

World wide web as a coordination technology for knowledge work

Abstract: This paper will bring some understanding of the World Wide Web as an information and coordination technology, and suggest some principles and metaphors for Web working. The suggestions will be underpinned by recent experiences from a collective Web-working project, and a transformation of a technical standard into hypertext format. Some ideas and visions for future developments based on the new medium are presented. World Wide Web is more than a tool or a technology, it is a new medium based on a set of very simple principles that enable us to cope with a vast Ocean of information and knowledge. The basics of World Wide Web and HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) will be explained. A small-scale experiment in collective writing in Web will be reported. The task was development of the PAKT Yearbook of 1994, where a dozen of contributors worked concurrently on individual pieces around a shared Yearbook structure. This small project may in some sense resemble an engineering project, where many discipline experts are performing individual tasks around a shared goal and work breakdown structure. The experiment was based on use of Microsoft Internet Assistant which provides a simple add-on that makes Microsoft Word a combined Web reader and writer. Using this interface to the Web, working there is as simple as traditional word-processing. This mode of working can easily be expanded with any kind of tool based on the same concepts of process linking. There is, however, no support for the work processes associated with creating the product (in our case a Yearbook), or the organization of the processes. Based on our experiences, we suggest some metaphors and practical approaches to efficient Web working. Another experiment has been in the domain of technical standards. A couple of existing, paper- based standards from the petroleum industry have been converted to HTML, with cross-references transferred to active hyper-links. Using WWW as a one-way information server and as a shared working space will be illustrated. We see at least three future aspects of Web development; active objects replace static information, information structures will be supplemented by knowledge processes (enterprise modelling), and the information economy will evolve based on integrated flow of transactions.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,745,393 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1995 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.roadmaps (0.065275) class.collaboration (0.038981) class.economic (0.022244)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Stanford University, USA. The support of the editors, particularly Prof. Fischer is gratefully appreciated.


F Talbourdet, F Andrieux, B Vinot, Pierre Michel, M El Mankibi, J R Millet

Stochastic optimization based approach for efficient building design

Abstract: Facing the building related energetic and environmental issues, and heeding the thermal regulations standards, building designers have to think in a different way there design approach in order to make buildings more efficient. Therefore, designers need a method to get information on the potential of a building program and on the optimal solution to improve visual and thermal comfort, and to reduce energy requirements and construction cost. This paper describes a genetic algorithm based approach applied to building energy simulation tools in order to optimize building design, from the geometry to the energetic properties, while minimizing energy, discomforts and costs. According to designer goals, two approaches were studied:• The first way is to let designers choose the approach of optimization for the building geometry, from optimization of external and internal geometry to providing complete geometry.• The second way is to let designers adapt the scope of the optimization.In order to take various potential occupancies into account, several models of occupation has been integrated to the building numerical model. Models could be provided by designers according to their feedback.To finish, this approach is tested on a basic case to assess its performances and to find the points where it needs to be improved.

Keywords: Efficient Building design, Multicriteria optimization, Genetic Algorithms, Bioclimatic architecture

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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F. Wikberg, A. Ekholm & P. Jensen

Configuration with architectural objects in industrialised house-building

Abstract: The construction industry is facing the dilemma of simultaneously reducing costs and increasing quality. An increasing control and standardization of processes and products is strived for, while at the same time regarding customer and society requirements for architectural variation. Industrialised building and development of house building platforms are examples of this development. The research presented here shows a way to analyze the results of the development of a platform for a multi-storey house building system, specifically with regard to the flexibility of the platform. The analysis is based on the use of architectural objects as design interface in different design levels. The method is shown to complement the traditional QFD methodology, and shows the relative dependence of design decision levels.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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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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