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A Lfgren

Socio-technical management of collaborative mobile computing in construction

Abstract: The constant changes of plan and unanticipated events in the production process at construction sites result in communication patterns that are dynamic, spontaneous and informal. Most of the existing ICT tools do not sufficiently support informal communication for powerful collaborative problem-solving, management of site resources, handling of parallel process activities and do not correspond to the basic needs and work patterns at the construction sites. Mobile computing technologies have the potential to provide an inclusive wireless mobile ICT platform (voice and data) that can enable improved support for informal communication and on-demand data at construction sites, which can result in improved project collaboration leading to increased efficiency and productivity in the construction process. Still, an implementation strategy for collaborative mobile computing at construction sites is complex and must consider numerous issues regarding system capabilities, mobility, applications, services, integration of existing ICT systems, user interface and user devices to meet the requirements and behaviors of site workers in the mobile distributed heterogeneous construction environment. A mobile computing platform needs to be designed, implemented and managed with a socio-technical bottom-up approach realizing end user and group needs, understanding the separate issues of adoption on different organizational levels, and recognizing mobile computing as a process integrated enabling technology for improving collaboration and project communication throughout the whole construction process.

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


A Thorpe, MJ Ward, S Bowden & ADF Price

Facilitating the link between point-of-production workers and corporate ICT systems in construction

Abstract: Web-based project management systems (WPMS) are becoming more widespread within construction and have shown to be beneficial in improving communications and document transfer between project participants. However, the challenge of integrating point-of-production workers into such systems still remains largely unrealised. This paper describes current applications within construction that are addressing these challenges. The technologies employed vary from tablet PC's, PDA's to RFID tags. The paper examines in detail a web-based data capture and management system for piling works, utilising a site-based web server and wireless network. The system effectively allows for the expansion of existing WPMS to include construction site workers, whilst improving the management and understanding of the project in terms of quality, cost and progress. The paper also agues that improved data reliability and robustness can be achieved by integrating the point-of-production operations into corporate ICT systems.

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


A Vasenev, F Bijleveld, T Hartmann, A Dore

Visualization of asphalt paving process during operations on site

Abstract: Presently important changes are occurring in the road construction industry, resulting in changing roles of road agencies and contractors. Additionally, a lot of new asphalt mixes with new properties are introduced, such as warm or even cold asphalt mixes, thin surfaces, etc. Despite these changes, the current asphalt paving process still heavily relies on the skills and experiences craftsmanship. Instruments to monitor key process parameters are seldom applicable. To overcome these limitations, real-time visualizations of key indicators such as asphalt temperature could provide decisive information to working teams oriented to adjust their operations on site. To move towards real-time decision making support, this paper introduces a workflow to deliver information in meaningful way by providing close to real-time and easily understandable visualizations of asphalt temperatures to roller operators. Using modern technologies like DGPS, temperature linescanner, and wireless connection on site it is possible to deliver visual information about asphalt temperature to support roller operators decision making regarding working paths. To implement user-oriented visualization we outlined an overall workflow including equipment selection, infrastructure organization, data processing and visualization phases. We validated the feasibility of workflow implementation through visualization of asphalt temperature on a real-world asphalt paving project.

Keywords: Asphalt paving, construction, infrared thermography, visualization

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A. Ahmed, J. Ploennigs, Y. Gao & K. Menzel

Analyse building performance data for energy-efficient building operation

Abstract: Modern buildings will contain an increasing number of wireless sensors and meters to monitor the building performance. This data allows improved analysis of building performance to increase the energyefficiency along with user comfort. This paper presents two approaches to analyse building performance data. One solution uses data warehouse techniques to create sophisticated energy consumption aggregations. A second approach implements data mining techniques to estimate the thermal comfort of occupants with a reduced number of sensors. This paper interprets the knowledge gained using, as an example, University College Corks building of the Environmental Research Institute to demonstrate the feasibility of this approach.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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Alain Zarli, Eric Pascual, Daniel Cheung

Information and Communication Technology for Intelligent and Integrated Controls in Buildings: Current Developments and Future Research

Abstract: A common and acknowledged vision today is the one that, in the future, buildings, along with their components, equipments, and their environment will communicate and be able to provide information on their status ubiquitously. This real-time available information will be interoperable via common protocols for holistic automation & control. The whole building will be supervised by intelligent systems, able to combine information from all connected devices, from the Internet or from energy service providers in order to efficiently control HVAC (heating & cooling), lighting, and hot water systems along with energy production, storage and consumption devices inside the building, taking into account the users' needs and wishes. In such a context, ICT is recognised as key for empowering people in the (built) universe in which they live, with smart e-metering and new smart e-devices – as well as becoming fully pervasive in the future optimization of energy in the built environment - where “Energy-efficient smart buildings” are to be buildings which contain systems that manage information for an optimal operation of building energy flows over the whole building lifecycle.In such a context, CSTB has developed an open framework for data collection and processing, to be installed in any built environment. It supports networked heterogeneous sensors and actuators (with appropriate communication protocols technology), allows assembling various “business” functions (with easy evolution and extension capability thanks to a concept of service composition and event-driven management between modules), can accommodate any hardware platform constraint (memory, computing power), and can be executed in any environments supporting a Java SE implementation. The framework is itself based on an OSGi platform. The notion of “sensor” is to be considered in a comprehensive way: physical sensor (analogic or logic), complex sub-system or meta-sensor (e.g. Agilent data acquisition system or alike), or even external services (e.g. getting weather data via the Internet). Fields of applications are energy-efficiency in the built environment, but also Ambient-Assisted Living (AAL), internal air quality assessment, collection of data related to inhabitants behaviours, etc..The REEB coordination action (European strategic research roadmap to ICT enabled Energy-Efficiency in Buildings and construction), as a European R&D technology roadmap initiative (achieved in the context of an EC-funded Coordinated Action - http://www.ict-reeb.eu) has identified ICT contributions to the energy efficiency of buildings mainly via improvement (and corresponding RTD) in integrated design (and indeed ICT tools for Energy-Efficient design and production management), integrated and intelligent control, user awareness and decision support to various stakeholders throughout the whole life of buildings, energy management and trading, and integration technologies. As far as the integrated / intelligent control field is concerned, REEB has fundamentally identified the following areas for future investigation:• automation & control: system concepts, intelligent HVAC, smart lighting, ICT for micro-generation & storage systems, predictive control;• monitoring: instrumentation: smart metering;• quality of service: improved diagnostics, secure communications;• wireless sensor networks: hardware, operating systems, network design.The paper will first introduce to expectations, requirements and potential future scenarios for ICT to support integrated and optimised control in future so-called smart buildings. It will then introduce to the current trend of developments at CSTB in this area, and will present the CSTBox as a tool federating and/or complementing functions (potentially relying on already installed systems) in the built environment. After a short presentation of the REEB project, the paper will follow up with exhibiting the outcome of the REEB project in terms of roadmapping RTD activities in this technological field, also providing with a first insight of their potential impact in the future.Acknowledgement: the authors wish to thank the European Commission (DG INFSO) for its financial support to the REEB co-ordinated action. Moreover, the authors are also grateful to the REEB Consortium partners, namely ARUP, ACCIONA, CEA, LABEIN, TUD, UCC & VTT.

Keywords: Energy-efficient buildings, Intelligent and Integrated Control, REEB project, CSTBox framework, Data collection and storage

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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B. Omar, S. Abu Hassan & T. Ballal

Exploring Context-Awareness in the construction logistics services delivery

Abstract: Managing a construction project supply chain effectively and efficiently is extremely difficult due to involvement of numerous sectors that are supported by ineffective communication system. An efficient construction supply chain system ensures the delivery of materials and other services to construction site while minimising costs and rewarding all sectors based on value added to the supply chain. The advancement of information, communication and wireless technologies is driving construction companies to deploy supply chain management strategies to seek better outputs. As part of the emerging wireless technologies, context-aware computing capability represents the next generation of ICT to the construction services. Conceptually, context-awareness could be integrated with Web Services in order to ensure the delivery of pertinent information to construction site and enhance construction supply chain collaboration. An initial study has indicated that this integrated system has the potential of serving and improving the construction services delivery through access to context-specific data, information and services on as-needed basis.

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Boussabaine A H, Grew B R, Currin D

Increasing on-site productivity through wireless computer control

Abstract: Improving productivity has been a major objective of the building industry, and indeed in all forms of business for many years. The construction process involves many complex processes, which make it inherently difficult to manage and can obviously lead to much inefficiency within the process. It is possible for a wireless communications system to be adapted for use on construction sites in order to improve management control over tasks and communication between parties involved in the project. This feasibility study shows that the implementation of such a system could lead to significant time savings over traditional paper-based management and administration systems.

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Full text: content.pdf (344,543 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.economic (0.034396) class.communication (0.024723) class.commerce (0.018092)
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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.


Costin, A., Sedehi, A., Williams, M., Li, L., Bailey, K., and Teizer, J.

Leveraging Passive Radio Frequency Identification Technology in High-Rise Renovation Projects

Abstract: The hypothesis is that leveraging automated data collection technology for site status analysis would play a more significant role in advancing decision making in construction projects if applied to traditional labor intensive management work tasks such as manual data record keeping, progress tracking measurements, and reporting of daily work tasks and process flows; and further, if applied in distributing information back to decision makers including the field management and workforce level. This paper will demonstrate results to a one year long case study on the design, development, and furthermore and mainly, the effective and very affordable implementation of a state-of-the-art wireless passive RFID based technology system that collects and distributes information from and to decision makers. The developed technology was tested for several consecutive months on more than 50 construction workers, material carts, personnel and material lifts, and hundreds of construction material items that were critical in a high-rise building renovation project. Recent research on material tracking, has demonstrated that the implementation of material tracking technology is feasible. Studies have yet to demonstrate whether the same or other technology can be used on other resource types, including workers, and furthermore in advancing technology that works bi-directional: (1) collect and analyze data, and (2) return feedback or other information back to the decision makers. Despite a rigorous cost-benefit, hardware reliability and safety tests, implementation of technology in field operations is often performed on an as-needs basis. Project based case studies are effective research tools to measure the benefits and barriers that technology comes with. This paper defines key metrics to measure success in the phases of data collection, the signal and data processing, and in the use of newly generated or already available information for advanced decision making based on passive RFID technology.

Keywords: RFID; productivity; renovation project; workforce, material, and workforce tracking; automation

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Full text: content.pdf (726,652 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Esa Viljamaa, Pekka Kilpelainen, Esa-matti Sarjanoja, Tomi Moakkonen, Teemu Kivimaki, Rauno Keikkila

Utilisation of a 3D Design Data in Controlling Pile Driving

Abstract: This research was concentrating on an exploitation of 3D design data to ground strengthening, especially focusing on the pile driving process. An XML model (schema) was defined for digital piling plan and as-build-data from the piling. The schema was targeted to cover the complete piling information flow from the piling plan from the 3D CAD software to the actual pile realisation data e.g. location and bearing capacity data, produced by the piling machine. In addition to the information management, a guiding system for the piling machine driver was developed. The guiding system included sensors and RTK-GPS positioning system for measuring the location of tool of the piling machine in relation to the planned locations of the piles. The system gives visual instructions for the driver for positioning of the piles according to the plan. A wireless database connection is used for synchronisation of the planned and realised piles information. The progress of the piling work can be easily supervised using an internet browser. The first proof-of-concept system was developed and tested during the year 2009. The main advantages of the system are reduced staking out work, faster pile positioning, automated piling data logging and data transfer between office and worksite and more up-to-date information about the progress of the piling work.

Keywords: pile driving, product modelling, positioning, RTK-GPS

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H.U. Gke, K.U. Gke, Donal Browne, Karsten Menzel

Dynamic System Architecture for Energy Efficient Building Operation: A Case Study of Kiptas Residential Building

Abstract: Buildings account for almost 40 percent of total energy in Europe. Holistic monitoring and analysis methodologies can reduce this by up to 30%. However, the adoption of monitoring and control systems for building management and control applications is hampered by the unavailability of appropriate tool environments. In this paper an integrated model-driven approach that automates the design from component to application level will be presented to provide optimized building operations. The aim is to create a holistic environment for wireless embedded monitoring and control systems to increase the efficiency of the overall system development process and to exploit their potential for reduction of building energy consumption. To reach this objective, new methods, tools and equipments were researched and integration methods covering integrated design, energy simulation models and data warehouse technologies were developed. The findings were applied to a residential building of Kiptas in Istanbul, Turkey and possible energy saving improvements were suggested.

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Series: w78:2009 (browse)
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