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A decision support system for building refurbishment design

Abstract: "Refurbishment work in the EC currently accounts for more than one-third of the total construction output. This market is expected to grow stronger with the progressive ageing of buildings and the environment impetus to retain buildings. A further dimension is the need to adapt buildings for a greying population. There are important differences between refurbishment and new construction works. The existing building constraints the design solutions, construction technologies and work methods. Mechanisation, planning, and efficient organisation of refurbishment work is difficult, due to the small, labour intensive, and ad hoc, dynamic nature of the work. Also due to the relatively small scale of refurbishment projects, there have been no opportunities for standardisation and the applications of prefabrication and industrialisation are limited. Today, larger sized contractors are rapidly moving into the refurbishment market, in response to the shrinking new-build market and the higher technological demands of large scale refurbishment projects. The EC funded Brite Euram project 4670 is titled ‘Decision Support Systems for Building Refurbishment.’ This project has started in August 1998 and will finish in July 2001. Its objective is to develop a socio-technological-commercial framework and corresponding Decision Support Systems (DSSs) for housing refurbishment, to achieve: ? refurbishments which are more focused on user requirements; ? refurbishment designs which take into account the constraints of the existing building structure; ? increased incorporation of industrialised systems and components; ? organisational procedures and production technologies that recognise the unique nature of refurbishment work. The project is divided into three tasks. Task one aims at developing a DSS for the determination of the refurbishment demand and ballpark costs. Task two involves the development of a DSS for refurbishment design. Task three will result in a DSS for refurbishment process planning and control. This paper describes the approach followed for the ongoing development in task two, the DSS for refurbishment design. The main objectives of this task are to provide decision support at the project level. It will develop a database of layouts of representative existing housing estates and a database of preferred refurbishment layouts for these representative existing housing estates. Another database will be developed containing information on building systems and components that are relevant for the refurbishment process. Task two will establish a protocol for refurbishment design support. This protocol, which is implemented in a decision support information system, involves a number of steps that aid the user in selecting an appropriate housing layout and building systems and components that meet the user’s requirements. These steps involve the evaluation of a the user’s refurbishment demands and selection of a matching representative existing housing layout. Based on further dialog with the system, a preferred refurbishment layout is selected, which in turn is used as the basis for the selection of building systems and components that meet the performance requirements as stated by the user. The paper describes the methodology that is implemented in the system for retrieving performance requirements from the user, and the approaches for matching these to the stock of existing and preferred housing layouts available in the system’s database. The system is characterised by a flexible architecture of both the databases and the user interface, which results in a scalable system that allows the expansion of the databases with new graphical layouts and building systems and components, as well as the addition of new kinds of performance requirements. The system is implemented as an Internet application, which allows the database to be maintained centrally and facilitates world wide access to the system. The system’s implementation involves the combination of graphical and non-graphical data that can be queried and matched with only typical Internet browsing software installed at the client-side."

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Full text: content.pdf (465,782 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.029035) class.environment (0.012122) class.impact (0.010657)
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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


A Akcamete

An Approach to Capture Facility Maintenance and Repair Information to Store Change History

Abstract: During operations, changes happen to facilities frequently due to maintenance and repair (M&R)work, upgrades and renovations. Consequently, corresponding facility information needs to be updatedso as to provide reliable information to facility operators and managers. Moreover, the record offacility changes is necessary to understand the patterns of failures and to support proactivemaintenance decisions. Therefore, there is a need to enable storing of the information about suchchanges at the time that they occur. In current practice, facility documents are not frequently updatedand a complete history of changes is not available for supporting facility management decisions. Theauthors_ objective is to streamline the capturing of M&R information when these activities areperformed, so as to have a history of facility changes that can be used to understand how a building isdeteriorating and to support facility information updates. By observing M&R work records, weidentified the need for capturing different types of facility and change information for different typesof M&R work. Moreover, we observed the need for a spatial database to support pattern analysis byidentifying clusters that may not be found by using traditional databases. We developed a taxonomy ofM&R work that classifies various types of work on different types of facility components and listsassociated information modules that represent data required to be collected in the field. This approachenables a formal approach for capturing change information as a result of M&R work by providingcustomized templates for each type of work. The focus of this paper is to present the need forcustomization of information capture templates. The paper also gives a description of the approach offormally generating customized templates based on a taxonomy of M&R work and linking thecaptured history information with a facility information model. Enabling such a linkage will be thefirst step towards reasoning about the M&R history in order to analyze how a building deteriorates,identify problems in the building, and inform the users of facility information update needs.

Keywords: Facility maintenance, maintenance changes, change history, maintenance planning

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Cormier, S Robert, P Roger, B Hilaire

Towards a BIM-based service-oriented platform for a collaborative multidisciplinary teamwork

Abstract: With the growing trend in the building industry to usesoftware tools able to handle Building Information Model (BIM), staffs are more and more confronted with workflows conflicts. In order to improve their efficiency, up-to-date techniques for dealing with BIM sharing are required. Attempting to address this issue, a web services platform, especially optimized to deal with the already well-recognized Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) open standard, has been developed.This article describes the platform (architecture, software components, technologies), specially emphasizing on the strategies envisaged for collaborative work support. To illustrate resulting benefits for the building industry,it also gives an overview of the work already performed on a platform service dedicated to dynamic thermal simulation.

Keywords: BIM, IFC, Software-as-a-Service, Life Cycle Support, Design, Simulation

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Ekholm, L Häggström

BUILDING CLASSIFICATION FOR BIM – RECONSIDERING THE FRAMEWORK

Abstract: The purpose of building classification systems is to provide the sector with agreed and standardised ter¬minology and semantics, e.g. in systems for technical specification, cost calculation, and exchange of information. There is a growing need to use classification systems in a BIM context. In inter¬¬national construction projects and international construction product trade there is a need both to translate between national classification systems and to develop common systems. The idea behind the inter¬¬national framework standard for building classification ISO 12006-2 is that national systems would be easier to compare if they adhere to the class definitions suggested in the standard. A study of two classification systems, the BSAB system in Sweden and the DBK system in Denmark, both within the framework and yet not compatible, has risen the idea of a deeper analysis of the theoretical basis for the ISO 12006-2 classification system to find a solution to this problem. The project has developed such a theoretical framework in order to clarify the relationship between classes representing parts of buildings in the ISO 12006-2 standard, specifically the Construction entity part, Element and Work result classes. This is specifically needed when the standard is used in the context of BIM, since building models include both specialization and compositional relations among information objects representing parts of buildings. The proposed theoretical framework is based on a systems view on the built environment that distinguishes constructions in four main compositional levels: construction entities, technical systems, building elements and components. Based on the theoretical framework developed in this project, possible new interpretations of the classification standard ISO 12006-2 are discussed.

Keywords: building classification, ISO 12006-2, BSAB, DBK

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Series: w78:2011 (browse)
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A Gehre, P Katranuschkov, V Stankovski & RJ Scherer

Towards Semantic Interoperability in Virtual Organisations

Abstract: Virtual organisations (VOs) are amongst the most advanced forms of doing business to date. Their emergence and growing capacities are closely related to the networking and collaboration capabilities provided by a supporting ICT infrastructure. However, whilst considerable progress in the development of such infrastructures has been achieved over the years, interoperability still remains a major challenge. In this paper we analyse the nature of the semantic interoperability problem, review the state of the art, and derive a set of requirements. On that basis, we propose a novel semantic interoperability framework for VOs, utilising current semantic Web technologies, and suggest possible design and implementation methods for its achievement. Reported is in-house work of the authors as well as on-going research in the frames of the EU project InteliGrid (IST-2004-004664).

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Full text: content.pdf (326,254 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.


A Löfgren

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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Full text: content.pdf (328,657 bytes) (available to registered users only)

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


A. Z. Sampaio, P. G. Henriques

Virtual reality technology applied in engineering education

Abstract: The three-dimensional geometric models used to present architectural and engineering work, show only the final form, which does not allow progress in constructions to be observed. But, the visual simulation of the construc-tion process of a building need mod-els which are able to produce dynamic changes to their geometry. This paper re-ports how techniques of geometric modelling and virtual reality were used to obtain models that could show their physical evolution over time and which would be able to simulate construction processes visually. Two types of work, concerning the construction of a cavity wall and a bridge, were developed as virtual models for educational purposes. These models make it possible to view the physical evolution of the work, to follow the planned construction sequence, to visualize details of the form of every component of each work and to support the study of the type and method of op-eration of the equip-ment necessary in the construction process. These models have been used to distinct advantage as educational aids in first-degree courses in Civil Engineering. The use of virtual reality techniques in the development of educational applications brings new perspectives to the teaching of subjects related to the field of construction.

Keywords: education, engineering, simulation, 4d models, virtual reality

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Aish R

Extensible enterprise computing for construction as a necessary pre-cursor for collaborative engineering

Abstract: "Our focus is to consider the construction industry as essentially an information processing system. In its ideal form, practitioners (each with an individual internal representation of design intent) interact with other practitioners by first interacting with an information processing system that manages various shared external representation of design intent. The underlying assumption (from an information technologist's perspective) is that design data is held in a sufficiently complete representation, and that changes to this representation are transactions that move the representation from one consistent state to another. We might call this 'enterprise computing' for construction. This ideal of 'enterprise computing' for construction can be compared to the realities of current practice. - Due to its fragmentation, the construction industry generally perceives its use of information technology in terms of multiple discrete 'individual' systems (with the resulting proliferation of discrete documents) rather than as an enterprise systems. - The drawing tradition, which represents building in 2D, with different representations of the same design split across multiple independently editable documents inhibits consistent management of design and the use of analytical tools. While these may be familiar arguments, there are new object oriented and data management tools emerging from key software developer, such as Bentley Systems, that are designed to address the specific needs of a 'construction enterprise', namely geometric generality, multiple application semantics, multi-user access, and transaction management. These systems also address the scalability and reliability issues required for deployment in practice. Again, arguments for (and advantages of) systems of this type have been discussed in the research literature for more than two decades. The difference is that these systems are ready for deployment. But with this prospect for a broader application of 'Enterprise Computing' for Construction, there are associated other significant issues which may concern both the 'strategic' and the 'creative' practitioners, namely: - Semantic completeness: building a sufficiently complete multi-disciplinary representation of design intent - Data integrity: where any intelligent components are used, these should not become 'orphaned', for example, by object ""instance"" data being detached from the definitions of the corresponding class - Data longevity: the integrity of design and other data should be maintained for the life-time of the building, across new hardware platforms and operating systems. Upgrades to the application and any intelligent components should not disrupt or invalidate existing data - Parallelisation of design: individual designers or engineers should be able to work in parallel, and then be able to synchronize their changes to design data with co-workers - Expressibility: architectural design and construction engineering are open-ended domains. Additional intelligent components should be capable of being added on a ""per project"" basis. Within this context, this paper will explore the essential 'tension' that exists within the Architecture and Construction sectors. On the one hand, there is a perceived need by construction managers for computing tools based on clearly defined and agreed schema to control the construction process (thereby giving economic advantage, comparability, etc.). On the other hand, creative designers who are under other competitive pressures, are expecting a different set of computing tools to allow the exploration of new building configurations and construction geometry. While in the former case a standardisation of schema (as the foundation of a traditional ""Enterprise Computing"" system) would appear to be in order, in the later case the essential 'open-ended-ness' of the creative process demands ""extensibility"" as a pre-requisite of any computing system. These differing requirements (and indeed, attitudes) within the user community, presents software developers with interesting challenges. What technologies (for example, object and/or relational) and what 'domain abstractions' are appropriate foundations for solutions for these differing requirements. Or indeed, what technologies and 'domain abstractions' can be used as the basis for broader set of applications whose design is intended to unify across this apparent ""management-creative"" divide…hence the theme of this paper: ""'Extensible Enterprise Computing' for Construction"". Fundamentally, this is not exclusively an issue of technology. We need to address both the technical and cultural issues if we are to realise our collective ambition of providing effective tools with which to support collaboration between the diverse range of interests that occur within the Architecture and Construction sectors."

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Full text: content.pdf (827,728 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.034023) class.software development (0.019513) class.represent (0.017320)
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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


Aisha Abuelmaatti, Vian Ahmed

Collaborative Environments and its Effects on Construction Companies: The Current Context

Abstract: The ability of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve and enhance organisation’ productivity as well as their competitive situation has never been greater. Emerging technologies in the UK offer the construction industry many opportunities for computer supported collaborative environments, with regards to addressing some of the aspects that result in a complicated and complex construction process. However, the organisations adopting these technologies usually fail in achieving the full benefits from their implementations. Previous studies in the area have shown that 80 to 90 per cent of ICT investment did not meet their performance objectives. The fact of the matter is that collaborative environments have been evolving and effectively employed in large organisations and are believed to have high potential for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), but the use of collaboration technology remains low among 99% of enterprises in the UK construction industry usually referred to as SMEs employing less than 250 employees. The growing popularity of collaborative environments in the construction industry has, unfortunately, not been matched by parallel empirical research for SMEs.The work reported in this paper serves two purposes. First, the results of an intensive literature review reveals general causes of failure in ICT implementations, and the key areas to focus on during ICT implementation for collaborative working. Second, results from exploratory case study that was conducted in order to assess the use of collaborative environments and their adaptation approaches are analysed in order to further explain what issues are preventing SMEs from achieving their utmost collaboration potential. Therefore, the paper blends a combination of factors which may affect the success of collaborative environments for SMEs and are believed to contribute towards the improvement and implementation of collaboration systems.

Keywords: Construction, ICT standards, re-engineering

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Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Akbas R, Fischer M, Kunz J, Schwegler B

Use of domain knowledge, product models and geometric algorithms for generation of construction zones

Abstract: We present a layered approach for automated generation of construction zones from 3D CAD models for construction planning and scheduling. The existence of 3D models and product models provides an opportunity for planners and schedulers to consider zoning alternatives and represent and visualize production information in detail. Construction zones are spaces, or groups of spaces, which serve as units of work in the construction planning process. Failure to define construction zones properly may increase overall project duration and impact workflow adversely. Today, zone definitions are generally ad-hoc. Formal definitions and mechanisms to generate construction zone information are not available in commercially available software.We have defined a three-layer computational framework in a prototype construction management software tool to generate detailed information about construction zones. The framework separates the construction-based information from the product model representation and geometric information. Each layer is extensible and testable without the other layers. The highest layer (Layer3) contains domain knowledge about zones, i.e., types of zones and factors or constraints affecting construction zone definition. For example, a shape factor takes into account the changes in production rates due to local variations of geometry. The shape factor also allows the representation of an idle crew because of a nearby activity, missing support or unavailability of materials. Layer 2 manages the changes in the product and process models that are necessary to generate zones. Additionally, it uses zoning knowledge to maintain consistent schedules at multiple levels of detail. Layer 1 is the geometric level that contains the geometric algorithms to create the subdivisions and aggregations using the geometric shape representation of the building components. Instead of considering a fixed geometric representation for a component, we provide a flexible triangular mesh shape representation, breaking-up or aggregating component geometry as necessary. With the results of this research, professionals will be able to simulate and visualize construction processes more accurately and link design and construction data more tightly to explore design-build scenarios rapidly and communicate them effectively.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,076,021 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.028985) class.environment (0.026386) class.represent (0.022098)
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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.


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