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Bohms M, Tolman F

Building and construction eXtensible mark-up language (bcXML)

Abstract: The EU IST-10303 eConstruct project aims to develop an XML Vocabulary for the Building and Construction industry. The vocabulary, called bcXML (from building and construction XML), supports eCommerce and eBusiness in BC, both nationally and over the borders of the different European member states. Especially the communication of meaning over the national borders is of crucial importance for the future usage of the Internet as a means to increase the industry’s competitiveness, its ability to co-operate, reduce cost of failure, and enforce the European market of BC products and services. This paper will present current ideas about bcXML; what it should look like and why. The model is written in UML (“Class Diagrams”). Basically the idea is to develop an XML Vocabulary that supports XML-based communication on a sliding scale of complexity. The end-users of bcXML will be provided with the simplest XML-based communication possible. Simple in the sense that notions like boiler, or roofTile have meaning, and simple in the sense that users can use their own language and dictionaries also for communication over the borders. Advanced users or software applications will be provided with more complex functionality. The model presented is meant as an explanation to the BC industry of what bcXML is about. As such it can be seen as the concept design. A more detailed UML model, the implementation design, focusing on implementation issues, is available separately. This UML model is in its turn is transformed into an “XML Schema” schema.

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Full text: content.pdf (200,816 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.standards (0.147275) class.represent (0.052791) class.commerce (0.042206)
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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.


Brien M J O', Al-Biqami N

XML, flexibility and systems integration

Abstract: "O'Brien (1997) outlined the two primary ways in which data can be integrated. One invloves the establishment of a centralised data store that meets all the needs of a construction project; the other recognises the geographical and functional fragmentation of the industry and views data integration as a conceptual process. From a purely technical point of view the first is perhaps the easiest, but it fails to meet the organisational and economic demands of the construction industry. Thus the second approach is more likely to be adopted by the participants of that industry. The problem then becomes one of mapping the meta-data structures of one participant onto those of another. Various efforts at the development of standards have attempted to address this issue. However, standards can be both complex and inadequate. The complexity is a demand of the industry while the inadequacy stems from the impossibility of coping with every eventuality - a severe problem given the essential uniqueness of each building product. This is not to say that standards are not required, merely that their limitations are fully realised from the outset and that expectations are not raised to the point where disappointment sets in and they fall into disrepute. EDI is a perfectly good standard but has failed to make a great impact on the construction industry. The volume of application-to-application communications remains small. This paper argues that while standards such as EDI can form the backbone of data communications - and therefore provide a vehicle for data integration in the construction industry - they are insufficient to cope with the desired flexibility demanded by the industry. The paper then develops this idea by suggesting that something more is required, something flexible. Extensible markup language (XML) is a tool which can help provide the necessary flexibility. XML is a language which provides a common syntax for expressing the structure of data. While it can be seen as an extension of the commonly used Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) this fails to recognise that XML has uses beyond the creation of Web pages. In its broadest sense XML allows systems developers to define the structure of a document. Currently its main uses are for data interchange between humans and machines, but the ability to facility machine-machine interactions is the most exciting concept for construction industry systems. Now EDI is a perfectly good tool for such interactions but in the event of any new requirements the standards need to be extended. This is such a long process that by the time it is completed it is of no use to the original users. XML however provides a dynamic mechanism which can be adapted as required to meet the needs of the users. This is its great strength for the construction industry - an industry that is ""document-rich"". In effect by using XML to specify meta-data structures one overcomes the differences between the data structures of different trading partners. No longer will we require all parties to conform to the tramlines of a strictly enforced standard, but rather those parties will be able to exchange data merely by changing the XML description of their documents. Thus in conclusion this paper shows that the use of XML within the construction industry will facilitate data, and hence systems, integration. O'Brien, M.J. 1997. Integration at the limit:construction systems, International Journal of Construction Information Technology, Vol 5, No 1,pp 89-98."

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Full text: content.pdf (154,537 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.051918) class.standards (0.032166) class.software-software (0.030798)
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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


CA Jacoski

Prototype of semantic interoperability between different modalities of 2D-CAD design

Abstract: The diffusion of specific computational tools for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) has generated a great amount of digital data in the last years. However, it is necessary for the sector to promote a standardization of such data so that they can be shared among the participants and partners of a design project. Trying to correct the problem of information exchange and mainly of data interoperability, a research project was carried out within design offices in the south of Brazil, identifying the problems and quantifying losses according to the lack of interoperability. For generation of information starting from the CAD design and as a way of enlarging the communication among the partners, a study was held about the use of the IFC classes (Industry Foundation Classes) - a pattern used to transfer data among design modalities. The result was an application of syntactic conversion of attributes of the IFC classes for XML, to attest the viability of technical integration and to transfer information to a web-based environment. As a result of the investigation, a prototype was elaborated for transferring information from CAD design to web-based applications. By using IFC classes, a program was developed in Java language for the syntactic and semantic exchange, with the automatic conversion of the information for standard XML. It was observed that the decrease of interoperability problems, checking the viability of technical integration of the design with the shared information through the web.

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Conheeney K, Stephenson P, Griffiths A

Issues in knowledge transfer within a construction training and learning organisation

Abstract: "Knowledge transfer with domains such as the construction industry will become increasingly important. Essentially 'transfer' involves the sharing of 'best-practice' between the minority of experienced experts and the majority of those people as recipients. Some means of capturing this information and then applying this to a problem context defines the 'knowledge' component. Three pragmatic issues to the delivery of a variable knowledge transfer system are required and should include the collection, structuring and transferring of information. This paper identifies the issues concerned and the need to establish solutions for a construction training and learning organisation. Particular issues addressed include indexing and the use of XML language for the interchange and sharing of data, and the capture of XML structures within a relational schema for comparisons and queries. Additionally, mechanisms for establishing navigational trails are considered with neural networking for the building of knowledge domain structures for continued extension and navigation in knowledge transfer. The need to take into account organisational and market culture is significant to provide value information and the trade of information. The issues highlighted and discussed indicate a need for manual (human) and automated (neural) processing for the collection, structuring and transfer of information to promote the learning organisation concept, and to provide the opportunity for knowledge utilisation within an organisational environment."

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Full text: content.pdf (209,099 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.171597) class.education (0.135365) class.analysis (0.042236)
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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


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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Full text: content.pdf (660,193 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Froese T, Q YU K, Liston K, Fischer M

System architectures for AEC interoperability

Abstract: "This paper discusses several issues relating to computational system architectures to support interoperability among distributed, model-based AEC/FM applications. The approach is based on tiered layers where applications interact with local “Building Objects” software components that, in turn, interact with a variety of distributed data repository alternatives in a data layer. International Foundation Classes (IFCs) models are used as the primary data model in each of the layers and communication between layers uses several XML standards. One issue is an approach to multiple meta-models within the many components of a distributed system. IFCs focus on strongly-typed models that describe AEC concepts and objects in an explicit manner. One of the requirements for applications that implement IFCs is that they must understand the semantics of the IFCs and map the IFC models to the application internal application models. However, software applications used in AEC processes are not always based on an internal model that can be explicitly mapped to a strongly-typed model such as the IFCs at development stage. Instead, it is common that some of the applications are either purely generic without an explicitly defined domain schema, or generic enough so as they must deal with run-time databases whose schemas cannot be pre-defined during the development of the applications. In order to allow this type of software to share and exchange data with other applications through the models such as the IFCs, data schemas must be mapped at a higher and abstract level that allows for run-time model schema configurations and mappings. The Interactive Workspace for Project Management (IWPM) is a CIFE (Center for Facilities Engineering) project that integrates several research decision support systems, commercial project management systems, and advanced collaborative human-computer interaction approaches using emerging industry data standards and internet technologies. To illustrate an example of using the meta-model approach, the paper applies the use cases in IWPM to demonstrate how meta-models can be used to implement IFC project management related models in such an integrated software environment."

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Full text: content.pdf (595,267 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.049095) class.standards (0.036666) class.communication (0.035658)
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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


Howard R

Classification of building information – European and IT systems

Abstract: Introduction Organisation of the information needed to design, construct and manage a building is still based upon traditional trades and classification tables. European countries have established sources of information: specifications, element tables and product databases, based on categories, such as SfB, defined 50 years ago. The Danish Centrecontract on Building Classification is following projects in several other countries, to update its systems, provide greater integration of data, and keep up with new information technologies. This paper presents experience from studying developments in several countries, relating them to the needs of Denmark, and anticipating the future demands of IT. IT context The possibilities with IT for more flexible searches on advanced representations of building entities require fundamental changes in integrating, exchanging and accessing information. There is a proliferation of web portals and project webs, and some common structure that relates to international practice is needed. Methods of searching are changing from traditional categories to full text and structured keywords. New methods of representing building data such as the IFCs and XML are having a major influence alongside standards for building data. The Centrecontract is relating these to the current practice in many types of firm in the Danish building industry. Objectives The Centrecontract is due for completion in 2002 but the research being carried out by DTU will be presented at the end of 2000 and 2001. The broad objectives are for the partners to develop tools for building elements, schedules of rates and product classification, within a common framework, and to promote these and provide education. The research has defined the needs of Danish industry, is learning from experience in other countries, and will predict the likely influence of IT developments in future. This paper reports on some of the information systems being developed in other countries. Methodology The approach taken was to talk to experts rather than to collect new statistical information. In each country at least one developer of new information systems was interviewed, one researcher and one user organisation. They were asked about the systems currently used in their country, new systems being developed, and any experience of their use. They were also asked about how changes had been, or could be, made in the general organisation of information about building. Relevant standards and the many building information services on the Web were also studied to find the common elements, and see how Denmark could develop systems to suit local needs. Some preliminary findings Factors from Denmark include the need to link to the familiar SfB system, using the same structure right through the process, the importance of the client and resistance to standards. Other countries studied so far are developing improved systems, with Sweden leading the way with BSAB 96, the UK with Uniclass to unite its different classification systems, and Holland and Norway proposing Lexicon and BARBI respectively. Common factors are the list of tables defined in ISO 12006-2, the work of EPIC in product classification, the influence of the IFCs and the use of the Web and XML. This work will be completed at the end of 2000 and recommendations made to the other partners in the Centrecontract for the systems that will help meet the needs of the Danish building industry.

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Full text: content.pdf (872,669 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.092484) class.represent (0.059640) class.standards (0.053428)
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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.


J Amann, A Borrmann

An XML-based approach for the exchange of application defined algorithms in building information models

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Full text: content.pdf (665,660 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2016 (browse)
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J Beetz, J P van Leeuwen & B de Vries

An Ontology Web Language Notation of the Industry Foundation Classes

Abstract: In this paper we describe and discuss an OWL notation of IFCs, its advantages over generic XML schema representation, its various fields of possible application, and our implementation of it in a multi -agent framework.

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Full text: content.pdf (340,519 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.


Kosovac B, Froese T, Vanier D J

Integrating heterogeneous data representations in model-based AEC/FM systems

Abstract: "The paper addresses an information management issue in integrated product/process-model based AEC/FM systems. It introduces an approach to the management of heterogeneous representations of project information. The focus is on graphical representations of a building model used as a tool for accessing data from an already populated model in traditionally non-CAD-based applications. The proposed approach is based on the concept of controlled vocabularies -- thesauri. In this context, a thesaurus is used to control not only terminology but all different representations of entities comprising a building or project model. Examples of different representations include: graphical representations at varying level of abstraction, diverse graphic formats (vector, pixel, VR, video etc), graphics-text-audio as both alternative and complementary modes, visualised non-natively-graphic information etc. The approach is illustrated by a simple application, the first in a series of interrelated projects comprising an intended research. The application uses XML and an existing pilot thesaurus in the low-slope roofing domain for retrieving textual and graphical information from complex documents, sets of documents, and the Internet. The application should represent a proof of the concept to be elaborated in the future work and used for efficient and economical management of information in construction planning and facilities management applications within integrated model-based systems."

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Full text: content.pdf (644,613 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.retrieve (0.053481) class.represent (0.031923) class.economic (0.018899)
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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


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