Using mechanical models as services within object-oriented
Abstract: Components are stand-alone software modules which can be used by other components,
independent of their programming language and process borders. Components offer their
functions through a public interface, called service. The communication between components
is controlled by an object request broker (ORB). One of the most common ORBs is ActiveX
from Microsoft Co.
For software in civil and structural engineering there are no really components available yet.
The problem with components is that they should be designed for a big number of reusing
cases. This paper shows how mechanical models can be used to define engineering
components and they can be used in several concepts of distributed software environments
(intra- and internet).
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Horne, Margaret and Thompson, Emine Mine
Virtual Reality and 3D Modeling in Built Environment Education
Abstract: This study builds upon previous research on the integration of Virtual Reality (VR) within the built environment curriculum and aims to investigate the role of Virtual Reality and three-dimensional (3D) computer modelling on learning and teaching in a school of the built environment. In order to achieve this aim a number of academic experiences were analysed to explore the applicability and viability of 3D computer modelling and Virtual Reality (VR) into built environment subject areas. Although two-dimensional representations have been greatly accepted by built environment professions and education, three-dimensional computer representations and VR applications, offering interactivity and immersiveness, are not yet widely accepted. The project builds on previous studies which focused on selecting and implementing appropriate VR strategies and technologies (Horne and Hamza, 2006) and offers an approach on how three-dimensional computer modelling and virtual reality may be integrated into built environment teaching. It identifies the challenges and perceived benefits of doing so by academic staff and reports on the systematic approach which was adopted by Northumbria University, School of the Built Environment, to raise awareness of VR technologies across the spectrum of built environment disciplines. A selection of case studies is presented which illustrate how VR and 3D modelling have been integrated to extend traditional forms of representation and enhance the students’ learning experience. The attitudes perceptions, opinions and concerns of academic staff in regards to use of 3D and VR technologies in their teaching are discussed.
Keywords: Virtual Reality, 3D computer modelling, built environment, curriculum
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Formalizing and managing the dependencies between models
Abstract: AEC professionals need information models that are structured for their specific tasks. They also need to be able to control the integration of these models with the models of other professionals. In this paper I propose methods for formalizing and managing the dependencies between information models. Using these methods, an AEC professional constructs an information model, called a Perspective, and specifies the sources and nature of its dependency on other Perspectives. He specifies the nature of the dependency using a reasoning algorithm called a Perspector that describes the automated or manual reasoning needed to construct the dependent Perspective from its source Perspectives. He uses Management Processes to control the integration of the dependent Perspective as its source Perspectives are iteratively modified. AEC professionals apply this method repeatedly and collaboratively to compose and control directed acyclic graphs of Perspectives and their dependencies, called Narratives. Narratives provide a simple, formal, visual, flexible, distributed, yet collaborative way to construct and control the integration of multiple task-specific Perspectives. They are intended to help AEC professionals communicate, integrate, and automate multidisciplinary design processes and the information models used in these processes.
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.
Jardim-Goncalves R, Sousa P, Pimentao J, Steigergarcao A, Grilo A, Tadeu L
Integration of planning and control activities for building and construction: experiencing standards
Abstract: The effective exchange of information regarding the planning and control
activities (schedules, resources, materials, cost, cash flow) between the
different parties involved in building and construction projects is a critical
success factor to avoid projects' time and costs overrun and to insure better
quality. However, current applications and research and development efforts
on electronic exchange of information are usually restricted to the exchange
of technical design information, particularly CAD exchange amongst
designers and between these and contractors; and of business data (purchase
orders, invoices, remittance advice, etc.), between contractors and builders,
merchants and suppliers. This paper will review current practitioners'
approach to the exchange of planning and control information, and discuss
the business need to the seamless flow of scheduling, resource, materials,
and cost information between firms. Different technical solutions available
to address the subject will be described. Through the description of the
experience in this area of two European projects, RoadRobot and SUMMIT,
the paper will also describe the state-of-the-art regarding the development of
international standards for the exchange of planning and control
information, particularly at the EDIFACT, STEP and IAI levels. RoadRobot
- Operator Assisted Mobile Road Robot for Heavy Duty Civil Engineering
Applications, was a project devoted to implement a general standard-based
architecture to support the information management for road construction
environments, covering from the road design to road construction,
embracing the site, cell, machine and tool levels. SUMMIT - Supply Chain
Management In Construction Industry, is an end-user driven project which
envisages the creation, implementation, test and evaluation of an EDI, STEP
and IAI/IFC based communication infrastructure on a specific project of
building prefabricated houses, connecting project manager, contractor and
suppliers. This paper shows that international standards for planning and
control information in B and C are not yet enough developed and that further
developments are required.
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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.
José Luis Izkara, Juan Pérez, Xabier Basogain, Diego Borro
Mobile augmented reality, an advanced tool for the construction sector
Abstract: Augmented reality is nowadays a novel technology that is acquiring great relevancy as a research area. This technology complements the perception and interaction with the real world and allows placing the user in a real environment augmented with additional information generated by computer. Throughout last years it is increasing the interest and the results reached in the technologies of augmented reality on desktop environments. However there are numerous environments of application of these technologies that require mobility of the user, need of access to the in-formation at any time and any place, in these cases there becomes necessary the utilization of mobile devices. Construc-tion Sector is a clear example. The development of mobile computing solutions is crucial in construction sites. The per-manent change of the site (workers, activities, work place, etc.) implies that users need to get permanently updated in-formation. Mobile computing solutions make this information available without reducing or disturbing the mobility and agility of the users. In this paper we present the mobile augmented reality as an advanced and innovative tool for the construction sector. This technology has a high potential to achieve more sustainability, profitability and higher quality level in this sector. It is structured in two main sections. An initial one that analyses the current status of the augmented reality technologies using mobile devices and describes the benefits provided by these technologies, the most recent challenges achieved, the novel applications and the problems not yet solved. And a second one that analyses the poten-tial applications of the mobile augmented reality in the construction sector and describes a scenario in which the use of mobile computing solutions makes possible to increase efficiency and safety in construction sites.
Keywords: augmented reality, construction, building, mobile computing
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Java based solution for generic product data browsing
Abstract: In its' earlier and on-going research projects VTT has developed generic meta-level productdata models considering especially the needs of the construction industry. In this particularapproach a new application, generic product data browser, has been developed ontop of this fundamental modelling work by using the new Java technology.Java is a fully object-oriented platform independent programming language, which enablesyou to make easily robust, multi-threaded implementations fully integrated to Internet. Thenew technology supports also component based programming (JavaBeans, CORBA) andderived objects. The browser application, called "Starlet", is fully implemented with Javaand can be run anywhere through any Java-supported web-browser like Netscape or MSInternet Explorer. The applicavpvption can be run also locally as a stand-alone program.The product data model used by "Starlet" is based on a generic meta-model. This highlevelschema, defined by EXPRESS-G, supports generic product data management andgives the application a lot of flexibility and scalability in describing your product data classstructures and for example object grouping. The schema supports easier mapping to andfrom e.g. already available and yet to come IFC-schemata without any loss of product datainformation.
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Kamara J M, Anumba C J, Carrillo P M, Bouchlaghem N
Conceptual framework for live capture and reuse of project knowledge
Abstract: The concept of knowledge management (KM) is now familiar to the construction industry, and various attempts are being made to develop tools and techniques for the effective management of knowledge in the industry. This paper addresses the ‘live’ capture of construction project knowledge, which is as yet, an elusive goal in KM efforts. It describes an approach to achieve this using a combination of techniques and tools including learning histories, collaborative learning, project extranets and workflow management. This proposed methodology also specifies the incorporation of a ‘project knowledge file’ which will form the basis of knowledge capture during the execution of a project, an integrated workflow system and a project knowledge manager. The intention is to ensure the currency and relevance of the knowledge captured, prevent the ‘re-invention of the wheel’, and facilitate innovation, increased agility, better teamwork and supply chain integration, and improved project performance.
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.
Kamat V, Martinez J
3D visualization of construction processes and products
Abstract: "Construction processes range from the relatively simple to the most complex.
In the construction industry, complex decisions yielding maximum benefit are
an essential component of process design and planning. Simulation modeling
and Virtual reality are thus being increasingly used to help decision-makers
make economically optimal decisions.
Although many advances have been recently made in the area of construction
process modeling (e.g. STROBOSCOPE), the Visualization/Animation aspect has
mainly focused on the finished product (3D CAD) or on the product as it
evolves through construction (4D CAD). Very little attention has been given
to visualizing the construction process that leads to the end product,
which includes temporary structures and materials, equipment and labor as
they create the product. The process visualization/animation tools currently
available commercially are restricted to two dimensions (e.g., Proof
Animation), inherently lacking in the real world 3D capabilities that are
indispensable for the realistic visualization of many construction
This paper describes on-going research at Virginia Tech that focuses on the
development of a general-purpose, 3D and trace-driven
visualization/animation system. This system enables visualization of both
the construction process and the resulting product in 3D. The tool enables
the easy creation of realistic 3D animations using CAD models from supported
data file formats. The core of the work is a simple yet extremely robust set
of animation commands, the capability to process sequences of these
commands, and the ability to navigate effortlessly in 3-D space. The input
to the program is an ASCII text file consisting of sequential command
statements. This file can be generated automatically by a variety of
simulation software tools such as STROBOSCOPE, which is currently being used
to test the system.
Due to the flexibility of the command set and the independence of the tool
from any particular simulation modeling software, the system has numerous
potential applications in fields other than construction, such as in the
manufacturing and service industries. Construction simulation model
developers will find this tool useful for debugging their model and
verifying that analytical models indeed behave correctly."
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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
Kirsten A. Davis
ASSESSING INDIVIDUALS’ RESISTANCE PRIOR TO IT IMPLEMENTATION IN THE AEC INDUSTRY
Abstract: Ever increasing technological capabilities exist in the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) industry. Email, project specific websites, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), animations, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) are but a few information technologies adopted in recent years within the industry. The change methods used in the adoptions suggest a focus on technology, yet the technology itself is seen as a primary barrier to successful implementation. In general, the AEC industry is extremely slow to embrace available information technology. Companies often have difficulty with technology implementations because technology is the driver of change, rather than an enabler of change. Resistance of people is the primary reason for failure of any organizational change, including an information technology change. Technological changes will be more successful when researchers develop a fundamental understanding of how people change. Studying individuals and their change processes is essential to improving implementation of technology change, yet change management theories present processes and guidelines for changing organizations and tasks with limited emphasis on individuals involved in change. This research uses a people centered paradigm for developing technology implementation models, placing technology in a change enabling position rather than being a driver of change. This research investigates individuals’ resistance to change brought about by new information technology implementation in the AEC industry. Resistance to change is a combination of three factors: cause of resistance, level of resistance, and manifestation of resistance. Previous work investigated the importance of specific behavioral characteristics indicative of resistance to change and correlated these characteristics to the level of resistance in individuals. This paper discusses methodology continuing this work, which aims to confirm the previous work, as well as to develop and validate new predictive tools to identify potential resisters prior to an information technology change implementation. The results from analysis of preliminary data are also discussed.
Keywords: Resistance, Change Management, Information Technology, Technology
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From design information management to virtual design prototyping
Abstract: Architectural practice is currently characterized by intensive (if not always
intelligent or efficient) use of computerized tools for rather strictly defined tasks.
Especially in areas like representation computerization is rapidly becoming the
obvious solution, even though the efficiency and effectiveness of existing tools has
yet to match the requirements of current architectural problems or the performance
of related disciplines. Attempts to improve on existing representations fall under
two main approaches. The first is the bottom-up development of structure and
meaning in the representations used for each application area and bilateral
correlation of these representations. The second is institutional classification and
standardization of design information for all application areas. Both approaches
aim at design information management using a central representation that
integrates partial descriptions. The true potential of this representation is virtual
design prototyping. The demands and possibilities of virtual design prototyping
generate specific expectations for the evolution of design information management.
A promising solution is the derivation of entity standardization and correlation not
from conventional (apparent) domain knowledge and current computer practices
but from the cognitive principles which provide a comprehensive yet compact basis
for a radical re-consideration of architectural representation.
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.