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Zarli A, Richaud O, Buckley E

Requirements, barriers and trends in advanced technologies for the large scale engineering uptake

Abstract: Corporations are today becoming largely distributed, and deeply founded on networking technology allowing to share and access information in different locations. In the same time, information systems have become the spinal chord of the modern enterprise, appropriate information tools satisfying fast reactive business requirements and offering a strategic corporate advantage. One of the main issues now is to ensure that the vital information, for which the virtual enterprise has a special dependency, is easily accessed and manipulated by multiple actor-oriented applications, thereby satisfying the need for improved customer service, on-time delivery, quality management and project co-ordination. With the popularity of the Web and its use in productive industry environments, the coupling of suppliers, manufacturers, and customers seems an attractive and reachable goal. Applications are requested to authorise employees, business partners and customers to access critical data from their desktop anywhere in the world over the Internet, supporting the browsing of data and documents contained in large electronic vaults by connecting to the server from any supported WEB browser client, provided they have appropriate access privilege. This paper aims at identifying, with a focus on the Building Construction sector, the current major requirements and barriers along with the possible use of new standard based technology in order to foster a better industrial exploitation of the large information sources located both on the WEB and in enterprises databases accessible through the WEB. Needs can be: * End-user and process oriented needs, like information modelling, persistent and coherent data storing, data exchange and distribution, availability and interoperability issues, concurrent access, security (i.e. data protection and confidentiality levels configuration), uniform access to any type of databases, uniform presentation on client side (i.e. not from any tool-oriented point of view), coupling of WEB data with internal corporate information, etc. * Needs in terms of computer-based systems, as open architecture, scalability, reusable components, integration of legacy systems, flexibility, and so on. Despite advances in computer technology providing more reliable and relevant mechanisms and tools for information management in the large, companies still deal with intricate and non flexible corporate information systems, with an increasing complexity in software development and use. To mask this complexity, we promote the concept of business objects (BO), which are software components encapsulating business rules and aiming at providing secure sophisticated access to diverse electronic content and applications. BO (*) are defined as components of the information system representing the enterprise business model, and are to be promising enablers to build information systems meeting end users and customers requirements, thus revealing critical to the success of the enterprise. BO will be managed in the WONDA (**) project, which aims at extending the infrastructure and services of current wide area networks towards a broader industrial and commercial usage, for the deployment of the information and communication infrastructure in the industry. WONDA will be a framework of open and interchangeable BO enabling configurability according to business solutions. It will offer an industry-wide and enterprise-wide framework for the development of WEB solutions to construction industry business needs, thus turning the WEB into a viable infrastructure for industrial manufacturing and commerce.

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Full text: content.pdf (86,086 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.commerce (0.041943) class.collaboration (0.031481) class.strategies (0.021536)
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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.


Zarli A, Richaud O

Requirements and Technology Integration for IT-Based Business-Oriented Frameworks in Building and Construction

Abstract: Key challenges nowadays facing industry are increased competition, increased complexity and wider market reach, and in such a context, the information infrastructure of an enterprise determines its strengths and weaknesses. As a consequence, this infrastructure has become vital to enterprise competitiveness, though the diversity of enterprise databases and the heterogeneity of strategic applications are still a barrier to industrial exploitation of the opportunities offered by this infrastructure. Modern enterprise information systems must interoperate in Inter/Intranets and with the WEB in a quite interactive, reliable and secure way, and have to be flexible enough in order to quickly adapt to today's fast moving business environment. This paper first gives a synthesised investigation of the requirements for a standardised open infrastructure, relying on now available distributed objects systems, and integrating in a flexible way the enterprise business model through the emerging concept of Business Objects (BOs), that allows systems designers to put the stress on the business they model and no more the data they exploit. It then focuses on a specific part of the work undertaken in the context of the Esprit project, relying on the OMG Business Object Component Architecture (BOCA) proposed by the BODTF. This was finally not accepted by the OMG board. Nevertheless, at the time we started our work, this proposition was the only one meeting requirements for distributed business objects, and especially the Component Description Language (CDL) and its concepts: a short presentation is given of a CDL compiler that produces IDL, according to the BODTF recommendations for CORBA-based implementations, and Java code, on the basis of a framework we developed. The originality of this approach resides in the fact that it takes into account most of the needs when developing BOs and gives an automated implementation whenever possible. Hence, we automated the generation of factories, event typed dispatching, and relationship handling. This approach lets the BO developers concentrate on the business and relies on improved solution backed by design patterns. This research is regarded as a solid foundation for designers to set up information systems that are a better fit to business user requirements, and expected to be a major step towards the forecast delivery of WEB-oriented software components for the Building Construction and other sectors as well.

Keywords: distributed client/server architectures, communication middleware, business objects, CORBA, CDL, open and standardised industrial business objects frameworks.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1999/4 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1999 (browse)
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Zhiliang Ma, Xiude Zhang, Song Wu, Zhenhua Wei, Zhe Lou

Framework Design for Bim-Based Construction Cost Estimating Software

Abstract: Cost estimating is one of the critical activities for any construction projects. During the tendering process, preparing bids is often the most time consuming task, especially for a large complex project with relevant short tendering period. Estimating software have been developed and used to assist the estimators to undertake estimating task more efficiently. However, up to now, the estimators have to do extensive work on measurement to establish bill of quantities from drawing sheets or the electrical 2D data before cost estimating can be completed.With the development of BIM (Building Information Model), the design of buildings can be done with BIM tools and the BIM data can be obtained by the estimators. Thus some software vendors have developed BIM based applications to enable more efficient cost estimation. However, due to the localization of specifications and building standards, those applications can not be applied widely to all the countries and regions. It is the case for China, which the BIM-based applications from foreign vendors are hardly used, particularly in the cost estimating area.This paper is aimed to develop a framework for a BIM-based cost estimating application based on Chinese standards. The characteristics of the existing Chinese construction estimating software tools are presented and the requirements for next generation of construction cost estimating software are summarized based on this study. Moreover, the characteristics of the major BIM-based construction cost estimating tools from foreign vendors are reviewed and their feasibility to be used in China is also analyzed. Furthermore, the critical works to be carried out for such software development are analyzed with a particular attention being paid to sharing of the estimating data in the later stages in construction. Finally, a framework for the BIM-based cost estimating software subject to Chinese standards is established and presented, including the description for the major functions of the system. This paper provided a sound foundation for developing BIM-based cost estimating software subject to Chinese standards and it should be beneficial to other researchers who are developing BIM-based applications to meet the local requirements.

Keywords: BIM, IFC, Construction Cost Estimating, Software Framework

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Full text: content.pdf (84,131 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Zhou W,Tah J,Heesom D

A distributed virtual reality application framework for collaborative construction planning using Bimserver

Abstract: As the architecture/engineering/construction (AEC) industry proceeds in the direction of digitalisation, computer supported collaborative work (CSCW) enhanced by building information modelling (BIM) becomes realistic for multidisciplinary collaboration in construction. Networked virtual reality (VR) supported by BIM servers, though showing great potentials in connecting multidisciplinary teamwork, is still less clarified for geographically dispersed construction teams to achieve collaboration. Taking the advantages of networked VR through the BIM server connection, this paper discusses a BIMserver-based VR application framework for distributed teams to perform real-time collaborative 4D construction planning and simulation. Through the analysis of current 4D modelling approaches, BIMserver adoption for collaborative 4D planning, as well as enabled VR platform technologies, the paper highlights availabilities of the interactive definition method for collaborative 4D planning underpinned by BIMserver. This method supports CSCW activities like co-navigate, so-sort, co-plan, co-simulate and co-talk for the 4D planning teamwork, together with power wall based semi-immersive VR platform for accommodating group users. On the basis of these discussions, a BIM-VR groupware system named Co-Studio is depicted from system architecture and application features. These discussions lay a foundation to develop a full functioned Co-Studio system as a next step. The system’s applicability will be verified and validated in its subsequent implementation and industry projects.

Keywords: BIMserver,collaborative 4D planning,groupware,virtual reality

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Full text: content.pdf (474,554 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Žiga Turk

Migration risks OF construction informatics research

Abstract: The paper presents a study on the barriers to the implementation of construction informatics research results. The study was based on a survey among the participants of the 5th Framework EU projects, particularly among the members of the ICCI Project Cluster. Underlying the study is a generic process model of research, development and technology transfer (RDPM) that claims that research results are fed into the industrial use by means of (1) software development, (2) standardization and (3) education. The RDPM model is used to identify the frictions and barriers obstructing the migration of knowledge and introducing risks of a created technology not being implemented by the industry. A survey has been designed and executed on-line in the fall of 2003 asking specific questions about the current and future research as well as about the obstacles. Three groups of persons were invited to take the survey: (1) partners in the ICCI member projects, (2) partners in other EU projects related to construction as well as (3) other members of the construction IT scientific community.

Keywords: technology transfer, barriers and frictions, construction informatics, research policy, European Projects, ICCI

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

Series: w78:2004 (browse)
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