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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


Alekhin V,Antipin A,Gorodilov S,Khramtsov S

Numerical simulation of wind loads on high rise buildings

Abstract: Article presents a methodology of the numerical simulation of the wind on high-rise buildings, which was developed by the Department of Computer-aided design of structures of the Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin. Paper includes the results of researches on development of a technique of determination of wind pressure upon high-rise buildings by means of numerical modeling in an ANSYS package. The investigation was carried out within the grant of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Building Sciences. The results are applied to calculation of wind pressure upon a number of high-rise buildings under construction in Yekaterinburg City (Russia). Simulation is performed in the program ANSYS. The simulated building is placed in a domain that is the numerical analogue of wind tunnel. Domain sizes are chosen in such a way that simulated buildings do not affect the flow of air on its boundaries. Shear stress transport (SST) turbulence model has been used. This model effectively combines the stability and accuracy to the standard k-? model in the areas, which are placed near the walls and the effectiveness of the k-e model at a distance from the walls with a smooth transition between them (input expansion functions). For the numerical solution of the governing equations the finite volume method was used (FVM). The scale of the turbulence is assumed to be 200-300m. Use of the developed technique is shown on the example of calculation of wind pressure and wind velocities in pedestrian area for high-rise building under construction in the City of Ekaterinburg.

Keywords: high-rise building,wind impact,simulation,wind loads

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Full text: content.pdf (1,046,932 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Alexander J, Coble R, Crawford J, Drogemuller R, Leslie H, Newton P, Wilson B, Yum Kwok-Keung

Information and communication in construction : closing the loop

Abstract: Both nationally and internationally, the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector is highly fragmented : it is dominated by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the nature of information and knowledge can be dispersed among firms and organisations, and consortia are frequently formed from geographically dispersed firms. In recognition of the potential improvements to be gained through an integrated approach to project information used throughout the design, documentation, construction and operation processes, substantial research is underway in Australia to "close the loop" of information flows between designers and constructors. The paper will explore and discuss both the technology platform in terms of information and communications technology (mobile, high-speed and wide area networking linking the design and engineering offices with the construction site) and the information platform in terms of the content of communications between project stakeholders and the requisite information (traditional spatial as well as non-spatial data) of key concern to the stakeholders at various stages of the project lifecycle. The paradigm shift that has occurred over recent years from stand-alone personal computing (which reinforced fragmentation) to mobile and Wide Area networked computing now provides a platform capable of promoting integration, accessibility and co-operation within the sector with attendant gains in efficiency. A minimum requirement to achieve these gains is access to the right information (not just simple data) at the desired level of scale and detail for a particular stakeholder’s view - information which once collected can be stored and refined and then held for use elsewhere on the project without loss and without the need for subsequent re-entry. The information needs to be available quickly and easily, that is at the right time and in the right location for maximum benefit and project efficiency. Demonstration collaborative systems to support interactive Computer Aided Design and information exchange between project stakeholders such as architects, various engineers (electrical, hydaulic, mechanical, structural) and project managers, in an innovative collaborative manner have become available to bring dispersed project members together electronically. Such systems allow project members attached to a network to undertake a range of information access and exchange from simple e-mail; through on-site access to central project data sources via handheld computers; right through to the use of optional live (or pre-recorded) video to enhance collaboration. Using communications infrastructure, this functionality can be shared in various ways - in a corporate-wide environment between regional and/or interstate offices within a company, or in a consortium situation (between offices of a consortium working together on a specific construction project). The questions then arise as to how such systems fit into industry practice, and how the industry might adapt to embrace new opportunities provided by such technological advances. Ease of access to up-to-date, accurate project information for a range of project stakeholders is being extended through research in the US and Australia to close the loop between some of the stakeholders, and this will be discussed in detail in the paper. As well, the progress of industry-based support for a level of interoperability for building and construction information by organisations such as the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI Australasian chapter) will also be discussed, plus the likely impact of the adoption of Industry Foundation Classes in the Australian building and construction industry in areas such as the design life for buildings based on durability of materials.

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Full text: content.pdf (719,511 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.057235) class.environment (0.023003) class.synthesis (0.022896)
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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.


Alonso J M, Alvarruiz F, Hernandez V, Vidal A M

HPC in the building construction sector

Abstract: In the context of the HIPERCOSME project (1) (ESPRIT project 20059), the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia (UPV) in collaboration with Spanish partners, developed a new High Performance Computing (HPC) demonstrator to calculate Reinforced Concrete Building Structures. Starting from a sequential software package, the objective of that project was to develop a portable parallel software package, able to cope with large scale problems and more realistic models (more information could be obtained in http://wwwcopa.dsic.upv.es/copa_eng.html). The performance of the prototype was analysed by means of a test battery composed of 4 real buildings. The performance of the prototype was compared to that of the original sequential package, showing that the former was from 20 up to 60 times faster than the latter. Besides, since a trial and error process must be carried out, the best and cheapest structural solution can be obtained. This leads to a reduction of the cost of the constructive elements and an increase in safety. On the other hand, and as a consequence of the code performance, a 3D approach to the problem of computing the building structure can be performed. Hardware and software requirements for this prototype are very common.The parallel platform can be a cluster of Ethernet linked PC's running under an easily available operating system such as LINUX (public domain) and the PVM passing message environment (public domain also). Moreover, the application is portable and can be run on other computers and parallel systems. Thus, in the context of the project, five Workshops were organised to promote the results in the European regions where the project partners belonged to. In these Workshops, Demonstration Actions were carried out with the presence of different small and medium size construction enterprises of each region. Co-operation among the partners led to contacts with new construction companies interested in the HPCN framework. As a consequence, six Assessment Studies were developed with European construction companies from Spain, Portugal, France and Greece, in order to understand the needs of the European market. UPV is the Valencian Community node of HIPERTTN. This technological Transfer Node is part of the METIER action in the HPCN PST activities of the IV ESPRIT Programme. TTN's try to stimulate the technology transfer and dissemination of the results of the HPCN projects in Europe. As a consequence, a Construction Sector Group has been recently created in this TTN Network. In the full paper, we will describe the technical work developed in the project, both from the point of view of the computational tools and the experience of transference of technology to the Construction Sector.

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Full text: content.pdf (51,870 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.social (0.030939) class.bestPractise (0.026703) class.communication (0.025338)
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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.


Amr Kandil, and Khaled El-Rayes

Multi-Deme Parallel Computing Model For Optimizing Large-Scale Construction Projects

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Full text: content.pdf (724,378 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2006 (browse)
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Andresen J, Baldwin A, Betts M, Carter C, Hamilton A, Stokes E, Thorpe T

A Framework for Measuring IT Innovation Benefits

Abstract: This paper presents a new framework for measuring the benefits of IT in construction. The framework is based on the principle that benefits realisation must be managed by: planning for strategic alignment and business-driven exploitation, managing the process of predicting benefits, and by measuring resulting benefits after a system or innovation is implemented. Three distinct types of benefits are identified within the new framework associated with business efficiency, business effectiveness and business performance. A key barrier to the more effective exploitation and application of IT in the construction sector has been the lack of investment on a scale comparable with other sectors. A primary reason cited for the low level of investment is the low level of perceived benefits from IT investments amongst construction business managers. Many benefits evaluation methods exist and are widely applied in other sectors. Benefits evaluation methods in construction are under-utilised. One reason for this is the lack of fit between these methods, and their associated language, with the peculiarities of the construction sector. The new framework presented in this paper has been derived for specific application to the construction sector. The framework has been subjected to testing and application within UK construction organisations. The results of this testing suggest a number of improvements in the benefits realisation process.

Keywords: information technology, business benefits, innovation, evaluation framework

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2000/4 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2000 (browse)
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Arif A, Karam A

Architectural Practices and Their Use of IT in the Western Cape Province, South Africa

Abstract: The application of Information Technologies (IT) is moving forward with tremendous speed affecting all industries and professions; our building profession is no exception. To identify the extent of IT application in the building construction context of South Africa, a survey was conducted in the year 2000; it included IT as one of the many topics investigated. The Western Cape Province (WCP) was selected as the first subject of the ambitious national survey. The survey provides insight into the particular patterns in IT applications within the local architectural industry of the WCP and tracks its implications in terms of human resources and technical needs. This research paper presents a focused perspective of the findings of the survey on the local practices; their general profile, their computer technology profiles, their particular applications of technology and finally the effect of computer use on the profitability and cost reduction of their practices. The data presented in this paper highlights the high numbers of small-sized offices as a general characteristic of the local profile. Although a good percentage of these small offices seem to have a high need and use for IT applications, larger-sized offices are totally computerised and are all networked as well. The use of computers is clearly concentrated in three areas: administration, communication in addition to the core activity of construction drawings production. The survey reveals a major dependency on computer-aided-design (CAD) software where its use extends, in most cases, to clients' presentations. This dependency makes high demands on staff and principals' literacy and on the high competency levels needed for their use of technology. On the financial effect of IT use, many practices are not fully convinced that there is an actual reduction in their running costs. The exception occurs in the case of practices run by principals who use computers themselves; they have a positive perception of the financial benefits of technology. This research establishes a baseline from which to scale the progress in the use and application of IT in the architectural profession, being a key player in the construction industry. It serves as a measure for future surveys of the other provinces. It is hoped that it provides a foundation for many assumptions made by practitioners, technologists, consultants and educators of this field.

Keywords: Architecture - South Africa, Architectural Practices, Building Construction, Computer-Aided-Design (CAD), Survey - Cape Town

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2001/2 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2001 (browse)
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B de Vries

Building management simulation center

Abstract: Introduction to the BMSC In the Building Management Simulation Center new and experienced construction managers are trained. The center is unique because of the use of a virtual building site that can be inspected by the trainees. The actual status of the building and of the building materials and equipment on the building site is simulated by the system dependent on the trainee’s actions. The main part of the center is the simulation hall. Here, ten cabins are located with a view on a large parabolic projection screen. The trainee has to execute tasks in the cabin in an environment that is familiar to him/her. On the projection screen the building under construction can be viewed and it can be inspected by navigation through the full-scale model. Similar VR based training systems can be found in the aircraft industry, the automotive industry [http://www.ttsl.co.uk/home.htm] en de shipbuilding industry [http://thor.sv.vt.edu/crane/]. These examples inspired the initiators of the BMSC to investigate if the same methodology could be used in the building industry. Building site activity patterns Construction process simulation research has mainly been focused on the development of a construction planning analysis tool [e.g. V.R. Kamat, J.C. Martinez in proceedings of CIT2000]. In the BMSC though, interaction between the construction manager and the building on the building site will steer the construction process simulation. Investigations on the building site and discussions with experienced construction managers learned that they work in fixed patterns. A pattern consisting of a list of activities is called a transition type. These transition types describe all kinds of procedures that a construction manager performs to fulfill a specific tasks (e.g. ordering of new material). Transition types also take into account actions required to perform corrections beforehand or afterwards. For a specific case the transitions were entered into the system. The transitions were deduced from the construction managers that had worked on that building project when it was actually built. For the training purposes every possible situation the trainee can end up with has to be covered by the transitions. The interactive 3D training system The trainee’s actions are logged by a kind of Electronic Data Management System. All documents that are created during a training session are stored in the system. The system itself also contains project information that can be consulted. Finally the system offers an interface to communicate with the other participants in the project. After the training session that consists of the execution of a set of tasks, the system has stored all actions, their order and the produced documents. These data are compared with the predefined transitions for the case that was used. The document contents are compared with the predefined activity results. With this method it is easy to detect if the trainee missed certain activities in a transition and if the information is consistent. Finally, a visual feedback can be created be regeneration the 3D model in the VR environment in accordance with the trainee’s actions. The 3D model will show has far the building could have been built successfully. The learning effect After the training session the trainee will be confronted with the (possible) mismatch between has own actions and the preferred actions following from the predefined transitions. Evidently this is discussed during the evaluation after the training. Recognition of the right transition by the trainee to solve a specific task is considered one of the major learning effects of a BMSC training. Paper Outline In the paper the software architecture of the system will be explained. The activity patterns and the management of the system are discussed in more detail. A layout of the building where the BMSC is hosted is presented. Finally some examples of the training sessions will illustrate how the BMSC operates in practice and an overview will be presented of the first experiences.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,053,282 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.deployment (0.027827) class.man-software (0.018630) class.communication (0.013308)
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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.


Badrah M K, MacLeod I A, Kumar B

Development tools for computer-aided design applications in structural engineering

Abstract: This paper reviews some development tools for CAD applications in structural engineering. These tools include spreadsheets, database applications, object-oriented applications, graphics-based applications and neural networks applications. The paper compares these tools against some criteria including standards representation capability, ease of development, suitability for large-scale systems, suitability for in-house software development, maintenance and extensibility capability, integration with other CAD applications, support for non-standard design. Recommendations for both in-house software developers and commercial software developers are given.

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Full text: content.pdf (189,496 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.051037) class.analysis (0.047134) class.software development (0.031381)
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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


Bjork B C

The topology of spaces, space boundaries and enclosing structures in building product data models

Abstract: An issue which needs to be addressed in full-scale building product data models is the modelling of spaces and the surfaces and physical enclosure elements that surround these -spaces. This information isat the very kernel of building product data models, since almost all sub disciplines in building design, construction and maintenance need this information. Some early proposed generic models (i.e. GARM, Building Systems Model, the RATAS model) treated information on a higher level of abstraction and didn't deal with this aspect. It is also an issue that hasn't been dealt with in traditional building classification systems. This paper analyses some recent models which deal with the topology of spaces, space boundaries or surfaces and enclosing structures, and tries to suggest a possible synthesis of this work. The models included in the analysis were the RATAS model as implemented in prototype work at VTT (Finland), the House model of de Waard (Netherlands), the Synthesis model of the Groupe de Structuration des Donnees (France) and the Integrated Data Model of the EC-funded COMBINE project ( European).

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Full text: content.pdf (3,049,246 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1992 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.represent (0.019860) class.analysis (0.013892) class.retrieve (0.007197)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editor, Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


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