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K A Brunner & A Mahdavi

The software design of a dynamic building model service

Abstract: We present the software architecture and a prototypical implementation of a dynamic building model service system. The primary purpose of this model service is to support (simulation-assisted) indoor-environmental control operations in buildings. However, as a comprehensive, structured, sensor-based, and self-updating information resource, the model can support other building tasks such as those concerned with building logistics and management. At the core of our model service design, an object tree continuously updated from sensor data reflects the current state of the building, concurrently accessible to multiple clients and backed by persistent storage. The service is embedded in a distributed infrastructure based on tuple spaces for transparent object-based communication between system components. The preliminary evaluation of the model service system suggests that the proposed design is feasible and appropriate for further testing in realistic (large-scale) settings.

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Full text: content.pdf (693,574 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.


Karhu V

Product Model Based Design of Precast Facades

Abstract: In Finland, approximately 80 % of the facades of buildings are manufactured as precast units. Currently one of the obstacles to making the overall design and construction of precast building facades more efficient is the exchange of data about facades between architects, structural engineers and precast element manufacturers. The product model approach seems to offer a new methodology for data exchange and sharing which would solve many of the current problems. This paper presents the results of research carried out at the Technical Research Centre of Finland in which this approach was tested. The prevailing way of designing facades was chosen as a reference process model. Based on an analysis of data needs in the different stages of the process a product data model of a facade was developed. The product data model was restricted to facades only and does not include other information about the building. Central data structures in the conceptual schema define how a precast concrete facade consists of precast concrete units, i.e., elements. Structural wall layers that may have openings form the elements. The conceptual schema was implemented as a prototype which was based on existing software, modified and further developed. The prototype was tested by an architectural design company, a structural design company and a manufacturer. The main conclusion of testing was that the data produced in the architectural design is directly usable in further design. The structural or element design may use the architectural data as such. Also, it is possible to create applications that take into account the architect's preferred design approach.

Keywords: facade, precast, data exchange, object oriented, architectural design

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/1997/1 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:1997 (browse)
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Karumo Jari, Majahalme Tapio

Database approach to cost effective design of a frame system

Abstract: In structural design, there are plenty of analysis software which handle individual building components, but there are only few programs that view the individual components as comprising a system needing a conceptual solution. The general trend in software development has been to concentrate on case dependent solutions incapable of general use or data transportation to other applications. This study has attempted to address these short comings. The goal of the research was familiarization with modeling of computer application for structural design. The focus was the choice structure to be used during project planning phase of the frame systems in an ofice building. Part of the research project was to create new application software, which was used to test the presented models. In this research the modeling of the frame systems was carried out using activity and conceptual models. The activity model was used to describe the actions and decisions made in the process of choosing of the frame system. The emphasis was in the search for the situations where choices are guided by economical factors. The conceptual modeling was realized using the ER model. In it, the frame system was presented in three segments. Each segment formed its own independent part. The main idea was that frame systems are constructed of building components attached together; and each of those has it' own manufacturing, transportation and assembly costs, depending on the type of the component. The application created in the research project was used in testing the models. The basic requirement for the demonstration of the software was the need for a graphical representation of the modeling of the frame systems. The interface of the application was a CAD system. A relational database system was used to store the information. Both graphical and alphanumeric libraries of the main building component types of the frame were made. The design of the frame systems was carried out by choosing the types of the component instances from the library. The equivalent instances in the graphical and the relation database were linked together: Thus the databases of the systems could be used as a whole, even though the information was located in different databases.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,341,714 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.analysis (0.021390) class.economic (0.017714) class.store (0.010036)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


Mao S,Shen X,Lu M,Wu X

Real-time tablet-based virtual reality implementation to facilitate tunnel boring machine steering control in tunnel construction

Abstract: On the majority of tunneling projects, steering a tunnel boring machine (TBM) currently relies on a laser station which projects a laser beam onto a laser target board mounted on the TBM. However, laser target boards lack accuracy and reliability, thus potentially contributing to quality defects and increased risks of schedule delay and budget overrun in tunnel construction. This research has developed a cost-effective, real-time solution called “virtual laser target board (VLTB)” to substitute for physical laser target boards in guiding TBM during construction. Through integrating automation control mechanisms, innovative computing algorithms, and wireless network technologies, the VLTB technology transforms a popular survey tool, the robotic total station, into a construction control robot which precisely tracks and positions the TBM. By applying an enhanced point-to-angle computing algorithm, VLTB calculates the exact coordinates of the cutter head center on the working TBM in millimeter-level accuracy. The invisible cutter head center is projected onto a “virtual laser target board” on a tablet interface in relation to the as-designed alignment. Based on field testing, VLTB is found to be able to lend real-time, relevant assistance to TBM operators and tunnel surveyors. Compared to other advanced technologies in the market, VLTB provides a simpler and more flexible solution to ensure tunnel alignment control and enhance quality and productivity performances in tunnel construction.

Keywords: Tunnel Construction,Tunnel Boring Machine,Virtual Reality,Mobile Computing,Machine Control and Guidance,Robotic Total Station

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Full text: content.pdf (855,959 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: convr:2013 (browse)
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Nobuyoshi Yabuki, Yoshikazu Shimada, Kikuo Tomita

An on-site inspection support system using radio frequency identification tags and personal digital assistants

Abstract: Inspectors of buildings including power plants have to carry a bulk of documents and drawings to perform their tasks, otherwise they have to memorize extensive knowledge and data about the structures and facilities. Thus, a light and handy IT solution system for supporting inspectors is desired. In this research, we propose and develop a prototype on-site inspection support system. This system consists of a RFID tag system, a PDA connected to the Internet, a voice input/output system, and a digital camera. In our approach, senior inspectors' knowledge such as advices and warnings regarding each facility and structural member for inspection is input to RFID tags via voice at the site as if the inspector is teaching a junior inspector. And each RFID tag is glued to the facility or member. A junior inspector can obtain such valuable knowledge later on when he or she inspects the building alone from the reader-writer and PDA system. This system will enable senior inspectors to transfer their expertise that can be excited only at the site to a knowledge system. The information in the RFID tags can be altered or augmented when necessary. RFID tags can carry not only inspectors' advices and warnings but also the ID, main feature and recent inspection data of each facility or member. The inspector can have access to the corresponding drawings, specifications, data of testing, etc. from the ID of the RFID tag by the PDA. When more information is needed, the inspector can get information by the PDA from the headquarters databases via the Internet. The sound input system can be used to record sounds of various machines such as generators, compressors, sirens, etc. and the recorded sounds can be analyzed and evaluated on site by this system. Digital photographs can also be taken and stored in the database and compared with the previous ones for inspection purposes.

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Full text: content.pdf (950,708 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.education (0.027236) class.bestPractise (0.020089) class.store (0.009055)
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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.


Panu Vahala

A prototype user interface for a building product model in renovation design

Abstract: Despite the fact that several sophisticated building product data model proposals and working prototype applications have been developed, actual practical use of product model applications does not, however, seem a viable prospect for the near future. In our view, the key problem impeding a more widespread use of product model applications is that the user has been neglected. The laboratory of Construction Economics and Management at the Helsinki University of Technology has developed a prototype application for renovation architectural design. The approach taken to this work was to design intelligent user interfaces, the use of which resembles as closely as possible traditional and manual document-oriented design methods. The application consists of four elements: the user interface, a building product model database, library database and tools for producing output documents. The application is developed on an AutoCAD system integrated with a relational database management system, Paradox for Windows. The user interfaces were designed using AutoLisp, DCL and ObjectPAL. The extensive use of actual case studies in the development of this prototype application has provided valuable input in that it has allowed continuous testing of the system and further refinements based on real-life experience.

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Full text: content.pdf (650,761 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1994 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.man-software (0.080015) class.software development (0.019652) class.represent (0.016717)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by VTT, Espoo, Finland.


Petrovic I, Svetel I

Architectural computer-aided design systems: an example

Abstract: In 1987, a project was initiated at The IMS Design Research Workshop with the aim to study the effects of the introduction of CAAD methodology on the possible qualitative improvement of architectural design in the Institute's proprietary Building System " GIMS". The system consists of a precast prestressed concrete skeleton structure that incorporates various sub-systems, and has been applied extensively in housing and public building in Yugoslavia and many other countries. Generally speaking, all well-defined and well-structured aspects of architectural design, mainly dealing with the technical aspects and/or graphical presentations, have been successfully modelled and merged with thecomputer application and applied particularly in the detailed design phases. This is not so with the ill-structured problems and fluid situations that dominate the conceptual phase. Many decisions here depend on the subjective judgements of the designer. Knowledge-based systems have been applied in the selected domains to aid decisions based on experience and difficult to model by algorithmic methods. However, how to increase quality of design process is an open-ended question. The semantic aspects of design have not been treated to a great extent in CAAD research projects so far. The paper describes some of the project results - the CAAD methods and tools to be used as aids in conceptual design of the IMS family houses. The tools have been developed to a prototype level, with limited, but adequate testing of their performance.The present versions are applicable on the IBM personal computers.

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Full text: content.pdf (1,132,105 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1992 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.synthesis (0.030310) class.social (0.011425) class.impact (0.011264)
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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.


Rintala K, Kumar B, MacLeod I

Analogy based estimation in building services

Abstract: The introduction of Private Finance Initiative in the United Kingdom has prompted the need for quality whole life cost information. This in turn has led to a search for new innovative methods for producing whole life cost information. The research reported in this paper is a part of an overall approach being developed for whole life costing of building services. A particular problem identified in producing initial estimates of the whole life cost of building services is that the information on the building services design is limited. Analogy Based Estimation (ABE) was investigated as a potential approach to generate more information for estimation purposes and to estimate the capital cost of building services. The performance of ABE was investigated in three test settings. The estimation performance of ABE was compared with the estimation performance of linear regression (LR). ABE outperformed LR on two test settings. However, the estimation performance of ABE was found not to be sufficient for the approach to be applied in industry prior to further investigation. The tests were hindered by lack of data and inconsistencies in the data obtained. Therefore, no conclusions can be made on the applicability of ABE in this particular problem domain and ABE remains a potential approach. The research described in this paper will stand as a starting point for further testing and development of ABE in the estimation of building services.

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Full text: content.pdf (185,120 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.processing (0.015155) class.economic (0.014352) class.retrieve (0.008206)
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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.


Robert Amor, Johannes Dimyadi

An Open Repository of IFC Data Models and Analyses to Support Interoperability Deployment

Abstract: Several significant projects have developed resources to support various aspects of IFC use. These projects run the gamut of: counting entities within IFC data files; providing summary statistics for IFC data files; providing metrics for information with IFC data files; determining the syntactic correctness of IFC data files; determining redundancies within IFC data files; visualizing aspects of IFC data files; navigating IFC data files; etc. In this project, rather than duplicating the functionalities provided by tools developed in any particular project, the aim was to integrate the disparate resources developed across the world to provide a central point of access to the support resources for the field.For users this provides the ability to generate significant analysis of a submitted IFC data file across the major testing systems developed worldwide. While there are many overlapping results in the resultant data sets, there is also significantly different information provided by different tools. Users are provided with the ability to invoke several visualizations and data investigations for their IFC data file, and also are provided with a summary of major statistics drawn from the analyses.For developers this includes a repository of standard IFC data files from many projects, across many versions, and of many levels of sophistication. Several of the data files contain known errors. All of the data files have been processed by the range of analysis tools linked through the support harness to provide a comparative resource when testing a new tools.This project required a meta-representation of IFC data file analysis and associated metrics in order to collate and integrate the results drawn from multiple analysis tools. It also required a similar structure to manage standard IFC data files and the stored analysis of results from the range of tools that tested it.

Keywords: IFC, open repository, data models, analysis

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Full text: content.pdf (581,635 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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Robert Lipman

Developing Coverage Analysis for IFC Files

Abstract: Conformance and interoperability testing of product data exchange interfaces is essential to delivering reliable software implementations and meeting user’s expectations. For either type of testing, product data model test files, such as IFC files, are required to test the import and export capabilities of IFC interfaces in software applications. However, the vast extent of information concepts in the IFC schema makes it infeasible to generate a set of test files to provide comprehensive coverage of all concepts and their combinations. Currently industry is using sets of IFC test files that have been contributed by multiple organizations to test data exchange implementations. Therefore, given the sets of test files that are used for testing, it is important to be able to measure and document the coverage of information concepts that are contained in the files. The coverage analysis of a set of test files can be based on many metrics. Coverage analysis metrics can be based on concepts that are generic to all files, such as the use of property sets, enumerations, geometric representations, and commonly used optional attributes. Metrics for coverage analysis can also be based on concepts specific to a particular domain or model view definition such as precast concrete or energy simulation. Software is being developed to implement various metrics related to the coverage analysis concepts and applied to sets of IFC files, such as those used in the past buildingSMART IFC certification process and the current model view definitions developed for IFC implementations. Ultimately, the results of coverage analysis will determine if a set of test files used provides sufficient coverage of all the relevant concepts that need to be tested.

Keywords: IFC, coverage analysis, software testing, conformance, interoperability

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Full text: content.pdf (1,887,507 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2010 (browse)
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