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Article

Yusuf Arayici, Ghassan Aouad and Vian Ahmed

Collaborative working using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) systems in construction has become a reality as many activities are performed globally with…

Abstract

Collaborative working using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) systems in construction has become a reality as many activities are performed globally with actors located in various geographical locations. Computer Integrated Construction (CIC) is the type of ICT system that binds a fragmented and geographically distributed set of construction stakeholders collaborating together. Although the concept of CIC has been the subject of research for many years, its uptake has been very limited due to the development of the technology and its effective implementation. Research in this area is still premature and does not pay much attention to the development and implementation of the prototypes in the industry. As a result, the research developments have remained as prototypes although they have captured industrial interest. However, ongoing research within the field of construction IT is stressing that it is crucial to define research methodologies for human centred and adaptive CIC developments through industry‐wide knowledge sharing. The aim of this paper, through triangulated research strategy of interviews, surveys and case study is to justify the need for a requirements engineering process as a CIC development methodology for adaptive and user‐centred systems developments and as a guideline to bridge the gap between industry and the research community. The case study project is the DIVERCITY system development undertaken by researchers and practitioners across Europe to develop a shared virtual construction design and briefing environment that enables the construction industry to better undertake the client briefing and design review phases of a construction project.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

X. Zhang, J.S. Goulding, M.G. Sexton, G. Aouad and M. Kagioglou

Hybrid concrete construction is a technologically advanced approach to frame construction. It utilizes an optimal mix of structural materials;eg, in situ concrete with…

Abstract

Hybrid concrete construction is a technologically advanced approach to frame construction. It utilizes an optimal mix of structural materials;eg, in situ concrete with precast concrete and steelwork. The process of selecting an hybrid‐optimized solution, however, often requires several factors to be considered, eg, “hard”criteria such as time and cost, and “soft” criteria such as safety and aesthetics (to be considered simultaneously) – the complexities of which can often be a core barrier to implementation. This paper introduces the concept of hybrid concrete construction and presents a virtual prototyping tool to assist the decision‐making process. This model is able to import computer aided design information into a central database – the details of which are then layered with additional information; eg, hard and soft performance criteria and so on. Solutions can be interrogated and demonstrated through an interactive virtual environment, in which multi‐option scenarios can be evaluated against specific user‐defined criteria. Findings have identified several core benefits, including the ability to: justify decisions corroborated with detailed data; evaluate options against each other; interrogate objects at a much greater detail than before; and see the effects of changes in a “real‐time” environment.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

Ghassan Aouad, Ming Sun and Ishan Faraj

This paper presents an argument for automating data representations within the construction sector. It questions whether full automation and integration is feasible and…

Abstract

This paper presents an argument for automating data representations within the construction sector. It questions whether full automation and integration is feasible and achievable considering the complexity of the industry and supply chain problems. The paper starts by reviewing the research in the area of information automation, modelling and integration. A research prototype, GALLICON, is used as an example to demonstrate the levels of integration and automation that may be achieved with the current generation of technology.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

G. Aouad and M. Sun

In order to improve efficiency and enhance the integration of information within the construction industry, it is necessary to establish an appropriate information…

Abstract

In order to improve efficiency and enhance the integration of information within the construction industry, it is necessary to establish an appropriate information structure using state of the art technologies. This paper reports on the modelling and integration of construction information within the context of integrated databases as a means of improving integration. The work is being undertaken by the OSCON (Open Systems for Construction) project at Salford University. The project aims to structure and model this information, providing a framework of information into which the modelling of different domains within the construction industry fits. The central idea in the establishment of the model is the ability to allow information to be viewed from different perspectives and different levels of abstraction depending on the requirements of the user. This leads to the necessity of integrating the models in order to permit the sharing of information. This paper also presents a model of transferring advanced technologies based on OSCON to the construction sector through lessons learnt from the research being undertaken.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article

C. Fu, S. Kaya and M. Kagioglou G. Aouad

This paper intends to focus on interoperability issues in IT‐based the lifecycle costing (LCC) applications and on improving LCC decision making based on cost performances…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper intends to focus on interoperability issues in IT‐based the lifecycle costing (LCC) applications and on improving LCC decision making based on cost performances of various options of constructing techniques and materials, excluding energy calculations.

Design/methodology/approach

This project mainly is an IT development project based on industry foundation classes (IFC) models. The LCC tool is fully compliant with the system architecture of the nD modelling tool, and is based on the integrated nD modelling interfaces, which are IFC compliant and integrated with an interactive virtual reality environment. The functions of the LCC tool also provide integrated costs, database management and automatic calculations of some complicated LCC algorithms.

Findings

The advantages identified are as follows: First, this IFC‐based LCC tool demonstrates the interoperable delivery of building design information across different CAD systems. Second, the development techniques adopted in this case are more practical and cost‐ effective due to the easily accessible auxiliary tools. This also promotes the flexibility of the IFC‐based development.

Research limitations/implications

The lack of real historical data of LCC collected from previous projects is still a major barrier to applying this tool in practice. The future research and development of this LLC tool will look at the lifecycle costing of building service and energy consumption.

Originality/value

The paper introduces the development of IFC based applications in lifecycle costing.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

M. SARSHAR, R. HAIGH, M. FINNEMORE, G. AOUAD, P. BARRETT, D. BALDRY and M. SEXTON

The construction sector is under growing pressure to increase productivity and improve quality, most notably in reports by Latham (1994, Constructing the Team, HMSO…

Abstract

The construction sector is under growing pressure to increase productivity and improve quality, most notably in reports by Latham (1994, Constructing the Team, HMSO, London) and Egan (1998, Rethinking Construction, HMSO, London). A major problem for construction companies is the lack of project predictability. One method of increasing predictability and delivering increased customer value is through the systematic management of construction processes. However, the industry has no methodological mechanism to assess process capability and prioritise process improvements. Standardized Process Improvement for Construction Enterprises (SPICE) is a research project that is attempting to develop a stepwise process improvement framework for the construction industry, utilizing experience from the software industry, and in particular the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), which has resulted in significant productivity improvements in the software industry. This paper introduces SPICE concepts and presents the results from two case studies conducted on design and build projects. These studies have provided further in‐sight into the relevance and accuracy of the framework, as well as its value for the construction sector.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

S. Wu, A. Lee, W.W.I. Koh, G. Aouad and C. Fu

An accessible or inclusive building design does not disable any user; it should enable the independent and equal use of a facility by all. With the introduction of the…

Abstract

An accessible or inclusive building design does not disable any user; it should enable the independent and equal use of a facility by all. With the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), the consideration of issues such as access and inclusive design become even more important. Space analysis is an important aspect of the current accessibility assessment. Existing space analysis techniques, such as space syntax, have tackled the local and global accessibility of a building layout using graph theory. However, there are difficulties in the automatic transfer of design information from architectural drawings into a space analysis tool. With the recent development of the building information model and Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs), it is now possible to automate the transfer process. This paper demonstrates the automation process and how it can be used in accessibility analysis.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

Martin Sexton, Jack Goulding, Xiaonan Zhang, Mike Kagioglou, Ghassan Aouad, Rachel Cooper and Peter Barrett

The purpose of this paper is to identify interdependent barriers to the search and selection of new technologies by design engineers at industry, organisation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify interdependent barriers to the search and selection of new technologies by design engineers at industry, organisation and individual levels. A “proof of concept” HyCon tool is presented to demonstrate the role of information technology design support tools in supporting designers to overcome these inhibitors, in this case for hybrid concrete, by providing immersive and interactive, information‐rich environments to explore design solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

The HyCon tool was developed through a prototyping methodology encompassing a testing, analysis, design and coding iterative cycle. This was supported by case studies and industry workshops.

Findings

The results of a collaborative research project are presented, which describes the HyCon design support tool to promote the understanding and use of hybrid concrete in structural frames. This tool is built around a knowledge creation, application, storage, and retrieval cycle to envision and support the use of this new technology.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to integrate technology management and design process considerations within the context of an information technology design support tool, and offers a “proof of concept” HyCon tool to demonstrate key issues and potential utilities and applications.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

S. Thomas Ng, Swee Eng Chen, Denny McGeorge, Ka‐Chi Lam and Simon Evans

The fragmented and highly competitive nature of the construction industry (CI) limits efficiencies and inhibits communication. However, through the effective use of…

Abstract

The fragmented and highly competitive nature of the construction industry (CI) limits efficiencies and inhibits communication. However, through the effective use of information technology (IT), these communication barriers between clients, consultants, suppliers, subcontractors and contractors can be broken down. Public sector clients in Australia have proposed an IT implementation strategy with the aim of improving communication and increasing productivity in the CI. However, IT is relatively new to the industry and so are the problems associated with it especially for the small subcontractors. The aims of this paper are to examine the current usage of IT by Australian subcontractors, and to identify the potential problems for subcontractors in IT implementation. The results indicate that the uptake of email and the internet by subcontractors is at a low level and the awareness of IT training and education is very low. The indications are that Australian subcontractors are not yet ready for the implementation of even rudimentary IT technology.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article

NABIL A. KARTAM

The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is epitomized by a wide range of project business lines, different project scopes, unique client…

Abstract

The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is epitomized by a wide range of project business lines, different project scopes, unique client requirements, and a rapidly changing automation technology. This current scenario requires a constant transfer of project data among the various professionals representing different specializations, project phases and interests. The implementation of improved computer techniques such as object‐oriented programming and CAD reduces fragmentation and enhances the efficiency of integrating project data through all stages of generation, sharing, maintaining, and updating. This reduced fragmentation will assist in bridging the gaps between and within the project phases, thereby increasing the competitiveness of the AEC industry. This paper presents different issues related to the existing fragmentation in the AEC industry and the challenges and approaches to achieve a meaningful and smooth integration. The paper describes the development of ODCSI—an object‐oriented design/construction system for integrating CAD and construction software applications. The system architecture captures design data in an object‐oriented project model and acts as an intelligent CAD interface. In the hierarchy of object‐oriented classes and subclasses, the design data are inherited; hence all functional, geometrical, structural, construction management, and construction engineering functions are shared across class boundaries. These design data are used as the input to various computer‐based construction software applications, hence providing seamless project integration.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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