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Virtual Buildings (VB) and Tools to Manage Construction Process Operations Per Christiansson, Nashwan Dawood, Kjeld Svidt Aalborg University, Denmark; University of Teesside, UK; Aalborg University, Denmark CIB W78 conference. Århus Denmark, June 2002.

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    1. Virtual Buildings (VB) and Tools to Manage Construction Process OperationsPer Christiansson, Nashwan Dawood, Kjeld SvidtAalborg University, Denmark; University of Teesside, UK; Aalborg University, Denmark W78 conference. Århus Denmark, June 2002

    2. This project is intended to help to fill a gap in the research of existing and emerging IT. It addresses information generation and use on construction site and workface in particular where the construction ‘product’ is being produced and where information is needed to deliver a high quality product, safely within the set time and budget. Visions are presented on how physical reality is connected to a virtual building model. Primary focus is on support of construction process and capture of as-built information for later use in O&M and building usage. A Virtual building model containing building product temporal and meta data will support a Product Management System (PMS) in capture, storage and supply of building process data. ABSTRACT

    3. CONTENT - Relevant ongoing R&D worldwide - The project Management System,PMS, in context - User environment, UE, design - Underlying knowledge representations

    4. CHALLENGES - Virtual Building (with non-redundant meta model) - Capture of physical construction as-built data - Efficient tools to handle temporal data - Semantically integrated web based information containers - Design & implementation of new efficient User Environments

    5. 1/2 ONGOING R&D None of the papers considers what information site mangers at the work-face actually need in order to perform the most important function of construction the actual building and managing the project. Function-technology matrix for identifying gap in research in construction IT

    6. 2/2 - Generic construction process modelling methods; - 4D based cad-project scheduling - Visions for utilising advanced sensors and integrated project models at construction sites for active project control; - IFC can partly handle time dependent properties; - IFC based product model checkers according to user specified constraints; - growing interest to develop systems that support project management information exchange using standards like IFC - The Virtual Construction Site (VIRCON). The VIRCON tackles strategic issues about construction schedules and space allocation and some of the VIRCON tools are discussed in separate papers in this conference. - LEWIS (Lean Enterprise Web Information System) is about re-engineering workforce information and to generate clearer execution plans, which is based on well-defined work packages using lean databases and visualisation technologies. - DIVERCITY (Distributed Virtual Workspace for enhancing Communication within the Construction Industry) aims to develop a "shared virtual construction workspace" that will allow construction companies to conduct client briefing, design reviews, simulate what if scenarios, and test constructability of buildings. ONGOING R&D

    7. The PMS in context The Project Management System (PMS) will integrate Virtual Building models, Site Process models, and external information containers. It will also manage matching and updating of the VB sub models as well co-ordination with building site activities. BPrt = Building Process real time, VBt = Virtual Building time to describe time points in life of Virtual Building (sub)models

    8. PMS, will support integration of properties of Virtual Building models, and site process models especially on meta data level. The main properties of the PMS will be The PMS in context. Properties. - support process planning, organisation, control and monitoring of construction processes and activities including real-time calculation of cash flow and cost of construction operations. - capture as-built time marked information in the constantly improved virtual building model; - handle time dependent data efficiently (intervals/periods not only instant time points); - offer new services for the construction site; - handle a non-redundant meta description (model) of the building process including time marked virtual building data; - handle co-ordination, matching and updating procedures for virtual building and site process sub models; - provide interaction through a digital Process Manager (PCM); - provide a adapted distributed User Environments (EU)

    9. The PMS in context. Emphasis. Certain emphasis will be on - constitute a framework for integration on project management level integrating applications and building process models using XML formalism and existing exchange formats like Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) in a peer-to-peer fashion; - contain a meta data description (data dictionary, XML, RDF name spaces) for project management support allowing access to information in different representations (IFC models, documents, drawings, multimedia information); - provide rich web-based multimedia interfaces to underlying models and applications (virtual workspaces, interactive 3D models, space and time browsing facilities, meta search mechanisms) Demonstration and creative design process

    10. The Virtual Building Model. The virtual building contains all documentation of the building including drawings, models, documents etc. It will normally contain redundant information and temporal information describing discipline models and sub models of the building over time (Christiansson, 1999). The virtual building should: - support design activities, construction planning, constructability, O&M; - provide data to construction site process models; - be augmented with as-built information as construction proceeds; - capture valid time (related to building process events) within building project and between projects; - support existing and upcoming types of organisation in the construction industry.

    11. Virtual Building Models The virtual building contains partly redundant overlapping models

    12. The Construction Site Model. The construction site is where construction managers convert resources (materials, men, machines, money, information, specification, regulation, etc) and method statement into activities and these activities will produce the final product under a given management and control system. - Clear dependency and interactions between process (resources and activities) and product models should be established; - control and monitoring of actual construction; - resources outputs, productivity, cash-flow, costing, transactions should all be modelled; - a project-centric database that uses IFC/Uniclass to model.

    13. Acoustics Thermal Analysis Virtual Workspace Virtual Workspace Collab. Collab. User Enviroment design. The DIVERCITY ex. Collab. DIVERCITY Appl. Appl. Appl. DIVERCITY Data container -IFC+ Application data container Application data container Application data container Client briefing Application data container'CAD' Lighting Simulations Building Model (IFC,…) 4D building site

    14. Work Flow Model. Conextual Design

    15. Sequence Model. Conextual Design

    16. Storyboard development

    17. Contextual Design.Structure and Sequence Contextual design UML based modelling

    18. Fundamental PMS design/implementation issues The design and implementation of the Project Management System, PMS, raises some fundamental questions - how can we introduce temporal parameters as an integral part of the system? - how can a virtual building meta data model be implemented? - how can we implement knowledge management procedures in the system?

    19. Temporal extension to traditional relational database systems, see also (Snodgras, 1999) and (Böhlen & Jensen S., 1997), enables us to handle queries like TEMPORAL DATABASES - ‘how many resources have we used over different time periods at different building locations?', - 'when and how many carpenters were engaged at the same location at different time periods/time points?'. We will be forced to handle both so called valid times (times related to events at construction site, virtual building states and design activities) and so called transaction times i.e. when the supporting systems were actually augmented and updated). These aspects can be handled separately or in a mixed mode in bitemporal tables in the database part of the PMS through extending conventional relational database SQL (Structured Query Language).

    20. The Resource Description Framework (RDF) - developed by the World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - provides a framework for metadata interoperability across different Internet based resource description communities with focus on semantics rather than meta data syntax and structure. SEMANTIC WEB The semantic webs (Berners-Lee, et al., 2001) will use eXtensible Markup Language (XML) RDF, and Ontologies (with taxonomy and a set of inference rules) as basic building substances. RDF will allow the resource description communities to primarily focus on the issues of semantics rather than the syntax and structure of metadata). Schema defines the meaning, characteristics, and relationships of a set of properties.

    21. The Semantic Web The next generation World Wide Web

    22. The paper puts forward a vision on how existing and emerging technologies can be used to develop a framework that will integrate and further develop virtual buildings (VB), construction site models, and project management systems (PMS). Focus is on handling of temporal and meta level data using temporal databases and the semantic web formalisms. The PMS that will be accessible for users through virtual workspaces will have knowledge management capabilities to handle VB sub models matching and update with respect to as-built data, and handle information flow to and from construction site. Summary We are all involved in a continuos change process and design of the future together (with constant re-assessments). Great possibilities and time to do some creative, bold, and holistic inceptions at both universities and industries

    23. END

    24. Synchronous/asynch. meetings

    25. The ‘DDB’ scene

    26. Structuring Learning Systems

    27. As knowledge to higher degree than before becomes digitally stored the demand for formalised descriptions (models) increases • organisation process and project models • product models • production system models • user models (personal and team) • new types of services ans applications models • ICT tools models Knowledge Management Tools • knowledge capture tools • storage tools • tools for knowledge abstraction and generalisation • reasoning tools • knowledge communication tools • knowledge delivery tools • knowledge discovery tools Knowledge Management

    28. DIVERCITY function, form, content, behaviour The objective of the project is to produce a prototype virtual workspace that will enable the three key phases (client briefing, design review, construction) to be visualized and manipulated, and to produce a set of VR tools that aid the construction design and planning process.

    29. DIVERCITY project data - Shared cost RTD project - Key Action II.2.2 (New Methods of Work / Workplace Design / Team Work) - Started in March 2000 - Expected duration: 30 months - Total cost: 3 M Euro (app.) - Commission funding: 2 M Euro - Consortium (10 partners - 5 countries): - Objective : Design & Develop a Distributed Virtual Workspace adapted for the Construction Industry

    30. DIVERCITY - Virtual Workspace definition 'The Virtual Workspace, VW, is the new design room designed to fit new and existing design routines. VW may well be a mixed reality environment. The VW will host all design partners from project start with different access and visibility (for persons and groups) in space and time to the project, and will promote building up shared values in projects. The VW thus acts as a communication space with project information support in adapted appearances. VW gives access to general and specific IT-tools '

    31. DIVERCITY project infrastruture

    32. Air exhaust Airflow visualization in VR Cave 3D Airinlet Displacement ventilation in a livestock building Temperature field, Vector field, Streamlines, Particle movement (Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University and Aalborg University)

    33. Storyboard development Using storyboards, the team develops the vision into a definition of how people will work in the new system and ensuring that all aspects of work captured in the work models are accounted for.

    34. Storyboard development

    35. Detailed Storyboard

    36. Collaborative Work 1988 Experimental set-up at KBS-Media Lab, Lund University, 1991, with video communication and screen sharing using Timbuktu from Farallon. We started to use - email 1986 (there were 2386 email servers at that time compared to millions now). - 1988 Timbuktu Farallon (remote screen control, application sharing, file transfer) . (1993 over the Internet). - 1990 CuSeeMe Pine Software 1993 released a whiteboard extension to CuSeeMe - 1990 Aspects (joint editing of drawings, word processor documents and bitmaps) MacEuclid for creating, editing and analysing reasoned arguments - 1994 First Class from Softarc (a so called BBS/Billboard system for structured email discussions). - 1994 KBS-Media Lab launched their web site to support easy information access over the Internet. - During European Academic Software Award (EASA) 1994 in Heidelberg a student group presented an application sharing software for the PC Windows platform. - 1997 LUVIT, Lund University (WWW learning environment)

    37. Collaborative Work In the COOCOM project (Co-operation and Communication in the Building Process), 1993, industry participants (SKANSKA, FFNS Architects, and LKF facility managers) performed local and distributed ICT supported collaboration (local joint document editing, remote screen sharing using ISDN connection with support group at SKANSKA, and structured discussions). Walk-throughs of the design object were also available using the Virtus Walk-through system. (Modin, 1995)

    38. Distributed learning 1/2 Remote lecture and application sharing between Aalborg and Lund Universities 1999 in teacher/secretary course (parallel ISDN based video communication and Internet based application

    39. Distributed learning 2/2 Parallel communication over ISDN (video conference) and Internet (application sharing).