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About this book

This book gathers the latest advances, innovations, and applications in the field of information technology in civil and building engineering, presented at the 18th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE), São Paulo, Brazil, August 18-20, 2020. It covers highly diverse topics such as BIM, construction information modeling, knowledge management, GIS, GPS, laser scanning, sensors, monitoring, VR/AR, computer-aided construction, product and process modeling, big data and IoT, cooperative design, mobile computing, simulation, structural health monitoring, computer-aided structural control and analysis, ICT in geotechnical engineering, computational mechanics, asset management, maintenance, urban planning, facility management, and smart cities. Written by leading researchers and engineers, and selected by means of a rigorous international peer-review process, the contributions highlight numerous exciting ideas that will spur novel research directions and foster multidisciplinary collaborations.

Table of Contents


Artificial Intelligence Applied to the Built Environment


Artificial Intelligence Techniques for Smart City Applications

Recent developments in artificial intelligence (AI), in particular machine learning (ML), have been significantly advancing smart city applications. Smart infrastructure, which is an essential component of smart cities, is equipped with wireless sensor networks that autonomously collect, analyze, and communicate structural data, referred to as “smart monitoring”. AI algorithms provide abilities to process large amounts of data and to detect patterns and features that would remain undetected using traditional approaches. Despite these capabilities, the application of AI algorithms to smart monitoring is still limited due to mistrust expressed by engineers towards the generally opaque AI inner processes. To enhance confidence in AI, the “black-box” nature of AI algorithms for smart monitoring needs to be explained to the engineers, resulting in so-called “explainable artificial intelligence” (XAI). However, when aiming at improving the explainability of AI algorithms through XAI for smart monitoring, the variety of AI algorithms requires proper categorization. Therefore, this review paper first identifies objectives of smart monitoring, serving as a basis to categorize AI algorithms or, more precisely, ML algorithms for smart monitoring. ML algorithms for smart monitoring are then reviewed and categorized. As a result, an overview of ML algorithms used for smart monitoring is presented, providing an overview of categories of ML algorithms for smart monitoring that may be modified to achieve explainable artificial intelligence in civil engineering.

Daniel Luckey, Henrieke Fritz, Dmitrii Legatiuk, Kosmas Dragos, Kay Smarsly

Use of Artificial Intelligence in a Regulated Design Environment – A Beam Design Example

The development of computer design tools in relation to construction management is perceived as a mainstream to automate several construction processes. Automation is not necessarily based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). But if we power it up with data, we can make a machine to automatically mimic and eventually supersede human intelligence. However, until now, not much evident research has been conducted to pursue successful applications of AI in the design. In using AI for design decision making, the intelligent agent should first gather information from the environment and then transform them into internal context. Last, the agent acts on its perceived environment in a way that maximizes its chances of success. To better assess the applicability of AI to the construction management, we classify the design environment into two categories; in a regulated design environment, a collection of written regulations governs the design process. In contrast, the needs and expectations of people are the basis for the input data in a human-controlled design environment. Text analysis is probably the most common way of interpreting design and construction related data. Choosing an appropriate AI technique depends largely on how much we know about the environment and the problem at hand. Search methods and optimization theories seem more suited to solve regulated design problems compared to learning methods. An example of the selection of correct beam size is used to describe the methods for choosing an alternative from a set of acceptable choices (those satisfy the regulations) with the highest possible reward.

Ebrahim Karan, Mahdi Safa, Min Jae Suh

An Interview-Based Method for Extracting Knowledge of Skilled Workers at Construction Sites Using Photographs and Deep Learning

In the Japanese construction industry, the number of skilled workers has been decreasing year by year, and a large number of skilled workers will retire in the near future. Furthermore, at construction sites, education is carried out on-the-job-training (OJT) basis in the local environment of the site. Therefore, it is necessary to immediately establish a mechanism to effectively transfer knowledge before skilled workers retire. The first problem is the large amount of data that skilled workers have personally over many years, and it is difficult for them to organize manually. In this research, a system was developed for automatically classifying and extracting a large number of photographs. In this system, object detection with transfer learning is used. As a result of applying it to the special equipment of a nuclear power plant, the F-measure achieved 89%, and the time required for searching photographs was significantly reduced. The second issue is tacit knowledge in the brain of the expert. In general, it is possible to extract knowledge by interviewing experts. In this research, we developed a support system to extract tacit knowledge efficiently and adopted a method for conducting interviews effectively, which called the functional approach (FA) and the semi-structured interview (SSI). By applying FA, we can replace work-related things with “functions” and make many hypotheses for conducting SSI. As a result, the new method improved the time efficiency of interviews by 77.1% and increased the exhaustiveness (the number of knowledge/work step) by 2.9 times.

Yuichi Yashiro, Rikio Ueda, Fumio Hatori, Nobuyoshi Yabuki

Enriched and Discriminative Human Features for Person Re-Identification Based on Explainable Behaviors of Convolutional Neural Networks

Understanding pedestrian behaviors such as their movement patterns in urban areas could contribute to the design of pedestrian-friendly facilities. With the commonly deployed surveillance cameras, pedestrian movement in a wide region could be identified by the person re-identification (ReID) technique across multiple cameras. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been widely studied to automate the ReID task. CNN models equipped with deep learning techniques could extract discriminative human features from images and show promising ReID performance. However, some common challenges such as occlusion and appearance variation are still unsolved. Specifically, our study infers that over-relying on discriminative features only may compromise ReID performance. Therefore, this paper proposes a new model that extracts enriched features, which is more reliable against those ReID challenges. By adding a feature dropping strategy during model training, our model learns to focus on rich human features from different body parts. Moreover, this paper presents an explainable approach of model design, by visualizing which human parts a deep learning model focuses on. Based on an intuitive interpretation of model behaviors that lead to inaccurate results, specific improvement of model architecture is inspired. Our improved results suggest that making existing models explainable could effectively shed light on designing more robust models.

Peter Kok-Yiu Wong, Han Luo, Mingzhu Wang, Jack C. P. Cheng

Automating the Generation of 3D Multiple Pipe Layout Design Using BIM and Heuristic Search Methods

The layout design and spatial coordination of multiple pipe systems is major challenge in the construction industry. The purpose of multiple pipe layout design is to find out an optimal layout for numerous individual pipes to route from a different start locations to different end locations in a 3D environment with no clashes under various kinds of constraints. Currently, pipe layout design is conducted manually by consultants, which is tedious, labor intensive, error-prone, and time-consuming. This paper proposes a BIM-based approach for layout design of multiple pipes using heuristic search methods. Algorithms are developed based on a directed weighted graph according to the physical, design, economical and installation requirements of pipe layout design. Clashes between pipes and with building components are considered and subsequently avoided in the layout optimization. Based on the developed algorithms, simulated annealing (SA) algorithm is used to approximate global optimization in a large search space for multiple pipe layout optimization. As for layout design, Dijkstra algorithm and two heuristic algorithms namely 3D A* and fruit fly optimization algorithm (FOA) are implemented and compared to obtain the multiple pipe system layout design. An example of a typical plant room with nine pipe routes is used to illustrate the developed approach on multiple pipe layout design. The result shows that the developed approach can generate optimal and clash-free multiple pipe system layout. Compared with the conventional method, the developed approach significantly reduces the time and cost for designing multiple pipe layout.

Jyoti Singh, Jack C. P. Cheng

Guidance System for Directional Control in Shield Tunneling Using Machine Learning Techniques

In shield tunneling, it is essential to control the shield jacks appropriately so that the shield machine follow a planned path, which depends on the position of the shield machine and the geological conditions. However, the quality of the directional control of the shield machine depends on the skill of its operator. Herein, a guidance system that provides a method for controlling shield jacks that is equivalent to the techniques utilized by a skillful operator is described. The developed guidance system uses machine learning models trained by gradient tree boosting with the operational data related to the actions of skilled operators. The models predict the optimal point at which the resultant force of shield jacks should be acted upon to control the propulsive direction of a shield machine. To validate the performance of the guidance system, a shield machine was driven according to the system at a site under construction. Deviation from the planned path and the attitude of the shield machine were within set tolerances. The results show that our guidance system has applicability in real environments, indicating the future possibility of self-driving shield machines.

Kensuke Wada, Hirokazu Sugiyama, Kojiro Nozawa, Makoto Honda, Shinya Yamamoto

Classification of the Requirement Sentences of the US DOT Standard Specification Using Deep Learning Algorithms

This aim of this study is to classify requirement sentences from the specifications of US DOT using natural language processing (NLP) and a deep neural network. At the contract phase of the project, the requirements analysis of contract documents is a significant task to prevent claims or disputes caused by ambiguous or missing clauses, but it is highly human-intensive and difficult to identify requirements within a given short period. In this article, the requirement sentences identification model was proposed based on deep-learning algorithms. First, the critical terms that define what the requirement sentence is were identified, and then all sentences were labeled using the pre-defined critical terms. Second, three vectorizing methods were used, including two pre-trained methods—GloVe and Word2Vec—and a self-trained method to produce word embedding. Third, the automated classification of requirements sentences was experimented using three deep-learning models: the convolutional neural network (CNN), the long-short-term memory (LSTM), and the combination of CNN+LSTM. In the evaluation of nine total experiments, the results showed that the F1 scores of the CNN model were the highest at 92.9% and 92.4% for both the Word2Vec model and the Glove model. This study provided a way to achieve a high level of classification accuracy with simple deep-learning models and pre-trained embedding models.

Kahyun Jeon, Ghang Lee, H. David Jeong

Assessment of Effect of Strain Amplitude and Strain Ratio on Energy Dissipation Using Machine Learning

In this study Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) as a machine learning technique is used to predict and assess the effect of strain amplitude and strain ratio on energy dissipated in steel reinforcing bars in reinforced concrete members. The steel reinforcement bars were experimentally tested and were subjected to variable strain amplitudes beyond yield. The developed machine learning model, which is based on Back-Propagation ANN, accurately predicted the experimentally measured dissipated energy. The developed model is then used to deeply assess the effect of a range of strain amplitudes and strain ratios in the amount of energy dissipated at the first cycle, in an average of selected number of cycles and in all cycles, all at different levels of low-cycle fatigue loading of the reinforcement bars. It is concluded that the developed machine learning model can accurately predict the hysteresis energy dissipated in steel bars subjected to low-cycle fatigue load and more importantly it is a viable machine learning tool for deep assessment of the tested specimens with several parameter values that were not covered by the experimental program, but within the domain bounded by the maximum and minimum values of the training data. Based on the prediction and the deep assessment results, several conclusions were drawn.

Jamal A. Abdalla, Rami A. Hawileh

Machine Learning for Whole-Building Life Cycle Assessment: A Systematic Literature Review

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a methodology to systematically investigating impacts from interactions between environment and human activities. However, the number of parameters and uncertainty factors that characterize built impacts over their full-lifecycle, preclude a broader LCA adoption. This enable faster progress towards reducing building impacts by combining established environmental impact assessment methods with artificial intelligence approaches, such as machine learning (ML) and neural networks. This article will present previous research on ML for LCA of buildings. To achieve this goal, we perform a Systematic Literature Review (SLR). SLR was governed by the question “What are scientific research developed for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry in LCA and ML context?”. This SLR was performed in three databases: Scopus, Engineering Village and Web of Science, using keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Machine Learning, Learning, Building and Neural Network. From SLR, we identified best practices, acquired and developed by other studies, clarifying how to interpret large data sets monitored through advanced analysis to improve LCA. The results showed: (i) number of articles increase in recent years; (ii) the most searched environmental indicators are energy consumption and Global Warming Potential (GWP); (iii) machine learning is mainly used for prediction impacts and; (iv) the most used ML method is Artificial Neural Networks. Advances in LCA and ML field can contribute to calculation and analysis of buildings environmental indicators, as well as can develop and improve LCA methods. The combination of reliable data and ML will produce an unprecedented change in speed and accuracy of LCA.

Natalia Nakamura Barros, Regina Coeli Ruschel

Advanced BIM Platform Based on the Spoken Dialogue for End-User

Since the advent of automatic speech recognition-based virtual assistants (e.g., Google Assistant and iOS Siri), it has become more common to use voice-based information retrieval systems in search engines. In addition, recently, such search engines have served not only to accept keyword-based commands from the human voice but also have evolved to recognize and understand more natural human language. As a result, various industries including the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) have been exploring the application of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) systems to their processes in order to improve work efficiency/productivity. While other areas have somewhat succeeded in interacting with machines (computers) using natural language, the AECO field is still utilizing keyword-based speech recognition. and lags behind the research of other industries trying to apply natural language-based ASR systems. Thus, this paper aims to apply natural language-based voice recognition system to building information modeling (BIM) and be used to manipulate the building model. In order for the BIM software to understand natural language queries and show the appropriate results in response to it, connecting natural language with BIM data is the key effort. This is because, in general, the words and sentences people use on a daily basis (i.e., natural language) are not highly correlated with the BIM data. With natural language processing (NLP) and structured querying language (SQL), therefore, this paper tries to propose not only a way to connect natural language and BIM data but also a way to manipulate BIM itself.

Sangyun Shin, Chankyu Lee, Raja R. A. Issa

Surface Scratch Detection of Monolithic Glass Panel Using Deep Learning Techniques

Glass has been widely used in the construction sector with various kinds of applications in recent decades. However, the surface scratches generated from manufacturing process and service stage such as windborne debris impacts may lead to a strength degradation of glass material. The microscopic cracks propagation from such scratches may hence trigger glass facture unexpectedly and yield serious safety problems. In order to detect the glass damage due to such scratches, traditional manual inspection techniques have many limitations. The latest development of deep learning technology has rendered the possibility to automate such damage detection process. However, most detection methods use bounding box to roughly locate the damage in grid-cell level. To precisely describe the location of scratches, a pixel-level instance segmentation Mask R-CNN model is proposed. A total number of 1032 images with scratches are collected by a microscopic camera system to build the training and validation dataset, in which the scratches are annotated manually in pixel level. Data augmentation is adopted to improve the diversity of the dataset. During the training process, transfer learning strategy is applied to obtain the feature parameters for reducing the computation cost. Test is then performed in new architectural glass panels to evaluate the performance of the model. Test results demonstrate that the proposed trained network is satisfactory, achieving a mean average precision of 96.5% and the detection missing rate of 1.9%.

Zhufeng Pan, Jian Yang, Xing-er Wang, Junjin Liu, Jianhui Li

BIM-enabled Design Tools, Information Management and Collaborative Environments


A Knowledge-Based Model for Constructability Assessment of Buildings Design Using BIM

Economic and time efficiency can be attained in the construction industry by applying the principles of constructability. Existing empirical studies demonstrate that incorporating these principles into initial stages of design maximise outcomes for all stakeholders including designers, contractors, and clients. Considering the complexity of current building design processes, there is a need to provide a decision support tool that can help designers in designing for constructability based on embedded information within the design model. Such a tool would be most beneficial at the conceptual design stage so that constructability is factored into the design solution starting from its inception. Therefore, this research investigates how contemporary process- and object-oriented models can be used to provide a mechanism that represents the subjectivity of design constructability to inform decision making. Consequently, it proposes a BIM-based model using embedded information within the design environment to conduct the assessment. The modelling framework is composed of three key parts: The Constructability Model (CM) which formulates user-based knowledge; the BIM Design Model which provides required data for the assessment; and the Assessment Model (AM) which reasons with the formulated knowledge and the BIM Design Model. The modelling framework is implemented in C#, using .NET Frameworks and Revit API. This paper demonstrates that using this framework, constructability related information can be captured and reasoned with to inform decisions at the early stages of the design process.

Abdelaziz Fadoul, Walid Tizani, Carlos Arturo Osorio-Sandoval

BIM to Develop Integrated, Incremental and Multiscale Methods to Assess Comfort and Quality of Public Spaces

Our approach applied BIM to the urban scale to feed multiscale simulations with input data and to collect results which can be used to create global indicators to evaluate current urban projects, in any field of interest. In our case the whole available data of the territory - including new and existing buildings and infrastructure - of the National Interest Operation of Paris La Défense (which is France’s largest business district) has been collected and formatted into several databases. Our achieved interoperable BIM model has been adapted to perform complex multi-physical studies and simulations in several technical fields (including noise exposure, wind comfort, artificial and natural lighting, energy consumption, environmental impacts and global comfort) in order to understand and assess the quality of use of public spaces.This paper shows a smart combination and integration of these databases and parameters which made possible to define new methodologies to evaluate urban comfort, as well as the quality of use of public spaces. It also presents an application of this research in the context of public commenting process, where results and methodologies were used to develop a tool to show end users the impact of land use decisions on the quality of use of public spaces.

Thibaut Delval, Brice Geffroy, Mehdi Rezoug, Alexandre Jolibois, Fabrice Oliveira, Samuel Carré, Mélanie Tual, Julien Soula

Augmented BIM Workflow for Structural Design Through Data Visualization

Structural analysis of projects generates a large amount of data, especially when it involves complex or not modular geometries. By analyzing the generated data, it is possible to create optimized outputs for structures in an iterative process, until reaching a solution that satisfies the project constraints. Often, it is challenging to conciliate optimization with issuing of intermediate versions to be used for project coordination by other stakeholders. This is due to recurrent project changes, related to architectural or client requirements that arise during the design process. Moreover, structural design is generally carried out in a variety of software by different engineers within the design team. Therefore, it is rather challenging to organize, control and analyze all the information generated in structural design at each step, aiming to enhance both general team efficiency and structural optimization. The increasing popularity of BIM (Building Information Modeling) in this field could be a pivoting factor towards data-driven design and informed decision-making in all levels of a structural project team.In this context, this paper presents a proposal and an application of a BIM data workflow to enhance the work of structural designers as well as the collaboration within the design team. The workflow is based on data extraction through visual programming, using Dynamo, and the creation of an automatically updatable dashboard within Power BI. Python is used to create custom-build operations that apply specifically to the structural assessment context. Discussion about the suitability of this process for other applications within decision-making activities in structural engineering is also given.

Luiza C. Boechat, Fabiano Rogerio Corrêa

Towards a BIM-Based Decision Support System for Integrating Whole Life Cost Estimation into Design Development

A common barrier to achieving design intent is the absence of information about operational performance during key design stages. This results in uninformed decision-making, which has negative impacts on actual building performance and Whole Life Cost (WLC). It is proposed that Building Information Modelling (BIM) has the potential to assist design decisions at initial stages, if the model can utilize reliable and robust cost and performance data from buildings in use. This paper describes the findings of a research project that has investigated the integration of WLC estimation into BIM processes. Firstly, the research attempts to gather tacit expert knowledge by reverse-engineering unstructured processes to clarify information requirements for WLC assessment. The Integrated DEFinition (IDEF) 3 structured diagramming modelling technique was utilised for process mapping of information flows. As a result, value adding information, and the chain of interdependencies, were determined. The model has informed the development of a decision-support tool that automates prescriptive tasks and streamlines information exchange procedures. The research findings support the idea that BIM can assist the accurate estimation of WLC of an asset, from the early design stages, through the implementation of a structured information exchange. However, source data is fragmented and in propriety formats and further work is needed to standardise and gather performance data and BIM model structures.

Mariangela Zanni, Tim Sharpe, Philipp Lammers, Leo Arnold, James Pickard

Value Diversity as a Driver for Renovation Design Support: A Clustering-Based Approach to Accelerate the Exploration of Design Space

Sustainable building renovation design is a highly challenging and ever more pressing issue in the construction sector. Architects must search through a large number of potential designs while aiming to optimize a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that measure, for example, construction cost, energy efficiency, an occupant’s sense of privacy, and so on.Software tools for supporting this task often seek to automatically discover renovation solutions (or scenarios) through search procedures that optimize certain criteria, and deliver a small number of similar, optimal designs with no intermediate layers of abstraction, and no support in analyzing and exploring the diversity of the design space.In contrast, we present a new approach that emphasizes the diversity of KPI outcome first, that combines both physics-based KPIs in addition to human-centered KPIs such as privacy, thermal comfort, and so on. The architect is presented with clusters of designs that have relatively similar KPI evaluations, and can then subsequently explore (i.e. fine-tune) their designs within each cluster via a semantic domain model of renovation, called NovaDM that we have previously developed. Thus, each cluster represents a qualitatively distinct combination of near-optimal KPI values, i.e. all lying close to the Pareto front, and exploring the design space within a cluster ensures that the design solution (or scenario) obtains the desired combination of values (e.g. medium construction cost, high privacy, etc.).

Aliakbar Kamari, Poul Henning Kirkegaard, Carl Schultz

Collaborative Workflows and Version Control Through Open-Source and Distributed Common Data Environment

Collaboration in architectural design becomes an increasingly complex task involving various actors working distributed in different locations. This complexity is even more hindered by the fact that the various actors involved in a project operate on different software environments and need to access accurate and up to date data at any time. Consequently, managing and keeping track of design changes throughout the workflow still remains a challenge for all actors involved in the design. This is a review paper that presents the state of the art in advanced collaborative design workflows, both in academia and industry, and introduces Speckle, a distributed Common Data Environment (CDE) and open-source data platform for Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), as well as its version control capabilities.

Paul Poinet, Dimitrie Stefanescu, Eleni Papadonikolaki

Using BIM and GIS Interoperability to Create CIM Model for USW Collection Analysis

Computational tools based on the CIM (City Information Modeling) concept have been developed to support the analysis and project of the urban environment. These tools demonstrate how information modeling technology contributes to the visualization and handling of data in urban management context. A devised solution to get a CIM model is through the interoperability between BIM (Building Information Modeling) and GIS (Geographic Information System) applications. This research proposes this integration to be applied and generate a CIM modeling. The aim is to present an efficient way to take advantage of the BIM modeling data, which have a real probability to be sent to city hall in future as part of the project approving process. Hence, this turns possible the calculation of USW (Urban Solid Waste) production and the planning of their collection with an immediate visual feedback. In this research, BIM and GIS data were integrated through interoperability between .RVT and .GdB files. All data were used together to get a result analysis of the USW production and respective collection in a specific urban region. Also, it was possible to analyze data accuracy per USW collection points from the provided data for each BIM modeling. The simulated CIM modeling in this work allowed the creation of a three-dimensional environment for the visualization of the USW production. Also, it gave support to the analysis of waste collection routes in order to maximize the use of collectors and allowed a preliminary verification of how a building affects the waste production and collection routes in a city.

Carolina Midori Oquendo Yosino, Sergio Leal Ferreira

Information Management in AEC Projects: A Study of Applied Research Approaches

Using the potential that lies within digital transformation seems to be a promising response to reverse the traditional low productivity within the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industry. One possible approach to the digital transformation of this industry has been identified as increased and effective use of information in projects. Since only structured information can create value, information management is necessary. This paper provides a systematic overview of the available research on information management in AEC projects with the focus on research approaches. 27 papers were thoroughly analyzed and showed that researchers often give little attention to a detailed description of their research approach. An interpretative/constructivist and pragmatic worldview seems to dominate. The observed research purpose was mainly explorative-descriptive which suggests that information management in AEC projects is a rather young field of research. The most common observed research methods are qualitative and design. Data is mainly collected by case studies and software prototypes are presented as artefacts. Most analyzed papers were conceptual and therefore no data analysis was needed. Whereas the most used method of data analysis for empirical papers was statistical. More empirical evidence through case studies of information management and especially the testing of proposed frameworks and prototypes in real-world projects seems urgent.

David Fürstenberg

Discrete-Event Simulation and Building Information Modelling Based Animation of Construction Activities

Discrete-event simulation (DES) technology has been widely used in the construction context, particularly in the academic community for research purposes. However, it has been neglected by industry for various reasons, including the usual way in which its results are presented, which is abstract and confusing. In this regard, animation is viewed as an appropriate tool to reduce the complexity in which simulation outputs are presented to stakeholders. In this paper, we present a brief overview of a framework to integrate DES and building information modelling (BIM) within a game engine. This framework consists of four components, the environment, the user input, the simulation module and the animation module. The simulation module allows users to import their own BIM models; input project parameters related to resource constraints; and simulate the construction of the BIM model with the selected parameters by linking generic DES models of construction activities to the corresponding BIM objects. The animation module allows the user to visualise an animation of the simulation results in a 3D environment or using mixed reality technologies. The resulting animation is useful to verify and validate the simulation model, to analyse the construction activities and as a supporting tool to plan construction activities under resource constrains. The animation can also be used to present simulation results to domain experts unfamiliar with simulation techniques.

Carlos Arturo Osorio-Sandoval, Walid Tizani, Estacio Pereira, Christian Koch, Abdelaziz Fadoul

BIM for Infrastructure Projects


Implementation, Performance and Waste Management Analysis of Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems Using BIM Technology

Brazil has more than 23 million inhabitants in rural areas without adequate sewage collection or treatment, which corresponds to 75% of the rural population. The absence of adequate sanitary conditions can cause disease and harm the environment. Decentralized wastewater treatment systems are alternatives to ensure the health of the population and at the same time maintain the environmental integrity of these locations. However, several projects in this area do not include important data for the construction, good performance, and operation of these systems. This partially nullifies the benefits of collecting and treating effluents. Currently, the Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology fits into this scenario as a possibility for technological innovation and progress in productivity and project presentation. However, there are two barriers to the implementation of this technology in the production of hydraulic and sanitary projects: the scarcity of studies related to the management of the design process of these systems and the lack of BIM components that represent decentralized wastewater treatment systems. This work presents the development of a technological artifact with the potential to fill these gaps: a template created in Autodesk Revit software with several components of decentralized wastewater treatment systems available for use in projects. It is not simply a catalog in which the designer can choose the equipment to be used, but components that provide productivity in the project design, learning and flexibility in the construction of the models, fitting to the market standards.

Matheus Alves Dariva, André Araujo

Integrated Platform for Interactive and Collaborative Exploration of Tunnel Alignments

The planning of alignments in tunneling projects is a very complex and crucial process. It involves the consideration of numerous conditions and studies of different variants. Essential information depends upon the existing environment, i.e. on existing building structures and ground conditions. The collected information and results quantify metrics and parameters, which are used to define necessary constraints for alignment definition.Because of the large and varied scope of these constraints, the application of optimization methods is unpractical. Usually, multiple alignment variants are created and compared manually by using specific and standalone software solutions for modeling alignments and involving experts for each criterion to find a near optimal solution. On the one hand, the modeling of typical alignment curves requires the consideration of many discontinuities along the alignment, which limits local modification. On the other hand, it is not possible so far to modify and evaluate variants directly, for example in team discussions. Such evaluations are often associated with a significant involvement of additional resources.An approach is presented to create an integrated platform to support the planning process. This includes the strategic use of techniques and systems that allow an interactive exploration of tunnel alignments. Geometric modeling methods are utilized to provide local modeling and successive creation and manipulation of alignments without being limited to transitions of conventional alignment modeling methods. Technical equipment, such as touch tables, are part of the concept to add a collaborative value that allows simultaneous actions of multiple persons, especially when discussing and comparing variants in project teams.

Marcel Stepien, Andre Vonthron, Markus König

BIM Component Library for Subway Public Works

The aim of this paper is to discuss and propose solutions for the introduction of BIM component library in the Brazilian context of contracting public works. Currently, public companies contract engineering and construction services through a bidding process, which seeks to ensure the most advantageous proposal for the government and to avoid overpricing in operations. However, transparency and active public accountability are still poorly used, creating misinformation and opportunities to misuse public resources. In light of this context, some public initiatives of BIM (Building Information Modeling) adoption for public construction aim to increase the quality of projects and budgets, resulting in greater transparency and information flow control. The present work focuses on the contracting process of “Companhia do Metropolitano de São Paulo - CMSP”, the São Paulo state subway company, which are usually made under a semi-integrated regime. It is necessary that the CMSP develop or contract a called basic project. From this project a reference budget is calculated and used as a basis for the request for proposal value. In order to increase the speed of the contracting process and provide a better project development, it is proposed a BIM component library, which includes complete modules of subway station. Subway station designs have a high number of standardized solutions, which is closer to manufacturing processes. The research seeks to combine the BIM methodology with the construction standardization process, providing elements to assist the development and control of the subway works.

Sarah Cardoso Nunes, Sergio Leal Ferreira, Jéssica Tamires Silva Brito

Strategy for Defining an Interoperability Layer for Linear Infrastructure

The structure of the IFC model originally focused on buildings – vertical construction. The containment hierarchy of project, site(s) – building(s) – building storeys, reflects this. There are a number of activities within buildingSMART working on infrastructure extensions – horizontal construction - to the IFC model, including roads, bridges, tunnels, ports and waterways. Each of these activities is defining the necessary extensions to the IFC model to support their particular domain of application.The IFC model has a four layer architecture, with the resource layer defining base concepts that are necessary for the higher levels, the core layer defines central concepts around product, process and control, the interoperability layer contains concepts that shared across a number of domains and is the main mechanism to support interoperability and finally the domain layer containing the concepts that are needed in a particular domain of application. Each of the existing buildingSMART activities in the infrastructure area are defining their own domain models. However, there is a need to define concepts in the interoperability layer to support information exchange between the various domains.This paper describes the initial considerations around the development of this interoperability layer for infrastructure. The paper is informed by the current work within buildingSMART in defining the various domain models, as well as current project work by the authors on modelling roads and stormwater/flooding.

Robin Drogemuller, Sara Omrani, Fereshteh Banakar, Russell Kenley

Study of Building Information Modelling Implementation on Railway Infrastructure

In the very recent, Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology is implemented in many aspects in the construction industry such as buildings, bridges, dams, tunnels, as well as in railways. McGraw Hill reported that 12% of the contractors in France, Germany and the UK have been using BIM for at least six years or more. Similarly, in the US and Canada, where more than a third of the BIM-using contractors have experience for six or more years. South Korean contractors show a 65% BIM adoption rate [1]. In Singapore, the Building and Construction Authority has implemented the BIM roadmap since 2010 with the aim that 80% of the industry will implement BIM by 2015 [11]. By now, Singapore is one of the leading authorities with its guidelines and implementation [12, 13].Despite a notable implementation of BIM in those industries, many companies are facing challenges when it comes to BIM implementation in railway infrastructure. The phenomenon is however, not studied extensively. Most of the existing studies were investigating issues in the context of bridges and tunnelling projects, while studies on BIM implementation in railway projects were found less [2]. In infrastructure and especially in railway projects the implementation is lacking in comparison to the broad implementation of BIM in building projects [1]. Not only are the implementation rates of BIM in railway infrastructure far lower compared to those in buildings, but also little specific scientific publications are available on the implementation of BIM in railway infrastructure [3].This paper presents the study of BIM implementation in railway infrastructure based on a survey, with a semi-structured interview method, done on BIM-using railway contractors/users. The questionnaire was carefully designed to understand better the perspective of contractors/users in using BIM. Key challenges, including technical, personal, and process aspects are addressed. Point of view of managers and engineers who are responsible for BIM are discussed. Lastly, expectations on improvements for the features and solutions from the users were revealed so BIM can be used in a better way.

Ali Aryo Bawono, Christian Maximilian von Schumann, Bernhard Lechner

BIM Support in the Tendering Phase of Infrastructure Projects

Although the construction industry has been adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) for at least two decades, many of its concepts, practices and standards were created for and are now consolidated on building projects. Therefore, in order to use BIM methodology in infrastructure projects, it is frequently necessary to resort to some adaptation. Recently, there has been an increasing interest on the application of BIM to infrastructure, which has its own complexities and particularities. Infrastructure may imply very diverse kinds of structures like tunnels, dams, airports, highways, among others, each potentially requiring a different BIM-based approach, as the challenges arising on each one are not the same. On the other hand, even for building projects, studies related to the application of BIM in the bidding stage are still few. The aim of this article is to clarify, through a literature review and analysis, how BIM can be used to support the tendering process of infrastructure projects. The findings show that BIM can be used in the bidding stage of infrastructure projects to improve communication between stakeholders, reduce (or even eliminate) error-prone tasks and rework, generate accurate quantity take-offs and automate time-consuming activities during this usually time-pressed phase. BIM implementation can also be of great value as it can support risk identification and reduction by minimizing misinterpretation of schedules and design, as well as contributing to better constructability analysis, sub-contractor coordination, facilitating communication and supporting the risk analysis, leading to more reliable and accurate offers to the owner.

Stefania Limp Muniz Correa, Eduardo Toledo Santos

BIM Implementation, Current Status and Practice


An Investigation of Contractual Requirements for BIM Adoption in the Brazilian Public Sector

Previous research has shown that Building Information Modeling (BIM) can reduce errors, rework, time and cost in project design and construction. Besides, it provides greater value delivered at the maintenance and operation stage, reducing owner-operating expenses. To maximize BIM use benefits, owners, such as the public sector, can directly affect the enterprise viability by selecting the project delivery system. That has led to the search for alternatives contractual requirements to traditional models. The main objective of this study is to investigate contractual requirements that influence BIM adoption process in public organizations. The research strategy adopted was a survey. Sixty-nine professionals from Brazilian Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) sector answered a digital questionnaire. The target public was BIM adoption experts, academic professionals and public managers from fourteen public organizations that have already begun BIM implementation. The investigation revealed that project delivery systems considered with the greatest potential to maximize the benefits of BIM use were those less adopted and disseminated in the Brazilian public sector. The results also show that contractual requirements for BIM adoption might consider aspects, such as, technical qualification in public procurement, methods and tools for BIM deliverables quality checking, items that must compose a BIM mandate, and favorable cost-benefit factors for the development of BIM component virtual libraries by public organizations. The main contribution of this research is to provide a better understanding of contractual requirements that could be incorporated into project delivery systems to maximize BIM benefits in the public sector.

Douglas Malheiro Brito, Emerson de Andrade Marques Ferreira, Dayana Bastos Costa

A Practice-Based Conceptual Model on Building Information Modelling (BIM) Benefits Realisation

Most of the existing research on BIM implementation and benefits realisation has departed from a technocentric perspective and instead promoted the belief that the benefits of using BIM technologies are an inevitable outcome of adoption in and of itself. Recently, scholars have acknowledged that important links between implementation practices and realisation of benefits have received little attention in the literature. There have been calls for more research taking a more detailed account of how outcomes can be achieved. Thus, by adopting a practice-based perspective as a theoretical lens, in this paper we investigate the ‘what’, ‘who’ and ‘how’ of successful BIM processes implementation. We propose a conceptual framework on the underlying conditions of successful implementation and assert that the achievement of benefits is dependent on the interaction of those three aspects. Building on qualitative data from nine construction projects from three client organisations in the UK, we show that the relationship between BIM implementation as a set of technologies and processes and performance cannot be understood without taking into account not only ‘what’ new processes exist in a BIM project and its interdependencies but also ‘who’ implements and engages with them and ‘how’ existing structures are reconfigured when enacting those practices. In alignment with recent research challenging the perceptions of BIM enactment as a linear process, our findings provide new insights into why the proclaimed benefits of BIM have not always been realised as an outcome of a ‘symbolic’ implementation of information management processes and lack of reconfiguration of existing institutions.

Thayla Zomer, Andy Neely, Rafael Sacks, Ajith Parlikad

BIM in Latin American Countries: An Analysis of Regulation Evolution

Digital transformation in the construction industry has been encouraged by initiatives for macro adoption of information and communication technologies promoted by governments and non-profit institutions in several countries. One of the trends targeted by these initiatives involves the regulation of Building Information Modeling, which already crosses cultural and organizational barriers. Previous macro adoption studies have mapped BIM forecasts and implementations globally, comprising BIM-led digital transformation in more than twenty countries. Although some of these initiatives have already been evaluated, these studies covered countries mainly in North America, Europe, Asia and Australasia. Still, there is a gap in approaches with a focus on the recent BIM macro adoption movement in Latin American countries. This study aims to map and analyze BIM macro adoption initiatives in the region of Latin America, covering the leading public sector roles of each country which BIM is already part of a national strategy. It is an exploratory study based on the survey research method for characterizing BIM macro adoption initiatives in Latin America for the last fifteen years. The authors’ research strategy considered the accessible publications available in government and specific institutions official websites in the Portuguese, Spanish, and English languages. These publications were grouped by country and organized in a timeline for highlighting temporal evolution. For content analysis, they were qualified as guides, protocols and mandates. A content matrix was structured. The statuses and main roles of the public sector for each country are presented as well as the characterization of Latin America a bloc.

Fernanda Almeida Machado, Joyce Paula Martín Delatorre, Regina Coeli Ruschel

Germany’s Governmental BIM Initiative – The BIM4INFRA2020 Project Implementing the BIM Roadmap

The technology of Building Information Modeling (BIM) promises a significant increase in productivity in the design, construction and operation of buildings and infrastructure facilities. In the entire world, the AEC industry is starting to transform itself by moving from 2D drawings to digital building models that do not only represent 3D geometry of the building components, but also all the non-geometric data required throughout the building’s lifecycle. As this technological change has an impact on all stakeholders of the AEC in a fundamental way, a carefully planned transition is necessary to avoid economical damage. In many countries around the world, government-driven initiatives are underway to initiate the necessary changes. Also Germany is preparing the transition to BIM-based workflows in its AEC industry. In 2015, the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure defined a comprehensive roadmap for the stepwise introduction of BIM methods with the goal to make BIM mandatory for federal infrastructure projects in 2020. The authors present the outcomes of the large-scale project BIM4INFRA2020 initiated by the government that helped to pave the way towards the German BIM mandate through a number of measures, including the precise definition of the BIM implementation on the basis of well-defined use cases, the guidance and supervision of a number of carefully selected pilot projects, the creation of extensive guidelines and handouts, and the formulation of measures to be taken by industry and government to overcome yet existing hurdles.

André Borrmann, Christian Forster, Thomas Liebich, Markus König, Jan Tulke

Improving the Design Process Quality Using BIM: A Case Study

Given the constant search for increasing accuracy in construction projects as well as expanding efficiency on the implementation of real estate projects and meeting high quality requirements, design companies have been exploring new ways to enhance their processes, focusing on improving information flow, conceptualization and consistency in the development of their products. As a result, companies have sought BIM (Building Information Modeling) to improve their processes, but do not always decide to implement it, partly due to the limited availability of metrics that prove its efficiency. Aiming to improve this scenario, this paper presents metrics obtained before and after the implementation of BIM in a real case. Focusing on the quality improvement of design and coordination processes on projects using BIM methodology, this paper has, as object of study, a multidisciplinary design company that serves mainly the mixed use and medium-sized buildings construction market. The research method applied was the action-research, with a case study comparing the quality indicators of similar projects under 3 different scenarios: the first, elaborated using a 2D CAD tool; the second, using BIM platforms and; the third one, using BIM supplemented with the help of BIMserver, Insight and Dynamo applications. The data for analyses was gathered through the company’s management database, focusing on the analysis of the resources spent on design development and on rework due to lack of quality. It was verified that the implementation of BIM, with the proposed tools, has reduced the rework due to design errors by 42.5%.

Luiz Fernando Domingues, Eduardo Toledo Santos

Challenges of District Information Modeling (DIM) Applied for Heritage Preservation

The urbanization is a complex and continuous process requiring updated data over time. Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are essential to assist in the planning process. However, distinct computational environments are necessary to use all available data. Faced with these challenges and aiming to generate technical inputs to foster a better understanding and management of urban spaces, this paper seeks to analyze the potentiality of the District Information Modeling (DIM) applied to a distinguished historical urban scenario. In this paper, we show that the Scan2BIM2GIS process represents an essential technology for management at the city level. We reported the results of a study developed by postgraduate students in a course on Special Topics on Computer Graphics. The scope was to understand the steps for creating the DIM model of the Monte Alegre District, a former industrial area located in the city of Piracicaba, state of São Paulo. The starting point of the proposed approach was the District 3D geometric reconstruction obtained from an image-based surveying campaign with a Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), allowing to make a point cloud with excellent accuracy from the distinctive buildings, the roofs, the street system, and the open spaces. Building Information Modeling (BIM) tools permitted the creation of component-based structured 3D semantic models of the buildings with the desired Levels of Detail (LOD), and the Geographic Information System (GIS) environment enables indexing quantitative and qualitative attributes to these buildings. Furthermore, interoperability between software becomes a crucial factor, and improvement of data sharing will be relevant for future developments.

Eloisa Dezen-Kempter, Vitor E. Molina, Leonardo H.G. Silva, Luiz P.D. Mendes, Maxwell F. Campos, Isabel A. Custodio, Lucas Alegretti, Vivian F. W. Rodrigues, Aleteia C.P.M. Pascual, Fernando B. Lima, Gisele Martins, Veruska B. Custodio, Tatiane M.S. Alves

Integrated Data Model and Mapping for Interoperable Information Exchange Between BIM and Energy Simulation Tools

Energy efficiency is an important aspect in building design nowadays. During the design phase, energy simulation and analysis can enhance the overall building energy efficiency at a lower cost and less delay to the project schedule. Currently, energy analysis is performed digitally in energy simulation software applications which require users to draw a virtual model and define the parameters in the application platform before running the simulations. As building information modeling (BIM) technology becomes increasingly adopted in the architecture, engineering and construction/facility management (AEC/FM) industry, BIM models are often used in construction projects. However, these BIM models are not compatible with the existing energy simulation applications, and the required model conversion often results in information loss and distortion. One reason is that the current BIM data schemas, such as the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), do not fully support data for energy simulation and analysis. This paper presents a data model to extend BIM schemas for supporting energy simulation and analysis. The data model was developed by studying the four most widely used energy simulation software, namely eQUEST and EnergyPlus. The proposed data model was then used to extend the latest IFC4 schema. Based on the results, a mapping between the extended IFC4 schema and gbXML was also developed to allow information exchange between BIM and energy simulation software. An example scenario is presented to illustrate the potential of the extended IFC4 schema for supporting energy analysis directly.

Weiwei Chen, Moumita Das, Vincent J. L. Gan, Jack C. P. Cheng

Modeling Physical Damages Using the Industry Foundation Classes – A Software Evaluation

Bridges are designed to last for more than 50 years and consume up to 50% of their life cycle costs during their operation phase. Several inspections and maintenance actions take place within this period, during which bridge and damage information is collected, digitized and exchanged between different actors. Currently, the inspection and maintenance practice relies on paper based data collection and exchange, which is time consuming and error prone. A way of storing and exchanging damage data in a digital format would lower the costs for inspection and maintenance as well as support future needs, i.e. immediate simulations, automated maintenance planning and mixed reality supported inspections and maintenance. For this purpose, the paper presents and tests concepts for modeling damage information by the means of the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) without extending or changing the existing IFC Schema. First, multiple use cases and related requirements for damage information are defined. This information is used to develop multiple concepts to model damage information by using existing IFC entities. The implementation and tests of the concepts will show that the IFC provide several meaningful ways to model damage information. However, existing IFC software does not fully support the concepts of IFC, particularly when visualizing specific entities.

Mathias Artus, Christian Koch

An IFC Representation for Process-Based Cost Modeling

One of the applications of BIM is for cost estimating in construction projects. However, the usual practices regarding the integration between cost and product models with BIM have been limited to the quantity takeoff of physical production measures from a digital model. The cost estimates of the building and its components usually happen outside the BIM model, through the same cost estimate method that has been traditionally used in the construction industry. Production costs are estimated based on previously known consumption rates of resources and theirs acquisition costs, which are commonly stored in external databases using “ad hoc” representation schemas, without any further information exchange with the BIM model. Nonetheless, the most recent version of the ISO 16739 standard (the Industry Foundation Classes, addendum 2, IFC4-add2) has included a number of new classes and properties aimed to extend BIM scope much beyond the product model. However, up to the moment, no specific schema using these new classes has been proposed in order to incorporate cost model information into the BIM model. This study was aimed to investigate the possibility of representing process-based cost information using IFC 4 objects. The research method approach used was case study. Some use cases of processes cost models were selected from real cost modeling cases, and generalize to design a process-based cost modeling schema in IFC. The resulting schema was then instantiated in a prototype, used to validate the logic and output of the representation against manual calculations. The representation of process-based cost modeling proved to be capable of successfully merging the cost modeling schema within a BIM model. It opens the possibility of close integration between product and cost models with BIM technology, as well as the storage and dissemination of cost models and their related information using open and interoperable representation.

Eduardo Luís Isatto

An Approach for Data Extraction, Validation and Correction Using Geometrical Algorithms and Model View Definitions on Building Models

The Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) cover a wide variety of subdomains in the construction industry. Model View Definitions (MVD) enable to specify a subset of the IFC schema to assess the content of a model for specific use cases and information exchanges.However, IFC and MVD paradoxically complexify the workflow since it requires a deep understanding of the schema combined with construction knowledge to carry out simple use cases such as quantity checking or data export. This gap between domain specific queries and their expression in a computer-readable language weakens the opportunities provided to the building industry by Building Information Modeling.Our research consists in the implementation of MVDs in a high-level programming language to extract data from building models, an assessment of the extraction results and geometrical processing algorithms to correct the explicit quantities and properties that are supplied as metadata alongside the elements in IFC building models.Geometrical processing can be used to reduce and eventually correct errors on property values. We use a generic geometrical representation of IFC entity instances and apply geometrical transformations on those to obtain geometrical shapes. Boolean operations are used to identify relationships between elements. Eventually, incorrect data values are corrected directly in the IFC models accordingly to the IFC schema.For instance, we authored an MVD to extract data pertaining to external walls from different IFC models and corrected the value of the IsExternal property of the models’ IfcWall entities. This use case is of great importance for the cost estimation of a thermal renovation on a building as it gives a good estimate of the outer surface area of the building envelope.

Johan Luttun, Thomas Krijnen

BIM for Planning and Cost Estimating


Development of BIM-Based 4D Simulation System for Construction Schedule Planning

Construction schedule planning is an important duty for carrying out efficiently construction projects. Recently, 4D simulation technology linked to the BIM model has made it possible to visually check the installation procedure of equipment and piping. However, the task of setting construction schedule information requires a lot of time, especially in large-scale plant construction BIM model. In addition, the actual installation work includes temporary scaffolding assembly and disassembly. Therefore, construction schedule planners should consider an appropriate schedule that takes into account these temporary scaffolding works. In order to conduct 4D simulation including scaffolding, it is necessary to create and add 3D scaffolding model that is not included in the original BIM model. It also required a lot of time. This paper proposes the method for automatically setting installation procedures based on rules using BIM information and an automatic creation system for scaffolding. The first is a function that automatically sets the installation order using the location information of the equipment and piping in the BIM model and the rules of the expert. The other is the interactive creation of 3D models of scaffolding using BIM spatial information. This system automatically creates 3D models of scaffolding by calculating the required number of standard scaffolding by instructing the spatial position in the BIM model. With these functions, computer system automatically sets up a installation schedule and significantly reduces time for 4D simulation setup.

Fumio Hatori, Kouji Satou, Joji Onodera, Yuichi Yashiro

A 4D BIM System Architecture for the Semantic Web

The tedious process of linking product and process models, particularly at higher levels of detail makes the exploration of multiple construction management strategies prohibitive, especially when looking at the collaboration and social aspects of 4D review meetings (decision making features of support systems, taking into account the behaviour of professionals and the natural user interfaces that should support it). We consider the use of ontologies to be better suited for representing such complex systems, paving the way toward semantic digital twins of the construction site by including concepts beyond traditional 3D model data, such as actors, sensors, management workflows, information over the web, etc. Most importantly, access to web distributed resources can be used for intelligent processing and logic reasoning, bypassing the BIM legacy tools and formats which are becoming more and more limited in an increasingly interconnected world. To address these challenges, we propose a 4D BIM platform architecture that is able to encompass semantic web models representing the building and the construction scheduling information, which are further enriched by the semantics of collaboration planning meeting contexts. The system architecture is comprised of several layers, each of which are presented and discussed.

Calin Boje, Sylvain Kubicki, Annie Guerriero

A Metaheuristic Procedure Combined with 4D Simulation as an Alternative for the Scheduling Process of Housing Complexes

The present work focuses on the application of a metaheuristic procedure, represented by a Genetic Algorithm, in the search of better alternatives for the organization of activities in the construction of housing complexes. Therefore, the algorithm is implemented in order to solve the Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling Problem – RCPSP. The problem modeling is adapted to the type of project in question, where, at first, the activity network of a single housing unit is defined through an activity-on-the-node graph and afterwards the Line of Balance method is used in order to determine the start and finish dates of all the other repetitive activities of the project. In order to test the efficiency of the algorithm, numerous experiments are performed with project instances from the PSPLIB, a specific benchmark database for the RCPSP, available online. Finally, in order to better visualize the schedules obtained in the optimization phase, a 4D simulation of a schedule for the execution of a housing complex, generated with the metaheuristic procedure, is performed with the software Autodesk Navisworks. The simulation phase allows the visualization of the projects constructability, makes it possible to confirm if the algorithm-generated schedule follows a logical sequence, as well as it supports the decision-making about the best execution alternatives.

Pedro Bezerra, Sergio Scheer

Strategic Planning of Work and the Use of 4D BIM for Multiple Floor Buildings

The use of 4D BIM has been spreading, with significant scientific production in the area. The advantages of using it are notorious and well documented, highlighting the visualization of the work execution, increasing the comprehension and reliability of the planning. However, the need for 4D BIM support in the correct use of usual planning methods and techniques has been little emphasized and demonstrated in the literature. The study of 4D BIM applications in strategic construction planning has also been poorly documented, with simpler modelling and without the need for significant changes in the usual hiring processes for projects. This article aims to: demonstrate that the use of 4D BIM requires a consistent and reliable planning basis; to propose, based on the context of the Brazilian residential real estate market, a 4D BIM modelling method to support strategic construction planning decisions. In order to meet these objectives, a literature review was made, as well as basic concepts and the presentation of a case study. The case study is the planning of executing a residential complex with three towers of multiple floors, typical of real estate developments in the city of São Paulo. Two plans of attack regarding the execution of the work are simulated and visualized. The results are analysed and discussed based on the literature and conceptual considerations presented. The conclusion was by the feasibility and utility of applying the 4D BIM, considering the adopted assumptions, method and tools used. The main difficulty is the modelling time. This stems not only from the project as a whole, but also from the increase resulting from the modelling of complementary activities, such as wood forms, scaffolding, protection screens, and others. Limitations of the application used were identified. Even so, the expenditure of work is compatible with the final quality of the visualization and the benefits provided to planning and decision making. The method could be used without the need for significant changes in the usual project and planning contracting processes in the real estate market in Brazil. It was confirmed that 4D BIM requires the correct use of the usual planning techniques and tools However, it requires training the planner in 3D modelling and 4D BIM. Recommendations regarding the improvement of the efficiency and quality of modelling are made as well as regarding further studies in the area.

Luiz Reynaldo de Azevedo Cardoso, Thalyta de Miranda Lanna Rios, Tiely Zurlo Mognhol, Alberto Vinicius Marostica

Conceptual Framework for Integrating Cost Estimating and Scheduling with BIM

Many studies have emphasized the benefits of integration using different methodologies for reducing fragmentation. Modern simulation tools provide an excellent way to integrate information from a variety of work environments and disciplines. Building Information Modeling (BIM) can enable this communication more efficiently due to its rich capacity to store and manage project information. This work proposes a conceptual framework with assumptions for integrating the workflow into 3D BIM Modeling, Cost Estimating and Scheduling/Production Monitoring processes from project design to field production control. This study also provides a set of requirements to evaluate the integration between these processes. The research took place in two projects of a small-to-medium-sized enterprise and the research was developed using a case study approach, involving a literature review and a study of the workflow among the processes in two construction projects, Project 1and Project 2. This study provides a better understanding of the workflow for integrating 3D BIM Modeling, Cost Estimating, Scheduling, and Production Monitoring processes, identifying activities and information among them. The conceptual framework, with four assumptions of integration and a set of requirements, can help construction companies that wish to carry out an initial diagnosis of integration at the level of processes, people and technologies, as well as assessing whether there have been improvements at the end of an implemented integration.

Mírian Caroline Farias Santos, Dayana Bastos Costa, Emerson de Andrade Marques Ferreira

SINAPI and CPOS Review Proposal to Effective BIM Incorporation of These Measurement Criteria in Public Works

Building Information Modeling has been stimulated by the government in Brazil through decrees such as n° 9,983/2019, the creation of technical standards (ABNT NBR 15,965) and also concrete actions by the private sector. One of the characteristics of this technology that is most interesting at first is the possibility of performing a kind of virtual construction in line with a set of information (time, cost, specifications) for each modeled element. In this sense, one of the most common difficulties is the optimization regarding the automatic extraction of quantitative in order to realize a budget in harmony with the existing service standardization. This paper details the challenges inherent in modeling aiming the automatic quantities extraction from a public work in Brazil and demonstrates the difficulties in the relationship of the modeled objects and the SINAPI (Sistema Nacional de Pesquisa de Custos e Índices da Construção Civil) and of CPOS (Companhia Paulista de Obras e Serviços) measurement criteria. It was noted that the multiplicity of options for the same service, especially the presented by SINAPI measurement criteria, demands a huge modeling effort to assure a reliable extraction of quantitative data. It was also noted that the need to create a specific model for budgeting in the bidding phase, in order to make the necessary modifications to meet the measurement criteria. The study tested different ways of obtaining quantitative, comparing them in their advantages and disadvantages.

Rodolfo Pereira Silva, Sérgio Leal Ferreira, Luiz Reynaldo de Azevedo Cardoso

Time-Cost Trade-off Optimization Incorporating Accident Risks in Project Planning

Time, cost and safety are essential elements in planning a construction project. A cost-effective project planning method is desired to reduce project cost and duration, while maintaining an acceptable safety level. Although there are many studies addressing safety management and time-cost trade-off optimization separately, less attention has been given to the effect of accident risks in tackling the time-cost trade-off problem. This research has produced a model that factors accident risks in the classic time-cost trade-off problem definition and results in an optimum solution for the time-cost-safety trade-off (TCST) problem. Critical path method is utilized to find the longest duration and the total cost of the project. Then a risk index is developed to add safety assessment to the decision-making process. Finally, the TCST problem is formulated as a nonlinear programming model. A case of a one-story building project with five what-if scenarios is presented to demonstrate and validate the proposed decision-making model using the Excel Solver. The model results show with a proper risk assessment scheme and a proper risk penalty cost setting, accident risks can be incorporated into the TCT optimization while implications of various risk management strategies can be analyzed quantitatively.

Moein Sadeghi, Ming Lu

BIM on the Operation and Maintenance Phase/Facilities Managemen


A Methodology for Non-programmers to Automatically Establish Facility Management System with Ontology in Building Information Modeling

The application of building information modeling to facility management system has proven to help reduce management costs during operation and maintenance phase. However, whenever this type of facility management system is built and changed, it is often necessary to communicate with 1) programmers and facility experts, 2) facility experts, and 3) facility experts and systems. The study established a framework for abstracting the information of BIM to the architecture and attributes of ontology model based on interviews with several facility experts. Also, write a transition function that transforms UML to SWRL. Finally, the execution result of ontology model is automatically obtained through the ontology platform. Therefore, the experts only need to systemize the domain knowledge to form the UML, and then the result of the logic flow chart can be obtained. In the result section, the facility management system is developed to assist the emergency response through different facility managers and firefighters. The results of the implementation found that in the case of no need for programmers and personally establish and alter the system, the facilities related personnel have higher grasp and trust in the system, and save more time in addition to the convenience of personnel communication.

Chang-Yuan Liu, Chien-Cheng Chou

Impact of COBie on Design Activities

Delivery of Construction Operations Building information exchange (COBie) data helps facility maintenance, operations, and asset managers to more quickly operate their facilities at lower life-cycle cost. Since its first publication, COBie has been widely adopted in projects around the globe, in part due to the precise definition of what is and is not a COBie deliverables. Metrics for COBie quality control, established in the standard, require the verification of data format and validation of content. While the technical hurdles to correct COBie design data have been largely overcome, the question of what design activities must change if data quality standards are to be met has not been answered. This paper presents the results of a case study created specifically to address this question.

Daibee Bose, E. William East, Raja R. A. Issa

Automating BIM Objects Quantity Take-Off for Lifecycle Costing of Cleaning Operations

By 2022, the Danish government will require mandatory evaluation of lifecycle costs (LCC) for new buildings, as opposed to only considering procurement costs. The maturing building industry sector looks towards LCC as a source of competitive advantage. LCCbyg is a tool released by the Danish authorities to calculate lifecycle costs. As the quantity take-off is mostly manual, we investigate ways of automating it. Multiple methods exist for calculating procurement costs at an object level. The same cannot be said about operational costs, where methods mainly rely on building areas. The generic approximations fail to account for object quantity, type, and materials. Therefore, the objective of this study was twofold; firstly, to investigate the potential for basing operational costs on objects, and secondly, to develop and test a data transfer method, integrating independent software packages for design and costing. The industry stakeholders were invited to test the data transfer prototype, showcased on two Building Information Models (BIMs); an operational, and a conceptual model of two office buildings. The proposed approach transferred Revit object quantities to the LCCbyg XML schema, and the operational cost data has been visualized using PowerBI. To conclude, the stakeholders saw the benefits of basing operational data on objects, while also pointed at obstacles concerning a lack of model detail in the early design phase. Despite a successful data transfer, practical implementation will require further integration with cost databases and other subsets of LCC calculations to be considered a complete solution.

Adam Piaskowski, Kjeld Svidt

BIM and AM to Manage Critical and Relevant Water and Wastewater Utilities Assets

Global Water and Sewage Utilities must manage a wide variety of essential infrastructure assets while meeting complex social and environmental challenges, and this is especially true in Brazil, where according to SNIS Institute only 53% of the population has sewerage coverage and 17% still does not have access to treated water [16].The Brazilian government’s new regulatory sanitation framework [3] was approved in December 2019, establishing goals to accelerate water and sewerage coverage, stimulating private investors either to build new or to operate existing plants.However, the asset inventory handover process from the public to the private sector is unstructured, causing numerous operational and maintenance challenges to new operators and investors.This paper presents the digital transformation framework applied in Aegea, a private group of water and sewage utilities in Brazil, aiming to meet in a sustainable way a social, environmental and financial value (SLO - Social License to Operate) [15] by combining Building Information Modelling (BIM) [17] and Asset Management (AM) [8] disciplines. Aegea’s integrated approach, “Infra Inteligente” (Infra), introduces intelligent 3D models of Water and Sanitation business.The 3D business representations trigger the Digital Twin in unrivaled data and analytics visualization within a virtual reality environment supporting the organization to take strategic and tactical decisions to do the maintenance and operations of the inherited plants. By switching from reactive to proactive maintenance it will save millions of Brazilian Reais, extending the life of critical system assets and prevent the operation team from dealing with frequent and unpredictable equipment breakdowns.

Wagner Oliveira Carvalho

Extracting Bridge Components from a Laser Scanning Point Cloud

A three-dimensional (3D) geometric model of a bridge plays an important role in inspection, assessment and management of the bridge. As most bridges were built after the second world war, 3D bridge models are rarely available. A recent development in laser scanning offers a cost-efficient method to capture dense, accurate 3D topographic data of the bridge. However, given the typical complexity of the bridge, a current workflow based commercial software to construct the bridge model still requires intensive labour work. This paper introduces a new approach to extract the point cloud of each surface of structural components of a slab/box beam bridge automatically in a sequential order from a superstructure to a substructure. The proposed method first employs a quadtree to decompose the point cloud of the bridge into two dimensional (2D) cells. Second, a kernel density estimation is used to separate a point cloud describing patches of surfaces within the cells. Subsequently, the cell- and voxel-based region growing are developed to segment patches within the cells/voxels for the superstructure and substructure, respectively. Moreover, knowledge of the bridge’s components (e.g. position, orientation, or shape) is introduced to allow the proposed method to identify criteria for filtering irrelevant objects, and to establish criteria for extracting the components. An experimental test shows the proposed method successfully extracts all surfaces of the bridge components.

Linh Truong-Hong, Roderik Lindenbergh

A Framework for Utilization of Occupants’ Trajectory Data to Enhance Building Management

Modern people spend approximately up to 90% of their time indoors. Moreover, building operational phase contributes to more environmental impact (e.g. energy use and carbon emission) than other phases. Hence, proper building management is critical to the welfare of human beings and mother nature. And occupant behavior is crucial information for building managers. However, in the past, such information was based on statistics and assumptions, which may lead to inefficient and even false operations. As the monitoring techniques developed rapidly, occupant behavior can be tracked more easily. Although research related to building management and occupant behaviors has grown steadily in the past few decades, more direct discussions between occupant trajectory data and building management are still limited. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to propose a procedural framework to collect and utilize occupants’ trajectory data for building management. This framework is developed by reviewing existing applications to identify the key factors to be considered during the process and the relationships between these factors are also analyzed. Application scenarios (includes safety, space, energy management) and monitoring areas (public and private) are identified as important inputs to decide what kind of data to collect. Data processing, granularity, and privacy are recognized as essential attributes of trajectory data to consider. Furthermore, the strength and weaknesses of different monitoring techniques to provide different occupant trajectory data are also presented as an additional reference for building managers.

S. H. Hsu, W. Han, Y. T. Chang, Y. C. Chan, S. H. Hsieh

Rule-Based Systems Applications


Virtual Permitting Framework for Off-site Construction Case Study: A Case Study of the State of Florida

The rising calls to supply more housing units in the United States real estate market have hit the record in the post-recession era. This pressure has led the investor in the AEC industry to think about alternative non-conventional ways to improve the quality, productivity and labor shortage. The growing business of adopting off-site construction has currently been rising. This new delivery method has helped to control the quality, quantity, and time. However, the off-site construction schedule can be shortened, and the building can be delivered faster by improving the permitting approval process. The current construction permitting process in the U.S is tending to be bureaucratic and not productive. Nevertheless, a growing number of Building Authorities are looking for a better way to boost the productivity of issuing the construction permit. Some of the Building Authorities have adopted online permitting and less paper policy. This paper reviews the barriers and challenges facing off-site construction permitting in the US. The study discusses the incorporation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in the workflow of the manufactured building permitting. Moreover, the paper presents a Virtual Permitting concept to optimize the current permitting process for off-site construction projects.

Mouloud Messaoudi, Nawari O. Nawari

Rule-Based Semantic Validation for Standardized Linked Building Models

Planning data of construction projects consist of distributed data in the manner of building models and accompanying heterogeneous information models. For data drops, these models can be stored and linked within an information container using link sets. When using open standards and file formats, link sets are often created and maintained manually, because an automated traceable generation of links is not yet reasonably provided. In this research, semi-automatic validation is preferred to ensure the syntactic, semantic and technical correctness of link sets for the practical application of so-called linked building models. Therefore, rule validation approaches in the AEC industry are examined regarding their feasibility for linked building models. A method for rule checking is presented and evaluated in a case study, which utilizes a building model of a fictive tunnel construction project and a linked tunnel construction schedule as a linked building model inside an Information Container for Data Drop.

Philipp Hagedorn, Markus König

Analysis of Urban Legislation of Engineering Projects Using Building Information Modeling (BIM) with the Aid of Graphic Programming

The analysis of urban viability consists of a study about the potential of implementation of a construction being carried out in the preliminary design phase and with the objective of ensuring the best use of the land. The analysis is based on the selection of the possible land and the review of the urbanistic laws that determine the legal parameters for the study of the implantation and the volume of the enterprise on the selected land. Therefore, it aims to use Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a tool to automate the process of feasibility analysis of legal parameters, such as the verification of land use and occupation law. Thereby, a volumetric model of the building in BIM will be built, followed by the modeling of the chosen land and finally, the normative and legal parameters will be assigned through the graphical programming tool, using Dynamo, a programming software to automate work on Revit. The project will be deployed to each selected land with its respective parameters. Lastly the result of each analysis will be compared in order to obtain the best benefit in relation to land and enterprise. greater agility and accuracy in the technical feasibility analysis of the project is expected to be achieved by reducing rework, inaccuracy, errors and time. Therewith greater agility and accuracy in the technical feasibility analysis of the project is expected to be achieved by reducing rework, inaccuracy, errors and time.

Victor Farias, Bruna Roque, Ingryd Tavares, Davi Pinheiro

The Relationship Between Requirements Subjectivity and Semantics for Healthcare Design Support Systems

Subjectivity exists in requirements described in the healthcare regulatory framework. This is mainly due to the nature of regulatory requirements and the uniqueness of the design process. Past research identified that subjectivity in regulations is a key issue for automated code and rule checking. The aim of this paper is to discuss how requirements subjectivity could be addressed within building models through semantic enrichment, within the context of automated rule and code compliance checking. The paper presents preliminary findings of a research that follows the Design Science Research approach, framed within the UK healthcare design context. Findings suggest that part of the requirements subjectivity exists due to the implicit relationships between the elements of the healthcare built environment, which also include healthcare services. In order to enable automation, implicit relationships from the regulatory framework should be represented in building models – which could potentially be done through semantic enrichment. The paper discusses some complementarity between relationships identified in regulatory requirements and semantic enrichment operators. Moreover, findings indicate that incorporating semantic relationships in building models can be a promising way to deal with requirements subjectivity, rather than eliminating subjective expressions from regulations.

Joao Soliman-Junior, Barbara Pedo, Patricia Tzortzopoulos, Mike Kagioglou

Blockchain Applications for AEC


Blockchain Technologies: Hyperledger Fabric in BIM Work Processes

Blockchain Technology (BCT) is defined as a decentralized data ledger that registers each transaction processed in an encrypted data format. The implementation of such a concept brings about several benefits to the built environment, specifically, Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow. These include, for instance, security, reliability, accountability, and could potentially accelerate a shift in the work environment dynamics from the current centralized data processing to a decentralized, cooperative chain of transactions by encouraging trust and transparency. Hyperledger Fabric (HLF) is a BCT implementation that generates distributed ledger systems, supported by a modular design, offering a flexible and extensible digital framework, that delivers high levels of confidentiality, and scalability. It has a modular subsystem designed so that different employments can be plugged in and implemented over time. This paper reviews the BCT platforms and describes the details of the various components/modules and their interactions and functions. Furthermore, the study proposes a new work process based on HLF that aims to address some of the current BIM workflow shortcomings. The paper discusses how the HLF system enhances the BIM work process and presents a use case of automated code compliance checking mechanisms and future research directions.

Nawari O. Nawari

Framework for Automated Billing in the Construction Industry Using BIM and Smart Contracts

Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents the application of digital building models to improve project-wide collaboration. With the help of building information models, elements with tendering information, construction work to be carried out, quantities to be processed, planned times and subcontractors commissioned can be described in an integrated way. However, digital models are currently still little used for the automated billing of construction work. In this paper, an approach is presented to make contract management and payment within construction projects simpler, more transparent and more automated. The implementation takes place with the help of Smart Contracts, which are linked to digital building information models. For this purpose, a billing model and processes for checking the contract are defined on the basis of the building elements, determined quantities and defined construction works. If the contracted construction has been checked and accepted, the payment procedure is started automatically. The Smart Contract, as well as the individual transactions, are managed using Blockchain technology. Detailed contract data and execution information is stored in a common data environment (CDE) and linked to the Smart Contract. The concept for the realization of “BIM contracts” as well as aspects of the implementation are presented in this paper. Finally, we discuss several aspects for improvement and further development in the future.

Xuling Ye, Markus König

Using Blockchain Technology to Implement Peer-to-Peer Network in Construction Industry

Collaboration is the intrinsic element of the construction industry since construction projects involve a dynamic grouping of several companies. [1] studied the relationships among the companies and noted that some communication patterns among participants show a Peer-to-Peer nature. Digital technology which implements this Peer-to-Peer communication pattern is the Blockchain technology (BCT). BCT has gained significant attention across different industry sectors in the past years, such as finance, health care, supply chain management, etc. BTC can solve the trust and security problem of the Peer-to-Peer network. It enhances effectiveness, transparency, productivity, and cybersecurity in collaborative works. While BCT has been intensively researched in fields like the financial industry, healthcare, and supply chain management, the research in the construction industry is still in its early stages. Besides that, the majority of articles related to BCT in construction are still concepts. This paper gives an architecture of using BCT in collaboration with P2P nature and presents the proof of concept by implementing the BCT in the distributed product data platform.

Meiling Shi, André Hoffmann, Anna Wagner, Tim Huyeng, Christian-Dominik Thiele, Uwe Rüppel

A Secure and Distributed Construction Document Management System Using Blockchain

Construction Document Management Systems (CDMS) track, manage, and store a variety of documents such as 3D model files, schedules, specifications, and images that are large in size and have different ownerships. The primary objectives of CDMSs are to facilitate document approval workflows, document version management, and security properties such as integrity of data, audit-trail, and approvals. A popular approach for CDMS is to consolidate all the project documents into an on premise or cloud-based centralized location that is owned and managed by a project participant or a trusted third party. Such centralized approaches for electronic documents pose risks such as single points of failures causing loss or corruption of documents and deliberate blocking of access during disputes between the owner of CDMS and other project participants. This situation is particularly challenging in construction projects where project participants cannot fully trust each other due to its inherently fragmented project organizational structure. Therefore, in this paper, a distributed construction document management system using Blockchain and distributed content-addressable storage technologies is presented. Blockchain is a peer-to-peer technology that facilitates distributed computation and irreversible data recording through smart contract and blockchain ledger technologies respectively. Immutability of records and computational logic is facilitated through the unique cryptographic data structure of blockchain ledgers and probabilistic consensus algorithms. In this paper, smart contracts are deployed to facilitate document approval workflows to support processes such as design review and request for information in construction projects. A blockchain ledger data model for tracking workflows and document version management is proposed. Public-key cryptography is deployed to facilitate data confidentiality and integrity in endorsements. A cryptographic indexing structure to support blockchain ledger in document versioning and to validate the authenticity of document search results for CDMS is proposed. The proposed framework also deploys peer-to-peer content-addressable storage for preventing single points of failure and data integrity of documents through data partitioning, data replication, and cryptography. The proposed CDMS is a distributed yet unified platform for managing construction documents. A demonstration of the proposed CDMS is presented with a case-based scenario on request for information (RFI) management.

Moumita Das, Xingyu Tao, Jack C. P. Cheng

BIM and Internet of Things (IoT) Frameworks and Applications


Conceptual Framework for Tracking Metallic Formworks on Construction Sites Using IoT, RFID and BIM Technologies

The difficulty in tracking physical resources at the construction site causes problems in the information flow required for better management and quality control. The integrated use of Building Information Modeling (BIM), Internet of Things (IoT) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies can enable tracking and improve construction site-related processes. Specifically, there is a lack of studies regarding the tracking of metallic formworks during the execution phase of the cast in place concrete wall constructive system, in which quality issues often imply rework and delays. The main objective of this paper is to design a conceptual framework for tracking physical resources at construction sites using BIM, IoT, and RFID, in which the metallic formworks are the object of study. This study is based on a Systematic Literature Review, which was conducted to identify requirements to connect the concepts and technologies in the conceptual framework and to develop an integrated system that uses the aforementioned technologies. Moreover, a preliminary proposal of an integrated system associating the RFID tags with the ID of equivalent virtual elements in BIM and storing information from the formworks in a database, which communicates with the virtual model, was presented. The conceptual framework and the preliminary proposal will be used for the design of the system prototype for future implementation in real construction environments.

Caroline Silva Araújo, Leandro Cândido de Siqueira, Emerson de Andrade Marques Ferreira, Dayana Bastos Costa

BIM and Automation of Building Operations in Japan: Observations on the State-of-the-Art in Research and Its Orientation

Japan has long-term automation experience in several manufacturing industries. Recently, players of the real estate and building sector have turned strategic attention and research investments to the automation of building operations, aware of the business relevance of the occupancy phase of facilities. This investigation analyzed R&D programs and experimental projects in Japan to foresee the role of BIM in the automation of building operations. A survey of disclosed information helped to understand the trends in automation research with the adoption of digital technologies for immediate and future use. Appliances from electronics manufacturers have been incorporated into complex cyber-physical systems to communicate with the built facility through a BIM-IoT framework. The evolution of ICT has influenced building management systems attributes which require new definitions of the set of data to be delivered and maintained by project players. There is recent evidence of efforts to turn BIM as the platform that creates, manages and also stores information for future BIM-FM uses, even though the integration with BAS/BEMS is not fully solved. Finally, this study identified connections between prior construction automation achievements by Japanese contractors and future orientation related to the technological challenge of context-awareness and servitization.

Jeferson Shin-Iti Shigaki, Tomonari Yashiro

BIM, IoT and MR Integration Applied on Risk Maps for Construction

In Brazil, the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is a high-risk segment that accumulates workplace injuries. National standards concerning Risk Management in construction require the production of Risk Maps, aiming at increasing users’ awareness about risks and hazards on site. However, the traditional process of implementing Risk Maps has limitations that reduce their efficiency in a real application. The adoption of innovative technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), Internet of Things (IoT), and Mixed Reality (MR) may benefit communication resources of Risk Maps and improve Risk Management. This paper presents a conceptual framework of Risk Management for the construction phase to achieve a Dynamic Risk Map using BIM, IoT, and MR technologies. Also, this paper presents a proof of concept based on the framework proposed. The methods include (i) identifying Risk Maps limitations; (ii) mapping their traditional process to integrate innovative technologies; (iii) creating a framework for supporting Risk Maps improvement; and (iv) simulating Dynamic Risk Maps concerning tracking, sensing, and exhibition resources. Research outcomes highlight that the dynamic status of a Risk Map increases feedback capabilities regarding predicted and actual risks on site and context awareness. That increase is due to communication enrichment and the assurance of inspection activities based on prevention through design and real-time monitoring.

Lorena C. de S. Moreira, Paula Pontes Mota, Fernanda Almeida Machado

An Ontology-Based Mediation Framework for Integrating Federated Sources of BIM and IoT Data

Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Internet of Things (IoT) are two emergent technologies that promise substantial improvements in the lifecycle management of facilities. Recently, research on BIM-centered IoT applications has been gaining an increasing momentum. Currently, there exist some major challenges that impede the realization of the synergistic potentials of BIM and IoT. Among them is to maintain an effective semantic interoperability between the BIM and IoT data ecosystems. Indeed, an accurate integration between IoT-enabled raw sensory data and existing BIM-based digital models of facilities requires a profound understanding of contextual clues (time, location, occupants’ profiles, etc.), which are embedded within actual observations derived from IoT sensors. In this paper, a framework is presented for integrating disparate sources of BIM and IoT data through an ontology-based mediation mechanism. This framework enables an integrated access to local sources of BIM and IoT data thorough query-rewriting processes. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed framework, query rewriting examples have been provided in the context of indoor comfort analysis for facility occupants. In the case demonstrations, the geospatial data acts as the main clue for the derivation of semantic dependencies between local instances of BIM and IoT data.

Mehrzad Shahinmoghadam, Ali Motamedi

Digital Twins in Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations. A Brief Review and Analysis

Advances in and pervasiveness of technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data (BD) and Big Data Analytics (BDA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud Computing (CC) and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) have allowed for the dissemination of intelligence and innovative solutions across different industries including Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO). Recently, the ideas behind “Digital Twin″ (DT) have been gaining ground in the AECO sector. This paper briefly reviews and analyzes relevant literature to discover the origins of the DT idea; crystallizes a clear definition; identifies DT’s key features; highlights some case studies carried out so far and outlines some of the key applications and the challenges for wider adoption.

Ramy Al-Sehrawy, Bimal Kumar

Information Technologies Applications on the Construction Site


Digital Situation Picture in Construction – Case of Prefabricated Structural Elements

Efficient construction supply chain management necessitates that all parties possess an adequate situation picture (SP) of construction projects. Currently, an SP of project operations is formed by combining information from phone calls, emails and site visits. As a result, the scope, quality and accessibility of the information is weak and does not support supply chain management. Although several studies have been conducted on technologies supporting data capture, data exchange and analysis, a digital SP is still missing in the construction sector. This study aims to advance understanding of how to create a digital SP of construction operations. A digital SP in construction refers to an up-to-date context-specific machine-to-machine readable information, which can be used by different project parties to manage construction operations. The empirical study is conducted in the context of developing supply chain management of prefabricated structural elements by way of interviews and participatory workshops. The findings indicate that specific data, such as – the identification number of the prefabricated structural element, installation blocks, installation order and its schedule, transport loads and their orders and element statuses – should be shared in a digital format. The study describes inter-company data flows that are needed to create a digital SP employing seven use cases. These findings contribute to the SP literature in construction by mapping opportunities of a digital SP of construction for supporting efficient construction supply chain management.

Rita Lavikka, Pertti Lahdenperä, Markku Kiviniemi, Antti Peltokorpi

Dynamic Crane Workspace Update for Collision Avoidance During Blind Lift Operations

Cranes are associated with high levels of accidents and struck-by fatalities in many industrial settings. This is due to the congested nature of crane operation sites and the high cognitive load for the crane operator to track the load position throughout the lifting operation, especially during blind lifts. Current research on crane safety assistance systems focuses on preventing collisions with static entities such as existing building structures but do not adequately handle dynamic entities such as workers and movable containers. This research proposes a dynamic crane workspace updating method for collision avoidance during blind lift operations. The position and orientation of the crane load, as well as the position and orientation of surrounding obstacles, are automatically tracked and updated in a 3D crane workspace model during lifting operations. The load base position is first estimated using forward kinematics obtained from an encoder system. Then the load swing and load rotation are corrected for using a vision-based load detection algorithm. A static map of surrounding obstacles is initially obtained using 3D laser scanning. The map is then updated over the course of a lifting operation through semi-automated obstacle placement. In addition, a vision-based worker detection algorithm is used to track the position of workers in proximity to the load. Finally, the crane workspace is updated in real-time for the crane operator through a 3D user interface and warnings are issued whenever a potential collision scenario is detected. The proposed method was evaluated at a crane yard where multiple blind lift scenarios were carried out. Experimental results indicate that the proposed method can potentially improve the situational awareness of the crane operator for blind lift operations.

Leon C. Price, Jingdao Chen, Yong K. Cho

Construction Field Management Using a Popular Text Messenger

This paper introduces a method for managing daily construction tasks using a text messenger and a tool to support the method. Many construction field management tools have been developed and used in practice. In addition, each company has developed its own construction task management tools. Nevertheless, due to the number of various tools available, contractors and subcontractors suffer from installing at least three or four applications on mobile devices to support different projects. To resolve this issue, the authors developed ProjectHub-CL (Construction Listener), a method and tool to manage daily construction tasks using a popular text messenger that doesn’t require the installation of an additional mobile app. It helps field engineers and subcontractors to exchange and manage field tasks using text messages and additional features on a text messenger and can automatically produce a construction daily report at the end of the day as a result. The system was implemented on top of KakaoTalk, the most popular text messenger in South Korea. Its applicability and usability in the field were validated with contractors and subcontractors in four different projects (conducted by different general contractors).

Ghang Lee, Jehyun Cho, Taeseok Song, Hyunsung Roh, Jeaeun Jung, Jihoon Chung, Gunwoo Yong, David Jeong

Study of IMU Installation Position for Posture Estimation of Excavators

Posture estimation provides basic mechanical information for remote control of construction equipment, safety analysis of construction sites and productivity analysis of construction projects. The rapid development of micro-machined electromechanical systems (MEMS) inertial sensors enables wide application of posture estimation in the construction industry. Previous studies have put efforts to orientation estimation, trajectory tracking, and activity recognition of construction equipment based on Inertia Measurement Units (IMU). As excavators are common and important heavy construction equipment on site, posture estimation of excavators is closely related to the safety of construction sites and automation of construction processes. Although there have been studies on IMU-based posture estimation of excavators, there is still a lack of studies that rigorously discuss the impact of IMU installation positions on posture estimation of construction equipment, especially excavators. Placing IMU sensors in appropriate positions on excavators would affect the accuracy of posture estimation. More practically, the installability issue also governs the installation positions. Hence, this paper investigates the influence of different IMU installation positions on posture estimation of excavators. Firstly, a systematic framework is proposed to estimate posture of excavators based on data collected by IMUs. Our experiments verify the feasibility of our proposed framework. Furthermore, the in-fluences of different installation positions of IMU are investigated, on the basis of accuracies represented by Euler angle. Considering accuracy and applicability, a scheme of installing IMU on excavators is discussed. This paper will provide a theoretical basis and a reliable operation scheme for IMU-based posture estimation of excavators in the future.

Jingyuan Tang, Han Luo, Peter Kok-Yiu Wong, Jack C.P. Cheng

BIM-Based Concrete Printing

Extrusion-based additive manufacturing (AM), or three-dimensional (3D) printing, has matured into a set of advanced methods to automate the construction of large-scale concrete structures, while minimizing cost and material waste. However, current AM data models are inadequate for 3D concrete printing due to insufficient incorporation of information on the relationships between process, material, and geometry, which may cause redundancy, information loss, and inconsistencies. Aiming at improving AM data modeling for concrete printing, this paper proposes a metamodeling approach for AM of concrete structures, referred to as “printing information modeling”, which takes advantage of building information modeling (BIM). As will be shown in this paper, the BIM-based printing information model, serving as a metamodel, incorporates the digital data triplet of process, material, and geometry parameters to generate computer numerical control (CNC) commands that may readily be used for concrete printing. A validation test is performed, which instantiates the printing information model, using a BIM model, for generating CNC commands, enabling optimal digital data exchange from BIM models to concrete printers. As a result of this study, it is demonstrated that printing information modeling adequately defines the information required for AM of concrete structures using a BIM-based approach, showing promising potential to improve current AM data modeling efforts.

Kay Smarsly, Patricia Peralta, Daniel Luckey, Sebastian Heine, Horst-Michael Ludwig

Field BIM: Establishing a Requirements Framework for Mobile BIM Technologies

Field BIM and its enabling Mobile BIM Technologies (MBT) are increasingly recognised for their role in improving collaboration and integration between project teams on construction sites. Very limited research about the development and applications of Field BIM and MBT is available in the literature. The few available studies have generally focused on specific types of MBT and their application on a single project or individual use cases. A framework to clarify the technical and business requirements of MBT is still missing. This paper is part of a wider research aiming to develop a holistic framework for MBT and Field BIM consisting of a requirements taxonomy, a benefits evaluation approach linking use cases to relevant performance metrics, and a project and supply chain performance analytics dashboard. This paper presents the findings about the technical and business requirements of MBT, which represents the first step towards the development of the requirements taxonomy.

Benjamin Jowett, Mohamad Kassem

Improving Construction Job Site Safety with Building Information Models: Opportunities and Barriers

Effective management of construction job site safety is a critical aspect of successful management of construction projects. Research has shown that safety planning at construction jobs sites relies on 2D documents, manual observations, which is a labor-intensive, time-consuming and thus highly ineffective and inefficient process. In addition, the link between safety planning and work task execution is often weak due to communication barriers, ambiguous interpretation of information and subjective judgment of Jobsite safety workers. Safety knowledge transfer is a difficult process when using 2D documents, instruction manuals and verbal instructions, especially in projects with multicultural and multilingual construction workforce, such as in the case of the UAE construction industry. This paper explores the potential of using Building Information Models (BIM) to overcome the problems of safety management & knowledge transfer in the construction jobsite in the UAE. BIM-enabled 3D models and visualization tools can effectively simulate actual job site conditions and can educate the job site crew in an interactive way to enhance their understanding of the job site conditions and safety requirements. The research has used a survey questionnaire to understand the safety knowledge transfer practices in the UAE and has investigated various aspects of safety management and where BIM can bring radical improvements. This study is useful for construction stakeholders, and policymakers in the UAE, to leverage BIM potential for improving construction Jobsite safety. This study also invites future research to devise tools and strategies towards BIM-enabled visualization centric approaches for safety management, training and knowledge transfer in the UAE construction industry.

Muhammad Tariq Shafiq, Muneeb Afzal

Trends of Research and Development on Construction Robotics Considering the Supporting Technologies and Successful Applications

Although construction robotics has been researched and developed over the past decades and the practical needs keep rising, its application remains limited. This study is aimed at exploring the trends of research and development (R&D) on construction robotics based on a thorough investigation of the numerous existing publications and case studies of successful applications in this field. First, a scientometric review is conducted to identify and discuss the supporting technologies with significant contributions in the field during the past decades and their trends, as well as the hottest ones at present. Then case studies on two Chinese construction companies that developed and applied robotic products successfully are presented to reveal how the supporting technologies were implemented in practices and how the R&D and application were followed up. The hottest supporting technologies at present were found to be computer vision, 3D printing, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as well as their emerging branches including Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM), machine learning, and deep learning. Three critical factors were identified for the follow-up of the R&D of construction robotics, i.e., mutual promotion between the R&D and application of construction robot products and the development of supporting technologies, asynchronous development in different application areas, and multidisciplinary cooperation among construction companies and professional technological companies. The findings are expected to be valuable for the related stakeholders including researchers, robot developers, and construction companies to conduct further R&D and application of robotics in the construction industry.

Shiyao Cai, Zhiliang Ma, Xinglei Xiang

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Applications in Construction


Using UAS for Roofs Structure Inspections at Post-occupational Residential Buildings

The traditional roof inspection tends to be a slow and challenging task, mainly due to accessibility limitations and the risk of falls from height. In recent years, the adoption of new technologies, such as the Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to support the inspection process has proven to be an effective option to overcome such problems. Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the use of UAS for roof inspection on post-occupation residential buildings, seeking to assist in the decision-making process. The research method adopted was the case study, structured in the following steps: (a) evaluation of items that can be viewed with UAS, (b) protocol for flight planning and data collection with UAS, (c) analysis of non-compliance checking of roof conditions, and (d) evaluation of users’ perceptions concerning the usability of UAS to support roof inspection. A total of 10 residential projects of a large construction company were inspected, totalizing 167 roofs. The analysis of the visualization potential shows that 72% of the requirements contained in the construction company’s checklist can be inspected with the UAS. Besides that, 50,5% of the non-conformities identified are related to poor execution during the construction phase, highlighting the need for improvements. According to the maintenance team’s perceptions, the UAS can contribute to increase worker safety, reduce time and effort during the data collection process, and assist in the identification of non-conformities.

Bruno Silveira, Roseneia Melo, Dayana Bastos Costa

Multi-scale Flight Path Planning for UAS Building Inspection

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) show large potential for the construction industry. Their use in condition assessment has increased significantly, due to technological and computational progress. UAS play a crucial role in developing a digital maintenance strategy for infrastructure, saving cost and effort, while increasing safety and reliability. Part of that strategy are automated visual UAS inspections of the building’s condition. The resulting images can automatically be analyzed to identify and localize damages to the structure that have to be monitored. Further interest in parts of a structure can arise from events like accidents or collisions. Areas of low interest exist, where low resolution monitoring is sufficient.From different requirements for resolution, different levels of detail can be derived. They require special image acquisition parameters that differ mainly in the distance between camera and structure. Areas with a higher level of detail require a smaller distance to the object, producing more images.This work proposes a multi-scale flight path planning procedure, enabling higher resolution requirements for areas of special interest, while reducing the number of required images to a minimum. Careful selection of the camera positions maintains the complete coverage of the structure, while achieving the required resolution in all areas. The result is an efficient UAS inspection, reducing effort for the maintenance of infrastructure.

Paul Debus, Volker Rodehorst

Integrating UAV Photogrammetry and Terrestrial Laser Scanning for Three-Dimensional Geometrical Modeling of Post-earthquake County of Beichuan

UAV photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning are non-contact measurement technologies, and have become increasingly popular for three-dimensional geometrical modeling of a single building or a city in recent years. By integrating UAV photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning, we are able to obtain the buildings’ present status and their reconstruction models, which plays a great role in protection of post-earthquake sites. This paper presents the 3D modeling and application process of one of the most important post-earthquake sites in the county of Beichuan in China. First, texture characteristics were extracted from buildings through site investigation and the database of buildings’ earthquake damage characteristics was established. Then, in order to realize the complementary advantages of UAV photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning technologies, effectively solve the deficiencies of the single technology, this paper combined tilt photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning technology for 3D modeling of post-earthquake county of Beichuan. The results indicate that the 3D model established by integrating UAV photogrammetry and terrestrial laser scanning is tested to be of high quality and high precision. Meanwhile, the integration of two sources of point cloud data effectively reduced the workload of field control survey work. Moreover, the resulting 3D models can be used for further analysis such as earthquake disaster assessment, feature fracture extractions and 3D measurement.

Xiaoxi Chen, Dongfeng Jia, Weiping Zhang

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Digital Image Processing with Deep Learning for the Detection of Pathological Manifestations on Facades

In the diagnosis phase of pathological manifestations in facades, the visual inspection stage deserves special attention due to its inherent complexity (height, size, access difficulties and exposure conditions). In recent years, the use of deep learning techniques to detect and classify specific features in images and videos has been increasing, which when combined with the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for capturing images, is a potential useful tool that can assist and automate the visual inspection procedure of facades. This paper aimed to perform the analysis of Digital Image Processing (DIP) for automatic detection of cracks in building ceramic tiles, associated with UAV, which would potentially result in benefits (time, cost and safety) with respect to diagnosis. Thus, the research results showed the technical feasibility of detection of cracks by DIP techniques, however, the main limitation for this purpose is the lack of a dataset of images of pathological manifestations in facades publicly available, restricting the computer learning process and consequently compromising the recognition capacity. Still, the project was able to develop a simple and efficient methodology to what was proposed.

Ramiro Daniel Ballesteros Ruiz, Alberto Casado Lordsleem Júnior, Bruno José Torres Fernandes, Sérgio Campello Oliveira

Vision and Image-Based Applications in Construction


A Real-Time Automated Approach for Ensuring Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Construction Site

Construction sites are one of the most perilous environments where many potential hazards may occur. Even though workers are trained to stay away from potential dangers, there are still many types of risks that can occur within only a few minutes of carelessness. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is an important safety measure used to protect construction workers from accidents. However, PPE usage is not strictly enforced among workers due to all kinds of reasons. This paper proposes the combination of deep learning-based object detection and individual detection using geometry relationships analysis to automatically identify non-PPE-use (NPU); i.e., if a worker is wearing hardhat, eye protection visors, dust masks, or both, to help to facilitate the safety monitoring work of construction workers to ensure PPE are appropriately used. The experimental results demonstrate that the approach was capable of detecting NPU workers with high precision (84.13%) and recall rate (93.10%) while ensuring real-time performance (7.95 FPS on average).

Shi Chen, Kazuyuki Demachi, Manabu Tsunokai

Vision-Based Pose Forecasting of Construction Equipment for Monitoring Construction Site Safety

Construction sites suffer from higher hazard rates compared to other occupational workplaces, which can be attributed to dynamic activities of construction equipment. Hence, it is important to track locations, poses, and movements of construction equipment for on-site safety monitoring. With the wide installations of surveillance cameras, previous studies focused on tracking locations of construction equipment from videos using computer vision techniques. However, the location of many construction equipment remains unchanged during operation while the equipment poses are varying constantly. The variation of equipment poses can cause severe hazards, such as the collision with surrounding workers and other equipment. To avoid such potential hazards, it is important to monitor and forecast the poses of equipment. So far, there is limited research on automatically forecasting poses of construction equipment, which is necessary to provide hazard alerts and prevent spatial conflicts. Therefore, a vision-based pipeline is proposed in this paper to automatically forecast dynamic poses of construction equipment based on historical on-site surveillance videos. The proposed pipeline firstly utilizes a deep learning -based equipment pose estimation model to estimate poses of construction equipment so as to obtain historical poses of construction equipment. Then, one type of recurrent neural network (RNN), namely Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU), is adopted to learn the temporal features of the generated sequential poses and forecast potential poses of construction equipment. To validate the proposed method, a dataset containing equipment keypoint-based poses is created and annotated for training the model. The experiment results based on our created dataset demonstrate the capability of the proposed pipeline.

Han Luo, Mingzhu Wang, Peter Kok-Yiu Wong, Jingyuan Tang, Jack C. P. Cheng

Image Sensing-Based In-Building Human Demand Estimation for Installation of Automated External Defibrillators

The installation of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in public places is encouraged, and the determination of the installation locations could be formed into mathematical programming models. In previous studies, data and parameters for those models were generated experimentally or manually. To estimate the parameters in practice for better reliability of the model outcomes, this research aims to design a procedure for the estimation of the real human demand distribution through automatic approaches. Inputs of the proposed work include the image sequences taken inside the building and the network describing the in-building geometry. Images are analyzed via computer vision methods for detection and tracking of people, and also augmented with the extra dimension of image depth estimation through a deep convolutional neural network. The key indicator to project the image back to the real space is identified by the correspondence between the location of humans appear in the image and the location of intersections of camera field of view with the network. Finally, the spatial-temporal human count is recorded to be the output and could serve as input parameter for related AED installation problems. The process is validated in image sequences taken at a corridor in a school building; the performance of each step and the influence of each step is discussed. In conclusion, our research provides a more automatic and robust approach to obtain the real spatial-temporal human distribution in public buildings.

Wen-Xin Qiu, Albert Y. Chen, Tsung-Yin Hsieh

Construction Scene Parsing (CSP): Structured Annotations of Image Segmentation for Construction Semantic Understanding

Images ubiquitously support visualization and documentation of as-built status of built infrastructure. Images captured on-site during construction contain rich semantic information, such as object categories, materials and topological relationships, which are useful for many applications, such as progress monitoring, crack detection, quality control, and safety management. Recent advancements in deep learning and convolutional neural network can effectively extract various types of semantic information from images, but they require annotated datasets for model training. Most existing scene parsing datasets contain annotated images captured at project closeout and there lacks a dataset that can be used for construction site scene understanding. In order to support construction scene understanding, we present the Construction Scene Parsing (CSP), an annotated image dataset that contains over 150 construction scenes with image segmentation labelled by experts. The CSP dataset have two primary contributions: 1) It provides a hierarchical semantic structure rather than a unitary label for each image to deal with incomplete and changing components presented on construction images; 2) It provides pixel-wise annotations for every scene and can support various types of scene understanding tasks, such as object recognition, semantic segmentation, instance segmentation and panoptic segmentation. The dataset can be accessed at .

Yujie Wei, Burcu Akinci

Vision-Based Pavement Marking Detection – A Case Study

Pavement markings take responsibility to communicate with road users regarding travel regulations and guidance. Due to their irreplaceable role in ensuring the safety and order on road, it would be beneficial for road agencies to keep an as-is inventory record of the pavement markings on their roads for managerial operations. However, faced with the sheer volume of their responsible assets, manual inspection would be time-consuming and error prone. This study proposes a vision-based method to automatically detect and classify longitudinal markings using videos of road pavement. Not only line markings, audible markings, as a special category, were also identified in the images. The proposed method can achieve an average 0.89 detection accuracy for line markings and 0.82 for audible markings. Limitations and future work are also proposed. This study tests the possibility of utilising visual data to assist road agencies with an informative management of their civil assets.

Shuyuan Xu, Jun Wang, Peng Wu, Wenchi Shou, Tingchen Fang, Xiangyu Wang

Virtual Reality for AEC


Design Principles Affecting Motivational and Cognitive Requirements for VR Learning Environments in Engineering Education

Virtual reality is currently the subject of various studies on its use in teaching as it supports advantageous effects like faster and more effective information processing by human brains. It is also believed to benefit from positive factors such as novelty, embodiment and further motivational effects. These advantages of VR have already been evaluated, so that its use in teaching structural mechanics also promises benefits. A virtual mechanics laboratory provides students with opportunities to consolidate and deepen their knowledge by means of various experiments and to build competences. In this context, the psychological concept of the mental model plays an important role. A mental model is created at the end of each learning process and implies the understanding of the learned knowledge in the overall context. This paper presents a study concept, which investigates the influence on the learning success and the formation of a mental model as well as a qualitative understanding of the students based on various prototypes for virtual reality. Students of engineering science complete experiments of varying degrees of difficulty. For the evaluation, both cognitive and motivational parameters of the test persons are collected, and the results of the different test groups are evaluated by means of success control. The prototypes are designed as applications for VR headsets. Special attention is paid to the necessary degree of attention control and the displayed annotations in order to achieve the best possible learning result without cognitively overloading the user.

Judith Krischler, Andrea Vogt, Patrick Albus, Christian Koch

BIM-GIS Integration in HoloLens

In recent decades, technological advancements have led to the introduction of wearable computing devices allowing visualization using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry has seen an increase in the use of such wearable technology, especially with the introduction of information modeling. Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been used extensively on vertical construction projects to better communicate information among project stakeholders and facilitate the construction process. More recently, infrastructure projects started using information modeling along with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on local or cloud services. The integration of GIS and BIM has the potential to improve the construction process and aid in decision-making, especially when combined with newer visualization techniques. This paper presents a platform for GIS and BIM integration in Mixed Reality. The proposed application will allow a seamless transfer of data from BIM and GIS software into game engines, and the visualization of the BIM-GIS integration on Microsoft HoloLens 2. The application will allow users not only to visualize models, but to explore information in model elements, and make model changes in the mixed reality environment.

Ralph Tayeh, Fopefoluwa Bademosi, Raja R.A. Issa

Installing Reinforcement Rebars Using Virtual Reality and 4D Visualization

Improving the visual conception of concrete reinforcement plans is a big step for the digitalization of the construction site. Visualizing reinforcement with virtual reality (VR) technology requires the reinforcement to be modelled, ideally in a building information model. It also builds the ground for better information management between stakeholders, for example for formwork and built-in items.Visualizing reinforcement using VR allows workers on the construction site to better understand and realize possible obstacles during installation and assembly.Moreover, the visualization offers the possibility of a last visual collision test by the workers themselves. In addition, the sequencing of the rebar layout is a key factor for the performance during execution. An optimum layout sequence is reached by means of 4D simulation as well as simultaneously including formwork and other installation items.This paper proposes visualizing concrete reinforcement on site using VR as well as rebar layout sequencing through a 4D model. This model will be applied on a real case study in infrastructure and civil works in Germany.

Martina Mellenthin Filardo, Tino Walther, Sireesha Maddineni, Hans-Joachim Bargstädt

Scenario Simulation of Indoor Post-earthquake Fire Rescue Based on Building Information Model and Virtual Reality

Post-earthquake fires occur frequently, and the seismic damage to non-structural components results in dangerous fire and evacuation environments. Both firefighters and trapped people will face serious threats to life during the rescue. Consequently, a simulation framework of an indoor post-earthquake fire rescue scenario based on building information model (BIM) and virtual reality (VR) is proposed herein. Information of structural and non-structural components is extracted from the BIM. Subsequently, the seismic damage of non-structural components is predicted according to the time-history results and fragility curves. Moreover, a smoke visualization method combining volume rendering and the particle system is also proposed. A case study of a 19-story hospital is conducted using the proposed method for establishing the fire rescue scenario. The results show that the established VR scenario has high realism and smooth interactivity, and the influence of smoke on the fire rescue is more significant than that of fallen debris.

Xinzheng Lu, Zhebiao Yang, Zhen Xu, Chen Xiong

Integrated Application of BIM and eXtended Reality Technology: A Review, Classification and Outlook

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector has been benefitted from the continuous development of innovative information and visualisation technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR). These techniques have been widely researched to address traditional challenges such as the lack of capabilities to cope with extensive project information, safety concerns and multitudinous uncertainty. These studies have different research purposes and have led to a variety of outcomes. To understand the state-of-the-art of these research outcomes and identify the gaps and challenges among them, an application-focused literature review is conducted and reported in this paper. Methodically, a classification method is proposed to examine the trend of developing various BIM-XR applications. The gaps, challenges, and future works are summarised and elaborated. This paper will enhance the AEC sector’s confidence in addressing the encountering problems associated with conventional project delivery and technological evolvement and make use of the lessons learnt from this study into the futuristic digital engineering practice.

Shaoze Wu, Lei Hou, Guomin (Kevin) Zhang

Simulation, Parametric Modelling and other Technologies for Innovation in AEC


A Participative Framework Covering Urban Planning Process with A Parametric Approach

Urban planning design process in general is a manual process based on the expertise of professionals addressing the design, exploitation and use of land spaces. Starting by manual sketching configurations do not allow the evaluation of the design performance. Parametric modelling approach, and algorithmic thinking, are currently helping in controlling and informing architectural and urban design. However, the participation of the citizens in the urban planning remains limited and not fully explored. This paper describes how a parametric modelling approach, coupled with a technological framework, allow a participative design thinking based on parametric capabilities to generate and explore different solutions of urban planning. This research consists of developing a framework and implement it into several technological prototypes that cover different stages of the design process. Two main applications are shown in this paper with the devices that are associated to each of them.

Elie Daher, Sylvain Kubicki

Multi-Objective Optimization of a Free-Form Surface Based on Generative Designs

With the improving of technology, many architects adopt curved panels as a type of free-form surfaces. Although these surfaces can be realized by utilizing curved panels including single-curved and double-curved panels, the use of more curved elements result in higher costs. Therefore, it is essential to seek an acceptable balance, in which not only the design intents are met but also the construction of such complex design at a reasonable cost in order to realize free-form surfaces as close to the original design as possible. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop a Multi-Objective Optimization (MOO) approach which optimizes the process of free-form surface modeling and balances between the design intent and cost efficiency with a clear objective goal by reducing the use of curved panels. A generative and parametric design can facilitate the optimizing process, generate multiple design alternatives and assist architects to decide the optimal solution in the early stages of the design. In this paper, Project Refinery, which is a generative design plug-in for the AutodeskTM Dynamo-Revit environment, is used for this purpose.

Chankyu Lee, Sangyun Shin, Raja R. A. Issa

The Influence of Wall Boundary Modeling on the Unphysical Frictional Loss Inside Horizontal Main Drain

Sustainable provisions to reduce the water consumption pose new challenges for an optimal design in building drainage infrastructure. Hence, the accurate prediction of the water flow through building drainage system to assure its self-cleaning performance is an important issue associated with sanitary and construction fields. In order to investigate complex scenarios considering a variety of geometries and loading regimes, as well as the presence of solid wastes and sewages, numerical modeling and simulation are nowadays a promising approach. In the present work, a particle-based method is used to simulate transient free-surface flow inside a horizontal pipe. Since the modeling of the pipe geometry has significant influence on the numerical accuracy, an investigation on the unphysical frictional loss inside the pipe is carried out. Two wall boundary modeling are adopted: in the first one all domain is modeled by particles; in the second one the fluid domain is represented by particles whereas wall boundaries are modeled by triangular polygons. The results demonstrate that the polygon wall representation generates more accurate results than the original discrete wall particle model.

Lucas Soares Pereira, Rubens Amaro Junior, Liang-Yee Cheng

Quantifying Resource Inter-activity Utilization Efficiency Through Simulation-Based Scheduling

This research investigates resource inter-activity utilization efficiency arising from resource shared use and transfer observed in planning projects at a structural steel fabrication shop. Aided with discrete event simulation-based resource-constrained scheduling analysis, the necessity of defining the resource inter-activity utilization efficiency factor is justified in project scheduling and budgeting in practice. The Simplified Scheduling Simulation (S3) platform based on the simplified discrete-event simulation approach (SDESA) is utilized to create a resource loaded schedule for a simple project case in order to facilitate analyzing resource inter-activity utilization efficiency. Further, the problem of how to optimize labor inter-activity utilization efficiency is formulated conceptually, which is vitally important to project cost budgeting and earned value management in applications resembling operating a major steel fabrication facility.

Leila Zahedi, Ming Lu

Life Cycle Assessment for Modular Roof Systems of Large-Span Building

Material extraction, production, transportation, construction, operation, and maintenance consume huge amounts of energy that contribute to environmental pollution and contribute to climate change. In 2017, the building sector was found to be responsible for 39% of energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions [1]. In Canada, the industry and building sectors are the highest contributors to total energy consumption. Hence, the embodied and operating energy and their associated GHGs in the building materials, and the operational primary energy over the whole life cycle of buildings, must be assessed [2]. This paper thus presents a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach to evaluating the environmental impact of different modular roof systems, including precast hollow-core concrete, composite roof system, steel roof system, and wood roof system. A case study of a large-span industrial building in Calgary, Alberta, is selected and then analyzed to assess the associated environmental impact of different alternatives of roof systems at each stage in the life-cycle. GHGs and environmental impact parameters and metrics such as embodied and operating energy, fossil fuel consumption, global warming potential, ozone depletion, air, land, and water emissions, and smog potential are analyzed using ATHENA® impact estimator. Wood and steel roof systems are shown to have the lowest energy consumption and lowest GHG emissions.

Othman Subhi Alshamrani

Constructech Companies: Systematisation of Knowledge and Case Studies

The construction industry employs approximately 7% of the world’s population, representing one of the largest sectors of the global economy, with over US$ 10 trillion invested in goods and services. On the other hand, it is one of the least digitalized sectors, being above only agriculture. In this scenario, constructech companies emerge, whose aim is to seek solutions to the problems of civil construction through technology. The purpose of this work is to systematize the knowledge about construtech companies with the construction industry. The methodology of the work included a descriptive research whose strategy was the case study. Structured interviews were conducted in four construtech companies and four construction companies in the cities of Recife and São Paulo. The results allowed to demonstrate how construtech companies developed, their resources and area of operation, in addition to investigating how construction companies are prepared to adopt available technologies and which processes are of greatest development interest. In summary, the main characteristics perceived regarding the construtech business are the high scalability, the reduced staff, and the agile strategic planning. The construction companies are interested in acquiring solutions that aim at the improvement of the production processes of the works.

Michelli Tomaz Vasconcelos Fialho, Alberto Casado Lordsleem Júnior

Intelligent Control of Noise and Vibrations in Building

Building acoustics is an important issue because it is related to human comfort and the quality of the indoor environment. The plate-like structure, such as a door, window, floor and wall, is one of the most common types of construction and building. In this work, the experimental and numerical characterization of the acoustic performances of walls and double walls found in building is investigated. First, the acoustic performances of windows in the exterior building façade are evaluated experimentally according to the standard norm ISO 10140. In the second part of this work, a finite element formulation for sound transmission through double wall panels is presented. The third part of this paper concerns the control of sound transmission through double panels using semi-passive piezoelectric shunt technique. More specifically, the system consists of two walls with an air cavity in between. The external panel has surface-mounted piezoelectric patches. The piezoelectric elements, connected with resonant shunt circuits, are used for the vibration damping of some specific resonance frequencies of the coupled system in the low-frequency range.

Walid Larbi

An Overview of State-of-the-Art Technologies for Data-Driven Construction

The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) community has been implementing actions that address the significant productivity and efficiency problems that are common in on-site construction. In spite of the many advantages of introducing emerging technologies, the industry continues to rely on hard copy documents. However, the recent advent of new technologies such as AI, Blockchain, IoT, and 5G-communication is leading the built environment into a modern data-driven environment. This data-driven environment can be described as having five phases based on the data utilization criteria: data acquisition, data highway (mobile), data security, data analysis, and data realization. The AEC community can apply IoT, 3D laser scanning, and drones to the data acquisition phase. These technologies can provide the AEC community with fast, affordable, and robust data collecting methodologies. 5G-communications technologies can allow participants to communicate enormous quantities of data in seconds among the various stakeholders. Blockchain enables the AEC industry to share, secure, and store data in distributed ledgers, establishing transparency, immutability, traceability, and decentralization. It also utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms for data analysis. AI and ML analyze big data collected from the acquisition phase and give a prediction about models or improve decision making by clustering or categorizing data. Finally, by introducing speech recognition technology, virtual and augmented reality, the designer can provide customers with a customer-centered environment. This study presents an overview of state-of-the-art technologies for data-driven environments, use cases, and the impacts of these technologies on the AEC industry productivity and efficiency.

Junghoon Woo, Sangyun Shin, Ashish T. Asutosh, Jiaxuan Li, Charles J. Kibert


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