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e2001 - Abstracts

Abstracts of Papers Published in the Conference Proceedings - Section 2.6: e-Business for the Construction Industry

Section 2.6: e-Business for the Construction Industry
ICT Research and Development for the Construction Industry in the European IST Programme
A. Zarli, Y. Rezgui, A.S. Kazi, T. Hassan, S. Soubra, Z. Turk, R. Scherer
An Open Specification and Framework for the Construction Dynamic Virtual Organisations: The OSMOS Project
Y. Rezgui, M. Bourdeau, A.S. Kazi, A. Zarli
ICT Support for Distributed Engineering in Construction
A.S. Kazi, M. Hannus, J. Laitinen
eBusiness in Building and Construction: The econstruct Project
R. Van Rees, F. Tolman, C. Lima, B. Fies, J. Fleuren, A. Zarli
Towards the Next Generation of Civil Engineering Collaboration Platforms
Z. Turk, R. J. Scherer
Divercity: A VR Application for the Construction Industry
J.-C. Lombardo, M. Marache, S. Soubra, L. Da Dalto, O. Balet, M. Paulin
Information Services to Enable European Construction Enterprises: The I-SEEC Project
Z. Turk, R. Amor, D. Bloomfield, T. Cerovsek
Knowledge Management in the Construction Industry: The e-COGNOS Approach
M. Bourdeau, F. Giraud-Carrier, Y. Rezgui, A. Zarli
Communicating Information in the Joint Sales Network of Construction Industry Suppliers
F. Reim
Internet Procurement for Products and Services in the Construction and Engineering Industry - The Need for European Standardisation
J.F. e Cunha, A. Amador, H. Nóvoa, A. Correia, J. Carvalho, A. Lima, A. Conde

ICT Research and Development for the Construction Industry in the European IST Programme
Alain ZARLI(1), Yacine REZGUI(2), Abdul Samad KAZI(3), Tarek HASSAN(4), Souheil SOUBRA(1), Ziga TURK(5), Raimar SCHERER(6)
(1) Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment, BP 209, F-06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex
(2) ISI, University of Salford, The Crescent, M5 4WT, Manchester, UK,
(3) Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), P.O. Box 1801, FIN-02044 VTT Finland,
(4) Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
(5) University of Ljubljana, FGG-IKPIR, Jamova 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia,
(6) University of Technology Dresden, 01062 Dresden,

This paper provides with a synthetic presentation of currently on-going EC-funded research and development efforts for generalising ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) integration in the construction industry in Europe. A specific lighting is provided on six IST projects that, as a whole, cover a large scope of the actual issues the construction actors are today facing for a future real use of ICT in their daily activities. This paper is an introduction to the IST-2001-33022 cluster project ICCI providing an umbrella for improved co-ordination of these six projects and broader dissemination of their results, and also to the "ICT in the construction industry" session of the e2001 conference.

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An Open Specification and Framework for the Construction Dynamic Virtual Organisations: The OSMOS Project
Yacine REZGUI(1), Marc BOURDEAU(2), Abdul Samad KAZI(3) and Alain ZARLI(2)
(1) Information Systems Institute, University of Salford, The Crescent, M5 4WT, Manchester, United Kingdom
(2) Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bdtiment (CSTB), 290 route des lucioles, B.P. 209, 06904 Sophia Antipolis cedex, France
(3) Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), P.O Box 1801, FIN-02044 VTT, Finland

OSMOS is a European R&D project within the Fifth Framework programme
(IST-1999-10491, Open System for inter-enterprise information Management in dynamic virtual environments). The consortium includes construction IT service providers: DERBi, JM, Granlund; and European leading research centres and academic: CSTB, Information Systems Institute of University of Salford, VTT. OSMOS aims at providing an infrastructure that brings together, and promote co-operation between actors and companies on construction projects. In particular, an emphasis is put on developing an information infrastructure that enables SMEs to be more closely integrated on projects, to take a more active part in the design and delivery of the construction product. First, the paper gives a general overview of the construction industry process and organisational settings, and introduces the aims and objectives of the OSMOS project. The OSMOS solution is then described via a generic framework addressing the information, sharing and process control requirements of the project. Finally, the paper presents the OSMOS prototype services.

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ICT Support for Distributed Engineering in Construction
Abdul Samad KAZI(1), Matti Hannus(1), and Jarmo Laitinen(2)
(1) VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, P.O. Box 1801, FIN-02044 VTT, Finland
(2) YIT Corporation, Panuntie II, P.O. Box 36, FIN-00621 Helsinki, Finland

This paper presents some of the findings of the GLOBEMEN project with respect to ICT support requirements for distributed engineering. The paper explores distributed engineering, its related modes of inter-enterprise communications, and furthermore some typical ICT support requirements from the perspective of a construction contractor. A possible scenario of how distributed engineering in construction.could take place on the basis of a shared product model is furthermore presented. The scenario illustrates how different actors in the construction lifecycle share their respective partial models to be merged together to form the product model to be used for a project. The paper concludes with a brief presentation of an envisioned distributed engineering environment for construction.

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eBusiness in Building and Construction: The econstruct Project
Reinout VAN REES(1), Frits TOLMAN(1), Celson LIMA(2), Bruno FIES(2), Joost FLEUREN(1), Alain ZARLI(2)
(1) Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5048, NL-2600 GA, Delft, The Netherlands
(2) Centre Scientfque et Technique du Batiment, 290, B.P. 209, 06904 Sophia Antipolis, France

The paper presents the current state of the European IST 10303 "eConstruct" project. After a broad overview that focuses on the industrial relevance of the project, emphasis is on the development of the open bcXML architecture, its implementation and its uses.

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Towards the Next Generation of Civil Engineering Collaboration Platforms
Ziga TURK(1) and Raimar J. SCHERER
(1) FGG-IKPIR, University of Ljubljana, Jumova 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenina;
(2) Lehrstuhl fur Computeranwendung im Bauwesen, Technische Universitat Dresden,
D-01062 Dresden, Germany

The Internet is being increasingly used as a collaboration platform so that design and planing information is available to all involved through a web browser. Several companies offer such collaboration environments for rent. However, these environments are closed, project centred and provide only for document/file level information exchange. ISTforCE is a European 5" Framework Information Society project (2001-2003) aimed at developing technologies for the next generation of such services. The acronym stands for "Intelligent Services and Tools for Concurrent Engineering". The novel approaches in ISTforCE are (1) that one should not provide project centred environments, but that these should be focused on a human, (2) that collaboration environments should be open so that they provide a platform where users and providers of engineering information, services and tools meet - clients of such environments are therefore both engineers as well as providers of services, (3) that object level data exchange is possible and (4) that infrastructure for on-line business is provided - for legal and financial transactions. In the paper we present the actors and use cases of such an environment, the overall multiple-tier client-server architecture and a GUI of a prototype.

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Divercity: A VR Application for the Construction Industry
Jean-Christophe Lombardo(1), Mathieu Marache(1), Soubeil Soubra(1), Laurent Da Dalto(2), Olivier Balet(2), Mathias Paulin(3)
(1) CSTB, BP 209, 06 904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France
(2) CS SI, 13 rue Andre Villet, BP 4042.31029 Toulouse Cedex 4, France
(3) IRIT-UPS 118, route de Narbonne 31062 Toulouse Cedex 4, France

The construction industry is extremely fragmented: a high number of different (mostly small) companies meet and work together only for the duration of the project. Current methods of communicating building design information can lead to several types of difficulties (e.g. incomplete understanding of the planned construction, functional inefficiencies, inaccurate initial work, etc.). We believe that integrated software solutions based on VR technologies can bring significant value improvement and cost reduction to this industry as it did to other industrial sectors. The aim of this paper is to present the research carried out in the frame of DIVERCITY (Distributed Virtual Workspace for Enhancing Communication within the Construction Industry - IST project n"13365). DIVERCITY's goal is to develop a Virtual Workspace that addresses the three key building construction phases (Client briefing, Design Review and Construction) therefore allowing teams based in different geographic locations to collaboratively design, test and validate shared virtual projects. The global DIVERCITY project will be presented in terms of objectives and software architecture then a special focus will be made on the Design Review Workspace and, in particular, on lighting simulations.


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Information Services to Enable European Construction Enterprises: The I-SEEC Project
Ziga TURK(1), Robert AMOR(2), Dave BLOOMFIELD(3), Tomo CEROVSEK(1),
(1) FGG-IKPIR, University ofLjubljana, Jamova 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
(2) University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
(3) BRE Ltd, BucknaIls Lane, Garston. Watford, HERTS. WD25 9XX, UK.

The construction industry traditionally had local roots. Particularly small and medium enterprises have been operating locally and were supplied by local materials and components. Most Internet based information services aimed at the construction industry followed this pattern and have been local as well. The goal of two European projects - CONNET and I-SEEC was to develop the infrastructure to add a European dimension to such services and in this way contribute to the internationalisation of the industry. Acknowledging the fact, that the best source of local information exists locally, the result is a federation of information services. The services are integrated through the use of (1) common application interfaces, (2) common data structures and (3) a pan European meta search. The information can be viewed through the optics of several classification systems and languages through the use of thesauri, We found that the implemented approach is viable both technically and commercially. There is a lack, however, of commonly accepted standards that would ease the building of federated, distributed construction services, both in the area of the data structures, information metadata and service to service interfacing.

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Knowledge Management in the Construction Industry: The e-COGNOS Approach
Marc BOURDEAU(1), Francois GIRAUD-CARRIER(2), Yacine REZGUI(3) and Alain ZARLI(1)
(1) Centre Scientifique et Technique du Batiment, BP 209, F-06904 Sophia Antipolis Cedex
(2) Derbi, 18 boulevard de la Bastille, F-75012 Paris
(3) University of Salford, Information Systems Institute, Salford, M5 4WT, UK

This paper presents the outlines of the e-COGNOS project funded by the European Commission in the framework of the IST programme. This project aims at specifying and developing an open model-based infrastructure and a set of tools that promote consistent knowledge management within collaborative construction environments. The work will rely on a deep understanding of knowledge management activities of European construction companies. The analysis of the semantics within and across documents will lead onto the development of ontologies and adaptive mechanisms that can organise documents according to their contents and interdependencies. The web-based infrastructure will include services allowing to create, capture, index, retrieve and disseminate knowledge. It will also favour the integration of proprietary tools. The e-COGNOS approach will be tested and evaluated through a series of field trials. This will be followed by the delivery of business recommendations regarding the deployment of e-COGNOS in the construction sector.

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Communicating Information in the Joint Sales Network of Construction Industry Suppliers
Friedemann Reim
Infoman Informationsmanagement GmbH, Vaihinger Str. 169, D-70567 Stuttgart

Sharing and transferring of business information, knowledge and best practices used to be inefficient among co-operating construction companies. Small and medium sized companies often lost know-how in their sales network. Several such companies decided to use systematic procedures and responsibilities to structure the workflow and thus to retain the knowledge.
Efficiently communicating information among collaborating sales persons, eventually sharing of knowledge within and between business organisations, establishing a simple and quick reporting hierarchy are being realised in a joint IT project. The paper describes how construction companies in the production of prefabricated elements plan to use a communication network in order to stay competitive. It reports on practical experiences and visions along with EU- funded project ECC (CRAFT-1999-70200).

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Internet Procurement for Products and Services in the Construction and Engineering Industry - The Need for European Standardisation

Joao Faldcao e CUNHA(1), Antonio AMADOR(2), Henriqueta NdVOA(1), Ana CORREIA(2), Joao0 CARVALHO(1), Antonio LIMA(3), Antonio CONDE(3)
(1) FEUP, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal;
(2) INEGI - Institute de Engenharia Meccanica e Gestao Industrial, Rua do Barroco, 174, 4465-591 Leca do Balio, Portugal
(3) AMM - Alberto Mesquita e Filhos SA, Rua do Souto 1, 4471-001 Maia

The construction industry is under pressure to find ways to improve efficiency and quality, and to keep costs under control. Most of the communication throughout the supply chain is based on paper, fax or email, with massive duplication of in and out processing information to and from internal systems. For instance, in order to submit a proposal for a tender for a project, a construction company must undertake a procurement exercise that may involve hundreds of suppliers, making decisions regarding the best supplier for each supplying task. This usually must be done in co-operation with project partners', and if the proposal is accepted, usually many months later, the same exercise must be re-done as products, services and prices change with time, and negotiation will then be much more controlled. This paper will address the way a particular company has implemented an advanced prototype of a Web based life-cycle procurement system, fully integrated with the internal management system. The procurement system starts with a materials and service requirement list, based on the project proposal documentation (from the tender), and uses the supplier's database of the company to organise patterns of consultations. Based on such patterns, it then publishes on the Internet or the Extranet all the required procurement tasks, organised to facilitate evaluation of answers. All this process is automatic, but users can change all of the default assumptions. This procurement system will be fully integrated with Internet-based document management systems and workflow control tools. Currently this procurement system uses company standards for materials and services' definition. However, the competition with some advanced suppliers' procurement systems in the Internet, and the emergence of national and international online-marketplaces targeting the construction industry will require that an European level of standardisation will become available for the Industry.

 

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