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School of the Built Environment
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment
The urgent need to improve performance in the construction industry has led to the adoption of many innovative technologies. 3D laser scanners are amongst the leading technologies being used to capture and process assets or construction project data for use in various applications. Due to its nascent nature, many questions are still unanswered about 3D laser scanning, which in turn contribute to the slow adaptation of the technology. Some of these include the role of 3D laser scanners in capturing and processing raw construction project data. How accurate are the 3D laser scanner or point cloud data? How does laser scanning fit with other wider emerging technologies such as building information modeling (BIM)? This study adopts a proof-of-concept approach, which in addition to answering the aforementioned questions, illustrates the application of the technology in practice. The study finds that the quality of the data, commonly referred to as point cloud data, is still a major issue as it depends on the distance between the target object and 3D laser scanner’s station. Additionally, the quality of the data is still very dependent on data file sizes and the computational power of the processing machine. Lastly, the connection between laser scanning and BIM approaches is still weak as what can be done with a point cloud data model in a BIM environment is still very limited. The aforementioned findings reinforce existing views on the use of 3D laser scanners in capturing and processing construction project data
The havoc caused by COVID-19 has further strengthen the case for greening cities and ensuring a quicker economic recovery much desired by various governments. To this end, the appetite for Distributed Renewable and Interactive Energy Systems (DRIES) as a preferred option to retrofit cities has grown amongst policy makers. However, DRIE sources are complex and disparate presenting challenges integrating into a unified system for urban retrofitting. Yet, integrating Building Information Modelling (BIM) and DRIES provide possibilities of effective assessment. Research of BIM applications at a city level is still very sketchy talk less in the domain of DRIES. This study investigates the opportunities and barriers of the application of BIM for the performance assessment of DRIES in the context of the transforming our environments into lowcarbon cities. A systematic literature review and case study review were used to achieve the aim of this study.
Environmental assessment is a critical activity for ensuring buildings are performing according to specified requirements, and efficient, seamless exchange of building information is crucial for environmental assessment. Therefore, all those involved in built environment issues should be able to access and share not only building information but also data about products, especially environmental assessment results for the products used in building projects. Of the several approaches that have been proposed to achieve efficient information exchange, semantic web technologies are amongst the most promising due to their capability to share data and enhance interoperability between the most heterogeneous systems. This study proposes an approach that can be used to make environmental data available in the early phases of the building lifecycle. It relies on Semantic Web techniques, especially Linked Data principles, while building on emerging Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology to propose an approach that facilitates information exchange to enhance the sustainability assessment of buildings. The paper ends with an illustration of how lifecycle inventory databases can be integrated, linked to BIM software and used in exchanging environmental building data.
The relative low capital cost and contributions to mitigating global warming have favoured the continuous construction and operation of nuclear power plants across the world. One critical phase in the operation of nuclear plants for ensuring safety and security of radioactive products and by-products is decommissioning. With the advent of digital twinning in the building information modelling (BIM) methodology, efficiency and safety can be improved from context-focus access to regulations pertaining demolition of structures, and cleaning-up of radioactivity inherent in nuclear stations. A BIM-driven framework to achieve a more regulation-aware and safer decommissioning of nuclear plants is proposed.
Interactions and collaboration between parties in construction projects are often characterised by misunderstandings and poor information exchange. Game engine technologies, when employed with building information modelling (BIM), can help address these shortcomings. Quite often, the visualisation capabilities of BIM models are not explored fully partly because of their limited interactive capability. While game engines are powerful in visualisation and interactions in the gaming industry, the literature suggests a lack of understanding of the applicability of the same in construction. This study investigates the potential of the use of game engines in construction practice which culminated in a framework that can guide the implementation of the same in enhancing interactive building walkthroughs.
Purpose. To reach its full potential, Building Information Modelling (BIM) should be implemented throughout the supply chain. This study explores BIM implementation and adoption among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the UK Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector. The paper addresses two key issues; the slow rate and lack of homogeneity of BIM adoption in the SME sector.
Design/methodology/approach. The study employs qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate BIM uptake and test for correlations between organisational features and BIM aspects. The sample includes data from SMEs, based in the South East of England, analysed by using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Findings. The results show that, although SMEs have some understanding of BIM related concepts, their familiarity with existing BIM software support systems is particularly low. Limited financial capacity is identified as the main barrier to BIM adoption while knowledge exchange initiatives as the most useful measure in facilitating further implementation. The variations of SMEs in the adoption and implementation of BIM are mostly affected by company size, professional discipline and offered services. The paper also demonstrates that a one-size-fits-all approach to BIM implementation in the AEC sector has limited potential.
Originality/value. The heterogeneity of SMEs in the AEC sector has been considered to a very limited extent. This paper considers the nature, characteristics and core business areas of SMEs as factors affecting BIM adoption and implementation.
Purpose. The emergence of Building Information Modelling (BIM) has led to the need for prequalification and selection of organisations capable of working within a BIM environment. Several criteria have been proposed for the assessment of an organisations BIM capability during the prequalification and selection phase of projects. However, no studies have sought to empirically establish whether organisations selected on the basis of such criteria have actually been the most successful at delivering BIM on projects. The aim of the study is to address the aforementioned gap through a comparison of predicted BIM capability and post-selection performance. Design/methodology/approach. BIM capability of firms in a case study was predicted using 28 BIM pre-qualification and selection criteria, prioritised based on their perceived contribution to BIM delivery success from a survey of practitioners on BIM-enabled projects. The comparison of predicted BIM capability and post-selection performance was on the other hand achieved through the application of the Technique to Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution and Fuzzy Sets Theory (Fuzzy-TOPSIS). Findings. Findings underscore the reliability of the 28 BIM pre-qualification and selection criteria as well as the priority weightings proposed for their use in predicting BIM capability and likelihood of performance. The findings have highlighted the importance of criteria related as previous BIM use experience as well as information processing maturity as critical indicators of the capability of organisations particularly design firms. Originality/value. Overall, the findings highlight the need for prioritisation of BIM pre-qualification and selection criteria on the basis of their actual contribution to delivery success from post-selection evaluation of performance.
Purpose. This study investigates the transfer of information from the BIM models to either conventional or advanced asset management platforms using Linked Data. To achieve this aim, a process for generating Linked Data in the asset management context and its integration with BIM data is presented. Methodology. The research design employs a participatory action research (PAR) approach. The PAR approach utilised two qualitative data collection methods namely; focus group and interviews to identify and evaluate the required standards for the mapping of different domains. Also prototyping which is an approach of Software Development Methodology (SDM) is utilized to develop the ontologies and Linked Data. Findings. The proposed process offers a comprehensive description of the required standards and classifications in construction domain, related vocabularies and object-oriented links to ensure the effective data integration between different domains. Also the proposed process demonstrates the different stages, tools, best practices and guidelines to develop Linked Data, armed with a comprehensive use case Linked Data generation about building assets that consume energy. Originality/value. The Linked Data generation and publications in the domain of AECO is still in its infancy and it also needs methodological guidelines to support its evolution towards maturity in its processes and applications. This research concentrates on the Linked Data applications with BIM to link across domains where few studies have been conducted.
The development and use of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies worldwide is considered crucial towards fulfilling an increasing global energy demand and mitigating climate change. However, the potential of a solar PV-system is location specific, influenced by the local solar resource, energy demand and cost among other factors. The main aim of this study is to conduct a detailed assessment of the potential of solar PV-systems in residential buildings in Lagos Metropolitan Area, Nigeria. Nigeria has enormous solar energy potential, it is the most populous country in Africa and occupies a significant place in the development of Africa. Yet, it is a county with one of the lowest per capita electricity consumption in the world – at 149 kWh per capita for a population of about 170 million, about 7% of Brazil’s and 3% of South Africa’s. To achieve this goal, this study employed the survey of 150 residential buildings in three local government areas (LGAs) in Lagos State, Nigeria to obtain electric load data. HOMER Pro was used to size the PV-systems and to determine the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). The computed energy results of the study for the base case scenario revealed the PV array, lead acid battery and the converter (inverter) of the PV-systems to be in the following range: 0.3 to 76 kW; 2 to 176kWh; and 0.1 to 13.2 kW respectively. Economic analysis revealed a LCOE of the systems in the range of 0.398 USD/kWh to 0.743 USD/kWh. The use of PV-system generated electricity in the dwellings has potential for an annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the range of 31.24 kgCO2eq to 7456.44 kgCO2eq. Clearly, the use of solar PV systems in residential buildings possesses potentials for enabling Nigeria to attain its climate change mitigation targets indicated in her National Determined Contributions (NDCs).
The RIBA Plan of Work together with BIM guidance documents, developed in the UK, are commonly used in Egypt and the Middle East. However, efforts from academics publishing articles about the experiences of the adoption of such BIM standards in Egypt have been very limited. This research investigates the use of a BIM-RIBA Plan of Work in the construction industry in Egypt. The research aim was achieved through literature review and collecting qualitative data from industry practitioners. Focus group interviews was used to collect qualitative data, then analysed through consecutive stages of transcription, coding and structuring. The main finding of this study is that integrating the RIBA Plan of Work in Egypt would be beneficial only if the established construction activities have been further detailed and linked to BIM concepts. A BIM-RIBA Plan of Work has been developed through the identification of main BIM objectives and activities in each stage in the project lifecycle.
BIM has recently gained ground in developed countries. However, the use of BIM in developing countries including Cameroon is not well-known. In this study, BIM implementation in Cameroon is explored. The research methods used are a pilot study, electronic email surveys and in-depth phone interviews. Altogether, 179 professionals having at least a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the National Advanced School of Engineering Yaoundé I - Cameroon, a leading engineering institution in Francophone Africa, were sampled. Forty six provided feedback yielding a response rate of 25.7%. It emerged that some BIM software are already being used in Cameroon. However, major barriers hindering BIM uptake are high license fee and lack of huge projects that can pay off the cost of investment in BIM. Perhaps, partly because the respondents were highly skilled, it emerged that the lack of expertise was/is not a major problem to use BIM in projects. Although this study is limited to Cameroon, many recommendations could be relevant to other African countries.
The construction industry including its support industries is one of the highest consumers of natural resources. In the act of consumption of natural resources during construction processes, embodied energy and greenhouse gases are emitted which have adverse effects on the natural environment. Thus, recent studies have revealed a significant interest in the quantification of embodied energy and greenhouse gases in construction processes. Unfortunately, current interpretations and quantification procedures of embodied energy and greenhouse gases are quite unclear. More also, while greenhouse gas and embodied energy quantification models are so disaggregated, studies reveal their existence in isolation without any links to other important environmental/construction management variables such as waste, time and cost. The objectives of this study are to identify the gaps in the current computation models, to reveal the relationships between the identified models and to propose a framework towards developing an integrated model for measuring embodied energy, greenhouse gases, construction waste, time and cost. The contributions of this study are three-fold. Firstly, the identification of the different models and variables, such that they can be used in computations, that can lead to consistent and comparable results. Secondly, investigate the relationships amongst embodied energy, greenhouse gases, construction waste, cost and time variables, that can facilitate the quantification process and hence potentially facilitate the engagement into low carbon building design by construction professionals. Lastly, lay the foundation for further research especially with regards to the integration of the different models and variables so that they can be measured simultaneously.
The built environment sector impacts significantly on communities. At the same time, it is the sector with the highest cost and environmental saving potentials provided effective strategies are implemented. The emerging Semantic Web promises new opportunities for efficient management of information and knowledge about various domains. While other domains, particularly bioinformatics have fully embraced the Semantic Web, knowledge about how the same has been applied to the built environment is sketchy. This study investigates the development and trend of Semantic Web applications in the built environment Understanding the different applications of the Semantic Web is essential for evaluation, improvement and opening of new research. A review of over 120 refereed articles on built environment Semantic Web applications has been conducted. A classification of the different Semantic Web applications in relation to their year of application is presented to highlight the trend. Two major findings have emerged. Firstly, despite limited research about easy-to-use applications, progress is being made from often too-common ontological concepts to more innovative concepts such as Linked Data. Secondly, a shift from traditional construction applications to Semantic Web sustainable construction applications is gradually emerging. To conclude, research challenges, potential future development and research directions have been discussed.
Today in most countries, Building Information Modelling has been hailed as a major solution for long standing challenges facing the construction industry. While Building Information Modelling is already quite popular in developed countries, its uptake in developing countries has been hampered by a number of challenges. Chief amongst these is cost of Building Information Modelling software and training. This study investigates the availability and potential of open source Building Information Modelling software as an affordable alternative for developing countries. This is achieved through an extensive in-depth analysis of secondary sources including Building Information Modelling vendors’ websites. Although the present analysis focuses on selected open sourced Building Information Modelling software applicable to different areas of construction (e.g. energy analysis and cost estimation), their potential to exchange data with other software has been examined. The main findings are that, there are already so many open source Building Information Modelling software that can be used by developing countries or any organisation with limited resources especially Africa. The main contribution of this paper is the provision of an up-to-date free and open source Building Information Modelling and related software with their respective Web links that can be used in managing construction information.
This book gathers the proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Engineering, Applied Sciences and System Modeling (ICEASSM), a four-day event (18th–21st April 2017) held in Accra, Ghana. It focuses on research work promoting a better understanding of engineering problems through applied sciences and modeling, and on solutions generated in an African setting but with relevance to the world as a whole. The book provides a holistic overview of challenges facing Africa, and addresses various areas from research and development perspectives.
Presenting contributions by scientists, engineers and experts hailing from a host of international institutions, the book offers original approaches and technological solutions to help solve real-world problems through research and knowledge sharing. Further, it explores promising opportunities for collaborative research on issues of scientific, economic and social development, making it of interest to researchers, scientists and practitioners looking to conduct research in disciplines such as water supply, control, civil engineering, statistical modeling, renewable energy and sustainable urban development.