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CONVR 2012

Proceedings of 12 th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality

November 1-2, 2012, Taipei Taiwan

Edited by Yu-Cheng Lin National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan Shih-Chung Jessy Kang National Taiwan University, Taiwan

12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality



Application of Virtual Reality Organizer Organizations National Taiwan University Supporting Organizations and

National Taiwan University

Supporting Organizations and Sponsors

Taiwan University Supporting Organizations and Sponsors National Science Council Bureau of Foreign Trade Ministry of
Taiwan University Supporting Organizations and Sponsors National Science Council Bureau of Foreign Trade Ministry of
Taiwan University Supporting Organizations and Sponsors National Science Council Bureau of Foreign Trade Ministry of

National Science Council

Bureau of Foreign Trade

Ministry of Education

Smart Aging Alliance

Autodesk Taiwan Ltd.

CECI Engineering Consultants, Inc., Taiwan

Chien Kuo Construction Co.,Ltd.

China Engineering Consultants Inc., Taiwan

Moh and Associates, Inc.

Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Ltd.

ISBN: 978-986-03-4289-5 All rights reserved © 2012 No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microfilming, recording or otherwise, without written permission from the Publisher, with the exception of any material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work.

Published and printed at National Taiwan University Press, Taiwan, by University Publishing Service.

International Advisory Committee:

November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

Shang-Hsien Hsieh (Chair), National Taiwan University, Taiwan Chimay J. Anumba, The Pennsylvania State University, USA Nashwan Dawood, Teesside University, UK Feniosky Peña-Mora, Columbia University, USA Lucio Soibelman, University of Southern California, USA Xiang-Yu Wang, Curtin University, Australia Nobuyoshi Yabuki, Osaka University, Japan

Organizing Committee:

Shih-Chung Jessy Kang (Chair), National Taiwan University, Taiwan Hung-Ming Chen (Co-Chair), National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan Albert Y. Chen (General Secretary), National Taiwan University, Taiwan Yu-Cheng Lin (Publication), National Taipei University of Technology, Taiwan Po-Han Chen (Program), National Taiwan University, Taiwan Su-Ling Fan (Local Arrangement), Tamkang University, Taiwan Chien-Cheng Chou (Website), National Central University, Taiwan I-Chen Wu (Registration), National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan Kuo-Liang Kevin Lin, I-Shou University, Taiwan


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

International Scientific Committee:

Changbum Ahn, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA Burcu Akinci, Carnegie Mellon University, USA Homan Bahnassi, Concordia University, Canada Amir Behzadan, University of Central Florida, USA Manfred Breit, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, Switzerland Ioannis Brilakis, University of Cambridge, UK Gerhard Girmscheid, ETH Zürich, Switzerland Mani Golparvar-Fard, Virginia Tech, USA Jie Gong, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA Ning Gu, The University of Newcastle, Australia SangUk Han, University of Illinois, USA Sangwon Han, University of Seoul, Korea YoMing Hsieh, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, Taiwan Vineet Kamat, University of Michigan, USA Puteri Shireen Jahn Kassim, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia Hiam Khoury, American University of Beirut, Lebanon Tsuneya Kurihara, Central Research Laboratory, Hitachi Ltd., Japan Kincho Law, Stanford University, USA Ghang Lee, Yonsei University, Korea SangHyun Lee, University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor, USA Fernanda Leite, The University of Texas at Austin, USA KenYu Lin, University of Washington, USA Emmajane Mantle, University of Glamorgan, UK Katsuhiko Muramoto, Pennsylvania State University, USA Abbas Rashidi, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA XinYi Song, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA Kenichi Sugihara, Gifu-Keizai University, Japan Georg Suter, Vienna University of Technology, Australia PingBo Tang, Arizona State University, USA Menghan Tsai, National Taiwan University, Taiwan Nobuyoshi Yabuki, Osaka University, Japan Zhenhua Zhu, Concordia University, Canada



November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

We are very pleased to hold the 12th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality (CONVR 2012) at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan. The first CONVR was held in Teesside, UK in 2000, and the conferences since have been held in Chalmers, Sweden (2001), Blacksburg, VA, USA (2003), Lisbon, Portugal (2004), Durham, UK (2005), Orlando, FL, USA (2006), Penn State, PA, USA (2007), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2008), Sydney, Australia (2009), Sendai, Japan (2010), and Weimar, Germany (2011). We would like to invite you this year to Taipei, a city well known for its welcoming attitude towards foreign visitors to Taiwan. Information and communication technology has advanced rapidly and with the utilization of computer-based visualization is quite developed and widely applied. The progress of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Building Information Models (BIM) is particularly swift. These forward-looking technologies offer the potential for considerable benefits at all stages of implementation, from initial planning and conceptual design to facility management and operations. CONVR 2012 will bring together researchers and practitioners from a variety of fields such as architecture, civil engineering, and construction to exchange ideas and methods for new VR, AR, and BIM applications. The aim of this conference is to report ideas, improvements, products, and applications that are innovative and for international research activities and strategies within the fields of Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC). In response to our Call for Papers, we received 102 abstracts, of which 64 were finally accepted by the International Scientific Committee after two rounds of rigorous review. The proceedings include all 64 accepted papers and four keynote speakers. We are very pleased with the quality of conference papers and wish to thank the authors for all their efforts in contributing to our conference. We hope that CONVR 2012 and the publication of the proceedings will contribute to the development and application of information and communication technology for AEC long into the future. Finally, we hope that you enjoy the conference papers and will join us at future CONVR events.

With Warmest Regards,

Yu-Cheng Lin (Editor, National Taipei University of Technology) Shih-Chung Jessy Kang (Conference Chair, National Taiwan University)



November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan





Keynote Speech



James H. Garrett



Richard Moh



Nashwan Dawood



Shuen-Huei Guan

I. Building Information Modeling (BIM)




Po-Han Chen, Po-Chuan Chuang & Meng-Shen Kan



Yu-Chih Su, Meng-Chung Lee, Chih-Yuan Li & Yu-Cheng Lin



Hans-Joachim Bargstaedt



12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality



Danilo Di Mascio



Cheng-Yuan Hsieh & I-Chen Wu



Anne Anderson, Ken-Yu Lin & Carrie Sturts Dossick



Sebastian Hollermann & Hans-Joachim Bargstädt



Chia-Ying Lin & Chien-Cheng Chou



A. Mhalas, T. Crosbie & N. Dawood



Huan-Ting Chen, Si-Wei Wu & Shang-Hsien Hsieh



Edvinas Rasys, Michael Hodds & N. N. Dawood



Po-Han Chen, Long Chan & Jeong-Shing Lee



C.H. Wang, R. Moh, S.M. Kang, W.L. Lee, T.J. Pei & S.H. Hsieh



Li Wang, Junlin Yi & Fernanda Leite


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan



Hsiang-Wei Lu, Wan-Li Lee, Chih-Chuan Lin & Po-Ming Huang



Ming-Tsung Lee, Cheng-Yi Chen, Shao-Wei Weng, Shih-Hsu Wang, Wei-Chih Wang, Jang-Jeng Liu, Yuan-Yuan Cheng, Ming-Feng Yeh, Bing-Yi Lin & Cheng-Ju Kung



Mani Golparvar-Fard, Andrey Dimitrov & Feniosky Peña-Mora



Jürgen Melzner & Hans-Joachim Bargstädt



Zhenhua Zhu



Julian Kang, Adithya Ganapathi & Hussam Nseir



Yichuan Deng & Jack Chin Pang Cheng



C.L. Hung & S.A. Chou



Timo Kuula, Kalevi Piira, Anu Seisto, Mika Hakkarainen & Charles Woodward



Rongrong Yu, Ning Gu & Michael Ostwald


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

II. Augmented Reality (AR) and Sensing




Sarah Rankouhi & Lloyd M Waugh



Chen Feng & Vineet Kamat



Wei Han Hung & Shih Chung Kang



Hyojoon Bae, Mani Golparvar-Fard & Jules White



Takehiro Urano, Tsuneya Kurihara, Yuki Watanabe, Tatsuhiko Kagehiro, Tetsuya Tsubokura, Fumio Hatori & Yuichi Yashiro



Martin Heinig, Axel Friedewald & Hermann Lödding



Katsuhiko Muramoto & Vui Huynh



Amir H. Behzadan, Vineet R. Kamat



Hugo M. da Silva, João P. Jacob, António F. Coelho & Rui Rodrigues



Akash Garg & Vineet R. Kamat


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan



Lei Hou & Xiangyu Wang



Yo-Ming Hsieh & Ya-Sue Liu




Yoshihiro Yasumuro, Takashi Shimomukai, Hiroshige Dan & Masahiko Fuyuki



Ming-Fung Francis Siu, Sheng Mao, Ming Lu & Simaan Abourizk




Florian Kammergruber, Andreas Ebner & Willibald Günthner



Matteo Fabbri, Emanuele Borasio, Daniel Blersch & Christoph Froehlich

III. 3D/4D Mode ling




Brandon S. Reisser & John C. Hildreth



Georg Suter, Filip Petrushevski & Milos Sipetic



Kenichi Sugihapa & Zhen-jiang Shen




12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

Satoshi Kubota, Etsuji Kitagawa, Kantaro Monobe, Kenji Nakamura & Shigenori Tanaka


Hsiao-Hsuan Liu & Albert Y. Chen

IV . Real Time Visu alization





Gerhard Schubert, Christoph Anthes, Dieter Kranzlmüller & Frank Petzold



Ren-Jwo Tsay & Jian-Yuan Chen



Janne Porkka, Nusrat Jung, Sunil Suwal, Päivi Jäväjä, Anssi Savisalo, Jani Päivänen & Jarkko Sireeni



Nobuyoshi Yabuki, Takuya Onoue, Tomohiro Fukuda & Shinji Yoshida



Bimal Balakrishnan, Danielle Oprean, Brad Martin & Melina Smith



Robert Amor & Dermott McMeel



Manfred Breit, Li Huang, Frank Lang, Fabian Ritter & André Borrmann



Fabiano Stange & Sergio Scheer


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan



Ko-Chiu Wu



SangUk Han, Madhav Achar, SangHyun Lee & Feniosky Peña-Mora

V . Simulation and Planning




Alexander Ginzburg



Vitali Kochkine, Jürgen Schweitzer, Ilka von Gösseln & Nils Rinke



Trang Dang, Amir Elmahdi & Hans-Joachim Bargstädt



Hiroshige Dan, Yoshihiro Yasumuro, Taisuke Ishigaki & Tatsuaki Nishigata



Vitaly Semenov, Konstantine Kazakov & Vladislav Zolotov



Andreas Ebner, Florian Kammergruber, Tim Horenburg & Willibald Günthner



Mi Jeong Kim, Sooyeon Han & Xiangyu Wang



Amr El-Nimr, Yasser Mohamed & Simaan AbouRizk


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality



Tatsuru Tomii & Koji Makanae

Author Index




November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

Prof. James H. Garrett, Thomas Lord Professor and Head in the Department of Civil and Environmental

Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, USA.

Title: Creating smarter facilities and infrastructure using sensors, data analytics, visualization and intelligent

decision support: opportunities, challenges, and recent research at Carnegie Mellon University


The U.S. infrastructure is a trillion dollar investment, defined broadly to include road systems and bridges, water distribution systems, water treatment plants, power distribution systems, telecommunication network systems, commercial and industrial facilities, etc. In spite of the enormous investments made in these systems and their importance to the US economy, they are in a significantly deteriorated state. Sensing technologies, data modeling and mining approaches, advanced visualization and decision support can be deployed to improve the performance and/or reduce the life-cycle cost and societal impacts of all life-cycle phases of facilities and infrastructure systems.

The Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator at Carnegie Mellon, which includes the Center for Sensed Critical Infrastructure, the IBM Smarter Infrastructure Lab at Carnegie Mellon, the Facility/Infrastructure Information Modeling and Visualization Lab and the Facility/Infrastructure Analytics Lab, is performing research on what actionable information about the condition and usage of our facilities and infrastructure systems is needed and how best to capture, model and reason about it so as to improve the maintenance and operation of this infrastructure.

In this talk, I will give a brief overview of the research going on in the PSII and then present more details about several projects: 1) a framework for gathering and integrating data about HVAC systems, stored in a number of standardized data models, so that large numbers of available analyses, decision support functions and visualizations can be readily conducted using the collected and integrated data; 2) an approach for gathering and visualizing work orders in facilities so as to better understand maintenance hotspots in a facility and where building information models may need to be updated to remain accurate; 3) an approach for using multiple laser scans in time to identify variations between reality and building information models; 4) an approach for evaluating how well a building information model can improve the accuracy of indoor localization algorithms, which are extremely important for emergency response and facility management; 5) representing and visualizing, in building information models, the data about damaged building components collected using laser scanners and other sensor systems; and 6) the use of 3D immersive visualization for supporting decision making regarding the design and evaluation of energy efficient buildings.

This work has been done in collaboration with my colleagues Professors Burcu Akinci, Mario Berges and Semiha Ergan in our Advanced Infrastructure Systems Group at Carnegie Mellon and our students: Xuesong (Pine) Liu, Asli Akcamete, Te Gao, Saurabh Taneja, Engin Anil, and Sheryl Yang.


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

Bio of Prof. Garrett:

James H. Garrett, Jr. is the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He has been the head of the department since 2006. He is currently a faculty-co-director of the Pennsylvania Smarter Infrastructure Incubator (PSII), which is a research center aimed at creating and evaluating sensing, data analytics and intelligent decision support for improving the construction, management and operation of infrastructure systems. Garrett also currently serves as the co-Chief Editor of the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering. Garrett received his BS (1982), MS (1983) and PhD (1986) in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas. Garrett’s research and teaching interests are oriented

Garrett’s research and teaching interests are oriented toward applications of sensors and sensor systems to civil infrastructure condition assessment; application of data mining and machine learning techniques for infrastructure management problems in civil and environmental engineering; mobile hardware/software systems for field applications; representations and processing strategies to support the usage of engineering codes, standards, and specifications; knowledge-based decision support systems. Garrett has published his research in over 60 refereed journal articles, over 80 refereed conference papers, over 90 other conference papers and 10 sections or chapters in books or monographs.

Garrett was awarded the 2007 Steven J. Fenves Award for Systems Research at Carnegie Mellon, the 2006 ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award, and the ASCE Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering Best Paper Award in 2001 for the paper he co-authored with Han Kiliccote, entitled "Standards Usage Language (SUL): An Abstraction Boundary between Design Systems and Standards Processors." He is a co-recipient of the 1993 ASCE Wellington Prize for his paper entitled "Knowledge-Based Design of Signalized Intersections," which he co-authored with Rahim Benekohal and Jeffrey Linkenheld. He is also a co-recipient of the 1990 ASCE Moisseiff Award for his paper entitled "Knowledge-Based Standard-Independent Member Design", which he co-authored with Steven J. Fenves. In 1994, he was also a Humboldt Stipendiat and spent 6 months at the University of Karlsruhe and the Technical University Munich.



November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

Mr. Richard Moh, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development , Special Assistant to the Chairman,

MAA Group Consulting Engineers, Taiwan

Title: Taiwan’s Building Information Management Development, Opportunities and Challenges – from an

Industry’s Application Perspective


Due to the advancement of computer software and hardware, Building Information Management (BIM) is revolutionizing the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry’s practices worldwide. Plenary Session II will introduce the developments, opportunities and challenges of BIM development in Taiwan through project examples carried out by an engineering consulting firm. The presentation will share how an engineering consulting firm adopts the BIM concept under current industry environment and the challenges faced in near future.


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

Bio of Mr. Moh:

Richard Moh is the Corporate Development Senior Vice President and Special Assistant to the Chairman

of MAA Group Consulting Engineers. MAA Group is

a leading 900 people multidisciplinary engineering

consulting firm in East/Southeast Asia established in 1975. He is a holder of Project Management Professional and is the Chairman of Young Engineers Committee and Vice Chairman of International & Cross Strait Affairs Committee of the Chinese Association of Engineering Consultants. He is also the Director of Construction Management Association of the Republic of China. Educated with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering and a masters degree in engineering management at Cornell University and an MBA degree from Wharton School of Management, and having lived in many countries, Richard brings a unique set of skills to the company management. Richard is responsible of the corporate development of MAA Group, which includes general management improvements and the development of new ideas such as Building Information Modeling (BIM). Since 2009, he has been leading the company in the commitment of adopting BIM in its services to achieve the vision of integrating engineering and architecture disciplines.

of adopting BIM in its services to achieve the vision of integrating engineering and architecture disciplines.



November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

Prof. Nashwan Dawood, Professor and Director of TFI, Teesside University, UK

Title: Visualisation and Optimisation Tools for CO2 Reduction in Built Environment


While many cities in Europe and in the world have issued climate change policies and set targets for reduction of CO2 emissions, their implementation in built environment and in particular urban planning practice remains a major challenge. Devising effective decision systems which support CO2 emissions reduction demands a systems approach which enables different actors -policy makers, planners, engineers, consultants, and inhabitants- to correlate a diversity of problems, spanning across distinct domains and geographic scales. Visualisation and optimisation technologies are set to play a major role in enhancing the decision making processes and to improve our understating of the consequences of different intervention strategies. The presentation will include experience from two EU projects that have bee awarded to Teesside University in conjunction with EU academics and industry partners.

The EU projects to be presented, INTUBE (Intelligent Analysis of Energy Information) and SEMANCO (Semantic Technologies for Carbon Reduction in Urban Planning). The technical contents of these projects are based on the integration of energy related open data structured according to standards, semantically modelled and interoperable with a set of tools for visualizing, simulating and analyzing the multiple interrelationships between factors determining CO2 production. For the SEMANCO project, a Semantic Energy Information Framework (SEIF) is being developed to model the energy-related knowledge planners and decision makers need. The tools interoperating with the framework will support systems innovation and include available technologies, enhancements to existing open source platforms, and new technological solutions. SEMANCO carries out an analysis requirements to support the application of the tools by the different stakeholders involved in energy related urban planning. The development of the visualisation and optimisation tools and methods will be informed by three case study scenarios in Spain, UK and Denmark which will cover three geographical scales -neighbourhood, municipal and regional- including both existing and new urban areas. The case studies will identify the relevant indicators and the interrelationship between factors contributing to CO2 production in the analysed urban areas. Based on this analysis, tools and methods are being developed as the project progress. Their application within the cases of study will demonstrate quantifiable and significant reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions achieved through ICT and will make it possible to assess their social impact.

Keywords: Visualisation, Pptimisation, CO2 reduction in built environment


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

Bio of Prof. Dawood:

Professor Dawood, initiator of CONVR conference series, is currently Director of the Centre for Construction Research & Innovation (CCIR) and Professor of Construction Management and IT at the University of Teesside, UK. He is also Director of the Technology Futures Institute, through which the engineering and technology research is structured and supported. This role includes responsibility for developing and promoting research polices throughout the institution.

Professor Nashwan Dawood is a specialist in project construction management and the application of IT in the construction process. This has ranged across a number of research topics including BIM technologies and processes, sustainability, Information Technologies and Systems (5D,VR,ICT for energy efficiency), risk management, intelligent decision support systems, cost forecasting and control and business processes.

cost forecasting and control and business processes. Professor Dawood has extensive experience of leading

Professor Dawood has extensive experience of leading internationally recognised research work in BIM technology and processes and in the application of 5D modeling in construction processes, and has successfully generated peer reviewed funded projects from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Technology Strategy Board, and EU / Framework Programme. This has resulted in more than 200 peer reviewed journal and conferences publications

Professor Dawood also has significant and long-standing experience of working with major industrial partners in the UK and internationally to develop and apply research results as part of further collaborative projects. In particular he is currently running international research and development projects in South Korea, Japan, Qatar, Europe and USA in the areas of 5D modeling, serious game engine technologies application to training and ICT (Information and Communication technologies) for energy efficient buildings . He is also regularly invited to be a key note presenter in a international events.



Mr. Shuen-Huei Guan, R&D manager of Digimax Inc., Taiwan

Title: Content-Driven User Experience


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

By a narrow definition, virtual reality is an artificial environment that is presented in such a way that audiences believe and accept it as a real environment. Virtual reality aims to provide, enhance or even create a perceptible world that is firmly believed to exist whether it is real or imaginary. It is a science about perception, recognition, and presentation that permits real-time experiences and improvisation.

Content presentation that allows real-time experiences and improvisation is about emotions, context and storytelling. Human beings convey their experiences via a wide-range of methods, and the application of computer generated animations, like virtual reality, is just one of them. I would like to share my experience on how to create "reality" through digital content.


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

Bio of Mr. Guan:

Shuen-Huei Guan is R&D manager of Digimax Inc., an animation studio located at Taipei/Taiwan, aiming to produce influencing feature animations/films. He has been involved in animation industry for eight years, participating titles of "Adventures the National Palace Museum", "Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey", opening ceremony of 2010 Asian Games, and others.

Shuen-Huei Guan is currently Ph.D. candidate in Graduate Institute of Networking Multimedia, National Taiwan University. During production in Digimax, he also published several works to ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE journal, and other related conferences.


production in Digimax, he also published several works to ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE journal, and other related

November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan



12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan


Po-Han Chen, Po-Chuan Chuang & Meng-Shen Kan, Department of Civil Engineering, National Taiwan University

ABSTRACT: The world climate has changed dramatically within these decades. Many countries around the world are now trying to find out possible ways to reduce environmental impact, and have established their own environmental regulations. In construction field, green building is considered a practical technology to achieve this goal. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to qualify for green building standard due to dealing with massive parameter calculation, and the energy-saving efficiency can't be straightly calculated, either. In order to improve this difficulty, the study integrates BIM (Building Information Modeling) with its comprehensive building information and Taiwan's green building standard (EEWH-NC) to conduct information transferring and energy consumption calculation of building envelope (ENVLOAD). The result will be directly shown on the developed interface, and case study verifies it's within 5% margin of error. With this integration system developed in this study, the designer can save a lot of time and think about better building design. In the future, the integration can work with more complex building design, attracting more potential users using BIM and make the most of its building information.

KEYWORDS: BIM, green building, ENVLOAD, Automation.


According to IPCC (Intergovernmental panel on climate change)'s report, the world temperature has climbed up rapidly. The increase amount of green house gases, especially carbon dioxide, is mainly coming from the overuse of fossil fuel and the changing form of land use. The statistical data collected from National Cheng Kung University shows the carbon dioxide emitted from construction industry accounts for 28.8% of total carbon emission in Taiwan. Thus, developing sustainable engineering in Taiwan construction industry has become a very critical issue. In green building design, many countries have developed their own green standards, techniques, and provide ratings for qualification. But in real construction use, designer tends to use design which is previously accepted by authority because they can't instantly calculate the energy saving efficiency nor know if the new design meets all the standards. ( ZENG Xu - dong , ZHAO Ang2006). The calculation takes too much time and effort. In some cases, the energy saving performance is even worse than those non-adopting energy saving designs. Now with computer-aided design technology, software including BIM and energy simulation software have been used in building designing stage, but there hasn't been any software designed for Taiwan's green building assessment. The energy saving efficiency and evaluation of green building are still relying on manual calculation, which not only wastes too much time but also has higher occurrence of error. Also, with more large scale and complex construction project being developed, it is believed that a computerized, paperless, and automatic working environment will be the future trend. Many international and Taiwan consulting companies are investing in this development.

In order to improve the massive calculation and time spent on checking data, the study integrates BIM with Taiwan’s green building standard to conduct the automatic calculation process. The energy consumption of building envelop can be directly shown on the developed interface within very short time, saving a lot of time and increasing design quality and efficiency. The proposed interface is expected to be a plug-in program attached in the BIM - Revit Architecture. After architecture design finishes, the energy consumption of building envelop (ENVLOAD), HSC (Heat Source Capacity), and EAC (Electronic Air Cleaners) can be automatically calculated and shown. Also, each parameter will be provided for designer as reference if there’s something that needs to be corrected or checked. The study also wants to create a developing base of integrating BIM and Taiwan’s green building standard for further research.


In recent years, there are more and more studies focusing on the environmental assessment issues of buildings. Wang(2005), Chang(2005), and Lo(2006) report that water and electricity expense accounts for the most part in building’s life cycle cost. Therefore, how to control the energy consumption of air-conditioning system, which


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

influences the water and electricity cost the most, is the key point of controlling the total life cycle energy cost. There are different parts of the buildings including the building envelope, indoor space, and roofs, etc., among them, the design of building envelope is probably the most key strategies in the construction of buildings. An integrated thermal model was proposed by Morrissey and Home (2010), who use life cycle costing approach to an extensive sample of dominant house designs to investigate life cycle costs in a cool temperate climate in Melbourne, Australia. Results suggest that most cost-effective building design is always more energy efficient. Therefore, it can be concluded that early energy efficiency evaluation of new buildings is quite important in terms of cost and energy saving. Kneifel (2009) ran a total of 576 energy simulations for 12 prototypical buildings in 16 cities in States, the results show conventional energy efficiency technologies can be used to decrease energy use in new commercial buildings by 20–30% on average and up to over 40% for some building types and locations. The above studies all show good examples of why the evaluation of energy-saving efficiency of buildings is so important. A well-designed energy-saving and heat insulation system in the building designing stage can largely save energy and thus protect the environment. Taiwan’s green building evaluation system includes nine indicators: bio-diversity, greenery, soil-water content, energy savings, CO2 emission reduction, construction waste reduction, water resource, garbage and sewage improvements, indoor environment quality which are categorized by ecology, energy saving, waste reduction and health (EEHW). Many new-built buildings in Taiwan are dedicated to achieve those standards.



ENVLOAD is an indicator used for predicting the annual cooling and heating loads of office and residential buildings. The calculation methodology proposed by Lin (1990) has its significance on energy load assessment because users can calculate the cooling and heating load on their own rather than asking for professional help. ENVLOAD has now been adopted in many studies to evaluate the energy loads of buildings. Lai (2008) used ENVLOAD calculation and integrated it with natural ventilation system of office buildings to propose a conservation coefficient system, encouraging more adequate building window designs. In Huang’s study (2002), it is not only used and developed as a simplified methodology to evaluate the heat load of air-conditioning system, but also propose a predicting system of air-conditioning capacity. Its widely application and integration can still be further developed and expected. The calculation process will be explained as follows: It is calculated using linear regression equations. These equations are very simple and acceptable because they consist of only two weather variables (temperature difference and solar heat gain) and three building variables (insulation, solar shading and thermal capacity). In multiple regression analysis, the object function (the energy consumption of air conditioning) is simulated by dynamic computer program HASP8001, and the constants and partial regression coefficients are obtained through variance analysis between the values of object function and the above theoretical predictor variables. To ensure the wide adaptability for building models and climatic contexts, 27 office building spaces and 54 residential building with distinct design in orientations, constructions, glass areas, floor levels, types were used for simulation models, and 18 climates distributed throughout Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the U.S. for weather input. The statistical samples include 486 office buildings and 972 residential buildings. The result showed the R2 values of the multiple regression equation were between 0.848 to 0.972, which illustrating the high accuracy to this method. It can be widely applied for international climates, which has successfully achieved the goal of simplicity and wide adaptability (Lin, 1990). ENVLOAD calculation and parameter definition are shown as follows:

ENVLOAD a0 a1 G a2 L DH a3

G Gi Ac Ac a b Tu c Tu Tu Gi L

L 0.5

Mk 0.035 0.5 0.035







The parameter of calculating ENVLOAD can be categorized into two types:


Climate Related Parameters: Temperature and Solar Heat

Buiding Parameters: Heat Capacity, Sheltering and Heat Insolation

November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

2.2 BIM (Building Information Modeling)

BIM (Building Information Model) refers to software which contains massive building information data including architectural, structural, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing) system’s information. It can be used in the designing, constructing, and the operation stage of building. With its visualized building model automatically built within the software, users can easily see how the design works with other part of the building. BIM can be seen as a database of a project, which is the most useful advantage of BIM. BIM is now widely used in cost analysis, spatial conflict check, scheduling, work simulation, and energy-saving simulation (Hartmann, T., J. Gao, et al., 2008).


After retrieving data from BIM, it is firstly categorized and changed into specific format. After categorizing the data, compile it and conduct the calculation process. Detail data selection process is stated as follow:

3.1 Using API in Data Selection

3.1.1 Heat Conductivity (Ui) of Building Envelope in Air-Conditioning Area

In order to calculate the Ui, rooms will be categorized according to air-conditioning and non air-conditioning area. Then the roof, wall, and window will be separated apart from the room to calculate the heat conductivity of each building part. There are many building materials, each of them has its own Ui value, thus the automation of calculation process is really important in terms of time saving.

3.1.2 Area of Building Envelope (Ai) in Air-Conditioning Area

The data selection process is similar to Ui. The difference is the process of switching imperial unit (aquare foot) to metric unit(M2), which is the standard unit of Taiwan’s green building standard.

3.1.3 Heat Conductivity (Ui’) of Building Envelope in Non Air-Conditioning Area and Area of Building Envelope (Ai’) in Non Air-Conditioning Area

Both the data selection processes are the same as Ui and Ai, when it is categorized as non air-conditioning area, same selection process will be made to conduct the data calculation.


12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality

c e o n Construction Application of Virtual Reality Fig.1 Calculation Flow Chart 3.2 Data coming

Fig.1 Calculation Flow Chart

3.2 Data coming in Indirect Process

3.2.1 Total air-conditioning floor area (AFp) in perimeter area and the total air-conditioning floor area in interior area (AFi)

The interior and perimeter area are closely related, the data selection process should be done simultaneously. The definition of perimeter area is the area summed up by the area at a distance of 5 meters inside from the joint line. The Revit can automatically calculate the floor area of each room and floor except the perimeter area, thus the study develop the program and conduct the calculation. The formulas of calculating perimeter area are listed below:

Interior Area of One Layer Building a 10 b 10


Perimeter Area of One Layer Building a b 4.1


Parameter a refers to building length and b refers to width. After calculating the interior area, perimeter area can be easily calculated according to formula (4.2). The study only considers simple building shape including rectangular. Also, deciding the accurate coordination of building is another important contribution of this study. The judgment process will be transferred to programming codes, thus the perimeter area can be calculated.

The programming adjustment of each coordinate is a critical step. The study proposed eight criteria, four adjustment direction to conduct the adjustment process. The start point will be set as reference point, through the counterclockwise data checking process, both of the x value and y value will minus 5 units, thus the shape will be formed and conduct the next procedure. After having those coordinate data, they will be used in formula (3.3)~(3.5) to calculate the interior floor area.




1 2

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After having the interior floor area, perimeter area can be calculated using formula (3.2). The highest floor also belongs to perimeter area, thus the AFi and AFp calculations will be shown in formula (3.6) and (3.7).

AFi Interior Area of One Layer Building Number of Floors 1 (3.6)

AFp Total Floor Area AFi Perimeter Area of One Layer Building Number of Floors 1 Highest Floor Area


3.2.2 The cooling degree hours (DH) and the building located area’s insolation hours (IHk) Calculation

DH and IHk will be different according to different regions including altitude and building direction. The building and the geographical information are not difficult to have, but the building direction adjustment will be more complex. The judgment process is shown below:

In real construction project, the building direction is not always in perfect N-S or E-W direction. Thus it takes quite much time in data transferring and calculating. With this proposed methodology of deciding the building direction, it really saves a lot of time. The previous manual table checking method is similar to the x-y coordination. The y value can be found as long as x value is determined, then the coordinate will be transferred using code mode and integrated into the program. The table checking process is shown as follows:

With the interface proposed from this study, it will be quite convenient for user to adopt in real project use because most of the table-checking and calculation will be done by automation of program, all the necessary data are within the program. When using the plug-in interface, user can select the building type and input information, within one click, the developed interface will instantly show the calculation results and each value.

3.2.3 The building envelop Insulation Gain Coefficient (Mk) of each direction, sun shading coefficient(Ki), Solar Heat Gain Rate(ηi)

In calculating the three values, the glass-covered area, Ki and ηi should be firstly calculated. Some of the value calculation has been introduced in previous part. Here are the simplified calculation process of Ki and ηi:

3.2.4 Sun Shading Coefficient(Ki)

Ki value is related to building outside shelter. The study chooses horizontal shelter, and its characteristic will be considered in the calculation process. The modification coefficient can be retrieved by table checking, thus the depth ratio can be calculated by measuring the lengh of window and the depth of sun shade.

3.2.5 Solar Heat Gain Rate

The glass material in Revit database doesn’t contain the attribute, thus the study create a new attribute and input the value in order to conduct more comprehensive calculation.

3.2.6 The cooling energy consumption of ENVLOAD (a0) and partialregression coefficient(a1, a2, and


The value of a0, a1, a2, and a3 will be different according to building types. The building type selection will be designed in the input interface, as long as user choose the accurate building type, the program will automatically conduct the calculation. Thus those coefficients are all been set within the program.


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3.2.7 Indoor Heat (G), average indoor heat (Gi), and average indoor heat gain (Tu)

The calculation of annual indoor heat will need the value of average indoor heat (Gi) and average indoor heat gain ( Ac). The Gi is also different according to building types. Similar to the calculation of a0~a3, user will only have to choose the accurate building type, the program will automatically conduct the calculation.


The input building data is a 11-floor office building located in Taipei city, Taiwan. After establishing the necessary building information into Revit, the verification process is conducted. The comparison result between true value and calculation results is shown in Fig.2. The comparison ENVLOAD is within 5% margin of error.

Fig.2. Th e comparison ENVLOAD is within 5% margin of error. Fig.2 Verification Result 5. CONCLUSION

Fig.2 Verification Result


The study develops an interface using BIM with its massive building information and conducts the energy-saving process which automatically calculates the ENVLOAD, showing the possibility of using BIM in calculating energy-saving efficiency of building envelop. The study includes the following contributions:

5.1 Showing the possibility of integrating BIM with other software

The study shows the application value of using BIM in building design process, making the most of using the database in BIM, attracting more potential owners to use and develop BIM technology.

5.2 Instantly calculate ENVLOAD

The proposed interface can automatically calculate the ENVLOAD within a very short period of time, saving a lot of time and effort compared with previous manual calculation process. Once there’s any design change, user will only have to correct the data then the result can be instantly shown on the interface.

5.3 The integration of BIM and green building standard

The regulations in building energy-saving technical book are integrated with BIM in this study to conduct the automatic calculation process. Thus users won’t have to manually check and deal with many complicated data, lowering the occurrence of error and promoting the use of BIM.


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5.4 The integration of software/interface will be the new trend

Though Revit Architecture is quite useful for designers, it is still not accepted by many users because of application restriction. The proposed interface in this study is a good performance for user to input the necessary data and automatically conduct the data calculation. Autodesk company will soon released a new version of BIM, which is called Building Design Suite to combine the other software into one single BIM software. The study shows the similar trend with software integrating development.

5.5 Provide a developing base for future studies

The developing process and difficulties are all well recorded and stated in this study, thus it can be a very good reference for future studies. With this developing basis, future study can try to incorporate more software and standard for user to adopt the technology.


The study has developed the integration process and interface, but the system is still not comprehensive enough and can be further developed to meet different kinds of needs, thus for future study here are the recommendations:

6.1 Integrate with more green building standards

There are other green standards including the lightening system which can be integrated with the proposed interface. With the lightening system data in BIM, the indicator related to lightening system can be easily calculated and conduct the energy-saving calculation.

6.2 Calculate floor area with air-conditioning system in perimeter area.

The study fails to check if the air-conditioning or non air-conditioning area is located in the perimeter area, therefore the floor area in perimeter area can’t be precisely and straightly calculated. There are more and more building with complex exterior design, thus the process should be improved, which can be done by extracting more data from BIM to conduct more complex floor area calculation.

6.3 Evaluate the cost efficiency of other building information

Other building information including mechanical system can all be integrated into the cost efficiency calculation. The owner can predict and know how much expense he can save.

6.4 Automatically create necessary report and diagram which are needed for qualifying green building standard.

The study has accomplished the automation calculation of ENVLOAD, and the results data are all saved in the developed interface. With this characteristic, the report and diagrams and be created by designing the standard output format, thus saving a lot of time in preparation process.


Chang, Chia-Ruei (2005). ” Research on the Life-cycle Costs of Gymnasiums - A Case Study on the Gymnasiums of National Taiwan University”, Department of civil engineering, National Taiwan University, R.O.C Taiwan.

Hartmann, T., J. Gao, et al. (2008). “ Areas of Application for 3D and 4D Models on Construction Projects.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management 134(10): 776-785.

Huang, Kuo-Tsang (2002). “A Study on the Simplified Method of Evaluating the Air-conditioning Capacity


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---Evaluating the Capacity of Chiller base on ENVLOAD”, Department of Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, R.O.C Taiwan

Joshua Kneifel (2009), “Life-cycle Carbon and Cost Analysis of Energy Efficiency Measures in NewCommercial Buildings”, Office of Applied Economics, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, United States

Lai, Po-Hung (2008). “Assessment on Ventilation Performance for Envload in Office Buildings”, Department of Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, R.O.C Taiwan

Lin, Hsien-Te (1990). “ An Evaluation Method for The Energy Consumption of Building Air Conditioning-Lin's Simplified Method” , Department of Architecture, National Cheng Kung University, R.O.C Taiwan

Lo,Yu-Ying(2006) . “A Study of Maintenance Costs and Strategies of Student Dormitories Using Life Cycle Cost Concept” Department of civil engineering, National Taiwan University, R.O.C Taiwan

Morrissey J. and Horne R.E. (2010), “Life Cycle Cost Implications of Energy Efficiency Measures in New Residential Buildings”, Centre for Design, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Wang, Ya-Huei (2005). “Analysis on life-cycle cost of experimental school building in the universityemphasis on the stage of maintenance management” Department of civil engineering, National Taiwan University, R.O.C Taiwan.

ZENG Xu - dong , Z. A. (2006). “Study on the Application of Energy Efficiency Building Design Based on BIM Technology.” College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chong-qing University, ChongqingChina.


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Yu-Chih Su National Taipei University of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering, Taiwan

Meng-Chung Lee & Chih-Yuan Li Chien Kuo Construction Company, LTD, Taiwan

Yu-Cheng Lin National Taipei University of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering, Taiwan

ABSTRACT: Various problems occurred while simply using construction drawing to communicate and respond among participants during construction phase. When information is unclear, general constructor need to discuss and obtain sufficient information from other project participants. Nowadays, email correspondence, one of the most convenient ways, is adapted as a communication tool between participants, but project participants cannot communicate interactively by using text and pictures. Moreover, it cannot record and manage the communication information during the process. With the advent of the Building Information Modeling (BIM), BIM digitally contains precise information and relevant data which includes the description of 3D object-oriented CAD that can help reducing cognitive differences. Therefore, the aim of the study is developing the Web BIM-based Interface Communication System. It is not only providing participants to publish the latest BIM on the web instantly, but also give stakeholders the accessibility to BIM model via web browser. Furthermore, project participants can propose or answer questions by selecting precise component of the BIM model. Feedbacks can be saved back to both system database and BIM model. In the end, this communication system will be implemented to a selected project in Taiwan to verify our proposed methodology, and benefits, limitations, and suggestions for future research.

KEYWORDS: Building Information Modeling, Web-based System, Communication Management



Construction projects, which are characterized by extreme complexity and non-standardized production, differ in that they are designed and executed to meet individual owner needs. Thus, effectively communicating project-related interfaces are essential to successful construction management. Effectively communicating and managing interfaces can improve interface communication (IC) for interface management (IM) in construction, thereby eliminating unnecessary mistakes. Effective interface information sharing allows project participants to identify existing interfaces and solve interface problems. Without IC, poorly coordinated and controlled boundary conditions among project participants can cause such interface problems as design errors, part mismatch, coordination difficulties, and construction conflicts. Conventional interface communication methods include face-to-face meetings, telephone communication, and virtual design and construction (VDC). However, a typical problem encountered during conventional communication is that discussions may not be effectively understand and shared with others special regard to interfaces of CAD issues.

Building information modeling (BIM) is a new industry term referring to parametric 3D computer-aided design (CAD) technologies and processes in the AEC industry (Taylor and Bernstein, 2009). During the construction phase, participants typically communicate the interfaces through text-based document or e-mail way for sharing interface information with other participants. Notably, IC is an information-intensive task in which extremely useful information is made available to participants. In order to assist involved participants in exchanging and responding interface information special related to interfaces of 3D BIM models, the primary objective of this study is to facilitate interface sharing and management during the construction phase. Identifying, tracking, controlling, and managing interface events and problems are critical tasks in IM. This study develops the WEB BIM-based Interface Communication (BIMIC) System for engineers to enhance interface information sharing and tracking efficiency. Notably, this study integrates novel web-based communicating platform and the 3D BIM approach to communicate and manage interfaces in a 3D BIM environment. The main function of the BIM approach in this study is 3D illustration and mapping of interfaces. The BIM approach retains interface information in a digital format, and facilitates easy illustrated and updating interface information in the 3D BIM environment. By utilizing the 3D BIM models, project participants can


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obtain an overview of previous and current interface events in a given project and manage interfaces. Furthermore, project participants can track and access the most recent information for any interface, change, or conflict during the construction phase. Interfaces can be updated rapidly and made available to each participant via the 3D BIM environment during the construction phase. This research is a pilot study to apply the BIMIC system for IC during a building project in Taiwan, and analyzes and discusses the entire IM process


Interface communication and management in construction affects the cost, the scheduling, and the quality of projects, both directly and indirectly. The interfaces can be identified and tracked in interface management involved general contractor and all participants to improve the construction process and minimize deleterious change, and promote beneficial change. Only limited research has examined interface communication and management system in construction. (1) Senthilkumar et al. (2010) presented a web-based system for interface management for construction projects during the design phase. (2) Siao and lin (2012) presented a web-based system integrated with multilevel interface matrix for interface management during the construction phase.

Wide application of BIM is due to its various benefits throughout project design and planning, construction and facilities management. There are many benefits of BIM cited in the previous work in supporting decisions and improving processes throughout the lifecycle of a project (Eastman et al., 2008; Shen and Issa 2010; Vanlande et al. 2008; Becerik-Gerber and Rice 2010). Related to the preconstruction phase of a project, these benefits include identification of design conflicts prior to construction, enabling the prefabrication of components prior to construction, accurate cost estimation, and accurate geometric representation of all parts of a facility (Li et al., 2006; Eastman et al., 2008; Shen and Issa 2010; staub-french and khanzode 2007: Goedert and Meadati 2008). During the construction phase, these benefits include less rework, reduction in requests for information and change orders, communication through visualization, improved productivity in scheduling, faster and more effective construction management with easier information exchange (Eastman et al., 2008; Hardin 2009; Matta and Kam 2010; Azhar 2011). During the operation phase, these benefits will include control of facilities management progress, integrated life-cycle data, rapid and accurate information of updating and changing activities, more effective facility management with easier information exchange (Eastman et al., 2008; Hardin 2009; staub-french and khanzode 2007; Manning and Messner 2008; Underwood and Isikdag 2010; Laura et al. 2012; Burcin et al. 2012). Despite many articles and system developments in academic and practice literature, there is a lack of systematic approaches to communicate and manage interfaces special to BIM-related discussion in the 3D visual environment. To solve this problem, the proposed web BIM-based Interface Management (BIMIC) system is developed to enhance interface communication performance.


The correctness of the BIM model will directly affect the IC operations in BIMIC system. In order to avoid too many users to use BIM models simultaneously that affect the accuracy of the BIM models, users can update the information of the BIM elements database directly in BIMIC system. The latest information in the BIM elements database will be updated again when BIM models content changes. In this framework, the information of BIM can be saved and be updated in BIM elements database in BIMIC system without accessing the BIM models directly. IC operations do not need all the building information and only presents the information needed maintenance although BIM model may cover the whole building the information. Therefore, during the pre-IC progress, the BIM engineer is responsible for making the decision regarding to export the DWF (Design Web Format) file of BIM model and save as BIM models source in the BIMIC system in advanced based on requirement of the IC operations. The features and benefits of DWF format can’t only retain building information-related of BIM model, but also the file size is smaller than general BIM models file. Integrated with DWF file as 3D BIM illustration, BIMIC system can be improved and enhanced in system performance when user access BIM elements database. Furthermore, the BIM elements database in the server can keep and remain accurate information of BIM models. The BIMIC system server supports four distinct layers, each with its own responsibilities: management, database, application and presentation (see Fig. 1). This following section describes the distinct layers in the BIMIC system

Management layer is to provide the BIM engineers to develop, modify and edit the BIM models. Only BIM engineers allow edit and export information of BIM models into BIM elements database directly and export BIM model into DWF files in the server side. Integrated the BIM API programming, Management layer of the BIMIC system can let data in the BIM models export to BIM elements database. Furthermore, interface information of


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related BIM can also be written in the BIM elements database in the Management layer of the BIMIC system.

There are two databases in the database layer of the BIMIC system. They are BIMIC database and BIM elements database. The BIMIC database storages all communication records of interfaces. BIM elements database storages complete BIM-related components information regarding to the related interfaces. The BIM information is read-only in the BIMIC system. The information of BIM models cannot be input or modified in the BIMIC system. Furthermore, there is a relationship between BIMIC database and BIM elements database.

The application layer defines various applications for major system and API modules. These applications offer indexing, BIM model data updating and transferring, status visualization, and report generation functions. The application layer will integrate and utilize BIM software to open the BIM models by developed Design Review API modules. When the API modules in the BIMIC system to receive request from the client. Finally, the application layer can automatically make data acquisition and analysis of BIM models based on request, and then send the results back to the client side.

The presentation layer is the main implementation platform of BIMIC System. During the IC progress, the project manager and project participants can use the PC or tablet (client side) and utilities BIMIC system for IC operation. The presentation layer includes displaying the location information of BIM model automatically, listing interface communication records, illustrating different respond regarding to problems associated with the BIM-related components automatically.

associated with the BIM-related components automatically. Fig. 1: System Framework 4. SYSTEM IMPLEMENT In this study,

Fig. 1: System Framework


In this study, BIM is used as an information model in the BIMIC system. One purpose is to utilize BIM models as the visualization tool of interfaces. The BIM models are applied in the BIMIC system to link and relate to interface information (such as event descriptions and location). Autodesk Revit Architecture and Revit MEP were used to create 3D BIM models. Autodesk Design Review was used to read BIM files (DWF files). Interface information integration with the BIM components in 3D BIM models was achieved by using Autodesk Revit application programming interface (API) and Microsoft Visual Basic.Net (VB.Net) programming language. This following section demonstrates the implementation modules in the BIMIC system.

Authority Management Module The authority management module is an access control mechanism preventing unauthorized users from entering system or retrieving sensitive related information. The BIMIC system requires all project participants to register. To register, users provide a unique User ID and password for authentication. As interface information or reports required by different project participants and different interfaces vary, general contractors have different access


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rights and authorities than other parties. There are three types of users in this study. They are system administrator, project managers, and project participants.

Interface Edition Module This interface edition module lets users edit related BIM-based interface information associated with related perspective BIM information (or attached files). Furthermore, the information includes the proposer name, related responded participants and contact mail information. This interface edition module is a BIM-based communication platform similar to instant messaging or forum which can online exchange opinions and ideas on a particular interface. Users associated with specific interfaces can post questions, responses and comments, thereby generating a permanent record of discussions regarding specific interfaces. This module is to provider project participants to respond or reply for discussing specific interfaces with attaching files regarding to the BIM components in the 3D BIM models (see Fig 2)

Interface Search Module

The interface search module allows offer indexing, full text search, element ID search and location/area search functions. This module provides the user to search the interfaces easily and quickly based on the user’ requirement (such as the interface submitter, release time of interface, related component ID numbers of BIM models, and floor of building). The user also can search related interfaces via selecting elements in BIM model.

related interfaces via selecting elements in BIM model. Fig. 2: The Interfaces Edition in the BIMIC

Fig. 2: The Interfaces Edition in the BIMIC System

The BIMIC system is based on the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 operating system with an Internet Information Server (IIS) as the web server. The BIMIC system consists of three different user areas – project participants, project manager, BIM engineer and system administrator areas. Access to the BIMIC system is controlled by passwords. In order to integrate system with BIM model, the system develops the following API modules:

Automated BIM Information Import API Module This API module provides to import the basic information of selected BIM components into the editing form automatically without manual data entry when user is ready to edit interface and click BIM components in the 3D BIM models (see Fig 3).

BIM Highlighted Visualization API Module The module provides to illustrate relevant highlighted components with the bright colors to let user quickly and


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effectively access the relevant BIM components of interfaces regarding to the location and condition if the BIM components in the 3D BIM models are selected as the relevant description of interface, (see Fig 4 and Fig 5).

re levant description of interface, (see Fig 4 and Fig 5). Fig. 3: The Selection of
re levant description of interface, (see Fig 4 and Fig 5). Fig. 3: The Selection of

Fig. 3: The Selection of BIM components in the 3D BIM models in the BIMIC System

of BIM components in the 3D BIM models in the BIMIC System Fig. 4: The BIM

Fig. 4: The BIM Highlighted Visualization in the BIMIC System


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c e o n Construction Application of Virtual Reality Fig. 5: Responding Interfaces with Highlighted BIM

Fig. 5: Responding Interfaces with Highlighted BIM Models

BIM Element Model Link Interface API Module This module is mainly to provide the link functionality to access the latest BIM models in the BIMIC system through updated whole or separated DWF file. The two databases are linked with element ID index thought data mapping. Therefore, the information can utilized for data association by data mapping to retrieve complete interface information based on element ID index between two databases (see Fig 6).

based on element ID index between two databases (see Fig 6). Fig. 6: The linkage between

Fig. 6: The linkage between BIMIC database and BIM elements database

BIM Model Perspective Information API Module This module provides the user to save the current viewing BIM model perspective information submitted by users (such as view position, direction, elevation, distance, and zoom information). When user enter the system and click the interface and then can quickly access the same 3D view position and direction for a clear understanding of interface relevant to BIM components in the 3D BIM models (see Fig. 7).


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November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan Fig. 7: BIM Model Perspective Information in the BIMIC System 5.
November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan Fig. 7: BIM Model Perspective Information in the BIMIC System 5.

Fig. 7: BIM Model Perspective Information in the BIMIC System



The general contractor encouraged all participants to utilize the BIMIC system as communicate interface. The BIMIC system was utilized in the office-building project to verify its efficacy and demonstrate its IC effectiveness with BIM models. During tracking interfaces phase, all interfaces are identified by responsible participants or project managers. Before the IC phase, BIM engineer initially utilizes Autodesk Revit Architecture or Revit MEP to create BIM models then export to DWF file format in the BIMIC system. During interface identification phase, project participants edit interface problems, select BIM model (DWF files), and link the interface problems associated with the 3D BIM models components. These interfaces include descriptions of unconfirmed problems, detailed situation descriptions, and explanations of interface problem solutions. Finally, the engineer submits issue with associated BIM components and to the BIMIC system for approval. After approval is obtained from the project manager, related responsible participants will reply their comments to BIMIC system. When processed interface is tacked, the system shows the latest status and result for each interface. Furthermore, participants can access related interfaces directly by clicking on BIM components in the 3D BIM models. All interfaces are centralized and stored in the central database to avoid redundancy. Table 1 shows comparison of current approach and proposed system.

The BIMIC system provided solutions to interface-related problems, and supported all interfaces and changes during construction. The principal advantages of the BIMIC system are as follows. (1) The BIMIC system allowed project participants to track and manage integrated information with BIM models during construction phase. (2) The BIMIC system allowed participants to collaborate and communicate interface issues associated with the BIM components in the 3D BIM models. (3) The BIMIC system enabled participants to identify interfaces and changes to solve problems in advance. (4) The BIMIC system enhanced interface communication and management easily and effectively in the web-based 3D BIM environment.


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Table 1: Comparison of Current Approach and Proposed System


Current Approach

Proposed Approach

Discuss interface

Illustrate the interface

Share interface

Track interface

Search interface

Use the paper-based

e-mail system for discussion

document or

Illustrate the interface in the text form attached with files







Paper-based document or e-mail for track

Search interface using e-mail system

Utilize the BIMIC system to communicate interfaces integrated with BIM models through the web browser

Illustrate the interface in the text form integrated with BIM models attached with files

Utilize the BIMIC system to communicate interfaces integrated with BIM models to share interfaces with others

Track the interfaces record directly in the BIMIC system

Search interface from the BIMIC system or the components of BIM models (DWF files)

The primary limitations to applying the BIMIC system were as follows:

In this study, the Autodesk Design Review is selected as a web version of the BIM model Viewer in the BIMIC system. However, the required functions of the system need to be developed without the support of the API although the Autodesk Design Review provides more complete API environment compared to other software.

If the whole BIM model is presented directly to the page on the BIMIC system, it will affect the smoothness and effectiveness of the system operation. Therefore, the whole model is necessary to split into parts of BIM model based on the user requirement to review BIM models effectively.

The general contractor is selected as to apply and use the system to communicate with other project participants supported by top management in the general contractor. Regard to other project participants (such as architects, PCM, and owners), it will need to develop suitable mechanisms and regulations to require all project participants using the same system to communicate project-related interface for IM.



The application of IC integrated with the BIM approach for building projects during the construction phase is discussed in this work. This study implements the novel web-based BIMIC system for all project participants as an interface communication platform integrated with BIM models through the web browser without purchasing BIM commercial software. The web-based BIMIC system enhances interface communication effectively through 3D BIM environment. The BIMIC system provides insight into factors impacting IC activities, which in turn assists participants in managing interfaces to improve construction management performance. The collection of interface events and problems by the BIMIC system allows projects participants and engineers to view 3D BIM models and related information of interfaces in the 3D BIM environment.

The BIMIC system use BIMIC database to apply and analyze information from BIM models directly based on the SQL syntax. The BIMIC system updates the latest information in the BIM models automatically synchronized to the BIM elements database. All required information in the BIM models automatically synchronized to the BIM elements database based on required information for IC by the API development. The BIMIC system will retain existing data and update only the changed data after synchronization if the exported information already exists in the BIM elements database. The main characteristic of the BIMIC system is to provide topic description while communicating with components that are relevant to 3D BIM model and


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associated 3D view for project participants to quickly understand problems associated with BIM models through the web browser. When users respond to the interface discussion, they will view the same view angle and relevant components of BIM models assigned by interface proposed user. The proposed solution can reduce the cognitive differences of interfaces discussion among project participants. When interfaces all related to component selection, making the interface theme and BIM models relevant, effective integration of the course of the discussion in the BIM model to improve the status of the communication of information scattered in the past. For the participants are not familiar with BIM software interfaces, the BIMIC system is designed to simplify and easily system operation by the API development (such as perspective storage, related components and image viewing) to increase the system willingness use. Furthermore, all topics that are stored in the BIMIC system will be able to use this system to automatically output to common formats (such as Word, Excel, and PDF) and other electronic files for the usage of paper-based communication.



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November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan


Bargstädt, Hans-Joachim Professor (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany), Visiting Professor (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)

ABSTRACT: The Construction processes are unique in several aspects. Many projects are of the one-of-a-kind type, which means that the planning and the preparation of work are individual for each project. Also most construction projects are broken down into small-scale work packages. The packages are then performed by different contractors and subcontractors, all working on their own, although their working place is one and the same site.

The documents, which are produced even within the scope of a standard building project, have developed to such a huge amount that nobody can examine them thoroughly and bear in mind all necessary details. When using Building Information Modelling, Simulation Environments and Augmented Reality, the different persons in charge of the numerous work packages can be addressed individually. So the actual situation is very favourable for applying innovative tools and methods.

The paper deals with the multiple scales and objectives, which the persons on site have in order to get all necessary information out of a BIM data base at the right time. A major focus is to show various aspects and views on the innovative planning tools for the different addressees. Also BIM offers various presentations of the results of in-depth and highly sophisticated work preparation. In order to enhance the process of realising what is given in the execution plans drawn from BIM, the perception of the different stakeholders on site are regarded. The aspects are then further developed to respect the underlying general on-site demand, which is the matching between the as-planned and the to-be-built status, and which then is transposed to the as-built status.

Finally an overview is given for the benefits, which the people on site will gain from a proper visualisation of the necessary information about the detailed construction process. This also includes some estimation about the real cost benefits.

KEYWORDS: building information, one-of-a-kind-process, visualization, transfer of information, complete design, site management




The typical one-of-a-kind product

The construction process is unique in several aspects. Many projects are one-of-a-kind, so that the planning and preparation of work is highly individualized. Still there are similarities to other branches as ship building, plant layout and others. Therefore it is interesting to reflect on the benefits of visualization of one-of-a-kind processes in a broader perspective. Still the focus of this paper shall be on the application in construction and building processes.

One-of-a-kind is defined as some project, process or production, which is special and unique in some degree and has no other exactly like it. It stays in contrary to series items or series productions. The one-of-a-kind products show several of the following features, as worked out by Franz and Pitsch in the ASIM-Arbeitsgruppe Unikat- prozesse (ASIM 2011) in Germany, Fig. 1.

Unikat- prozesse (ASIM 2011) in Germany, Fig. 1. Fig. 1: Indicators for one-of-a-kind production (ASIM 2011)

Fig. 1: Indicators for one-of-a-kind production (ASIM 2011)


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Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality The planning of a building according to this is

The planning of a building according to this is one-of-a-kind and highly complex. It involves quite a number of participants. Already the client is often diversified and acting with several representatives, for example representing the specialists for different building functions in the future service life of the building, the financing etc. It is

not seldom, that already the client himself changes his objectives and his priorities several times within the duration of the project, Fig. 2. Several architects, engineers, project managers and other specialists, representatives from different authorities are involved, each with his own perspective of what could be the best solution. Then contractors and subcontractors are bound, who will interpret the so far given drawings and specifications according to their perception.

Fig. 2: Objectives in the life cycle of a building

1.2 The client’s objectives

The planning of a modern building is not sequential any more (from first sketch to preliminary design to final drawings, shop drawings and site preparation). Today many aspects and details of the final result are prepared at different stages throughout the planning process, no matter whether they are due at that phase or not. Fig. 3 indicates by the coloring, that often some details for the later finishing are decided already during the initial phase of idea. And on the other hand it is common, that the final design has not been finished yet, when the structural work is already completed. This is also due to the very long process of designing and building these one-of-a-kind products, because during the long period of planning and construction new ideas, aspects and constraints emerge.

and construction new ideas, aspects and constraints emerge. Fig. 3: no sequential detailing of design The

Fig. 3: no sequential detailing of design

The concept of Building information modeling (BIM) allows to capture all the required information within one system. By using sophisticated viewers and different filters it makes it easy to get an overview about the current status of planning as well as details of the design. Still the process is not deterministic, but rather governed by reflections, considering alternatives and different options throughout the process. Even if the final solution seems rather determined, a good architect or engineer tends to even finalize the planning and construction by giving it last corrections.

A challenging task for any design engineer is to keep up with the objectives of the client. Ve r y often we find that the determination of the clients is not very specific, so that a good project manager has to guide the client through all the different phases and alternatives. Sometimes he even has to prevent his client from being too open for more and more alterations. Many clients show the prioritization shown in Fig. 2, which changes in time. According to that figure the first choice for clients is the function and the quality of the building. At preliminary design stages the time frame is often not fixed, whereas the costs are in a middle position. When it comes to the bidding and award process, the costs, i.e. contract price becomes first priority. Second is the time until completion, whereas the quality standards are written in the contract documents and therefore are not given special attention. During the realization of the building the construction time becomes crucial. Quality and quality inspections are next, whereas sometimes the cost items are postponed to be resolved in later negotiations. Finally, after completion, the most sensible area for a client is quality and long life quality of the building. So this comes back on place one. Costs then will be negotiated very hard, whereas the time aspect, no matter, whether the milestones were met or not, is no longer an item or consideration.


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan




Objectives of visualization

The well-known German architect, Mein- hard von Gerkhan, once said by showing the new design of the Berlin main railway station, Fig. 4: when presenting the visuali- zation of a future building, it is not the intention to show the building as will it be in reality, with people on the platform, with advertisings, with shops and with all the different installations. The visualization shall demonstrate the main idea of the design, the perspectives, the lines going through, the shape of the larger bodies etc. So he admitted that the aim was not an objective representation of the building within its future context, but an alteration, not to say manipulation, which will merely be seen later in reality.

manipulation, which will merely be seen later in reality. Fig. 4: architectural 3D-scetch of Berlin main

Fig. 4: architectural 3D-scetch of Berlin main railway station

This demonstrates very clearly, that visualization has many different aspects. Visualized objects can transport much more information in a more comprehensive way than any other medium. And man is able to capture much more of the information than in other ways, for example as written documents, text, drawings, descriptions etc. Knowing that the visualization of objects allows the transfer of complex information, it can be used in construction for the following purposes:

Check on the geometric input data (volumes, boundaries, Finite Element mesh etc.).

show input and output data as diagrams, charts, schedules, using different forms of presentation.

Check completeness of data for quantity take-off, order lists.

Show the different steps of construction as a movie.

Allow to play a game of construction or alteration of the design.

Simulate the behavior of the building in order to optimize different aspects.

Offer the data for augmented reality for use on site.

2.2 Completeness of the design

One major challenge in construction is the fact that not all information will be fixed at the beginning of construction. It is part of the uniqueness of the one-of-a-kind processes in construction, that the information is competed as the construction progresses. This is due to the fact, that the resources for planning are limited as well as some decisions, for example the flower arrangement for the opening ceremony, just need not to be decided much earlier than during the last week of construction.

In the following reflections about the benefits of visualization the usual limitations and traditions in the construction process as legal regulations, administrative issues and traditional habits will be as much as possible disregarded in order to open the mind for the possibilities of visualization on the basis of BIM.




Availability of information on site

When pointing out the benefits of BIM for construction industry, Eastman and alii (Eastman 2011) describe the current processes in construction in detail. Thus they demonstrate that a thorough understanding is necessary in order to show, in which way an owner, an engineer or a contractor can benefit from the gathered information. Also it shows which part of information should be delivered by the different parties. Von Both and Kindsvater (vonBoth 2012) have reported on a recent survey on the acceptance of BIM in the German AEC market. It shows, that the need for information exists by all involved parties, but the access to the hardware and software systems is lacking. Also there is a need for easier access to the stored data and without having to furnish the whole set of


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software packages. In Mefisto, a lead project of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Mefisto2012), the access and decentralized storage of data is subject of developing standardized information containers, which can be accessed by reading and writing by different parties. However by designing pilot projects on the Mefisto platform it showed, that the participants tend to keep as much of their detailed information as possible within their own area and they didn’t share it on the platform, if not needed.

and they didn’t share it on the platform, if not needed. meeting When it comes to


When it comes to the construction site, often the understanding of the delivered drawings and specifications require quite a big amount of analysis and common discussion, Fig. 5. The times needed for these processes are seldom counted, since it is going along with other tasks and duties during the day of a site manager and his team.

In construction there are different perspectives on the schedule. The two most important in construction processes are the owner’s view and the contractors view. The owner’s or client’s view is more on the dates of delivery, milestones and other fixed dates. This can be named as time scheduling. The construction company,

which is more interested in the processes, is developing the construction schedule, which also shows the rate of progress in its activities. The rate of progress allows the manager to follow the work on site much closer and already during the first steps of work. Also the construction manager can analyze the different steps of work and check on the plausibility of the overall layout. Visualization of the separate work steps is helping to understand complicate geometry as well as complex assembling operations.

Fig. 5: typical construction site analysis

3.2 Searching for solutions

When looking at a design process from the beginning, many aspects are dealt with on the basis of rough sketches. Those sketches are drawn in order to act as a basis for discussion. The engineer explains his ideas and is used to improve them in a dialog with colleagues and partners. Some later aspects of the design can also be determined right from the beginning. So it is usual in hotel construction, that the client already builds a sample bathroom for early choice of material and demonstration of colors and lights. Other architects use standard details, which they either adapt themselves during the execution planning or which they prescribe for the execution.

From the point of view of the project manager it is important, that a feasible process pattern is established as early as possible and that at the beginning of the realization on site one approved version of the execution model exist, according to which the work can be performed, Fig. 6. It is issue for good project management practice, that the manger always keeps the running of the project within this set of accepted and feasible documents. If changes occur, these changes shall not affect the realization unless the changed set of information (drawings, model) is approved and will replace the former set of approved drawings.




Traditional views

4. CURRENT CHALLENGES 4.1 Traditional views Fig. 6: 3D-model for work operation on site In this

Fig. 6: 3D-model for work operation on site

In this paragraph some major challenges are discussed, which have to be faced especially by the site personnel when working with BIM and thus with a more elaborate preparation of site operations.


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

The perceptions about the different “languages” to communicate on construction processes on site are still very different. They reach from drawings (2D or 2D-extractions from 3D) and specifications about quite a thorough 3 year’s education, additional training and acquired experience (where no specific drawings are required or demanded any more), to additional specifications, supervision and controlling of the work (by the ones who have read the specifications) and up to different ways of suggestions and guidelines provided by vendors and other service units. In some cases samples of the required work standard or samples of bad workmanship are furnished in order to better shape the outcome. Still the most important means of information are the oral instruction and the minute of meetings on site.

All these habits of delivering and accepting information are difficult to change at one time. They not only have their fixed place in many informal descriptions of the processes, they are also controlled by different simple tools on site, which are hard to change. So the BIM-oriented processes, although being developed to change many work patterns even on site, must still be set up such that the used work pattern can be followed by the traditional workforce, which is actually shifting the demand on an adopted BIM-representation rather than on the workforce.

The main characteristic of a construction process is the time component. Within the representation of the whole construction time often only some crucial minutes, major events or typical cycles earn the most interest. Therefore any BIM viewer for the construction processes must be able to show the different stages of a virtual presentation, run and stop the virtual process at any moment and reverse it as well. A lot of valuable information from virtual construction is just gained by analyzing the virtual scenery in different speed and by then changing the setting for the real world.

The perspective of the different stakeholders on the virtual representation is very diverse (Bargstaedt 2012). Each specialist is interested in different details and has to evaluate them. The architect intends to give an overall view and shows the matching of shapes and colors. The structural engineer looks for the bearing elements and their joints. By using the common data base clash detection can be automated. But this does not relieve the engineer from first developing a scheme to define the main routes and positions for pipes and cables within the building. Only within this scheme the proper design of pipes, circuits and cables makes sense. In practice already large teams have met to solve all conflicts detected by a clash detection program, but without being given a general scheme and first having established rules for conflicts and intersections. Then hours of common meetings on the virtual model are spent to detect and solve all clashes. So easily several days of common engineering work are summed up in order to prevent later hazards on site. But this detection and elimination of hundreds of clashes by visualization and with the help of clash detection programs is not breaking news, if the simple and beforehand definition of schemes and rules for the design corridors would not have produced any conflict at all.

4.2 Visualizing processes and its current obstacles

The main demand for visualizing processes in construction is not the actual status, but the future ongoing of the project. On different levels of detailing the supervisor, the site manager as well as foremen and other site personnel need to check on the information for future action. Therefore the status of the site at specific dates in the future is most important for them. This is a major requirement, for example facilitated in BIM, for example in the project MEFISTO, Fig. 7 (MEFISTO 2012).

One aspect to be mentioned in this context is, that most site engineers and managers are kept

Fig. 7: high rise building modeled according to its construction processes
Fig. 7: high rise building modeled according to its construction processes


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too busy as to really have enough lead time to get involved in the preparation of the upcoming activities. So pushing information to the site, when it is not yet time to be troubled with it, is not useful. Site managers rather work in “pull-mode”. That means that only at the time, when they have some time available for going through the next steps of work, they will search for the necessary information.




General remarks

When discussing the benefits of visualization and the use of BIM, a broad variety of arguments can be found

opposite to it. So it should be remembered, what and where benefits are already gained today by using BIM and its visualization tools.


One main point is the evaluation of alternatives. Good engineering practice needs the discussion about different solutions, about alternatives to the first sketch, it needs the common development of alternatives and their advantages and disadvantages. By using good visualization tools the proposals are more easily to be understood, so that the best alternative can be chosen.

Often the decision about one alternative has to be taken on the basis of best available information. In this case the further process of optimization of this alternative will also be supported by good and easy to be understood documentation. Often in practice just the fact that a decision was taken for one specific alternative has been the starting point of an effective optimization process in order to make the best out of this proposal.

Any visualization of construction processes tends to show the planning results of an undisturbed production. That is because any disturbance, any obstacle, will, if observed within a simulation or a visualization, most likely result in a longer time for production, a shut down or an interruption of the production. Activities, which have to be repeated due to quality problems or other faulty work, are very complicated to model and tend to be constraint and inflexible in their appearance. The reality procures such a tremendous amount of possible disturbances and obstacles, that it is not realistic to model them in detail. Therefore only the consequences are modeled, which are first of all the time elapsed without effective

Processes, which are designed from detail to the whole, tend to be modeled with a too short time demand. Looking on an undisturbed and optimized process on site yields durations, which are too small. Therefore in construction practice, the art of estimating required time, includes a realistic estimation of buffer times at several levels. For example when calculating the crane capacity for formwork, the existing crane capacity should not be used for more than 50 or 60 % of the available time. When designing the crane process for assembling work, the calculated crane time should not exceed more than 85 % of the installed crane capacity. In many processes on site buffer time of 50 to 80 % of the total time are realistic. The analysis by visualizing the process can bring improvements in time of a high percentage. Any site manager, who wants to transfer these calculated results into reality has to decide, how much of the calculated saving time can be incorporated on this specific site.

On site different kind of skilled people are active. On traditional German construction sites, the craftspeople are highly skilled and experienced. Even if the current development shows, that more and more young, inexperienced or unmotivated people are met on site, there is still a large reservoir of experience and a tendency of the people that they want to understand what they are doing. Since most of them are educated within this old established environment of construction sites, where site manager and foremen organize their work, the tendency of bringing in ideas for improvement are still considerable. But the site demands are becoming more and more complex. Many situations arise on site, where the proposals and alternatives of the people on site cannot been evaluate any more without thorough understanding of the underlying complex overall system. Here visualization tools are needed, which show the complexity of the building and also the consequences of any changes.

5.2 Indirect benefits

There is already a large area where visualization of construction processes has become standard. It is in the field of standard items for outfitting and finishing trades. The supply industry has been very active in the past to develop articles which make assembling easier and more perfect. For example standard installation units are mostly delivered together with detailed drawings about how to install them, how to assemble and connect them with the building. Many suppliers offer this information via internet, so that the craftsman can look up on the internet and ask questions, get assembling explanations for assembling. Some suppliers, for example several international formwork specialists, already offer quite a range of educational and instruction movies via internet.


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

Here the challenge for the site manager is not to generate and get the information. The challenge is to recognize the need for education and training among his workers on site and then get the right, pinpointed movie, power point show or sketch right on the spot.

Indirect benefit can be gained by

analyzing more thoroughly in less time and thus avoiding later mistakes,

showing the processes in order to activate also the intuitive control of sequences and relationships,

committing oneself to a more thorough site preparation, simply by making the effort to visualize it,

general and easy improvement of personal knowledge and expertise

One hindering and costly aspect is, when the crews do not exactly know how to do the job. This might result in quite a number of visible activities, showing the crew occupied with studying the drawings, with discussing the solution on site. Then slack time occurs, the quantity of work performed diminishes and becomes less intensive, sometimes without the foreman and the site manager really noticing it. Therefore visualization done in advance, giving a good image of what has to be performed, is a key factor for efficient production especially in one-of-a-kind-processes.

The average ratio of salary for workers compared to engineers in Germany is between 1 : 2 and 1 : 4. This makes it more expensive to spend an engineering hour instead of a worker’s hour. The number of engineers in comparison to the number of workers attached to certain processes, however, is between 1 : 10 and 1 : 30. So it is much more economical to invest in the higher effort for engineering skills and preparation of drawings, schedules and visualization. However, not in every area there are enough skilled engineers available. Then it is still difficult to set the main focus on work preparation well in advance and to use the appropriate visualization tools.

5.3 Direct cost benefits

Proving cost benefits in one-of-a-kind processes seems to be extremely difficult, because there is no repetition of processes. So it doesn’t allow for alternative runs, one without and the other with the installed improvement measures. This difficulty is inherent in most areas of construction projects as well as in project management in general.

projects as well as in project management in general. Fig. 8: typical accounting costs along rework

Fig. 8: typical accounting costs along rework activities on an element

In most cases the cost accounting for site operations is not very elaborate. Fig. 8 shows some possible ways of rework during the lifecycle of a building element. During the scheduled activity for that element there are different stages, at which rework is performed still within the regular work timeframe (second start, corrections) and will not be accounted for separately. Still during internal supervision (refinish), during and after final acceptance by the client (punch list) and even sometimes during the warranty period (repair) often the costs of rework are not attached to the phase of work, but are still allocated to the cost unit of the original building element. Only after financial closure of the project the arising costs for rework are written to the warranty budget. That makes it difficult to exactly pinpoint the costs as well as the benefits by saved time and money due to better work preparation and visualization.

In terms of quantifiable benefits the following should be taken into consideration, as Bargstaedt and Spieckermann stated in (ASIM 2011):

Discover hidden costs because of wrong layout planning and dimensioning.

Reduce the necessary site area by optimizing the process planning.

Reduce the necessary equipment and its service time on the basis of visualized planning.

Reduce the risk of liquidated damages by gaining more buffer time during operation.

Have better proof in case of alterations, disturbance, delays and other obstacles.

Check on and improve the key values for performance ratio of workmen and equipment.


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Nevertheless these aspects are still difficult to measure, if the cost accounting is not done according to the estimated schemes. Having established the ideal duration of activities and processes, this is the measure line for deviations. Non-optimum processes can result in a lack of quality as well as in unforeseen idle time. Most dangerous is the lack of efficiency, where the crews work at a slower path than normal, or where the equipment is used below its expectations. In these cases the loss of time might not be obvious at first glance, but still can be measured clearly, if times are taken from the daily performance. If comparing the actual process with the planned processes, the differences become transparent. By taking the visualization of a process, this standard sequence and velocity can be set as a reference for the real work.


Construction is a typical one-of-a-kind operation for one-of-a-kind products. Therefore information and communication play a major role in disseminating the necessary knowledge to all involved parties. Here visualization offers new perspectives for better, easier and more effectively instruction the people on site. It also assists the site in doing better work panning and for the evaluation of alternatives and optimization.

The benefits by using a thorough visualization of the construction processes are non-direct as well as direct. Although most accounting procedures on site are not setup such that they differentiate between the original work items and different areas of rework, there are still a part of quantifiable benefits. Since concerning most of the site people work in “pull-mode”, the information must easily be kept available at the time of requirement by site managers and workmen.


Arbeitsgruppe Unikatprozesse (ASIM 2011) in ASIM Fachgruppe Simulation in Produktion und Logistik.

Bargstaedt, H.-J. (Bargstaedt 2012) Transparency of Construction Knowledge in BIM-oriented Processes.

Published electronically, 14 th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, Moskow,


Eastman, C., Teicholz, P., Sacks, R. and Liston, K. (Eastman2011) BIM Handbook. A guide to building information modeling for owners, managers, designers, engineers, and contractors, 2 nd edition. Wiley, Hoboken

von Both, P. and Kindsvater, A. (vonBoth 2012) Potentials and barriers for implementing BIOM in the German AEC market Results of a current market analysis. Published electronically, 14 th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, Moskow, 2012

Scherer, R. J., Schapke, S. E. and Tauscher, H. (MEFISTO 2012): „MEFISTO: Management- Führung Information Simulation im Bauwesen. Tagungsband 2“. Mefisto-Kongress, 13. October 2011, Dresden

Figures not generated by the author :


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan


Danilo Di Mascio Department of Architecture,Faculty of Architecture, G. d'Annunzio University, Pescara-Chieti, Italy

ABSTRACT: The following work is part of a Ph.D. thesis, having as its general objective the use of ICT in the knowledge and documentation of five peculiarities of the built environment. The built environment is acknowledged as a value both as material resource and cultural heritage to be preserved. I believe that digital technologies give the opportunity to expand the knowledge of complex artifacts and reflect on traditional problems in a different way. In this paper I will deal with the interpretation, representation and communication of the features defined as "evolutionary". With the analysis of these features I want to pay attention to the time variable declined in two different ways, both united by a progression of human actions over in time. At first, I consider the transformations that have affected an artifact or a settlement during the course of centuries or years, and have influenced the present configuration; secondly I examine the various realization phases of an artifact, characterized by a montage of its technical elements. To represent and communicate the different phases of construction I do not use dynamic motion, but a sequence of static single frames, where each frame describes a phase and can be described in turn and fulfilled by other textual information. Consequently, I will present three case studies: the medieval village of Castelnuovo (Italy), damaged by an earthquake; a raw earth house, located in Figuig (Morocco); a trabocco, a pile dwelling construction used for fishing, located along Abruzzo’s coast (Italy). Then, for each case study I will present the objectives, some issues that have to be faced and a methodology that involves the use of software such as AutoCAD and 3ds Max. In the latter part of the work, the results will be presented and commented.

KEYWORDS: 3d modeling, construction, evolution, montage, built environment, representation, communication.



This work is part of a Ph.D. thesis (successfully completed in May 2012. The Research has received the Doctor Europaeus award, an additional title obtained after meeting the requirements established in 1992 by the European University Association and by the Norms and Regulations of the University "G. D'Annunzio" Chieti-Pescara related to the Ph.D.) and its general objective is related to the identification and testing of new methods, tools and techniques, with particular focus on ICT, knowledge and documentation of five characteristics of the historical and contemporary built environment. Some topics of the thesis have been published as conference papers, while others are being published.

In the first chapter of the thesis, through the analysis of international documents (such as international charters on conservation and restoration or documents published by organizations such as UNESCO or ICOMOS), the built environment has been recognized as a valuable material and cultural resource to be maintained and enhanced for the present and future generations. Often the interventions on the built heritage are being made without any adequate documentation on the basis of its technical and cultural characteristics. This method of procedure causes changes in various aspects with there are the cultural, aesthetic, structural and functional ones. These errors are caused by the negligence of those who intervene in these situations, but also by various difficulties raised by the artifact or the settlement where works have to be done.

I believe that ICT provide methods e tools and, together with the traditional use and theories, they enable to tackle and resolve difficulties and to expand and record the knowledge of these artifacts. Thanks to these new digital technologies it is possible to reflect on traditional problems in a new way. In this research the term knowledge means the understanding of the built environment and in particular the peculiarities analyzed.

The analysis of international documents and some personal considerations have identified five characteristics, material and immaterial, important to improve the understanding, management and valorization of the historical and contemporary built heritage; the aim is to preserve and/or enhance physical objects and intangible aspects in respect of the cultural qualities. The five selected characteristics are: morphological, constructive, evolutionary, perceptual and relational peculiarities. These peculiarities also define the limits of the field of investigation of the research to specific theories and concepts for the study of the built environment and to determined categories of


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ICT. In this paper I will focus on the evolutionary peculiarities.


With the analysis of the evolutionary peculiarities I want to pay attention to the time variable declined/interpreted in two different ways, both united by a progression of human actions in time, in fact one of the meanings of the word "evolution" in the Oxford Dictionary is "the gradual development of something". In the first interpretation I consider the transformations that have affected a building or a settlement during the course of centuries or years, and have influenced the current configuration. For example, it is possible to take into consideration interventions such as the demolition or extension of a dwelling to modify existing functions or accommodate new ones. In the second interpretation it is possible to consider the various building stages of an artifact, characterized by the assembly or progressive construction of the technical elements. During a lapse of time it is possible to assist to the development (or processing) of more or less quick, more or less in-depth features often bind among them. In fact, an operation of extension of a dwelling unit to accommodate the new functions is a variation of morphological, structural, perceptual aspects in almost all cases.

In summary it is believed that the study of the transformations and assembling and constructive phases may be useful to understand and learn:

development of a settlement during a given period, with all the variables connected to it;

materials and construction method of an artifact.


The working method has been developed taking into consideration three essential actions in the path of understanding and documenting the evolution of built features: interpret, represent and communicate.

The interpretation is an essential action when facing the study of the built environment because often the available documents (i.e. recoverable data through archival researches and those achievable during a site inspection) are not sufficient to fill in all the gaps. Therefore it is needed a creative interpretation to overcome some obscure points that otherwise would block the progress of the research. Within this research I intend to show situations with the action of representing, otherwise they cannot be seen in reality. The representation will allow to give form to a discussion so as to verify if interpretations and hypothesis are correct or if it’s necessary to modify and rectify. In the creative interpretation process it is possible to move along the elaboration of various hypotheses, realizing different two-dimensional graphic works and three-dimensional models. The creation of this material can be possible by using both the existing documentation and intuitions that can come from the comparative analysis with similar artifacts or by the application of knowledge belonging to a personal cultural background and gained both in architecture and in other fields. With the action of communicating it is possible to indicate the intention to transmit to others in a clear and effective way information that are represented for the first time and that will be used for further studies.

The interpretation stage follows the preliminary stage of data collection (including archival research) and analysis of an existing documentation, which may consist of historical documents and drawings produced during site inspections (when it is possible to make them). The experiences of other studies have shown that each working phase is not autonomous but is always characterized by multiple actions. Moreover, the process does not develop itself in a linear manner but it follows a continuous interpretation, representation, evaluation of options leading to a progressive modification and refinement of the works. For example, the interpretation and representation phases are closely linked.

The main digital technologies selected for this study belong to the categories of CAAD and three-dimensional modelers. The CAAD are especially useful to create metrically precise two-dimensional drawings and 3D modelers to create three-dimensional digital models of the objects of study, organize objects through layers and render images. Laser scanning technologies were not used because they were not deemed fit to tackle the challenges posed by individual case studies: more precise details related to this choice will be described in the section referring to the discussion of the results.

After defining the main actions to be taken and digital technologies to be used, it was necessary to define a method of representation and organization of the clear and effective elements, useful in the interpretation and


communication stages.

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Terms and concepts such as time, sequence assembly, which characterize the evolutionary peculiarities, directs us to the movie sector where it is possible to find the same words used in a slightly different way. The use of film techniques to communicate in a clear and immediate way the assembling phases of an artifact is not a new procedure and does not belong to recent years. In 1941 Ray Harryhausen, the famous American film producer, best known for being the creator of special effects (a true expertise in the technique called stop-motion, and his most famous movies are the ones with mythological creatures animated with this technique – e.i. the Argonauts) created a stop-motion movie titled "How to Bridge a Gorge". In this animation, designed to educate the American troops on how to assembly a wooden bridge, Harryhausen demonstrates effective "three-dimensional possibilities of animation as a visual teaching system. A science applied in the study of mechanical assemblies, installation and repair of complicated instruments, strategic and operational problems with defined conditions.” Harryhausen states that these techniques are effective in reducing the learning time to a minimum because they are very communicative. In this first example, we are dealing with an animation that demonstrates the effectiveness of a movie in communicating constructive information, but even more interesting for the goals of this research are the experiments of Eadweard Muybridge, English photographer pioneer of the photography of the movement. In 1878 Muybridge performed an experiment called "Horse in Motion" (and followed by many other experiments) with whom he proved that while the horse was running there was an instant moment in which all four paws would be off the ground. This demonstration was made through a sequence of photographs taken by 24 cameras, each operated by a cord struck by the passage of the animal. Hence with this method Muybridge breaks down a continuous action in a sequence of still images. All these images illustrates the movements made by a horse in the race. This is exactly our goal, or rather tell/record the stages of transformation and/or installation/construction of a settlement and/or an artifact through the breaking down of these phases in a sequence of static images. In fact, to represent and communicate the different stages of transformation/construction we will not use dynamic animations, but a sequence of single static frames (remember that dynamic animation is nothing but a sequence of still images played back at a certain speed to give the illusion of movement), each frame will show a particular time and may in turn be described and supplemented by other textual information.

points out that in the methodology

used the digital techniques are mediated both by a traditional architectural knowledge (in particular construction techniques and materials), and by theories belonging to the cinematographic world.

The word "mediated" in the title of this paper (digital mediated techniques [


Three case studies have been chosen at two different scales (two of which are on the same scale of the artifact but with a totally different construction technique) because they allow to deal with various problems linked to the evolutionary peculiarities:

the scale of the settlement: the fortified town of Castelnuovo (Abruzzo, Italy);

the scale of the building: a house in clay (Figuig, Morocco) and a trabocco of pier (Abruzzo, Italy).


In this chapter there will be presented three case studies. Each case study has been introduced with a short general overview followed by: main objectives, questions to be faced and used methodology. In the case studies I will mainly focus on the assembling sequences (that represent the evolutionary peculiarities), and not just on the digital three-dimensional reconstruction of the artifact, since this topic is more keen on the constructive peculiarities. However, in general it is possible to state that the digital reconstruction is a process that owns an autonomous value, independent from further analysis, because the same reconstruction process contributes to deepen and broaden the knowledge of the artifact, it is an interactive process of continuous construction and evaluation.

4.1 The first case study: The fortified centre of Castelnuovo (Abruzzo, Italy)

4.1.1 General description

The tragic earthquake that hit the regional capital L’Aquila caused damages of various entity in more than 50 little villages, including Castelnuovo, a borough of the village of San Pio delle Camere, which counts less than two hundred inhabitants.

Castelnuovo is locate within the Piana di Navelli, but in a barycentric position. The village rises on the top of a hill


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where it dominates the entire landscape, today marked also by an important road. This privileged position inserted, during the Middle Age, Castelnuovo, and in particular its fortified centre, inside the spotting and defense system of the valley of L’Aquila.

From the XII century to present days, the village has known various growing phases. In this research, we have dealt with the fortified centre, the most ancient and important area of the village, which is an urban settlement inspired to the Roman “castrum”. This peculiarity, that distinguishes Castelnuovo from the other nearby towns, derives probably from the closeness of the ancient Roman settlement of Peltuinum.

4.1.2 Main objectives

The main objectives of this working phase are the following:

to understand and document the morphological-functional transformation of the fortified centre of Castelnuovo;

to individuate, represent and describe the criticalities, which are the aspects that have altered the original plan.


Issues to be faced

The main issues to be faced mainly come from the lack of documentation that might help the understanding of the morphological transformations occurred in the fortified centre during the centuries. To identify the criticalities it was only possible to use some available information, given the impossibility of visiting the village because of the dangerous buildings.

4.1.4 Analysis of the morphological-functional transformations

The model used for the stratigraphic reading is the result of creative digital reconstruction documented in (Di Mascio, 2010). Starting from the model created in the previous phase, it has been possible to make a multilayered reading to better understand and document the morphological-functional transformations of the village: these transformations have affected mainly the increase of the heights of the buildings. In the past, most of the residential units were mainly constituted by two rooms: one on the ground level (usually a stable), laid approximately about 1m under the street level (Fig. 1 - image 1) and one at the upper floor, used as a dwelling (Fig. 1 錯誤! 找不到 參照來源。 - image 2). During the course of centuries, new needs have brought to the change of the destination use and volumes, in particular there is an increase of the number of floors up to five (Fig. 1 - image 3). In addition to the traditional pitched roofs, it is possible to trace also some terraces and loggias (Fig. 1 - image 4). The result of this first reading shows us a complex urban pattern, constituted of buildings which are very different from each other, what concerns both the historical period and the constructive techniques.

4.1.5 Analysis of the criticalities

In another three-dimensional model, based on the previous one and defined as criticality model (Fig. 1 - right), we have identified the spontaneous transformations, such as the abandonment or demolition of parts of the buildings, or the closure of important pathways. In order to make the communication clearer and more effective, it has been chosen not to use the complete model of the village, but a synthesis previously elaborated. The perimeter of the buildings is the same, as well as the perimeters of the single residential units. To represent the buildings belonging to the original system of the village, it has been chosen the white color, which is neutral. To highlight the critical issues, the symbols used have been the following: red colored solids to indicate the additions outside of the original perimeter of the fortified center (including the volumes that close the paths); red colored and translucent solids that identify the demolitions and the anomalous spaces; empty walls to report the abandoned buildings.

The previous analysis have made clear that in designing a new village, it is necessary to maintain some qualities/important features that have been lost over the centuries. Initially, for example, all the paths had an exit, while during the years, three of the six secondary way outs have been closed.


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November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan Fig. 1: (left) Stratigraphic reading of the morphological transformations of the

Fig. 1: (left) Stratigraphic reading of the morphological transformations of the fortified centre during the course of centuries; (right) the 3D model with the representation of the different criticalities.

4.2 The second case study: A raw earth dwelling (Figuig, Marocco)

4.2.1 General description

The analyzed building is located in the city of Figuig in the eastern area of Morocco, to the border with Algeria. The city, built around an oasis, consists of seven ksour which are typical fortified villages in north Africa. In a ksar there are collective structures such as barns, shops, religious buildings and private homes. The homes have courts and they are all juxtaposed to form a compact tissue which facilitates defensive actions. The main constructive material for all the structures is the adobe, which are bricks made of soil and water; in some cases it is possible to find the cut stone.

4.2.2 Main objectives

To suppose and document the realization phases of the building. The information should be visually communicated in a clear and effective way; each further phase has to clearly demonstrate which are the new elements and how they are linked to the present ones.

4.2.3 Issues to be faced

The main problems are represented by:

lack of detailed information about the different realization phases, and difficulty in obtaining new specific data on the Figuig buildings;

identification of an adequate method to document and communicate the various construction phases.



For a clear and effective communication I have decided to represent the single construction phases directly in their final configuration and through static images. By considering the same model realized to analyze and document the constructive characteristics of the dwelling, it has been set and rendered a series of images that document and represent the building sequence. The entire process has been summarized through ten phases (Fig. 2): the first phase coincides with the masonry foundation structure; the last conclusive phase ends with the superior horizontal closure in earth, sand and lime. The building has some openings that related it with other adjacent routes that are part of another dwelling unit included in the same property. This further information that consider the artifact as part of a building set and not as an isolated episode, have been represented with semitransparent synthetic volumes. To keep the same scale of the building it has been chosen a shot able to clearly document and include all the installation phases. With this method, each image represents a frame of a sequence that, just like in cinematography, has the aim of narrating the process of the installation phases of the artifact. The decision to use static images instead of a movie comes from the necessity of including the graphic works among a paper documentation, and to complete it with textual description and information. This does not preclude the possibility of creating an animation with the same frames, that could be inserted in a website or in a presentation video.


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c e o n Construction Application of Virtual Reality Fig. 2: The 10 frames documenting the

Fig. 2: The 10 frames documenting the installation sequence of raw earth dwelling.


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

4.3 The third case study: A trabocco of pier (Abruzzo, Italy)

4.3.1 General description

The trabocchi are pile-dwelling constructions, particularly suitable to environmental situations, such as marshy lands and subject to flood or lake shores, located along Abruzzo’s coast (a region in central Italy, on the Adriatic Coast). These artifacts date back probably to the XVII century when some familiar groups coming from the Centre-North of Europe (in particular Germany and France) settled in the area between the villages of San Vito Chietino and Rocca San Giovanni, localities near the coasts devastated several years before by the earthquakes and seaquakes (Cupido, 2003). Through the wits and the handicraft knowledge, these foreign families overcome their seafaring lacks (as they were not able to swim or arrange a boat), by building a system that could allow them to fish close by the seashore (at that time fishing was the only livelihood source), even then, due to the rough or non-limpid sea, it was not possible to use harpoons and fishing spears. For the maintenance and construction of new trabocchi, the constructors (called traboccanti) used to manage a small raft of reeds fastened together, pushed with a long stick. With this raft they used to carry trunks and other materials necessary to their construction. (Forlani, 2005) In the past times along the Abruzzo coast there were about 50 trabocchi, but unfortunately nowadays more than half remained and have been preserved in different ways. All the trabocchi on the coast belong by now to private owners, except one, the trabocco of Punta Turchinio (so called because of the place where it is located), owned by a public entity, and maintained by San Vito Chietino Council.

4.3.2 Main objectives

To hypothesize, represent and document the installation phases of a trabocco of pier:

the information must be provided in a visually clear and effective way with technical elements easily recognizable;

each phase has to clearly demonstrate which are the new elements and how they are linked to the present ones.


Issues to be faced

The available documentation and information are not sufficient to elaborate an assembling sequence, therefore it was necessary to hypothesize the single phases.

4.3.4 Methodology

As first step, I have researched and collected documents that contain specific information on the constructive phases of the trabocchi; the collected documentation is the result of previous publications and researches containing short descriptions and hand drawings, which show some constructive phases of a typical trabocco. The images summarize the constructive phases in a few sequences hence from an image to another many elements are added that make difficult a clear comprehension both of the insertion order and the existing relationship between an element and another. In the 29 trabocchi located along Abruzzo's coast, the constructive systems and the many technical elements are repeated in various artifacts, but the traboccchi are not similar to each other, they are all unique. For this reason, it was decided to document the assembling phases of a typical trabocco, taken as example. The trabocco Turchinio, case study of a previous research (Di Mascio, 2009), with its abundance of structural elements of the platform, the high number of ropes and slings, and with its long footbridge was considered too complex to communicate the information in a clear and effective way; but the knowledge background achieved during the morphological and constructive analysis of the Turchinio (the structural engineers collaborated for the structural part), together with the direct observation of other trabocchi (and to the documentation collected in the preliminary phase), allowed to digitally built a new trabocco. The new virtual construction exemplifies the assembling phases of a typical trabocco of pier, bringing out which are the used elements and their assembling order. Among the different considered constructive methods it has been chosen the following because it represents the most simple prototype, related to the number (and type) of essential elements. As in the previous case study the single images show the elements in their final position, hence already installed and without supporting elements. The only exception is the figure number three, that shows the positioning of a provisional pole in water through a beam linked to the pole on the ground through provisional ropes and cables. Pictures 9 and 10 show the assembling order of the definitive elements, hence without provisional supporting ropes and cables. Hence, the picture 11 shows the cables in their final permanent configuration.


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Also for the trabocco, as well as for the Figuig dwelling, it was chosen a adequate shot to contain all the progressive assembling phases of the construction. But unlike the previous work, each rendered image does not coincide with the subdivision of the typical layers of a technological breakdown. The different constructive system of the trabocco, made of point elements, piles and beams needs to be divided into layers according to another order. The used classification scheme coincides with the assembling order of the elements. To clarify and prepare the sequence of the images, it was used another typical technique of the film sector, the storyboard. The structure and the succession of the images has been analyzed through handmade drawings. To allow a correct and clear interpretation of the various phases, it was decided to divide the process into 16 frames (Fig. 3).

was decided to divide the process into 16 frames (Fig. 3). Fig. 3: The 16 frames

Fig. 3: The 16 frames documenting the assembling sequence of a trabocco of pier.


One of the main objectives of the research was to define, experiment and propose a methodology for the comprehension and documentation of the evolutionary peculiarities of an artifact or a settlement. The experimentation of the three case studies suggests some reflections on tools and methods used. When the available documents on the building under study were not sufficient it was useful to identify buildings with similar characteristics (we refer to the case study Figuig) and to made a comparison providing some useful information for further research. For Castelnuovo 3D models have been prepared and rendered images have been made representing a hypothesis of multilayer reading, useful to better understand and document the morphological and functional changes and the criticality of the village. For the raw earth dwelling in Figuig it was possible to use a model created to analyze and document the constructive peculiarities of the artifact, at this stage it has been set and rendered a series of images documenting the various stages of implementation of the building. To maintain the same scale of the building it has been chosen a fixed frame that managed to clearly document and to include all the phases of implementation. For the trabocco the phases of assembly were organized and represented. The trabocco being a wooden construction on stilts, it has very different characteristics and structural elements from the house of


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

Figuig. Given the complexity of the structure, non-standard, composed of many elements in wood, it was necessary to prepare a documentation similar to a storyboard to correctly interpret and translate the descriptive information in images. Also in this case has been selected a frame to document and include all the phases of the assembly. Without a representation of the stages through an organized sequence of images would be impossible to communicate the same information with other traditional methods. A multidisciplinary approach (architectural knowledge, methods and tools of digital technologies and theories of cinematography) has allowed us to formulate a clear methodology to support the various phases of work, starting from the interpretation and the representation and ending with the communication. The aim to create a sequence of images documenting the construction of an artifact is to communicate accurate information and not to entertain. If the information are improperly transferred the sequence will have no informational value, but will be a simple graphic exercise, not a job of an architect or engineer. It is not advisable to show work done without a proper interpretation of construction to students or other interested parties, since it would provide inaccurate information that could be confusing. The following table summarizes the positive use of digital technologies in the three case studies of this research and compared with traditional techniques:




test and evaluate various hypotheses quickly modifying some parts of the same model;

to modify drawings produced in the traditional way

(perspectives and axonometric) and models is a lengthy and complex process;

the documents produced are easily updatable and expandable over time;

traditional drawings and models are very difficult to amend or enlarge unless they are recreated with new information;

create a three dimensional model that allows you to observe

the objects of study from any angle and any distance, the degree of detail of the model can be easily deepened at any time and at any point using the same three-dimensional object;

traditional drawings (elevations and axonometric views) are

bound to definite points of view, so provide partial and limited visions; models are bound to the defined scale of its creation;

a three-dimensional model allows a better assessment of the

to create a scaled detailed model has high costs (time,

construction aspects because it simulates the position of the technical elements in a 3D space and the relationship that exists between each technical element;

materials and equipment); traditional drawings doesn’t allow to correctly estimate the position and relations between the different technical elements;










drawings and models produced in the traditional way can



hardly be the basis for other drawings, but are only of useful



The benefit of the methodology developed and proposed in this paper can be summarized as follows:

all the produced images are the representation, communication and completion of the textual descriptions and they make the understanding of the transformation, construction and assembling phases clearer and more efficient, mainly if compared with the only written text;

the graphic sequences produced make evident the relations among the various elements, defining who is in relationship with what; in fact, the new elements introduced during each phase are connected or overlapped to the existing ones;

a better understanding of the relations among the technical elements allows to reduce the mistakes and to improve the recovery and maintenance interventions;

to each image there could be descriptive information on the type and quantity of used materials, since these are information useful for a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA);

the comprehension and documentation of the montage/assembly phases represent a useful support also during the dismantling/demolition phases.



In this paper it has been presented a methodology for the comprehension and documentation of the evolutionary peculiarities of the historic and contemporary built environment and its application to three case studies. In the understanding and representation/documentation of these peculiarities proper use of digital tools and methods


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must be supported by the background and technical knowledge of an architect that allows to correctly document its construction aspects and avoid making an animation that would have the value of a simple graphic exercise. In fact there often are detailed animations only in the graphic part, while the order and the assembling mode if the

elements are in part or totally wrong. Furthermore, in the architecture field is often used an empirical approach for

the creation of static rendering and animations, while on the contrary theories and techniques from the filmmaking

world are very useful in providing a theoretical basis to support various experiments. As it happens in other studies

a multidisciplinary and trans-disciplinary approach, along with theories and methods of information technology is

useful in an innovative way to tackle old and new problems. Each building belonging to the built heritage presents construction characteristics and problems that are often unique. A creative multidisciplinary approach allows us to understand and document features like the evolutionary peculiarities which are difficult to analyze and represent only with traditional methods and tools. Even though the elaborated methods are adequate to study artifacts that present similar features of the analyzed case studies, it is though that they could be widened and deepened further on. The basic theoretical approach is always valid, but the built environment presents different situations that require the definition of specific working choices. Other theoretical studies and practical experiments for new case studies are still in progress.


I would like to thank Professor Maria Cristina Forlani for permitting me to study these subjects and my sister Ilaria

Di Mascio for helping me with the translation of this paper from Italian to English.


As, I., Schodek, D. (2008). Dynamic digital representations in architecture. Visions in motion. Abingdon, Oxon,

United Kingdom: Taylor & Francis.

Cupido, P. (2003). Trabocchi, traboccanti e br iganti. Ortona (Ch), Italy: Edizioni Menabò.

Di Mascio, D. (2012) "ICT in the knowledge and in the documentation of the peculiarities of the historical and

contemporary built environment. Methodological paths and case studies", PhD thesis, Scuola Superiore “G.

d’Annunzio” School of Advanced Studies, G


University, Chieti-Pescara, Italy.

Di Mascio, D. (2010). Preserving memories with digital media: a methodology for the reconstruction of

Castelnuovo Village, CAADRIA2010: New Frontiers (15th International Conference Proceedings on Computer Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia) Hong Kong, China, 7-10 April 2010, pp. 83-92.

Di Mascio, D. (2009). Digital Reconstruction and Analysis of Turchinio’s trabocco: A method of digital

reconstruction of a complex structure as a way to improve our knowledge of a cultural heritage artifact, Digitizing Architecture: Formalization and Content [4th International Conference Proceedings of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural Design (ASCAAD 2009)], Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, 11-12 May 2009, pp.


Eadweard Muybridge (2012). Encyclopædia Britannica Online, <> (last accessed 10 June 2012)

Evolution, in Oxford Dictionaries, The world's most trusted dictionaries, <> (last accessed 06 June 2012).

Forlani, M. C. (2005). I trabocchi, archetipi costruttivi della leggerezza. Il Progetto Sostenibile, 8.

Knight, M., Bandyopadhyay, S., Berridge, P. and Brown, A.: 2001, Digital Hindcasting - Critical Analysis through Virtual Reconstruction, Architectural Information Management (19th eCAADe Conference Proceedings) Helsinki (Finland) 29-31 August 2001, pp. 529-533.

Munari, B. (2008) Design e comunicazione visiva. Bari, Italy: Editori Laterza.

Sparkhill Ray Harryhausen. The early years collection. [DVD]. London, United Kingdom: Sony Pictures.

Thomas, M., Penz, F. (2003). Architectures of illusion. From Motion Pictures to Navigable Interactive Environmets. Bristol, United Kingdoms: Intellect Books.


November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan


Cheng-Yuan Hsieh & I-Chen Wu Department of Civil Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Taiwan

ABSTRACT: The energy efficiency of new constructions and existing buildings can be determined via energy performance evaluation. Low energy consumption and reduced carbon dioxide emissions can be achieved if the energy-saving index is taken into account when a building is being designed. Building envelopes can be considered the most significant factors among the various energy impact factors. For example, reduced use of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting equipment can be achieved by simply considering the interaction between the building envelope and the surrounding environment, such as ventilation, sunshade, and ambient lighting. Currently, in Taiwan, this evaluation is conducted manually. This approach is time-consuming because of the need to constantly consult tables and regulations. It is also susceptible to human error. This research discusses, in detail, the role of the building envelope in influencing the energy performance of the building itself, and demonstrates the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) for visual and automated evaluation of building energy performance so as to assist planners in determining whether energy-saving standards have been effectively met. In this research, the feasibility of using BIM for building energy performance evaluation was examined by applying this approach to an engineering project example. This system showed effectiveness in assisting planners in identifying and understanding the possible blind spots affecting the achievement of energy-saving requirements of the designed buildings, and enabled the examination of further design modifications to optimize energy-saving effects.

KEYWORDS: Building Information Modeling (BIM), Building Energy Performance, Energy Consumption, Carbon Reduction, Building Envelope



In order to cope with projected climate changes brought about by the enhanced greenhouse effect, countries around the world have invested efforts into the development of new energy resources and energy-saving techniques, alongside efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Research has found that the operation of buildings accounts for up to 40 percent of global CO2 emissions. Buildings designed with energy-saving considerations have the potential to achieve fifty to sixty percent energy savings during their entire life cycle. In the past, most architects designed buildings with little regard for the energy performance of buildings. Nowadays building energy conservation has become a priority. Generally, performance evaluation of a building’s energy can be divided into five parts: (1) the building envelope; (2) the air conditioning and ventilation; (3) the water heating system; (4) dynamic equipment and (5) illumination. Although various factors affect the energy performance of a building, the building envelope plays the most significant role. For example, higher solar radiation received from the building envelope implies greater total solar heat gain and hence higher energy requirements for cooling. When designing an air conditioning system, knowledge of the total radiation striking a surface over a specified period of time is required (ASHRAE, 2009). Various studies have been conducted involving the application of energy analysis of building envelopes. For example, Chang (2006) employed Lin’s Method (Lin, 1990) (Yen et al., 2005) (Liao et al., 2006) (Lin et al., 2007) and the Building Energy Evaluation Program (BEEP-II) to analyze the Envelope Load (ENVLOAD) of different opening ratios of windows, different directions of buildings and Lightweight Aggregate Concrete envelopes. Arno Schuster (2008) conducted an energy analysis by considering the thermo economic concept of exergy. Exergy analysis takes into account the quality of energy and creates a holistic view of the building incorporating the building’s form, materials and technical systems. Normally, energy analyses involve the use of a wide range of data and in various modes, including 3D geometry, weather and construction materials. In response to this problem, this research implemented specific modules based on the BIM system to assist planners in considering engineering information synthetically when trying to evaluate the energy performance of buildings accurately. BIM is a computer model database of building design information, which may also contain information about the building’s construction, management, operation and maintenance (Wu et al. 2012). BIM systems can access required data from BIM models, and allow complicated numerical data to be displayed effectively in an easily understandable visual format. In the traditional architectural workflow, energy performance assessment is mostly done subsequent to the architect’s design, and design changes greatly reduced efficiency and increased costs when implemented during construction. This system assists planners in identifying and understanding the


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possible blind spots when attempting to achieve energy-saving requirements of the designed buildings, and enables further design modifications to be incorporated to optimize energy-saving effects in the early stages of the building’s development. All of the application functions were implemented on AECOsim Energy Simulator which supports visualization of the 3D building model and provides capabilities for energy analysis and numerical data inputs. This research also applied the technology to a real engineering project example to verify its feasibility.



Fig.1 shows the concept of the building envelope energy performance evaluation adopted in this research. The methodology can be divided into three parts: (1) Building Information Modeling; (2) Building Envelope Energy Performance Index; (3) Energy Performance Evaluation. Further discussion is provided in the following sections.

2.1 Building Information Modeling

BIM is a new computer technique that is part of a comprehensive systems approach to the planning, design, construction, management, operation, maintenance, and use of buildings (Eastman, 2008). In this study, we employ the concept of BIM in information integration and information visualization for energy performance evaluation. One of the goals of BIM is to make the cooperation between stakeholders in the building process more efficient. This is achieved by storing relevant design information of each step in the design process. The ability of the model to serve as an interdependent, multi-disciplinary data repository enables new approaches on integrating performance analysis into the design process. Parameters defined during the design process can be accessed and edited during the design process and utilized for energy performance calculation. Information on building elements, area, building type, climate, HVAC, materials, date, time and energy standards was stored in the BIM model we developed for environment analysis, summary reporting, energy analysis and day lighting analysis.

2.2 Building Envelope Energy Performance Index

Following the Taiwan Building Technique Regulation and engineering design requirements, this research evaluated building energy performance in terms of four aspects of the building envelope energy performance index for energy performance evaluation: (1) Average Thermal Transmittance; (2) Solar Heat Gain Coefficient; (3) Reflection Rate of Visible Light and (4) Ratio of Equivalent Transparency.

2.3 Energy Performance Evaluation

We analyzed the calculation results to determine if the project would pass the building energy performance evaluation. We hoped that this research would help the designer to design better ventilation operations to achieve reduced energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

operations to achieve reduced energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Fig.1 Conceptual framework of research 48

Fig.1 Conceptual framework of research


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The building envelope is the most important impact factor with regards to energy efficiency. If a building designer can control the building environment and optimize the building envelope energy saving factor, good energy saving designs can be achieved, which will lead to lower requirements for air conditioning, ventilation and illumination, and reduce energy waste and carbon dioxide emissions. The focus of this research was on developing an efficient and accurate method to assess the building envelope in terms of energy-efficiency and performance. Specifically, this study aimed to achieve, in our example, five on the building energy performance index, as described in the literature and building codes.

3.1 Average Thermal Transmittance (Uar and Uaw)

U-Value is the measure of the rate of heat loss through a material. Thus, all aspects of building design should strive for the lowest U-Values possible because the lower the U-value the less heat that escapes. According to Rules 311 and 312 in Taiwan’s building technique regulations for roofs, the value Uar must be lower than 1.0 W/(m2/k). For external walls Rule 310 states that the Uaw value must be lower than 3.5 W/(m2/k). These are illustrated in Fig. 2.

be lower than 3.5 W/(m2/k). These are illustrated in Fig. 2. A VERAGE T HERMAL T






UAR < 1.0 W/(M2/K)






UAW <3.5 W/(M2/K)

Fig.2 Illustration of Average Thermal Transmittance

3.2 Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (HWs)

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient represents the extent to which solar radiation heat penetrates through the translucent roof skylights into the interior of the building. According to Rule 308 in Taiwan’s building technique regulations, HWs must be lower than the standard HWsc. This is illustrated in Fig. 3.


Fig.3 Illustration of Solar Heat Gain Coefficient


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3.3 Reflection Rate of Visible Light (Gri)

The reflection rate of visible light is defined as bouncing back of light from a reflective surface. According to Rule 308 of Taiwan’s building technique regulations, Gri must be lower than the standard value of 0.25 (Fig. 4).

GRI <0.25,I=1~N

Fig.4 Illustration of Reflection Rate of Visible Light

3.4 Ratio of Equivalent Transparency (Req)

The Ratio of Equivalent Transparency (Req) is a basic index for assessing whether a building is energy-efficient. Req is the ratio of the area of the total building envelope to the area of the envelope’s equivalent transparency. The standard value will be different in different zones and latitude in Taiwan; for example, southern <18%, middle <15%, northern <13%.






Fig.5 Ratio of Equivalent Transparency

A dormitory engineering project in the Yanchao campus at the National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, completed in 2010, was used as a test case. This project was divided into three 7-floor buildings. This study focused on Building C for conducting the building envelope energy performance analysis and simulation, and the building envelope energy performance index was applied to assess the standard was achieved.

4.2 Modeling

AECOsim Energy Simulator was used to develop BIM model. Using AECOsim, planners can build 3D models based on 3D plan generated from CAD system quickly and accurately. Essential parameters for energy performance evaluation such as the environment, weather, material, area, and date, were set using the Data Manager and System Manager. Finally, the BIM model was used to execute the building envelope energy performance analysis and simulation.

4.3 Analysis

As shown in Table 1, the analysis results were: (1) Average Thermal Transmittance Uar:0.99 W/(㎡‧K), (2) Average Thermal Transmittance Uaw:3.49 W/(㎡‧K), (3) Solar Heat Gain Coefficient HWs:0, (4) Reflection Rate of Visible Light Gri:0.15 and (5) Ratio of Equivalent Transparency Req: 6.8%. For this example, all five


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building envelope energy performance indices met the required standards.

Table 1: Analysis of results for Building envelope energy performance index


Analysis of results for Building envelope energy performance index

Uar =

Uaw =

HWs =

Gri = Rvi

Req = Aeq / Aen

( Ar1*Ur1+Ar2*

Σ(Awi+Uwi) /


Rvi = 0.15


Ur2) /(Ar1+Ar2)


/ ΣAgi

Agsi x fk x Ki x fvi) /Aen


ΣAri = 810 m2,

ΣAwi = 1652

Because no skylight, so it’s 0

Uri1= 0.99, Uri2

m2, Uri = 3.49


Aen = 2976 m2

= 3.52






0.068 = 6.8%



3.49<3.50 0.99<1.0 Pass 0.068 = 6.8% Pass Pass   Uar   Uaw   HWs   Req
3.49<3.50 0.99<1.0 Pass 0.068 = 6.8% Pass Pass   Uar   Uaw   HWs   Req




3.49<3.50 0.99<1.0 Pass 0.068 = 6.8% Pass Pass   Uar   Uaw   HWs   Req
3.49<3.50 0.99<1.0 Pass 0.068 = 6.8% Pass Pass   Uar   Uaw   HWs   Req





12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality



Five building envelope energy performance indices were implemented using a BIM system and AECOsim Energy Simulator to evaluate the energy performance of a building – Building C of the dormitory engineering project in the Yanchao Campus of National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences. This research employed the concept of BIM to integrate building and environmental parameters, and then to visualize the results of analysis and simulation for five building envelope energy performance indices, so as to assist planners to clearly understand the energy efficiency of a target building. Various energy-saving factors and species were considered comprehensively: living people, water heating systems, lighting, air conditioning; factors such as the building operation type, quantity, the environment and weather, which would affect the calculation results of building energy performance indices, were included. In our further work, we will attempt to implement another building energy performance index which will include considerations of air conditioning and ventilation systems, water heating systems, dynamic equipment and illumination to assist planners to accurately and comprehensively evaluate building energy performance.


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November 1-2, 2012, Taipei, Taiwan

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12th International Conference on Construction Application of Virtual Reality






Anne Anderson, Ken-Yu Lin & Carrie Sturts Dossick University of Washington, Seattle, Washington