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Information Technology

& Information System for Construction Management

By:Prof.SAMEER JAIN
National Institute of Construction Management and Research,Pune
Campus

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CLOUD COMPUTING

Cloud computing is a significant potential tool to support the construction


industry and its currently available collaboration tools include desktops,
internet networks, tablets, smart phones and laptops .

Consequently, it is hoped that recommending the implementation of cloud


computing (a shared collaborative information technology system) rather than
conventional methods of construction management will help all the
construction project parties including consultants, contractors, designers, the
owner, architects, suppliers and engineers to cooperate and collaborate with
high efficiency and productivity leading to a greener construction.

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Problem Statement

Delivery models and types of cloud computing.

The integration concepts of green, sustainability and cloud


computing within the construction industry.

Develops ways to enhance the potential opportunities


offered to the construction industry by collaborative
technologies and tools.

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Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing is the most recent technology which has been established
by the IT industry. Its revolutionary impact provides a timely, cost effective
and energy-efficient technology that supports access to applications,
information and services, such as storage, networks, hardware infrastructures
and servers, without restrictions of time and place using only an internet
connection. Additionally, the fundamental concept of cloud computing can be
described as the accessing, sharing and implementation of applications,
services, information and resources via a network environment which enables
the business to operate without any concerns regarding the ownership,
management and maintenance of the networks resources, applications and
services.

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Types of Cloud Computing

There are four types of cloud computing delivery: public cloud, private cloud,
community cloud and hybrid clouds. Armbrust defined a public cloud as a
pay-as-you-go implementation for the public while a private cloud is not
made available to the public. A community cloud is utilized via a collection
of organizations which have common interests and a hybrid cloud is a
combination of a public and private cloud.

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Three broad types of cloud computing (shown in fig 2) are as follows:


1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) : It is the lowest layer of the network
which the user via the cloud providers uses fundamental computing resources
such as processing power, storage, memory, operating system and networking
components such as firewalls or middleware.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): The users build their own applications based
on the infrastructure service providers. They control the applications but they
do not have control over the operating system, hardware or network
infrastructure.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS): The consumer uses an application, but does
not control operating system, hardware or network infrastructure on which it's
running.
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CLOUD COMPUTING AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

While the physical presence were needed in clients meeting, site meeting or
site job. Cloud technologies help to balances the back offices function such as
billing, payrolls, logistic planning and running a financial report. This
technology provides a solution which is able to serve users in both work
settings. Cloud technology making business applications available remotely is
an advantage in construction management. This remote access allows staff to
work from any location without being tied to a specific physical location.
Without to have the decentralization of offices and travel-based positions,
even if the project work being done in different regions of the country or even
internationally, cloud system were be able to offer solid remote access
technology to employees is critical for a construction companys success.

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CLOUD COMPUTING AND SUSTAINABILITY

The main advantages of using cloud computing, besides the efficient collaboration throughout the
development process:
It contribution to a healthy environment. The healthy environment regards to human activities such
as development projects, commuting from place to place, farming, and other sorts of activities that
cause the increasing of air pollution thus affect the ability of the project team and organization to
comply with the concept of green construction.
The deterioration of air quality is increasing. Therefore, taking positive action by implementing the
cloud computing can be an effort to reduce the use of transportation and thus, reduce carbon dioxide
emissions. Most of the organizations are aware of sustainability and realize that it should be a part
of their strategy. The integration of sustainability should be implemented in the concepts and
methodologies that the organization is using.
Cloud computing systems should begin in the early stage of the process in the management strategy
such as when the concepts of the project are decided. Therefore, this system will become an
essential tool that makes managing a project much more efficient, throughout the development
process.

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CONCLUSION

Construction projects necessitates the exchange of increasing amounts of data and information.
Overall, this has reviewed valuable collaborative tools and technologies as a significant and
valuable subclass of information and communication technology (ICT) including cloud technology.
Consequently, cloud technology provides the ability to communicate and exchange data and
information easily, efficiently, effectively and accurately independent of time and place, thereby
providing major benefits for the construction management. This valuable technology could result in
better green construction management which will eventually ensure the delivery of applicable and
reliable information to enhance collaboration within the construction supply chain and with project
stakeholders.

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Cloud Computing to Enhance Collaboration, Coordination and


Communication in
the Construction Industry

Construction industry involves a multitude of stakeholders who perform their


work from disparate locations. This involvement of numerous stakeholders,
which is common in construction industry compared to the other industries,
has led to conceptual fragmentation. In spite of this fragmentation, the
construction industry delivers complex projects with limitations. The
limitations can be mostly attributed to the difficulties in achieving the
optimum levels of collaboration, coordination, and communication (referred
as three Cs) which are required for efficient project delivery. Shifting from a
two-dimensional design documentation, the industry has recently embraced
Building Information Models (BIM) that allow an information rich
visualization of the facility during feasibility analysis stage enabling efficient
information transfer among the stakeholders.

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Deploying the BIM in the cloud can further enhance the project integration
through the near optimal levels of the three Cs. Very few researchers have
investigated that the modifications made to the BIM can promote post project
delivery functions too in a seamless fashion. To incorporate this, We had
proposed a conceptual framework using BIM on the cloud for construction
project life cycle. The utility of the framework is also discussed.

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INTRODUCTION

It is well known that construction industry is highly fragmented even today.


The fragmentation is further complicated by the fact that project delivery
involves several disciplines collaborating for relatively short periods of time
with feeble transfer/sharing of data/information. It has been discussed that in
reality, although the fragmentation exists amongst almost all the project
specialists, proper adoption of the three Cs can overcome the barriers caused
by fragmentation. New information technologies can be instrumental in this
process, especially the Internet and specialized Extranets.
The rapid emergence of BIM has changed the way AEC
(Architecture/Engineering/Construction) project teams think and work in
putting their ideas together leading to enhanced project delivery marked by
efficient information exchange, especially to solve problems in clash
detection, resolving conflicts, etc.

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BIM is a data-rich, object-oriented, digital representation of the facility, from where


data and views of the facility, appropriate to the users needs can be extracted and
analyzed for decision-making . Apart from the advantages of visualizing the as-built
facility, minimizing the number/frequency of design and construction errors; modern
BIM tools can define objects parametrically . Also, as these 3D objects are machine
readable, it becomes practical to use the data for other analysis such as energy, lighting,
acoustic etc. Thus building models allow for feasible integration of design phases
simultaneously while explorations and analysis of the design can be conducted.
The power of BIM is limited by numerous factors pertaining to people, process and
technology. The industry is striving to solve the people and process issues via a variety
of strategies that include national BIM standards, standard contractual documents, etc.,
. On the technology front, CC can provide many fundamental enhancements to the way
BIM can be deployed and used in the industry . CC is not a specific technology or a
particular software solution but instead, it is an umbrella concept for different methods
to share resources over internet

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Cloud Computing is a technology used to access computational


services offered via the Internet. CC is ultimately the delivery of
computing as a service rather than a product, which can provide
computation, software, data access, and storage devices that do not
require the user; knowledge of the utility. As such CC offers three
broad services referred as SPI (Software, Platform, and Infrastructure)
targeted for end users, developers and engineers respectively as seen
in figure . Cloud services that deliver infrastructure resources (such as
operating system, storage, networking, etc.,) as a service are known
as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). A Platform as a Service (PaaS)
cloud lies directly upon an IaaS layer providing a platform upon which
applications and services can be developed and hosted as illustrated
in the figure. Software as a Service (SaaS) clouds provides
applications or services using a cloud infrastructure and or platform.

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Cloud Service Models

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Contd..

With the help of the service models deployed on either public or


private cloud can offer variety of solutions to overcome the above
mentioned barriers seamlessly. Thus, there arises the need for
conceptual framework for CC using BIM.

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Construction industry and Cloud Computing

Designers are now able to virtually construct a fully documented, threedimensional facility on a computer before it is actually built on-site. The driving
force behind this innovation has been BIM. Apart from visualization, the current
BIM software allow decision-making on the virtual model and provide scope for
improvement .
When BIM is deployed on a Cloud platform it further enhances the collaborative
process that leverages web-based BIM capabilities and traditional document
management to improve coordination.
Beyond the biggest benefit of significant cost savings, CC has the potential to
transform the way stakeholders interact with each other. On large-scale
infrastructure projects with distributed project teams, CC can provide engineers
and architects with a centralized, computing platform for collaborative design
using BIM as discussed earlier. It is envisioned that the construction industry
can beneficially utilize CC in a variety of functions throughout the project
delivery lifecycle .

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Contd..

Supply chain integration, product modeling, knowledge management, fabrication


details and site data management are some of the functions that can be beneficially
deployed under the CC framework.
BIM in a cloud has real potential to elevate engineering and design quality, expedite
workflows, encourage team collaboration, and many others while reducing the total
cost .
Under this worldview the authors have envisioned three distinct streams of
applications as shown in Figure 2. They are: (1) Model Server: using the CC platform,
the central model of the building can be hosted. This will allow inter and intradisciplinary access of the model contents in a seamless fashion; (2) BIM Software
Server: current BIM software require significant hardware resources to run. This
hardware can be deployed in the cloud and shared efficiently between the project
participants; and (3) Content Management: CC provides a perfect centralized and
secure hosting environment for content in the form of data attributes/libraries needed
for BIM usage and deployment. Owing to the paradigm shift of the current designers to
the digital era, the need for a conceptual framework for implementing CC for BIM has
arisen. The next section describes the proposed framework.
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PROPOSED FRAMEWORK FOR AEC INDUSTRY

Our proposed framework for the construction life cycle on the cloud platform
has an http front-end, allowing access to a central server which serves as a
host of numerous design and engineering software packages installed into it
using BIM as seen in the Figure.
The models developed through BIM on the cloud can benefit the stakeholders
during the conceptual stage, detailed design stage, the pre-construction stage
and the construction stage.
These individual BIM users/teams can collaborate with the local groups of a
particular locality for data/information sharing and transfer. Data exchange can
be performed with accurate information along with the revised information.
Apart from the information rich capabilities of the BIM software, this server on
the cloud also serves as a back-up for storing all the files and can serve as a
permanent database apart from temporary storage on local servers. As the
cloud offers a structured, reliable and speedy information transfer across the
project stakeholders through the BIM on the cloud platform, it can also use for
Project Management Systems.
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This database referred as PIM (Project Information Model) can provide input
data for scheduling, quantity surveying, cost estimating, and few other
applications whereby, benefitting the pre-construction and construction planning
stage . The concept of 4D, 5D,., nD for BIM emerged with additional input of
time, cost, and any other attribute to this information rich building models .
With the increased demand and usage of industry users for PIM, the
owner/operators requirements for life time maintenance of that building has
increased in leaps and bounds.
FIM (Facility Information Model) offers quality and reliable facilities
management information such as repair, rework and maintenance operations
for the future user through the data available on the cloud. FIM, when deployed
on the cloud as illustrated in the figure can allow the facility manager to
collaborate with the designers and contractors in no time to facilitate easy
information retrieval for future maintenance operation in the form of repairs and
rework.

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Contd..

There is no end to the on-going attempt in the use of BIM in the continuum of the
project lifecycle. But, most often if the built facility is not maintained and used
efficiently can lead to defects in the utility leading to destruction. Nowadays, there is a
paradigm shift in the trend to use computers to view and analyze the resulting
destructed facility using explosives or other equipment .
Deconstruction has strong ties to environmental sustainability and recycling/reuse of
materials as it can be categorized into structural and non-structural. The enhancements
in BIM can facilitate the decay of the stripped part of the facility without any harm to
the environment commonly referred as non-structural deconstruction. While the
structural deconstruction offers dismantling of the components of a building which can
be recycled for other usage. Through BIM services on the cloud one can collaborate
with the work team while choosing the materials and technology used for constructing
the facility keeping in mind for the life after destruction as seen in the figure.

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Conceptual Framework for Construction Project Life cycle using modified


BIM on CC

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SUMMARY

Researchers have shown the benefits of using BIM technology for building models
such as clash detection, resolving conflicts, and others. In the construction industry, the
current trend is toward deploying BIM on the cloud in order to efficiently integrate and
manage engineering information, which is also termed as ubiquitous computing. The
initial testing of the model on structural and architecture was also found to be positive.
The generic framework proposed for construction project life cycle has captured the
entire project life cycle including the destruction and life thereafter. The enhancements
of BIM at every stage has been clearly identified and discussed for the efficient usage
of the construction participants for a better delivery of the project. Normally, the
deconstruction/sustainability is not included in the project life cycle stages. But, the
authors have envisioned that if the sustainability/recycle analysis is considered, the
future
world
can
be
green
and
sustainable
on
the
cloud.

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