Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
Thesis in 3 (Session 1)
Time:
Tuesday, 27/July/2021:
1:00pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Daniel Hall

Session Abstract

Competition Rules: https://ec-3.org/conference2021/conference/thesis-in-3/

Competition Judges

Esin Ergen, Istanbul Tech Univ.
Thomas Linner, TU Munich
Vishal Singh, Indian Institute of Science
Ranjith Soman, Imperial College London (2019 Ti3 Runner Up)


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Presentations
1:00pm - 1:10pm

Overview of Competition

Daniel Hall

Chair of IC, Switzerland

Overview of the rules for Thesis-in-3 and introduction to the judges



1:10pm - 1:20pm

BIM and building automation systems integration to support demand side management

Flavia de Andrade Pereira1,2

1School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, University College Dublin, Ireland; 2CARTIF Technology Centre, Energy Division, Spain

This PhD research focuses on BIM enrichment for inclusion of Building Automation System (BAS) information to support Demand Side Management (DSM). The integration of BIM and BAS information models adds value to current DSM programmes by supporting optimal DSM decision-making for load management from the building perspective. Driven by DSM signals, data monitored by BAS and building environmental contexts provided by BIM, individual loads can be assessed in terms of their qualified flexibility to promote DSM control sequences. This research aims to semantically enrich a building information model, generating the so-called “DSM common data model”, by defining a set of BIM and BAS exchange requirements to support DSM functionalities and developing a cross-domain semantic reasoning based on standards-centric workflows and semantic data models. The generated DSM common data model will be the input to a context-aware DSM closed-loop control algorithm, e.g. Model Predictive Control (MPC), to enable services such as: i) energy production forecast, ii) energy demand forecast, and iii) load management optimization.



1:20pm - 1:30pm

Utilising the semantic web for data driven facilities management

Conor Shaw

University College Dublin, Ireland

There is a growing volume of data being produced by (IoT) and about (BIM) our buildings which may help us to better understand and manage them. However, it is notoriously difficult to align, as few sources follow a structured, common approach. My research is investigating the use of semantic web technologies to align this desperate data. I will pitch, in 3 minutes, what I have established so far in my phd journey about the domains of facilities management and the semantic web, and describe the direction in which my research is proceeding.



1:30pm - 1:40pm

Framework of Decentralized Autonomous Space

Hongyang Wang

ETH, Switzerland

This thesis proposes to design and implement the first Decentralized Autonomous Space (DAS) on the blockchain. This blockchain-powered DAS will run on its own without any central authority or management hierarchy. Instead, it will be governed by rules embedded using smart contracts. The DAS will be able to self-operate, self-govern and self-evolve, based on its own rules for governance and user community participation. Compared to other forms of decentralized autonomous organizations, DAS is unique because of its cyber and physical characteristics.

In this thesis, DAS system will be investigated from both the top-down and bottom-up perspectives. First, from top-down, we propose to evaluate existing governance systems for Decentralized Autonomous Organizations(DAOs) and select or create preliminary governance appropriate for DAS. Then we propose to investigate the technical feasibility by creating a minimum viable prototype, as a bottom-up approach. Autonomous cyber-physical system information feedback loops will be implemented and validated with the prototype. Then, the proposed governance system will be used to implement a modification protocol where the community of DAS users will execute a physical change to the prototype. Lastly, we will study the future implications of DAS – including future implications for society and the built environment.

The expected outcome of this thesis is to define DAS system and refine a holistic framework for future DAS implementation. This research can help clarify these potential implications and further refine our understanding of how a DAS might exist and operate in the future.



1:40pm - 1:50pm

Digitally-enabled product platform strategies: industrialized building firms, modularity and open innovation

Alexander Shanjing Zhou

Imperial College London, United Kingdom

This doctoral work aims to examine firm strategies leveraging digital product platforms for industrialized construction. Drawn on a data set from international case studies, this work contributes to the construction literature from broader work on modularization, open strategies, and platform-based innovation. This work shows when internal and external competencies are needed to build capabilities for modularization. This work suggests how the openness of platforms influences innovation strategies. Finally, this work articulates how platforms change the relationship between projects and firms.



1:50pm - 2:00pm

Electronic Productivity Performance Monitoring of Construction Workers

Diego Calvetti

Faculty of Engineering, Porto University, Portugal

The Construction Industry (CI) is failing to boost its productivity. Moreover, 56% of the industry employment is craft workforce. The research frames specifically the craft workforce performance as the problem to be solved in the CI productivity scenario. The thesis main aim is to develop a framework to measure craft workforce productivity. Being the objectives: Conceptualise an approach to assess and modelling craft workforce productivity; Provide in-depth knowledge to enable GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliance; Conceptualise the Electronic Performance Monitoring (EPM) data flow, connecting system/methodologies; Testing the EPM application and validation of the proposed framework.

The research is undertaken on an exploratory basis; this work "mix and match" methods to better achieve the particularities of this construction management research. This work combines new approaches for the CI to achieve 4.0 era using a well-known methodology for motion study (that had little experimentation in this sector) and innovative processes for data collection (wearables sensing technology) and processing (machine-learning and multivariate statistical analysis to classification). Ten construction activities were simulated in laboratory facilities performed by six volunteers using wearables to collect the acceleration (two wrists and one leg) and applying machine-learning plus multivariate statistical analysis for post-processing. In addition, data were collected on-site (through work sampling) to measure and model two production processes typical of civil construction. Craft workers also carried out wearable electronic devices to collect their reactions to EPM through interviews. A survey containing twenty-five questions was proposed for collecting managers-level awareness about EPM at the workplace. Experts semi-structured interviews from three different countries were used to capture the conceptualisations and challenges regarding Worker 4.0 in the CI. The primary outcome is a framework to model work processes and measure productivity. Craft performance modelling can bring awareness about the on-site tasks mechanization processes fostering productivity improvements.

The results applying EPM in the laboratory circuit for three IMUs (both wrists and one at the dominant leg) achieve accuracy between 92-96% for Machine-learning processing and 47-76% for the Multivariate statistical analysis approach. And, for one IMU (only wrist-dominant data), 32-76% accuracy for Multivariate statistical analysis approach. On-site experiments collecting data from three activities were performed, resulting in the modelling of the processes and fulfilling the Worker 4.0 Flow to boost productivity, achieving: Water supply system (to consumers' taps) a Mechanization index of 42.20% considered High in the scale proposed; Masonry (residential building with expanded clay blocks) a Mechanization index of 15.69% considered Low in the scale proposed; Masonry (commercial building with expanded clay blocks and concrete blocks) a Mechanization index of 13.64% considered Low in the scale proposed.

The contribution to knowledge for theoretical implication includes the conceptualisation of a framework craft-workforce-centred focusing on the modelling of construction activities. The practical use of a quantitative Mechanization index can lead to a benchmarking of activities prone to delivering the highest levels of outcomes and increase CI productivity. The future direction of this work should focus on expanding on-site data collection. It should also seek to establish algorithms for automating data processing.



2:00pm - 2:10pm

-- 10 min break --

Daniel Hall

Ti3 host



2:10pm - 2:20pm

Entrepreneurship for Digital Fabrication and Construction Robotics

Alexander Nikolas Walzer

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Research problem

This research investigates the opportunities and challenges for new and existing firms in the construction industry when utilizing innovative technologies, such as 3D-printing and robotics. The investigation involves studies on emerging and existing business models and product development strategies, and assesses current market trends for construction.

Research methods

The research will start with extensive literature review and further be conducted using multimethodology including ethnography, surveys and interviews. It is expected to also include experimental assessment of case studies on the open market and their respective data.

Expected results

It is expected to find correlation between market opportunities and technological innovation in the construction sector. Furthermore, it is expected to present strategies to mitigate risks for new and existing AEC firms when embracing a path of technological advancement.

Outlook

The findings of this research will help present relevant facts for stakeholders in AEC. Yet, both sample size of participants, their biases and other currently unknown limitations will be faced. Further research might include a more direct “hands-on” approach using a cohort of Start-Ups (such as in a foundry, an incubator or accelerator program) under close and direct guidance and thus also provide a more in-depth view and unbiased information.



2:20pm - 2:30pm

Blockchain enabled CBIM for lifecycle data provenance

Klaudia Jaskula

University College London, United Kingdom

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is well known for its low productivity, and slow adoption of process and technology innovations. Advancements in Building Information Modelling (BIM) are the basis for digital transformation of AEC industry. Although BIM is a well-established methodology, supported widely by governments around the world, its adoption remains relatively slow due to existing data processing and mostly analogue exchange methods. BIM-based collaboration faces many problems, such as lack of privacy, transparency, accountability and trust between the stakeholders, concerns about proving ownership of files, general industry fragmentation and complexity of projects. Some of these problems might be solved by introducing blockchain technology into construction practice.

The aim of this research is to develop a framework for decentralised, immutable, secure, and transparent data streams across built assets’ lifecycle and increase operational effectiveness through the integration of cloud-based BIM (CBIM) with principles of blockchain technology. A prototype of a new blockchain-based tool (Common Data Environment - CDE) for collaboration and data exchange between stakeholders in construction projects will be developed and a methodology for ensuring data provenance throughout built assets’ lifecycle will be put forward. Decentralised blockchain enabled CDE could provide data security, quality, and integrity standards, which are vital for its function.

This research project aims to address the following questions: 1) To what extend is blockchain technology useful in each lifecycle phase of a built asset? 2) Which possible blockchain applications are compatible with Decentralised Common Data Environment (DCDE)? 3) What are the requirements for DCDE in construction projects, which functions it should have and how should it look like (environment, consensus mechanism, governance etc)? 4) How smart contracts can automate selected actions in DCDE? 5) What are the benefits of DCDE compared to a traditional centralised CDE?

As the project looks to develop an artefact (framework/ digital tool), a design science research methodology will be utilised. In order to better understand current problems surrounding collaboration and data exchange in construction projects and define the requirements for a new tool, data will be collected firstly through literature review and secondly through online surveys and direct interviews with professionals. Systematic literature review should identify what potential use cases of blockchain technology are possible in each lifecycle phase and list the requirements for blockchain enabled CDE platform. In the last stage of the project, the developed tool will be tested and evaluated through focus group. Participants will be invited to test the tool during online workshop and afterwards to give feedback about their experiences.



2:30pm - 2:40pm

Contributing to Knowledge

Nicholas Nisbet

UCL Bartlett

Academic research aims at contributing to knowledge, industrial research aims at creating operable knowledge. This presentation will explore operable knowledge and suggest how it can be detected in existing resources and deployed to create new opportunities. And yet we don’t have an operable theory of its nature. We don’t have a common representation for scientific, social or formal knowledge.

Previously we have looked to mathematics and in particular to the logic of Frege and Boole and Chrysippus. But this logic has a poor connection to language. Authors, especially regulators and academics struggle with the unnatural use of the three words and/or/not and commas. And they struggle with handling non binary choices. They struggle because Language does not embed traditional Boolean logic. Language beats to a different drum.

At much the same time as Chrysippus, Aristotle identified the ‘square of oppositions’: cross-relating four propositional types as the basis for inductive argument. In the 20th century Shannon and others identified and deployed four kinds of logic gates.

And these four kinds of logical role are hiding in plain sight in natural language. I have developed the RASE methodology. RASE stands for requirements, applicability, selection and exceptions.

3.

It is a four-colour mark-up of plain text and tables. It allows subject experts (not programmers, not data modellers) to identify the words (nouns and adjectives) as metrics and sections (paragraphs and sentences) as objectives playing one of the four logical roles.

RASE mark-up makes any written text into a single testable logic statement, that any mathematical rule engine can process to deliver creative, checking and comparison results.

Can RASE generate other knowledge representations or Does RASE have limitations? Can Domain expertise be complemented or replaced by NLP approaches? Do social constructs such as constitutions and contracts use other logical operators?



2:40pm - 2:50pm

A Rework Control Methodology based on Quality Management and Lean Construction Production to Digital Twin

Julia Acosta

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile

Reworks on construction sites are a frequent cause of projects' time and cost overrun, despite the extensive research and industry efforts to reduce them. Some studies that define rework as redoing a job that did not turn out well the first time have reported waste of between 2% and 10% of the contract's value. Globally the construction industry spends about USD 10 trillion annually, accounting for 13% of the world's gross domestic product (GDP). If an average of 5% is wasted on rework, nearly 1% of it is lost. However, little research has been carried out of reworks in building projects to date. It is necessary to better understand how errors and quality failures during building construction lead to rework, the context in which they happen, to determine its root cause, and how much it contributes to the over cost of building projects.

This work proposes examining the types of reworks, their causal roots, and their costs impact on built buildings' construction phase. It will be a primary input to develop a methodology to contain and reduce reworks for building construction. This methodology will address the gap in the integration of Quality Management and Lean Production theories, and it will be designed to be applicable to Digital Twin. The final stage of this research will be the design of a model to predict reworks occurrence.

For this purpose, this research uses the methodology Design Science Research, a survey, classification, and ranking of the main types of reworks in building work in Chile will be made using statistical analysis, of which, to date, there are no studies that account for it. The rework control methodology will be designed based on quality and construction production restrictions, supported by the Last Planner® System (LPS). It will be monitored with the statistical control of processes associated with its product quality. The formerly mentioned methodology will be integrable to Digital Twin information systems. A model to predict the occurrence of rework will be designed based on failure trees.

This research aims to reduce building project costs associated with reworks during its construction stage, developing a methodology to contain and reduce them and a predictive model to anticipate their probabilities to happens. The results of this research are expected to be applicable to any building project.



2:50pm - 3:00pm

A Framework of Drone Adoption on the Planet Earth: Regulatory, Practical and Business implications in the Dominican Republic

Hamlet David Reynoso Vanderhorst

University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

The common goal of nations is to provide health, happiness and wealth to their citizens. The International agenda of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 convey guidance to achieve this goal. Sustainable cities, communities, industries of innovation, and infrastructure are prominent influences on the actual and future of the technologies in society. The ether, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and bioengineering technologies are towards one probable future of the spiritual singularity of the human species in which the technology allows humans to hold and co-create realities with superior levels of joy, excitement, and ecstasy in the society. For example, longevity, atmospheres free of COVID-19 and wise relationships are some of the desires that technologies would support humans in the future. However, this reality can only be held if sophistication occurs as is the evaluation of adopting Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or Drones in the normal lives. The implications of UAS and the combination with other technologies such as Cloud Computing, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Quantum & Neuromorphic Computing have been explored to visualise a future with a new silicon species on Earth. But, aspects of sustainable sources of energy, commercialisation, regulations, community engagement, understanding of them by the lack of knowledge, resistance to change and specific context in which only the technology may work, have been the significant challenges for the human adaption to this technology.

For these reasons, the case of aerial robots or UAS is investigated by exploring the cases of application, ethics; efficacy of specific human tasks that scepticism on the device exists; practical digital transformation, and training of multiple stakeholders to adopt the technology in the developing country of the Dominican Republic, where innovation is required for the construction industry and their ramifications. The research is looking for a grounded theoretical framework of UAS adoption that provides to regulators, academics, manufacturers, and contractors the same understanding of the implications of the technology. The study approaches an iterative strategy of interviewing 24 semi-structured experienced and key stakeholders professionals related to the sector of construction and UAS. Later, cases of studies were developed to illustrate and provide recommendations for policymakers to foresee the UAS development. Some relevant findings are related to challenges on skills, internal capabilities to use the UAS outcomes, and standardisation of cases. In the aspect of policy making recommendations on UAS land surveys and appropriate business models embedded in the UAS applications for entry-level practitioners are mentioned. Further works are recommended in artificial intelligence and UAS applications.



 
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