To encourage workers in the field to access and use BIM at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center Replacement Project, Phase 2, McCarthy created a digital document dashboard, which connected all relevant project information using a 2D interface. McCarthy also teamed with BIManywhere to develop an augmented reality system that allowed field staff to view model information and access real-time project documents with an iPad™. Scanned as-builts, 2D plan sheets, and RFIs directly linked to 3D object geometries were automatically colored and labeled “hotspots,” which were placed and managed with the BIManywhere plug-in. Superintendents and field staff could more efficiently resolve field issues, and the system helped with logistics planning and installation coordination, which helped to avoid schedule impacts while mitigating risks.
The Hunt Library project at North Carolina State University involved constructing a 250,000 square-foot steel frame facility. Unique systems presented high levels of risk for construction. The first is a curtain wall system comprised of over 800 units, each unique in size, color, and glass type. Next, the building uses chilled beams and radiant panels for heating and cooling, unusual in the high-humidity of the southeastern U.S. The building interior has cutting-edge technologies: micro-tile displays and interactive exhibits. Finally, the library has no stacks, but instead features a fully automatic book delivery system—a 50-foot pit housing approximately two million volumes.
The Skanska team approached the project with a critical eye on technology: BIM in estimating and preconstruction, visualization and smartboards, logistics planning and 4D scheduling, field mobility and mobile electronic resource stations (MERS), material tracking, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing coordination, and as-built BIM handover.
For the curtain wall system, supply chain management called for barcoding each curtain wall unit, tracking them from fabrication through installation, and linking them to the BIM model. Another critical aspect revolved around iPads and MERS. MERS allowed subcontractors to view all RFIs and ASIs as well as the BIM model, which provided huge benefits in visualization.
A Skanska innovation grant resulted in a detailed ROI study. Time and motion studies determined the change in 28 specific work processes after adoption of technologies on the project. Results showed an overall reduction from 62 hrs/wk to 54.5 hrs/wk on average. The team also analyzed the benefits of time and efficiency gains on avoided rework.
Researchers from the Georgia Tech Construction Information Technology Laboratory, in collaboration with Metalforming Inc., invented a technology that eliminates inefficiencies and automates the entire on-site sheet metal fabrication process.
Recent advances in machine vision algorithms and inexpensive high-res video cameras allowed researchers to develop a videogrammetric roof surveying technology. The captured video data, stored on a tablet PC or laptop, is sent to a server. A 3D wire diagram of the roof is generated that includes the as-built dimensions of each plane. Detailed dimensions in XML format allow a contractor to download data to a USB flash drive and transfer it to an automatic roll forming and cutting machine at the job site.
Metalforming recently introduced a computer numerically controlled machine, called CINCO, which enables on-site digital fabrication of roof panels. Videogrammetric roof surveying technology is used to acquire as-built measurements of the roof structure. 3D software programs then layout the optimum pattern of sheet metal panels required to cover each plane. CINCO bends and cuts sheet metal coil into precise, ready to install panels. This not only eliminates hand-cutting of flanges and notches, but enhances panel quality and appearance. Labor savings of 25-30 percent have been noted for multi-plane roofs, the most common type of metal roof.
These advancements have the potential to impact the entire sheet metal roofing industry by significantly increasing on-site productivity. The surveying technique could be applied to any application that requires tape measuring: commercial built-outs, kitchen and bathroom cabinets and countertops, flooring, window installation, and siding.
A consortium led by the CCC is building a maritime gateway on Oman's southern coast. This project includes two breakwaters. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers CORELOC units will build the single-layer breakwater armoring. POSIBLOC is a topographical 3D real-time system for multi-layer breakwater armoring unit placement. CCC used the system to place the CORELOC units on the two breakwaters and managed to triple planned production rates. The project was ahead of schedule as of May 2010. This was the result of effective project management and use of the latest technologies in terms of submarine unit placement aid systems.
Eli Lilly determined that commissioning should not be the first step of quality control for construction. Instead, a solution was needed to allow project teams to control quality on projects under construction. LATISTA Field web-based and mobile construction automation software was a central part of the solution for a new manufacturing plant in Kinsale, Ireland. Lilly recognized several benefits from implementing a strong, automated continuous quality management (CQM) process, including rework savings of $4.3 million. Lilly kept detailed issue information in LATISTA, including severity information and the expected impact of the issue on commissioning and qualification.
The primary goal of the research was to demonstrate how technology can be used to proactively warn and alert construction personnel of the presence of hazards in real time. The researchers first designed and built a novel UHF passive RFID SmartHat device that is intrinsically safe, can be calibrated for distance, and has a low to zero worker nuisance alert ratio. The SmartHat device is battery free, can read distances up to 19.5m, is reliable to use, and maintenance free. The "learning curve" of a worker can be automatically calculated through the SmartHat devices and the proximity to an overhanging load can be visualized in a real-time 3D immersive tool.
Motiva Enterprises, a joint-venture owned by affiliates of Shell and Saudi Aramco, is building an expansion at its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. When completed, the project will create a 325,000 barrel-per-day (b/d) capacity expansion at the Port Arthur refinery, increasing its crude oil throughput capacity to 600,000 b/d. The construction plans include offsite fabrication of modular units in Maine, South Carolina, Texas, and Mexico. Each module weighs up to 650 tons, with an average size of 40 ft x 50 ft x 120 ft, and every module must be constructed to within one eighth of an inch tolerance at pipe connections.
This research looked at the application of unordered daily construction photo collections as an as-built data collection technique. Using these images, as-built scenes can be automatically reconstructed in four dimensions (3D + time) and integrated with 4D building information models (BIMs). Integrating as-built and as-planned models generates D4AR – 4 dimensional augmented reality models and in turn allows progress, safety, quality, and other site performance metrics to be tracked and analyzed. D4AR models jointly visualize many performance deviations, which in turn facilitates communication and reporting of project performance.
Prof. Kamat's research program has designed and implemented the technology that enables the visualization of engineering graphics in geo-referenced Augmented Reality (AR), by creating mixed views of real objects/artifacts existing on a jobsite, and virtual 3D CAD models of engineering data. AR is the superimposition of computer-generated images over a user's view of the real world. By presenting contextual information in graphical format, a user's view of the real world is enhanced or augmented beyond the normal experience. The addition of such contextual computer-generated information spatially located (i.e., geo-referenced) relative to a user can assist in the performance of several engineering and construction tasks. Prof. Kamat's research exploits this primary idea for improved engineering visualization.
LATISTA Field is the first job-site total quality automation solution. With software specifically designed to run independently on a portable tablet PC in the field, users can enter construction issues directly into a database and organize results into reports. Owners can follow progress and performance and subcontractors can receive deficiency notifications faster and with more detail. On the Washington Nationals ballpark, Clark Construction used LATISTA Field to help manage its quality and punch list processes and expedite work onsite. Using LATISTA Field, Clark managed thousands of punch list issues, reduced issue resolution time from one week to two days, and reduced its transcription team by 50 percent.
An alternate approach of visualizing simulated operations is Augmented Reality (AR). It is used to create mixed views by combining real existing jobsite features with virtual 3D CAD models of construction resources. The AR-based methodology has two primary components: 1) ARVISCOPE, a general purpose AR animation authoring language; and 2) ROVER, a mobile computing AR hardware framework. When used together, they can create 3D AR animations of any length and complexity. ARVISCOPE takes advantage of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) and orientation tracking technologies. This research concludes that the addition of contextual, computer-generated information spatially located relative to the user has significant potential for improving the performance of several scientific and engineering tasks.
Dr. Caldas' current research efforts are: intelligent and automated construction job site, leveraging information technology to improve construction processes, and knowledge discovery and transfer techniques. His project portfolio has been supported by federal agencies, state departments, and industry consortiums, including FIATECH, CII, NIST, NSF, NIST, and TxDOT. One research project is identifying and validating initiatives, technologies, or methods that, if implemented, would result in significant improvements in craft productivity. Dr. Caldas is a past chair of the ASCE Technical Committee on Database and Information Management, a member of the ASCE Construction Research Council and the ASCE Technical Committee on Intelligent Computing, and serves on the CII Academic Committee.
Sandow Steam Electric Unit 5 is a 565-megawatt circulating fluidized bed, lignite-fired power plant being constructed in Rockdale, Texas for Luminant Energy. The plant design incorporates state-of-the-art emissions control technologies and consists of two boilers, two bag houses, one stack, and one turbine. EPC is being carried out by Bechtel.
Dr. Akinci is researching new computational technologies for capturing, representing, and reasoning with information about construction projects so as to increase quality and reduce cost and time to delivery. In a National Science Foundation sponsored project, she has been exploring the extensive use of laser scanners and other embedded material quality sensors for collecting data during construction and then representing and reasoning with that data to detect construction defects earlier than normal.
Dr. Gordon focused his research on the development and assessment of a computational approach to support decisions about the full range of possible inspection approaches that may be implemented on construction sites.