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Software Requirements Specification For

Construction Planning Workbench Technical Report 2002-056-C-TR01 Version 1.2 Prepared by G Trinidad & R Drogemuller CSIRO Manufacturing & Infrastructure Technology 28 October 2003


Š 2004 CRC for Construction Innovation To the extent permitted by law, all rights are reserved and no part of this publication covered by copyright may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means except with the written permission of the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (CRC CI). Any enquiries should be directed to the CRC CI: enquiries@construction-innovation.info.


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Table of Contents 1. Introduction..............................................................................................................................1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5

Purpose ........................................................................................................................................ 1 Document Conventions ............................................................................................................... 1 Intended Audience and Reading Suggestions ............................................................................. 1 Project Scope ............................................................................................................................... 1 References ................................................................................................................................... 2

2. Overall Description..................................................................................................................2 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7

Product Perspective ..................................................................................................................... 2 Product Features .......................................................................................................................... 3 User Classes and Characteristics ................................................................................................. 3 Operating Environment ............................................................................................................... 3 Design and Implementation Constraints...................................................................................... 3 User Documentation .................................................................................................................... 3 Assumptions and Dependencies .................................................................................................. 3

3. System Features .......................................................................................................................4 3.1 3.2 3.3

Building Elements (Components) Generator............................................................................... 4 Construction Scheduler ............................................................................................................... 4 Construction Simulation (Visualization) ..................................................................................... 4

4. External Interface Requirements ...........................................................................................4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

User Interfaces............................................................................................................................. 4 Hardware Interfaces..................................................................................................................... 4 Software Interfaces ...................................................................................................................... 4 Communications Interfaces ......................................................................................................... 5

Revision History Date

Reason For Changes

13 Nov 2003 26 Nov 2003 16 Mar 2004

Initial Version Additional specifications Revised specifications and minor editing 20 May 2004 Minor format change

Research Program C Management and Delivery of Built Assets Project 2002-056-C Construction Planning Workbench

Version 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.2


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1. Introduction 1.1 Purpose This project will use the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) as the basis for developing a first draft construction schedule for buildings. Information about the elements in a building is available at the end of the detailed design process through the IFC data. The information about classes of building elements can be combined in order to plan activities. For example, there are 64 cast in-place reinforced concrete columns on a floor in a building. Each of these columns contains reinforced concrete of a particular grade and reinforcing steel. The volume of concrete and amount of reinforcing steel can be calculated from the geometry of the building elements. It is known that the sequence of operations for concrete columns is 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Place reinforcing bars, Erect the formwork, Pour the concrete, Wait for the concrete to reach an appropriate strength and Strip the formwork

The resources (personnel and plant) required in constructing these elements are also known. A simple plan for the erection of these columns can be built up using this available information. It also known that these columns will normally be erected after the floor below is completed and before the beams and slab above are started. The plans for the various groups of elements can be assembled into a cohesive whole for the entire project using this relatively simple reasoning process. The construction plan for the entire project can then be presented to a human operator to allow them to analyze and improve the suggested schedule.

1.2 Document Conventions No particular convention was used in this document.

1.3 Intended Audience and Reading Suggestions The document is primarily intended for the members of the project team as a guide to the scope and limitation of the project, especially in relation to the functional requirements of the deliverable software modules.

1.4 Project Scope The scope of the project, in the initial phase, will be limited to the structural elements such as beams, columns, slabs, walls and footing systems. Once the viability of the deliverables is proven the project can be extended to cover a wider range of building elements. The objectives of this project are to:


Software Requirements Specification

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Test that the IFC data obtained from a detailed building design is adequate for preparing construction schedules Confirm that the methods for automating construction scheduling reported in the literature can be applied to real construction projects using the information available to construction companies Present the information to planners in a usable and understandable format; Develop methods to allow planners to work at several levels of detail on the same plan; Develop methods to allow planners to use “what if” analyses against schedules; Develop an interface to 4D CAD applications that simulate the construction of a virtual building; Test the deliverables on a real project and compare the results with the plans developed using standard techniques.

The strategy used to meet the objectives will be to use knowledge based and case based reasoning techniques to automate the generation of construction schedules and to present the information to humans in an understandable way. The software developed will then be validated against human developed plans on a live project.

1.5 References • • • • • •

Cooperative Research Center for Construction Innovation Project Agreement, Project Number 2002-056-C, Construction Planning Workbench http://www.construction-innovation.info/ Clough, R.H. and Sears, G.A. (1991) Construction Planning Management, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 0-471-54608-9. Rawlinsons (1991) Australian Construction Handbook, 9th Edition. Sterling, L. and Shaphiro, E. (1988) Art of Prolog, MIT Press. Standards Australia (1994) Glossary of Building Terms.

2. Overall Description 2.1 Product Perspective Planning and scheduling of work activities is a key process within any construction project. Work sequences are normally done at various stages in a project and to various levels of detail. The preparation of these plans on a Gantt chart is a time consuming process. In the early stages of a project several plans may be developed to assess alternatives in sequencing, timing and the use of resources. During construction, the higher level plans need to be defined at greater levels of detail within the constraints imposed by the initial planning process and the “evolution” of the process itself. Consequently, improvements in the support for and speed of the planning of construction processes would improve the efficiency of the industry. Current projects within the CRC-CI (such as 2001-007-C Information Flows & 2001-14-B (Automated Code Checking) are using the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) to define building elements during the “detailed documentation” stage of the building project and to check that the design meets requirements. It is an obvious extension of this work to start applying the IFC to the construction process. A prospective area is in the use of the IFC to semi-automate the development of project plans.


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The IFC provide a catalogue of the building elements within the project. The construction/placement of these elements can be automatically combined into activities, which can then be automatically sequenced. This will provide a “first cut” schedule which can then be imported into Construction Project Management software, such as Primavera or Microsoft Project for further analysis. The sequencing information will also be able to be imported into 4D CAD (3D visualization + time) software so that users can see the sequence of construction on the virtual building.

2.2 Product Features • • • • •

Extract building elements and their selected attributes from an IFC database Extract connectivity relations between building elements from an IFC database Merge information about building elements with domain rules in construction to generate precedence relation between elements Merge precedence relations with activity templates and productivity factors in construction to generate a first-cut construction schedule Visualize resulting construction schedule

2.3 User Classes and Characteristics It is intended that the first generation construction-planning workbench will be used solely for research activities. Although the software may be of interest to construction industry practitioner, it is not expected to be of much practical utilization at present.

2.4 Operating Environment The set of modules comprising the construction-planning workbench are designed to work in a PC with the standard Windows (Windows 2000, Windows XP) operating systems. Associated software products include EPM Express Data Manager, Java 2, LPA Win-Prolog, GraphiSoft ArchiCAD, Bentley Navigator and Common Point.

2.5 Design and Implementation Constraints • •

All software development is confined to Microsoft Window 2000 operating environment. The test bed is limited to structural elements (e.g. footings, columns, wall, beams and slab).

2.6 User Documentation • •

Installation notes On-line distribution files

2.7 Assumptions and Dependencies None identified


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3. System Features 3.1 Building Elements (Components) Generator • • • •

Extract a list of building elements from an IFC database Associate geometry attributes for each building element Define connectivity relation between the set of building elements Convert generated information to Prolog clauses

3.2 Construction Scheduler • • • •

Generate precedence relation between building elements using domain rules Associate each building element to a set of construction activities using activity templates Estimates the duration of each activity using productivity factors and building element attributes Generate a construction schedule

3.3 Construction Simulation (Visualization) • •

Generate 3D model for the target visualization platform (e.g. VRML for Common Point, J-Space for Bentley Navigator) Generate required format for the construction schedule (e.g. Microsoft Project)

4. External Interface Requirements 4.1 User Interfaces • •

Java application window Command line interface

4.2 Hardware Interfaces No hardware interface is required

4.3 Software Interfaces • • •

Data mapping interface between CPW and Microsoft Project Data mapping interface between CPW and Common Point Java API for Express Data Manager


Software Requirements Specification

4.4 Communications Interfaces No communication interface is required

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2002-056-C TR1 Software Requirement Specification  

Software Requirements Specification Prepared by G Trinidad & R Drogemuller CSIRO Manufacturing & Infrastructure Technology 28 Octobe...

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