ITcon Vol. 10, pg. 43-54, http://www.itcon.org/2005/5

The virtual construction site (VIRCON) tools: An industrial evaluation

submitted:November 2004
revised:February 2005
published:April 2005
editor(s):Aound G, Lee A and Wu S
authors:Nashwan Dawood, Professor
Centre for Construction Innovation and Research, University of Teesside
email: n.n.dawood@tees.ac.uk

Darren Scott, Dr.
Centre for Construction Innovation and Research, University of Teesside
email:darren.scott@tees.ac.uk

Eknarin Sriprasert, Dr.
Centre for Construction Innovation and Research, University of Teesside
email:eknarins@hotmail.com

Zaki Mallasi, Dr.
Centre for Construction Innovation and Research, University of Teesside
email:z.mallasi@tees.ac.uk
summary:Visual 4D planning and scheduling techniques, that integrate 3D CAD models with the timing of construction activities, have proven to be more beneficial than traditional tools and are increasingly being employed on complex projects. In 4D models, project participants can effectively visualise and analyse problems regarding sequential, spatial, process conflicts and temporal aspects of construction schedules, prior to actual construction operations on site. The objective of this paper is to introduce and evaluate innovative visual planning tools that were developed as part of the VIRCON project. The VIRCON project, funded by EPSRC (UK funding agency), developed seven integrated IT tools with the objective of assisting construction planners to make accurate and informed planning decisions with particular emphasis on the allocation of activity’s execution space. The successful development of the VIRCON tools was based upon the industrial requirements, real-life project data, and finally evaluated by the industrial collaborators. This paper will briefly introduce the VIRCON tools and thoroughly report on the industrial user evaluation. The aims of the evaluation were to establish the usefulness and usability of the individual VIRCON tools, and to indicate the potential towards commercialisation and real implementation. Ten collaborators from the construction industry evaluated VIRCON through a real-life case study. The space planning approach and visualisation features developed in this project were found to be practical and communicative.
keywords:visualisation, 4D modelling, space planning, user evaluation
full text: (PDF file, 0.452 MB)
citation:Dawood N,Scott D, Sriprasert E and Mallasi Z (2005). The virtual construction site (VIRCON) tools: An industrial evaluation, ITcon Vol. 10, Special issue From 3D to nD modelling, pg. 43-54, http://www.itcon.org/2005/5