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The Concrete Times 2017-08.pdf

The CONCRETE Times ŭTVNNFS part of their “construction” efforts out of the physical world and into the virtual world. Virtual Design and Construction, VDC, just-in-time deliveries, creation of electronic asbuilt drawings are all taking place on computers. In effect, the contractor isn’t just building one building, he is building two buildings – one real, the other virtual. Increasingly, all the contractor’s suppliers must also provide virtual products in addition to real products. Environmental Product Declarations, EPDs, are comprised of EPDs of the raw materials, plus the contractor’s contribution to their assembly into the completed product. This brings us back to our original premise – that just like the real world combines products with processes, the virtual world combines virtual products with virtual processes. While it is easy to take a physical door and define it as a virtual door, it may be a lot harder to define virtual processes. Virtual processes can’t always mimic real processes 100%. For example, a physical concrete delivery ticket is typically a 4-part printed form, 3 parts of which are delivered to the customer. The last part of the ticket is often fuzzy and difficult to read. The physical ticket can be passed around to whoever wants to look at it, which can also cause a security problem if, for some reason, the delivery ticket contains proprietary information. The use of the ticket is fluid. Inspectors can write notes in the blank spaces on the ticket. The physical ticket is ultimately delivered to the accounting department, either by hand, fax or as a scanned email document, for payment. An electronic ticket, in the form of a PDF file, can be sent to any number of recipients via a website or via email, but the recipient’s email address must be recorded in the distribution software before they will receive a copy of the ticket. Everyone gets an original. The electronic ticket is literally delivered at the speed of light, but additional information cannot be entered if there is no provision in the software to add it. In order for the process of the electronic delivery ticket to fit the needs of the project, the physical processes must first be understood. Both the physical ticket and the electronic ticket have advantages and disadvantages that the other can’t reproduce. The ability to perform ad-hoc actions on the paper ticket has already been discussed. The electronic ticket could conceivably do things such as report the actual w/c ratio of the concrete, even if water is added to the load. The electronic delivery ticket can be configured to automatically populate databases with its content. The key to getting the most out of each delivery system is to understand the possibilities and limitations of each system. This will not be an easy task. Describing processes is often not an easy task. Try telling a blind person how to draw a circle if they have never seen one. All of the above describes what has happened in the past, and what is currently happening. Now let’s take a look at the future. Already talk of “augmented reality” is infiltrating the construction industry. Augmented reality allows us to overlay the virtual world onto the real world using head-mounted displays, HMDs. A structural design document can be overlaid onto the reinforcing steel in a wall to determine if all the correct steel and blockouts have be built into the wall. Consider the possibility that, like CAD drawings, augmented reality can overlay multiple layers. Reinforcing steel can be one color, plumbing items can be another color and electrical embeds can be a third color. The name of each tradesman can be attached to each piece of work, along with the day it was installed. New technologies can be combined. What if each night, after the workers have gone home, a drone were to fly through the building along a predetermined path and use scanning equipment to monitor the progress of the construction during that day. By stitching the images together, it would be possible to create a time-lapse video of the construction of a single element from any point in the building, then generate as-built drawings not only at the time of completion, but also as the construction progresses. These as-built, time based “drawings” could lay to rest questions such as, “Did the plumbing go in before the mechanical work, or was it the other way around?” Not only would we see what had been built, but also when and how. To paraphrase the Bard, “The future is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Only by understanding the world around us, both the material items and the processes we use, can we bring these things into the virtual world and get the best use out of them. At that point we will no longer be neurotics and psychotics, but dreamers and visionaries. 53"/4*5*0/*/($0/$3&5&+":4)*-450/& © Courtesy of Command Alkon


The Concrete Times 2017-08.pdf
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