FYPs/Thesis/Journal from Higher Education Institutions in Hong Kong


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Institution Title Type Date Author(s) Abstract Link
HKUST BIM-based Automatic Generation of Fabrication Drawings for Building Facades Thesis 08/2018 Min DENG Many modern commercial buildings involve complex shaped façades, resulting in increasing complexity as well as challenges in façade fabrication and assembly processes. Currently, fabrication drawings are essential for fabrication, design evaluation and inspection of building components. Computer-aided automation, which can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of the fabrication and assembly process, is thus essential for the generation of façade fabrication drawings, thereby supporting the fabrication and assembly of the building façade components. Among current computer-aided technologies, building information modeling (BIM) has been widely applied to many sophisticated building projects due to its comprehensive ability in digital representation of building models. BIM has demonstrated its advantages over generating different types of drawings. However, generating fabrication drawings for façade panels using conventional approaches is time-consuming and error prone, especially when the number of façade components become huge. Therefore, this thesis aims to develop BIM-based methodologies to automate the generation of fabrication drawings for façade components, thereby facilitating the whole construction process.

For façade panels, a BIM-based framework is proposed for the automatic generation of fabrication drawings for façade panels. The framework integrates both graphical and non-graphical information from BIM models and other external data sources. Specific algorithms are applied to automatically generate the graphical information on the drawing templates based on the BIM geometric models. Title blocks of the drawing templates are also automatically filled in with corresponding non-graphical information. Complete fabrication drawings as well as a tabulated file with essential graphical information on similar components are then generated automatically.

For structural components such as mullions and transoms, it is important to represent their physical characteristics clearly, thus a large number of section views need to be produced, which is a time-consuming process and very labor intensive. Therefore, automatic generation of fabrication drawings for building façade components (such as mullions and transoms) is of paramount importance. In this thesis, attempts have been made to develop an efficient framework in order to automatically generate fabrication drawings for building façade structural components, including mullions and transoms. To represent the complex physical characteristics (such as holes and notches) on mullions and transoms using minimum number of drawing views, a computational algorithm based on graph theory is developed to eliminate duplicated section views. Another methodology regarding the generation of breaks for front views is also proposed to further improve the quality of drawing layouts. The obtained drawing views are then automatically arranged using a developed approach. In addition, primary dimensions of the drawing views focusing on the physical features are also generated. Furthermore, in order to maintain the consistency of the drawing formats, a methodology is proposed to simulate the scales of the drawings by using clustering technique.

With the adoption of the proposed BIM-based methodologies, time and human effort in the generation of fabrication drawings for façade components can be significantly reduced, and all the fabrication drawings for similar components will follow a consistent drawing format with explicit layout, thereby enhancing their readability.
HKUST Automated Optimization and Clash Resolution of Steel Reinforcement in RC Frames Using Building Information Modeling and Hybrid Genetic Algorithm Thesis 08/2017 Mohit MANGAL Reinforced concrete (RC) is widely used in building construction. Steel reinforcement design for RC frames is a necessary and important task for designing RC building structures. Currently, steel reinforcement design is performed manually or semi-automatically with the aid of computer software. These methods are error-prone, time-consuming, and sometimes resulting in over-design or under-design. In addition, clashes of steel reinforcement bars are rarely considered during the design stage and they often occur in beam-column joints on site nowadays. Additional time and manpower are often needed to resolve these clashes in an ad-hoc manner. Sometimes, it is impossible to resolve clashes without moving the steel reinforcement bars and redesigning steel reinforcement layout. Therefore, this research aims to develop a framework for automating the steel reinforcement design process for RC frames using the building information modelling (BIM) technology. BIM has been increasingly popular in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry for some years, but its use in structural design is still limited to extracting construction design and clash detection. However, BIM models provide much geometric and functional information and can be used for steel reinforcement optimization and clash resolution as well.

This research presents an automated steel reinforcement optimization framework with modified version (considering clash resolution) based on the BIM technology. The first framework uses information from a BIM model to intelligently suggest the number, size and arrangement of three types of steel reinforcement (i.e., tensile, compressive, and shear) with minimum steel reinforcement area. The framework uses the developed hybrid Genetic Algorithm-Hooke and Jeeves (GA-HJ) approach to optimize the steel reinforcement according to the loading conditions, end-support conditions and geometry of the RC member (RC beam or RC column). The developed GA-HJ approach increases the efficiency as well as the quality of the optimum solutions. The modified version of the framework is then developed to utilize and integrate the 3D spatial information of RC frame from a BIM model to provide clash-free and optimized steel reinforcement design. The modified framework uses a two-stage GA approach to provide clash-free, optimized, constructable, and design code compliant steel reinforcement design. Overall, the developed frameworks provide fast and error-free steel reinforcement design with the minimum area of steel reinforcement when compared with currently available steel reinforcement design approaches. In addition, the developed GA-HJ approach can be modified and used to support other building design optimization problems in future.
HKUST Social BIMCloud – A Distributed Cloud-based BIM Framework for Object-based Lifecycle Information Exchange and Supply Chain Integration Thesis 08/2015 Moumita DAS Due to its fragmented and multi-domain architecture, the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry faces the issues of data transfer efficiency and data consistency while exchanging large BIM files. In this thesis, a cloud based BIM framework, called Social BIMCloud is presented for building design and management of lifecycle activities. Social BIMCloud addresses the issue of data transfer efficiency by reducing the size of the BIM files being exchanged through dynamic splitting and merging mechanisms. Data consistency is also improved by hosting a common integrated BIM model which is updated partially instead of generating a new BIM file for every new change, which usually leads to data duplicity. This collaborative framework, Social BIMCloud is termed “Social” in particular, as it captures and manages the formal and informal social interactions that take place in a construction project. The methodology for capturing and managing social interactions through Social BIMCloud has been demonstrated in this thesis by integrating it with popular BIM software, Autodesk Revit.

Social BIMCloud provides the scope for extending and integrating it with external planning and analysis applications in a plug-and-play manner for lifecycle integration. In this thesis, methodologies and demonstrations have been presented for extending and integrating Social BIMCloud for – (1) construction supply chain (CSC), (2) green building design, and (3) construction site layout planning. For CSC integration, an ontology based web service framework is presented. Ontologies incorporate data semantics in the information exchanged. Therefore, the information exchanging parties, i.e. software applications in the case of automatic information exchange, comprehend the meaning of the information and therefore facilitate smooth flow of heterogeneous information. Two example ontologies have developed by studying the CSC and those ontologies have been used to enrich the data model of Social BIMCloud for accommodating and supporting CSC integration.

Popular energy simulation software were studied to design and extend the schema of Social BIMCloud in order to integrate it with standard simulation and analysis engines through a web service based framework. Social BIMCloud has also been extended for managing construction logistics by integrating it with a construction site layout planning (CSLP) engine. For this integration, the data model of Social BIMCloud has been extended for construction schedule information like activity start date, end date and the relation of each activity with one or more building elements and the vice versa. Finally this thesis discusses the scope of future extensions and improvements on Social BIMCloud for facilitating smooth flow of information in the construction industry.
HKUST Evaluation and Development of Automated Detailing Design Optimization Framework for RC Slabs Using BIM and Metaheuristics Thesis 08/2019 Muhammad AFZAL Reinforced concrete (RC) structural design optimization has been undertaken for several decades and plays an important role in maximizing the reliability, cost efficiency, and environmental sustainability of RC structures. However, optimization of RC structural design is challenging and requires advanced strategies during different life cycle phases of RC structures. Over the past few decades, substantial fundamental research efforts in RC structural design optimization have been undertaken, but there is a lack of a comprehensive review of these efforts that can provide academic and industry practitioners with sufficient detailed insights. Therefore, this research introduces a critical evaluation of previous research related to the optimization of RC structures for minimizing the amount of construction materials, the material cost, and the environmental effects, with more emphasis on detailing design (such as steel reinforcement), aiming to identify the common research themes and highlight the future directions. Based on the critical evaluation, the portfolio of 348 available research articles presents the identified research gaps and potential future research directions. For example, the adoption of clash-free rebar design optimization, detailing design optimization of complex and irregular RC components, and the concentration of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) aspects, are seldom conducted and studied.
Moreover, steel reinforcement detailing design of RC structures is one of the common and important tasks in building construction. Currently, despite having introduced advanced computing technologies in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, the rebar detailing design process is still predominantly performed by manual or at least semi-manual approaches, with the aid of computer software packages following the regional design codes. Manual or semi-manual perspectives often result in conservative, uncertain, and sometimes unacceptable outcomes. Additionally, the simple design of RC structural elements can potentially face constructability issues such as congestion, collision, and complexity which may cause complications during the procurement of rebars and other elements all along the construction phase. These issues also hinder concrete pouring and as a result, generate improper compounding of concrete with the rebars which disturb the integrity of the RC structure. All these concerns substantially increase the construction cost, time and quality and thus are uneconomical for AEC industry stakeholders. Although a few previous studies have conducted detailing design optimization of RC structures, very little attention has been given to the above-mentioned issues. Therefore, this research also aims to develop a holistic BIM-based framework utilizing the different meta-heuristic algorithms (such as SGA, SGA-SQP, and PSO-SQP, etc.) for the optimal detailing design of RC solid slabs, considering the minimization of overall construction cost. The main objective function determines the overall minimized construction cost of the RC solid slab, including the cost of steel reinforcement bars in all reinforcing layers, the cost of concrete, and the cost of labor for installing the steel reinforcement bars and pouring the concrete in the RC solid slab. The optimization process is handled in such a way that the first stage optimizes the steel reinforcement present in all four reinforcing layers (two layers each at the bottom and top of solid slab), while the second stage optimizes the solid slab thickness based on the characteristic concrete strength.

For the optimum design to be directly constructible without any further alterations, aspects such as available standard rebar diameters, spacing requirements of the rebars, relevant regional design provisions (i.e. British Standards), and the above-mentioned constructability (more specifically clash-avoidance) concerns, are also incorporated into the development of optimization model. In this research, a case study of a typical RC solid slab containing one-way and two-way spanning slab panels is analyzed to investigate the capabilities of the proposed framework. The results demonstrate the potential of the developed model in producing optimum and realistic design solutions. The developed model can be utilized as a design tool to retrieve economical design solutions at the early-stage structural detailing design.
HKUST Analysis of Urban Walkability Using BIM and 3D GIS Models FYP 06/2019 NG, Ho Yin
NG, Sze Wai
Walkability problems are serious issues that influences people’s daily lifestyle. Providing a walkable environment is crucial to maintaining the living standard of people. Therefore, the proposal of Policy Address 2017 from the Hong Kong government has proposed the idea of the development of a walkable city. Kwun Tong was industrialized in an early stage and it was realized that many facilities were not satisfied with the standard of the barrier-free facility so it had undoubtedly been one of the targets. In the past, people analyzed walkability problems using the scoring system, observation or on-site investigation. However these approaches were extremely time-consuming, and were lack of efficiency and effectiveness to tackle the problem. Also, it was difficult to realize both macroscopic and microscopic problems at the same time. Hence, this project aims at dealing with the walkability problems by applying the smart technology, Building Modelling Information Technology (BIM) as well as Graphic Information System (GIS) while this report is mainly focusing on the BIM part at this first developing stage. BIM has been applied in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry for over a decade but there is less application on the walkability problems in Hong Kong.

The ultimate objective of this project is to enhance and promote the concept of walkability to citizens by applying the policy using smart technology. This project is divided into three stages. The first stage will develop a 3D BIM model of the real district, Tsui Ping North Estate in Kwun Tong. The second stage aims at drawing the 3C line network on the 3D BIM Model so that it can present the walking path of people in different situations. Some selected paths will be used to evaluate its cost and the lowest cost will be considered as the perfect path. In stage three, based on this perfect condition, information will be exported to simulate the walking behavior of people in a different situation. By applying BIM Technology, it can demonstrate the real situation in the computer so as to find out the walking difficulties of people, particularly our targeted group, wheelchair users and the elderly. Likewise, making modifications in the current design, extensions of the walkway or any other possible suggestions will be provided according to the demonstrations so that we can develop a walkable city in the future.
HKUST Incorporating Project Management Techniques in BIM Projects Report 06/2018 Ping Hon YAU
Ziyan LIU
Ho Yuen NG
Sherman WONG
Building Information Modelling (BIM) has had a profound effect on the construction industry. It has greatly improved coordination among stakeholders, enhanced productivity, and increased profits. However, risks and hazards are also increasing with the growing complexity and scale of AEC projects, and the adoption of BIM technology will also place barriers and obstacles even though the technology has been proven to show its various benefits throughout the project lifecycle. Firstly, a literature review is conducted to identify risks and benefit of implementing BIM. twenty-one risks are identified and classified into three categories: Technology, Contract, and Project. Secondly, some suggestions for eliminating the increased risks are given. This paper will focus on how to implement risk management in BIM project against the recent technological background, and some related measures of mitigation, such as insurance, will be discussed. N.A.