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


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Date: From


Institution Title Type Date Author(s) Abstract Link
HKUST Integrating 4D BIM and GIS for construction supply chain management Journal 02/2019 Deng, Y., Gan, V.J.L., Das, M., Cheng, J.C.P., and Anumba, C.J. Construction supply chain management (CSCM) requires the tracking of material logistics and construction activities, an integrated platform, and certain coordination mechanisms among CSCM participants. Researchers have suggested the use of building information modeling (BIM) technology to monitor construction activities and manage construction supply chains. However, because material warehousing and deliveries are mostly performed outside construction project sites, project information from a single BIM model is insufficient in meeting the needs of construction supply chain management. In this research, an integrated framework was developed based on four-dimensional (4D) BIM and a geographical information system (GIS) for coordination of construction supply chains between the construction project sites and other project related locations, such as supplier sites and material consolidation centers. The proposed integration was used to solve three common tasks in CSCM, namely (1) supplier selection, (2) determination of number of material deliveries, and (3) allocation of consolidation centers, using information from 4D BIM and GIS. The proposed 4D BIM-GIS framework was demonstrated via case studies. The results of the case studies indicated that determinations of supplier and number of deliveries need to take into account both the transportation distance and material unit price. Mathematical solutions were also generated to support decision making for the allocation of consolidation centers in congested regions with long transportation distances. The outcomes of this paper serve as a decision support base for a more efficient CSCM in the future. Link
HKUST BIM-supported 4D acoustics simulation approach to mitigating noise impact on maintenance workers on offshore oil and gas platforms Journal 12/2018 Tan, Y., Fang, Y., Zhou, T., Gan, V.J.L., and Cheng, J.C.P. Maintenance workers on offshore platforms are usually exposed to a high level of noise from the working environment as most of the daily operations of oil and gas process machines generate noise over 85 dBA, causing substantial health and safety issues. Avoiding exposure of workers to the modules that generate high sound power during maintenance activities can significantly mitigate the noise impact on human health and safety. Noise simulation and noise mapping methodologies can be used to evaluate and quantify the noise impact on offshore platforms. However, limited digital information of offshore platforms makes noise simulation setup challenging as modules on topsides have a high level of details. In addition, current noise mapping studies are usually conducted in a 3D static manner, which only reflects noise impact at a certain time. Building information modeling (BIM) provides detailed physical and functional characteristics of a facility that can be applied to support the noise simulation on offshore platforms. In this study, attempts have been made to develop a BIM-supported 4D acoustics simulation approach to mitigating the noise impact on maintenance workers of offshore platforms. BIM is utilized to automatically provide required information to facilitate noise simulation setup. 4D acoustics simulation approach is used to obtain the spatio-temporary sound pressure level (SPL) distribution of the noise generated by the functional modules on offshore platforms. Acoustic diffusion equation (ADE) is selected as noise SPL prediction model. To evaluate noise impact on maintenance workers, an equation based on daily noise dose is then newly derived to quantify the noise impact. Optimization algorithm is used to determine the maintenance schedule with the minimum daily noise dose. Finally, optimized maintenance schedule that has considered noise impact is used to update the daily maintenance plan on offshore platforms. An example of a fixed offshore platform with maintenance daily activity information is used to illustrate the proposed BIM-supported 4D acoustics simulation approach. The results show that the developed approach can well mitigate noise impact on maintenance workers on offshore platforms, resulting in health and safety management improvement. 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 Application of Building Information Modeling Technology for Safe Operations and Decommissioning of Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms Thesis 08/2018 Yi TAN Offshore oil and gas platforms (OOGPs) usually have a lifetime of 30-40 years. The operation and maintenance stage takes up the most percentage of the whole lifetime of OOGPs. During the operations and maintenance, there are several safety issues. Emergent accidents and exposure to high level of noise are two main issues. Traditional emergency responses include 2D escape plan guidance and real drill exercises. 2D escape plan usually causes different understanding, while real drill exercises require extra time and workforce. As for current noise controls, only personal protective equipment has been commonly employed, which is the least effective noise control. In addition, as increasing number of OOGPs will be retired and decommissioned in the coming decade, disassembling offshore platforms is an unavoidable activity. During OOGP decommissioning stage, there are also several safety issues such as potential clashes when conducting heavy lift operations and lift vessel capsize. Besides, when multiple lift vessels are working together to disassemble multiple offshore platforms, more than one vessel working at the same platform, which can significantly increase lift clashes, is another safety issues. Current approaches to addressing these safety issues at the decommissioning stage are usually based on experience, and manually planned. Considering all these safety issues mentioned above, automated, efficient, and accurate approaches to improving safety management of OOGPs at both operation and decommissioning stages are desired. However, limited researches have been conducted to tackle these safety issues. Therefore, this research aims to develop automated, efficient, and accurate techniques and approaches for safer operations and decommissioning of OOGPs.

Building information modeling (BIM) technology is widely used in the building and infrastructure industries for the past decade considering the rich geometric and semantic information BIM contains. Therefore, this research applies BIM technology to efficiently provide required information of OOGPs when developing new approaches to addressing safety issues.

For the operation and maintenance stage of an offshore platform, to better respond to emergent accidents, a BIM-based evacuation evaluation model is developed to efficiently simulate and evaluate different emergency scenarios, and improve evacuation performance on offshore platforms. As for the noise control, this research proposes a BIM-supported 4D acoustics simulation approach. The proposed approach can automatically conduct noise simulation for offshore platforms using the information extracted from BIM models. Maintenance schedules can then be optimized based on simulated results. By minimizing the time of exposing to a high level of noise, the noise impact on maintenance workers is well mitigated.

For the decommissioning stage, first, a semi-automated approach to generate 4D/5D BIM models to evaluate different OOGP decommissioning option is developed. Second, automated topsides disassembly planning approach based on BIM is developed. Clash-free lift paths can be generated to avoid clashes during heavy lifts. Module layouts on vessels are optimized to minimize the total heavy lift time and to guarantee the stability of lift vessels. Besides, a schedule clash detection method is also developed to make sure that no more than one vessel is working at one offshore platform simultaneously.

All developed BIM-based approaches are illustrated with related examples. Compared to current practices, these proposed approaches improve the safety management performance of offshore platforms.
HKUST Optimizing lift operations and vessel transport schedules for disassembly of multiple offshore platforms using BIM and GIS Journal 06/2018 Tan, Y., Song, Y., Zhu, J., Long, Q., Wang, X., and Cheng, J.C.P. As the coming decades will witness a big trend in the decommissioning of offshore platforms, simultaneously disassembling topsides of multiple offshore platforms is getting increasingly common. Considering high risk and cost of offshore operations, module lift planning among multiple offshore platforms with transport vessels is required to be carefully conducted. The lift planning usually contains two main parts: module layout on vessels planning and vessel transport schedules arrangement. In contrast to the current experience-driven module lift planning, this paper formulates the lift planning optimization problem and develops a web system integrating building information modeling (BIM) and geographical information system (GIS) to efficiently disassemble topsides for multiple offshore platforms. BIM provides detailed information required for planning module layout on vessels and GIS contains the management and analysis of geospatial information for the vessel transport schedule arrangement. As for module layout optimization, three heuristic algorithms, namely genetic algorithm (GA), particle swarm optimization (PSO), and firefly algorithm (FA) are implemented and compared to obtain the module layout with the minimum total lift time. While for vessel transport schedule, graph search technique is integrated with a developed schedule clash detection function to obtain the transport schedule with the minimum sailing time. The proposed optimization algorithms and techniques are integrated into a developed BIM/GIS-based web system. An example of three offshore platforms with eighteen modules in total is used to illustrate the developed system. Results show that the developed system can significantly improve the efficiency of lift planning in multiple topsides disassembly. The developed BIM/GIS-based web system is also effective and practical in the resource allocation and task assignment among multiple locations, such as construction sites, buildings, and even cities. Link
HKUST Holistic BIM framework for sustainable low carbon design of high-rise buildings Journal 06/2018 Gan, V.J.L., Deng, M., Tse, K.T., Chan, C.M., Lo, I.M.C., and Cheng, J.C.P. In high-density, high-rise cities such as Hong Kong, buildings account for nearly 90% of energy consumption and 61% of the carbon emissions. Therefore, it is important to study the design of buildings, especially high-rise buildings, so as to achieve lower carbon emissions. The carbon emissions of a building consist of embodied carbon from the production of construction materials and operational carbon from energy consumption during daily operation (e.g., air-conditioning and lighting). While most of the previous studies concentrated mainly on either embodied or operational carbon, an integrated analysis of both types of carbon emissions can improve the sustainable design of buildings. Therefore, this paper presents a holistic framework using building information modeling (BIM) technology in order to enhance the sustainable low carbon design of high-rise buildings. BIM provides detailed physical and functional characteristics of buildings that can be integrated with various environmental modeling approaches to achieve a holistic design and assessment of low carbon buildings. In a case study, the proposed framework is examined to evaluate the embodied and operational carbon in a high-rise residential building due to various envelope designs. The results demonstrate how the BIM framework provides a decision support basis for evaluating the key carbon emission sources throughout a building's life cycle and exploring more environmentally sustainable measures to improve the built environment. Link