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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INSITER (Intuitive Self-Inspection Techniques using Augmented Reality for construction, refurbishment and maintenance of energy-efficient buildings made of prefabricated components)

INSITER Report Summary

Project ID: 636063
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - INSITER (Intuitive Self-Inspection Techniques using Augmented Reality for construction, refurbishment and maintenance of energy-efficient buildings made of prefabricated components)

Reporting period: 2014-12-01 to 2015-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The key innovation of INSITER is the intuitive and cost-effective Augmented Reality (AR) for self-inspection. The use of AR –that connects virtual and physical buildings in their environments at real-time– will ensure that the targeted performance in the design model is realised. INSITER will thus eliminate the gaps in quality and energy-performance between design and realisation of energy-efficient buildings made of prefabricated components.
The new concept of self-inspection that is performed simultaneously with on-site processes has a strong contrast with the traditional post-inspection approach. INSITER will develop a new methodology for self-inspection during construction, refurbishment, maintenance and commissioning, along with a dedicated toolset.

INSITER will substantially enhance state-of-the-art measurement and diagnostic instruments with wireless and easy-operation facilities through users’ mobile devices. Triangulation of Geospatial Information, Global and Indoor Positioning Systems (GIS, GPS and IPS) will support the 3D accuracy of these instruments. The data will be integrated in cloud-based Building Information Model (BIM) that evolves throughout the building’s lifecycle.

The term “INSITER” clearly visions the integration of 3 main aspects:
- SITE: Focusing on applications at real building sites by using a set of robust instruments for self-inspection of industrialised building systems.
- INSIGHT: Enhancing knowledge, methods, processes and techniques for energy-focused construction (assembly) and commissioning in combination with adequate skills and tools to guarantee the energy performance achievement at project delivery and throughout occupation phase.
- INSIDER: Enabling and equipping directly involved people (construction actors) through an ‘inclusive approach’ involving all actors. The main target group of INSITER is the ‘blue collar’ construction workers and end-users –who often are treated as outsiders in building quality validation. Other stakeholders (i.e. clients, designers, engineers, general contractors, building auditors/commissioners) are necessarily addressed to embed total quality management in all institutions and common practices in the construction industry.

The applied innovation of INSITER will manifest in “self-inspection” and “self-instruction” for construction workers:
- SELF-INSPECTION: encourages, enables and equips the construction workers to check their own working processes and the results respectively, both individually as well as peer-to-peer with other workers.
- SELF-INSTRUCTION: is a pro-active approach to provide the workers with interactive guidance during their working processes. Self-instruction in INSITER is facilitated on the workers’ mobile devices, with continuous updates based on both pre-planned (designed) process as well as real-time feedback from self-inspection. Self-instruction prevents wrong actions, and helps the workers to rectify any error immediately.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Research has commenced by clear identification of existing bottlenecks, most frequent errors, and shortcomings in skills in the construction processes across the EU. Such an identification is based on reliable and up-to-date investigations (e.g. Dutch “Bouw Transparant”, UK “Constructing Excellence”, and similar reports from Germany, Spain and Italy). Cross-sector and cross-country analysis has been done accordingly. Critical review of process, performance, and inspection norms (e.g. Dutch norm NEN 2767 on condition assessment, Energy Performance Coefficient norms) have been conducted. The outcome is be the preliminary definition of plausible KPIs and calculation methods for performance assessment, as well as a framework for further elaboration of use cases.

With regards to BIM, aggregated BIM is developed comprehending models of industrialised building components and MEP systems, including construction process information, and addressing energy properties at component/system level. Exploration and comparative review of BIM tools for data storage and management (e.g. BIM model server), checking the inherent consistency of the model (e.g. BIM model checker), and indicating errors in design/engineering/construction (e.g. BIM clash detection) have been done.
With regards to self-inspection software, most relevant software has been reviewed to define the functional needs and required interfacing (e.g. DEMO RE Suite for condition assessment and asset management, DWA MONAVISA for energy and comfort assessment, and commercially available tools for scheduling and cost management).

With regards to measurement and diagnostic equipment, selection of most relevant tools has been made based on technical and user review of functionalities, robustness, portability/versatility, market availability/affordability, and coverage of technical supports). An insight into the common and specific use of each tool has been generated to prepare protocols for calibration and subsequence lab test. Specific procedures for the enhancement and integration of different measurement systems for the assessment of the several key performances parameters (thermal bridges, air leakages, imaging of U-Value distribution, acoustic leakages, humidity, etc.) is being developed. The selected measurement systems are grouped in three main areas: thermal/imaging; acoustic/vibration; and positioning/sensing. The data provided by the different sensing technologies will be then integrated to give combined 3D information. A deep uncertainty and sensitivity analysis to different sources will be performed to define the confidence level in the achieved results (like U-value measurement, thermal and acoustic leakages identification, etc.), and to predict the impact on the functionality of global self-inspection tool and in the decision process.

With regards to real construction sites, a further selection of case studies has been made comprising new and refurbishment projects that represent construction site particularities and geographical diversities in the EU.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

S-o-t-A topic 1: Energy-efficient buildings real performance realization and resolving the segmentation in construction
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- HVAC/MEP systems parametric design possibilities in BIM along with the architectural components (WP4)
- Integrated quality and performance assessment of building and MEP components; consolidated list of ‘most frequent errors’ from both disciplines (WP1)

S-o-t-A topic 2: Performance and quality assurance in construction industry
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- Identification of the to-be-prevented common errors which typically count for more than 50% of rework cost (WP1, WP2, WP5)
- Exploring the trend and required supporting instruments for self-inspection and expert supervision within the new construction policy in the EU, exemplified by the recent policy note to the Dutch Parliament [in Dutch: ‘private kwaliteitsborging’] (WP3).

S-o-t-A topic 3: On-site inspection and building commissioning
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- Mapping of the prefab building’s design, manufacturing and construction processes in order to identify the necessary feedback-loops from self-inspection on-site to design and manufacturing actors (WP1, WP5)
- Exploration of the integrated inspection techniques with combined use of different types of equipment; on-going lab testing (WP2)

S-o-t-A topic 4: State-of-the-art ICT applications for on-site construction processes
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- Modelling physical and virtual buildings and their sites in advanced BIM and GIS (WP4)
- Developing interfaces between software for self-inspection of building and MEP components (WP3)
- Clarifying output data from measurement instruments to develop solutions for inter-connected hardware and software (WP2, WP3, WP4)

S-o-t-A topic 5: 3D scanning, detecting, sensing, measurement, positioning, imaging, and diagnostic equipment
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- Clarifying the current limitations of 3D laser scanning technologies and preparing strategies to solve these limitations by enhancing the scanning protocols, data capturing and processing, and positioning systems (WP2, WP4)
- Critical analysis of positioning and tracking systems for Augmented Reality (i.e. indoor positioning; QR identification; feature-based, texture-based, and contour-based tracking)

S-o-t-A topic 6: BIM that is accessible for all actors, and updated throughout the building’s lifecycle
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- Explored viable solutions to connect 3D model from laser scan to BIM for self-inspection (WP4, 2, 5 - Task 4.1, 2.1, 2.2, 5.1).
- Review of existing software to use BIM for resources and project management (Task 3.1 focusing on construction management software for cost and planning).
- Review of BIM servers as central information platforms to be connected with the AR visualisation tool (WP4, 2 - Task 4.3, 2.1).
- Review of BIM servers with clash detection, model checking, and versioning (tracking) (WP4, 2 - Task 4.1, 4.3, 2.1).

S-o-t-A topic 7: Trainings for self-inspection and use of advanced portable systems
Progress beyond S-o-t-A at M12:
- Preparation of evidence-based and learning-in-project training modules for construction workers (WP6)
- Exploration of user-friendly VR and AR solutions for self-instruction and self-inspection (WP4, WP6, WP1)

Impact aspect 1: Reduction of at least 50% of the mismatch of energy performance between design – construction – commissioning
Achievements at M12:
- Consolidation of KPIs in terms of energy performance, quality, cost effectiveness, time efficiency is on-going (WP1 and WP5)
- Mapping of key parameters on the lab, factory and preliminary field demonstration cases took place through a matrix and questionnaire (WP5)
- Development of BIM models useful to address the KPIs has been done (WP4 and WP3)
- Testing and improvement of measurement instruments are on-going (WP2)

Impact aspect 2: Guaranteed final thermal, acoustic and energy performance of the building; increased efficiency of construction process
Achievements at M12:
- Preliminary BIM models has been delivered (WP4)
- VR and AR state-of-the-art presentations have taken place, and use case preparation is on-going (WP2)
- 3D laser and thermal scanning lab demonstration and enhancements are on-going (WP2)
- Comfort parameters are included in the preliminary KPIs and tested in lab environment (WP1, WP2)

Impact aspect 3: Providing innovative techniques to measure performance contribution of critical components
Achievements at M12:
- Training modules on self-instruction and self-inspection are under preparation; internal pilot training course has been presented (WP6)
- Key technical aspects of EeB are included in ‘most frequent errors’ and demonstrated with pictures and real examples for the training modules (WP1, WP6)

Impact aspect 4: Providing guidelines and methodologies for construction workers; contribution to standardisation
Achievements at M12:
- Synergy with H2020 BuildUpSkils and CSA PROF-TRAC addressing skilled and specialist workers in on-going (WP6)
- Lessons-learned from the manufacturing industry is investigated through FHG-IPA (WP2)

Impact aspect 5: Impacts on innovation capacity, market competitiveness and growth
Achievements at M12:
- Value-chain integration is investigated and considered as preparation for Exploitation Strategy Seminar to be held at M18 (all WPs)
- Synergy with other training projects is being explored (WP6)

Impact aspect 6: Environmental and social impacts
Achievements at M12:
- Aspects related to embodied energy of prefab components and BIM deployment for health and safety on-site are to be investigated in the factory and field demonstrations (WP5)

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