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Assistant for Quality Check during Construction Execution Processes for Energy-efficienT buildings

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ACCEPT (Assistant for Quality Check during Construction Execution Processes for Energy-efficienT buildings)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2017-12-31

The better energy-efficient building components of today have one major flaw: The loss of efficiency through improper usage during the building process can be dramatic. ACCEPT ensures the proper usage of the components during the building process with the help of Smart Glasses. The Smart Glasses unobtrusively provide the workers on site with guidelines exactly when needed, while common methodologies for all workers can be incorporated to standardize and coordinate the overall working activities. The execution details brought to the construction site by ACCEPT can be customized for the working site, building components and different contractors. In this way it is possible not only to minimize the loss of efficiency due to thermal bridges or bad air-tightness, but also to increase the overall efficiency, reliability and productivity of the construction processes.
Relevant data will be aggregated passively on the construction site by workers wearing Smart Glasses as well as actively using different sensors accessed through a Smartphone. In addition, visual annotations can be attached to objects in order to exchange context-based information between workers; bringing the Wiki idea to the construction site. The data is processed in a cloud environment with self-inspection methods to determine important characteristics as well as to monitor the coordinated progress of different parties cooperating in the building process. Thereby a sophisticated tool for the quality control during the building process is provided which guarantees that the energy performance at commissioning stage will meet the one expected at design stage. ACCEPT reaches the following key objectives:
-Improving the final thermal, acoustic and energy performance of buildings by providing sophisticated quality assurance tools, which will be used actively or passively by different stakeholders during the construction process
-Measuring the contribution of each critical component for the thermal insulation and air-tightness by evaluating data gathered by a variety of sensors brought to the construction site
-Reducing the mismatch of energy performance between design and commissioning stage by providing guidelines to apply the sophisticated quality assurance tools mentioned before
-Providing guidelines and methodologies during the construction process by transferring knowledge between the different stakeholders of the construction process
-Increasing the efficiency, reliability and productivity of a construction processes
The outcomes of ACCEPT were demonstrated within 7 real-world pilots in 4 different EU countries, which showed an average increase in the reliability of energy specific construction due to QA tools of 25%, an increase in the efficiency of the construction process due to improved knowledge transfer of 65%, building quality was improved and mismatch reduced between design and commissioning stage by 35% and a downtime reduction of 15% was achieved.
From a user perspective the following main results were created:
•CoOpApp running on Smart Glasses, which passively collects data and actively provides guidance to the worker on site during the building process.
•SiMaApp is one of three access points for the end user. It will run on a mobile device and will be used to check the progression of a construction site, as well as manage the day-to-day work. The primary user will be the Site Manager.
•Dashboard is the last access point for the end user. It will be a web application used mainly as a desktop client. It will consist of widgets, which are used to interact or monitor different profile information from the Profile Nexus as well as interact with the EVA and EDA information provided by the Viki. The main target user will be the site manager or the dashboard manager.

For these results, certain backend services had to be created, which are hidden to the fional end user.
•KIS is an abstraction of all required databases in the ACCEPT system. It enables the other components to store any data save and secure.
•SAF is the mediator between the Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) consisting of different kind of sensors and the rest of ACCEPT System. It encapsulates the logic for managing all aspects of sensors and how these sensors can feed the data to the system.
•AMF provides an easy to use infrastructure for any interaction of all components of the ACCEPT system. Since the ACCEPT System consists of many independent services and data sources.
•ViKi is a server application that provides different services for the managing and interaction with information types EDA and EVA. These services are the basis to allow linking information to real world objects. The Viki is the data repository for the augmented reality (AR).
•SMP is a server application and repository for third party services. The SMP allows the users to add specific functionalities not incorporated in the default features of the ACCEPT System.
•Profile Nexus provides different services for the interaction with the four profile types (workflow, quality, construction project, user) as well as the business logic that provides the interaction between profiles in an event-driven environment. It manages the workflows and information in the ACCEPT system.

The consortium has exploited ACCEPT results well, reaching over 600,000 people during the project.
Created sub-components provide significant functional value independently of other components. The business model includes for an intermediate phase of component-level commercialisation. On success, it is thought to extend them by giving more features from ACCEPT to them, so that by the end, those smaller components evolve to the envisioned ACCEPT system.
ACCEPT pursues contributions to the quality of architecture by providing an infrastructure for direct engagement with different areas of the construction process. A significant reduction in the performance gap (between design and as-built performance of buildings) is achieved through utilisation of the functionalities and services of ACCEPT. Environmental design standards such as Passivhaus etc. already offer design approaches for delivering efficient low energy buildings, but there remains a scope for improving the actual building performance achieved by these programmes. ACCEPT tackles this by offering a change to the primary workflow of a construction project – realigning and reordering the balance of information, decision-making and accountability between architects, clients, manufacturers, construction workers and subcontractors. There have shortcomings at design level on construction site knowledge and a similarly impacting lack of awareness over design intentions and reasoning once on site. The ACCEPT system becomes a conduit for continuous information flow between users, allowing architects to respond to site queries directly, and before covering-up of completed works, removal of scaffolding etc. It allows engineers and manufacturers to feed in to sequencing of tasks on site in line with their specialist understanding of the products in use, whilst subcontractors can highlight inconsistencies in detailing or undetected clashes that could only be foreseen with their craftsmanship knowledge. This dramatic increase in information transfer throughout the whole delivery chain has a significant impact on individual’s understanding of the various construction roles and leads to a better educated construction industry.