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Built to Specifications: Self-Inspection, 3D Modelling, Management and Quality-Check Tools for the 21st Century Construction Worksite

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - Built2Spec (Built to Specifications: Self-Inspection, 3D Modelling, Management and Quality-Check Tools for the 21st Century Construction Worksite)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2018-12-31

Built2Spec brings together a new and breakthrough set of technological advances for self-inspection and quality assurance that will be placed in the hands of construction stakeholders to support compliance with EU energy efficiency targets, new building standards, and related EU policy ambitions within the built environment. Built2Spec expands upon a cloud-based construction support platform (VCMP), conceived following the most advanced integrated design and delivery framework (IDDS) relating to the building sector and hosting applications that facilitate worksite activities and quality compliance by placing knowledge in hands of contractors, in the form of shared design specifications and 3D models, installation guidelines, information on regulatory frameworks, and support from construction experts through smartphones and tablets.
The B2S system will be integrated into the business workflows of SME contractors, large construction firms, and end user clients assuring systematic and scientific performance measures, feedback and powerful exploitation and dissemination strategies.
Built2Spec has facilitated the design, development, and demonstration of a large diversity of technologies and results to be applied in the context of standards-based self-inspection techniques and quality checks relating to typical the construction site activities.
The main technological results can be identified as the following categories:
• Virtual Construction Management Platform (VCMP). This is the software result, presented as an online platform, which integrates the whole automated quality assurance and compliance checks method and procedures. Beyond this general scope of applications, it has been developed in order to be interoperable with most of the following specific technological developments of the project.
• PULSE airtightness test device.
• Portable Acoustic Test device and Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker.
• Buildings 3D scan by using drones and/or portable devices.
• BIM related functionalities: interoperability with VCMP, availability on site, BIM data for inspection.
• Building thermo-physical properties characterization.
• Detailed direct thermal modelling.
• IR camera image acquisition on-site.
• Environmental and structural monitoring systems.
• Indoor Air Quality key indicators and analyser.
• Passive House design tool integration.

These developments have been tested and then demonstrated in real conditions (5 countries).
One of the main indicators of success of the project is the increasing interest of several construction companies and building owners.
Built2Spec has developed a detailed exploitation strategy, including an adaptation of the methods and technologies within different national contexts, thereby ensuring by this their replicability.
The developments from Built2Spec pave the way for future developments in agreement with the observed trends in the global construction market (integrated use of BIM, collaborative approaches supported by digital tools, real time onsite inspection, quality assurance process standardized for the construction site, etc.).
Many of the observed impacts are obtained at the scale of each technological development, but we have also observed impacts at a more general scale, relevant with the whole Built2Spec concept.

On thermal inspection techniques (WP2), progress beyond the state of art has been realized on several aspects:
- quantitative thermal infrared analysis methods: the experimental set-ups allowed to obtain successful results beyond the state of the art as it was possible to obtain relevant thermal characteristics through remote sensing thermal infrared data, by applying reverse methods.
- direct modeling tools for the thermal performance assessment of the impact of single local defects (e.g. thermal bridging).
- surface identification software tools (e.g. link between visible/infrared images and 3D model).

On acoustic quality checks techniques (WP3), two main developments have been carried out: 1) new type of sound source device (Omnidirectionnal Parametric Loudspeaker, OPL), 2) acoustic test app, specifically designed to be operated by non-expert, integrated with the VCMP.

The indoor air quality developments lead to a new portable solution to analyze a list of substances impacting the indoor air quality. The device and related quality check are integrated with the VCMP.

The airpulse airtightness test device represents an alternative solution to the blower door test. It is already fully integrated in a quality check protocol with the VCMP.

Regarding smart materials, the design and deployment of embedded sensors into precast concrete elements has shown good results.

Imagery techniques adapted to the construction site context have been improved, especially relating to point clouds to BIM functionalities and 3D scanning by drone technology.

BIM related functionalities have been developed, allowing to import/export expert data from the BIM server and to only process the information useful within the VCMP.

All the previous technology developments and many more (related mainly to energy) have also been formalized with the definition of detailed related quality checks.They have been integrated in a complete Virtual Construction Management Platform (VCMP), which constitute the central piece of Built2Spec developments, and which offers 3 main innovations:
- direct software integration of the novel quality check measurement technologies (previously described).
- inclusion of the whole Built2Spec quality assurance framework (methodology).
- multi-stakeholder and collaborative approach.

In a more general way, the project has achieved to demonstrate that a change of paradigm is possible regarding the control of quality inspection technologies throughout the construction stages of a building. As a first impact, the project provides new technologies to the onsite stakeholders. A second effect, more indirect, can be described as an impact on the behaviour of the professional personnel on site. For most of the stakeholders involved in the whole quality check process, we can observe a greater commitment and a stronger desire to achieve a good quality level before the self-inspection test. Therefore, by motivating the stakeholders to be proud of their work by inviting them to provide the evidence of it, the self-inspection quality checks offered by Built2Spec do not only allow to detect the defects, but they also provide a way of avoiding large numbers of defects occurring in the first instance, thus resulting in more savings (time, money) and more efficiency.
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