Advanced Computing and Virtual Technologies in Construction

Solving engineering and construction problems in capital projects with new technologies.

The purpose of the Advanced Computing and Virtual Technologies in Construction Research group (ACVTC) is to develop advanced computing and virtual technologies to solve engineering and construction problems in capital projects, associated with production planning and control; decision-making analysis, supply chain and logistics management, health and safety, and sustainability. Our group also focuses on the investigation of new computer-based approaches and frameworks to assist in evacuation decision and policy-making at micro (buildings) and macro scale (cities) in the event of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Research approach

The ACVTC research group uses a cross and multidisciplinary approach with a well-balanced mixture of scientific and technical expertise covering a wide range of knowledge areas such as computer science, construction, engineering and management, civil and structural engineering, behavioural sciences, and operations research; amongst others. In order to find out optimum computing solutions, we follow a constructive research approach that blends harmonically the process of creation of a practical solution (technological artefact) with a purely theoretical contribution:

  1. Definition of the practically relevant problem
  2. Obtaining a comprehensive understanding about the topic problem
  3. Designing the solution
  4. Demonstrating that the solution works
  5. Demonstrating the research contribution of the solution and the theoretical connections
  6. Examining the scope of applicability of the solution

Research areas and sub-groups

Our research group spans a breath of disciplines sorted in a number of areas or sub-groups. There is overlap in some areas of inquiry among sub-groups, which makes cross-collaboration a key and a very distinctive feature of the research work in these ACVTC research subgroups:

  • Construction Simulation Group: This sub-group is focused on the development and implementation of computer modelling techniques such as discrete-event simulation, dynamic system and agent-based modelling, to model, simulate and optimise a number of problems in construction such as resource allocation and utilisation, logistics, health and safety, social dynamics in construction organisations, sustainable construction, production planning and control, decision–making analysis, among others.
  • Building Information Modelling Group: The purpose of this sub-group is to develop and apply Building Information Modelling (BIM)-based tools, processes, and technologies to provide solutions to some of the construction problems related to supply chain integration and collaboration, planning and control, project delivery (design, planning, construction, delivery, and maintenance), among others.
  • Serious Game/Virtual Reality Group: This sub-group aims to apply augment and virtual reality, serious games and artificial intelligence technologies to deal with a variety of engineering problems in the built environment such as project engineering and management problems, quake and tsunami evacuation (micro and macro scale), and health and safety issues.
  • Sustainable Construction Group: The aim of this sub-group is to apply computer modelling techniques to solve environmental and production problems concurrently in construction capital projects.
  • Health and Safety Group: In this subgroup, different computing approaches such as serious games, virtual reality, system dynamics, others, are applied to investigate different occupational health and safety problems in construction projects.
  • Production Management and Lean Construction Group: This sub-group applies computer modelling techniques, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and serious games to production planning and control problems, lean production-driven issues in construction, decision-making, and social dynamics in construction organisations.

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