Framework for Context-Aware Information Processing for Design Review in a Virtual Environment
Design review is a process of reviewing construction design documents to ensure that they reflect the owner's design intent, and are accurate in describing the owner's desired building or facility. Information generation becomes more intensive as the design stage progresses. The use of valuable information during design review stage can lead to a more comprehensive and high quality design, and a building or facility that is constructible, and within the intended budget. However, in current design practices, valuable design review information is scattered, ineffectively placed, and is not used efficiently. The design review process will be more efficient if this valuable information is integrated and centralized.
The author developed a framework to improve the design review process by incorporating a centralized repository of design review information and 3D CAD model, in an interactive Virtual Environment (VE). To develop the framework, the author used Action Research style where he identified and confirmed the design review problem area, promoted the potential solutions to the problem, and developed a prototype. In gathering and analyzing the data for the research, the author used the synthesis of three methods. They include review of literature, a case study (interviews with industry personnel and content analysis of design review documents), and dissemination of the author's progressive findings in conferences, conference proceedings and journal publications.
From his findings, the author developed the framework to improve the design review process by using information filtering based on context-aware concept, coupled with the benefits of a VE. The required design review information in the form of textual, numerical and geometric information is processed (queried, retrieved and stored). The author defined four contexts for information filtering: discipline-centric, task-centric, object-centric, and location-centric. IF-THEN rules are used to trigger the processing of the required design review information and present it to the design reviewer in a VE. A low cost 3D Game Engine is used as the enabling development tool to develop a work-in-progress (WIP) prototype design review application in a VE.