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The Future Of Virtual Reality In Simulating Construction Operations

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.463.1 - 1.463.8



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Paper Authors

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Khalid K. Naji

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Fazil Najafi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1260

The Future of Virtual Reality in Simulating Construction Operations

Khalid K. Naji and Fazil Najafi University of Florida, Department of Civil Engineering


Simulating construction operations is one of the most challenging tasks that many construction and design firms within the US are undergoing today. Two main simulation methodologies are being used, the network-based simulation, and the graphical simulation technique. While the network-based simulation tech- nique, which was originally developed for manufacturing processes, is very tedious, complex, and time consum- ing, the graphical simulation technique is taking many forms and is gaining more support within the construction industry. It is a fact that the network-based simulation technique has failed to describe three main factors that influence most construction operations, these factors being the construction site itsel~ the building geometry, and the dynamics involved in operating construction equipment. 1 On the other hand, the graphical simulation technique, which was originally derived from what is called the Visual Interactive Simulation (VIS), has taken a new dimension involving the Virtual Reality (VR) technology to model, design, and simulate construction opera- 2 tions, and there are some attempts in that direction. However, these attempts have either been or are being done within research institutes and large construction companies where expensive computer hardware was pur- chased and sophisticated software developed. There has been no indication that these attempts were done on non-expensive computer workstations or on the PC platform. Therefore, this paper describes some state-of-the- art techniques by which construction operations (such as earth removing operations, material handling, manipu- lating building components, etc.) can be modeled, visualized, and graphically simulated in real-time 3-D environ- ments and on the PC. This paper shall benefit the construction industry since it introduces new software and hardware technologies that are capable of delivering comparable workstation petiormance on PCs and with a fraction of the cost.


Whh the complexity involved in large-scale construction operations, there is a continuous need from the construction industry to find a technique which is capable of modeling, visualizing, and simulating construction 3 operations. One methodology which has been used is the network-based simulation which was introduced to 4 tlie construction industry with the development of Micro-CYCLON13, and several other programs. Although these programs helped constmction managers to simulate equipment operations, they failed to include many fac- tors that influence the construction process. These factors are the construction site itsel~ the building geometry, and the dynamics involved in operating construction equipment. It is a fact that these factors play an important role in determining many scheduling and safety related decisions during the construction phase. Another major disadvantage of using such simulation techniques is the complexity and the time required by the user to under-

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Naji, K. K., & Najafi, F. (1996, June), The Future Of Virtual Reality In Simulating Construction Operations Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6071

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