A Virtual Construction Site to Teach Construction

M.E. Haque, M. Aluminiumwalla, and S. Saherwala (USA)


: Virtual Construction, Reinforced Concrete,Animation, Walkthrough.


Today's information technology (IT) allows us to develop learner-centered virtual design studios that can be reached to a large student population via the web. Significant pedagogical advantages can be achieved by the integration of IT and visualization techniques in teaching engineering technology. For construction engineering and management students, visits to construction sites complement our classroom instruction ideally. However, various complicating issues, such as unavailability of construction projects during the academic semesters and impracticality, due to the construction site risk for a large group of students, makes it impossible to rely on site visits. The objective of this research was to develop a virtual walk-through model of a reinforced concrete building construction processes, and teach concrete structure construction/design using 3-D animated free body diagrams. The paper demonstrated various design concept visualization techniques including image visualization/animation, image manipulation, interactive flowchart based analysis and design animation, and walk through virtual navigation. The techniques that were used in this research employed a generic programming architecture and visualization media, which were discipline independent, and can be adapted to any other technology education domain. These visualization techniques can be valuable aids not only for teaching in the classroom but also as an effective self-directed tool for open learning via the web.

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