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Communicating long-span timber structures with 3D computer visualization

by Janols, Henrik

Abstract (Summary)
One of the reasons for the low amount of timber in construction is a general lack of knowledge about timber engineering and how timber can be used to its full advantage. In this thesis the focus is 3D computer visualisation (3D VIZ) of non-residential long-span timber structures, used for storage, industry and sports where 3D VIZ is defined as a process where a 3D-model is enhanced with environmental information e.g. texture maps and realistic light effects. An area of interest is the possibilities to increase timber construction through communicating the aesthetical properties of an exposed timber structure through using 3D VIZ. The aim of this exploratory study is to develop a foundation for future theory building through analysing the construction process and its use of communication media with respect to communication theory and media richness. The study further proposes how the communication process of long-span timber structures can be enhanced by using 3D VIZ and identifies connections between the construction process, participants and project classification. In this thesis two major research strategies have been utilised, a case study and a survey. The first research strategy includes a cross-industry learning research setting, using two case studies, applied and analysed regarding industrial design and architecture. The case studies suggest that a practice of concurrent engineering (CE) in construction and frequent use of 3D-computer visualisation by integrated product teams (IPT) can help to enhance the aesthetical value of the final building. The case studies also confirm that 3D VIZ is useful as a communication tool in the construction industry and demonstrate that using 3D VIZ during the planning process affects the image of the final result created by those involved. The second research strategy includes an Internet-based survey where the usefulness of 3D VIZ during the construction process is evaluated. The results show that structural complexity, intended viewer and current building phase influence the benefit of 3D VIZ. A number of parameters needed to communicate the aesthetics of timber efficiently, i.e. textures, surface structures, true dimensions and realistic light effects, have been pointed out. The analysis regarding communication theory and media richness indicate that the need for rich media, 3D VIZ with high realism and high level of detail (LOD), is generally higher for external communication compared to internal communication between professionals. The need for rich media is also high in the beginning of every new phase, while the need will decrease in the end of the phase.
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Advisor:

School:Luleå tekniska universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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