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2018 Mini-Projects

Mini-Projects funded from the University of Cambridge network which look at how digital technologies impact the built environment, and how society might be affected by the changes which may follow from the employment of these technologies.

Designing Safe Complex Environments - Professor Manohar Bance

This project will establish through systematic review the state-of-the-art in immersive environments used with those with difficulty processing complex environments. It will deliver a virtual environment, prototyping a complex space such as a super market of office space. In addition it aims to implement tools to produce an immersive experience for a user, and utilise validated motion capture tools to measure a user's kinematic response to moving through the environment. In parallel it will validate low-cost alternatives to measuring a user's response.

Designing Safe Complex Environments - Professor Manohar Bance - Read More…

The Edge: a case study and template for BIM 2 - Dr. Michael Ramage

This project aims to develop The Edge as a case study for CDBB, not only for the sake of information on the building alone, but also to use it as a template to build the “standard case study template.” When we consider other buildings, we can understand them through comparable qualitative and quantitative metrics developed from the most complete example in existence today. Developing the future of the digital built environment will require intensive study of a number of exemplars.

The Edge: a case study and template for BIM 2 - Dr. Michael Ramage - Read More…

Urban Planning and BIM - Prof P Allmendinger

The project aims to understand the extent to which the UK planning system is engaging with BIM at different spatial scales (e.g., individual building, development scheme, city, region). It will explore how the planning system could better help deliver BIM, and inform local and national policy settings and actors about the role of urban planning vehicle for BIM.

Urban Planning and BIM - Prof P Allmendinger - Read More…

Adaptive Design of Supported Excavations - Dr Giovanna Biscontin

This project aims to fully document and make available the automated back analysis tool developed by Ms Jin to support commercial implementation, as well as investigate barriers to the adoption of data-driven adaptive design in practice through a targeted workshop. It will also provide guidance on future research developments needed to promote data-driven design in practice; promote provisions on adaptive design to be included in standards and guidance documents.

Adaptive Design of Supported Excavations - Dr Giovanna Biscontin - Read More…

The Uptake of Digital Tools, Standards and Processes in Innovation in the UK House Building Industry: opportunities and barriers to adoption - Dr Gemma Burgess

The aim of this short project is to provide a ‘state of the nation’ report into the opportunities and barriers to the uptake of the digital tools, standards and processes that are collectively known as Building Information Modelling (BIM) in innovations taking place the UK house building sector. It will engage with the innovative sector of the market that is experimenting with modular housing production to explore how the use of digital tools is part of, or has the potential to be part of, the production and sustainability of these homes for the future.

The Uptake of Digital Tools, Standards and Processes in Innovation in the UK House Building Industry: opportunities and barriers to adoption - Dr Gemma Burgess - Read More…

Future Cities and BIM - Dr Franziska Sielker

This project seeks to address the question of how European cities are adapting to BIM, and what awareness there is of BIM in future city thinking and strategies, particularly around Smart Cities. It will also look at what tools and policies are being used to take forward BIM in city development and thinking. In addition it will consider what the drivers of BIM are, and what issues are being addressed through BIM, as well as what the barriers are to BIM in future city thinking, and what the experiences of BIM are and what research, evaluation and policy exists.

Future Cities and BIM - Dr Franziska Sielker - Read More…

Autonomous Image Recapture - Dr Michael Ramage

This research project will use advanced image processing to recreate geospatial viewpoints of historic and existing images of buildings and cities to programme autonomous flight paths for photographic recapture of those same images by drone. One novel aspect to our project will be the ability to reconstruct and retake heritage images and legacy photographs using a direct image to flight path algorithm.

Autonomous Image Recapture - Dr Michael Ramage - Read More…

Machine Learning and AI in the Built Environment - Dr Thies Lindenthal

This project will improve the foundatons for applying tried-and-tested machine learning approaches to the built environment. It will reduce the cost of creating and deploying AI systems, facilitating new academic research on e.g. property markets and investments. A future version of the API could be commercialised in areas like mortgage origination, insurance claim processing or property tax (non-UK, though) estimation.

Machine Learning and AI in the Built Environment - Dr Thies Lindenthal - Read More…

Exploiting traffic data to improve asset management and citizen quality of life - Dr Ajith Kumar Parlikad

This project builds on a tool developed by two Cambridge PhD students (cited below), that allows for the generation of high resolution geographical data heat maps. One can use these heat maps to solve optimisation problems relevant to the common citizen's everyday life.

Exploiting traffic data to improve asset management and citizen quality of life - Dr Ajith Kumar Parlikad - Read More…

Ancillary Sensing for Building Information Modelling: Current Practice and Future Research - Dr Mohamed Zaki

Ancillary sensing in the context of BIM concerns drawing new sources of useful information into common data environments used in the design, creation and management of the built environment physical assets. The field is ripe for disruption. The goal of this project is to develop two separate current practice, policy and future research frameworks under the umbrella theme of ancillary sensing for BIM. The basis for this will be two separate scientific literature reviews, conducted manually by and in consultation with subject matter experts, and supported by automated analysis of scientific database resources (e.g. Thomson Reuters Web of Science), culminating in the development of thought-leading managerial frameworks.

Ancillary Sensing for Building Information Modelling: Current Practice and Future Research - Dr Mohamed Zaki - Read More…

Building Interactive Smart Acoustics into Buildings and Clothing - Dr Anurag Agarwal

This project aims to build multiple sensors that are microphones and ways to interrogate the acoustic environment into wearable technologies for the hearing impaired subjects. These will also talk to microphones placed in the building's walls. With appropriate signal analysis, these can then segregate out the acoustic streams from different talkers, and beam form very effectively to increase the signal to noise ratio for the speaker being attended to. If they were built into corridors, they could track a speaker walking and talking, and still stream this to the hearing aids. The wearable sensors would produce an acoustic signal intermittently to measure the reverberation of the acoustic environment.

Building Interactive Smart Acoustics into Buildings and Clothing - Dr Anurag Agarwal - Read More…

Feasibility of an Operating System for Interspatial Networking in a Built Environment - Dr Anil Madhavapeddy

This project will is a feasibility study to assemble a room-level instantiation of the Osmose architecture, and to test our hypothesis that room-level connectivity and user detection can be reliably performed by tiny power-efficient embedded controllers in the walls, and to run a realistic application such as user presence detection and identification via local machine learning.

Feasibility of an Operating System for Interspatial Networking in a Built Environment - Dr Anil Madhavapeddy - Read More…

PolyChora Alpha: a new digital interface for interdisciplinary city design - Dr Ying Jin

The aim of this proposed project is to develop a new digital interface to integrate the data and visualisation of the designs of land use, buildings, transport infrastructure and associated urban services at both the neighbourhood and city scale. The interface can also be used to modify a range of aspects of such designs in the course of visualisations by non‐specialists, with underlying building information data stored for feedback to the respective design teams. The focus of the work is the new method and tool for connecting digital data from multiple disciplines.

PolyChora Alpha: a new digital interface for interdisciplinary city design - Dr Ying Jin - Read More…

Building Impulse: A novel digital toolkit for productive, healthy and resource-efficient buildings - Dr Mauro Overend

The principal novel aspect of this research project is the creation of a ‘toolkit’ of digital sensors and other methods for capturing overall occupant response in terms of comfort, satisfaction, productivity and well‐ being. The toolkit consists of a range of existing sensors and additional devices that together capture the wide effects of novel resource‐ efficient technologies, such as the user responses to automatic façade systems and the effects of material‐ efficient structures on occupant productivity and well‐ being.

Building Impulse: A novel digital toolkit for productive, healthy and resource-efficient buildings - Dr Mauro Overend - Read More…

Crowdsourcing Data in Mining Spatial Urban Activities - Dr Elisabette Silva

This project focuses on the crowdsourcing data harvesting and data- mining of the multi-dimensional mechanisms of urban segregation combining the geo-coding of information with the rich attributes of this type of data. This project will conduct pilots at Cambridge in the UK and then compare it with prior study of Ningbo in China from an international perspective.

Crowdsourcing Data in Mining Spatial Urban Activities - Dr Elisabette Silva - Read More…

IOT Network Behaviours and Dependencies - Dr Richard Mortier

This project will initiate some baseline data gathering and primary analysis of the ways in which off-the-shelf IOT sensors are going to generate and distribute data, the services they will invoke, and the infrastructure dependencies that will thus be taken by deployment and use of such sensors and their supporting services.

IOT Network Behaviours and Dependencies - Dr Richard Mortier - Read More…

Visualising the Future: Big Data and the Built Environment - Prof Paul Linden

This proposal builds on discussions which took place during meetings convened by the Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and the Environment. A preliminary analysis has identified a series of key topics and themes running through the discussions. These include the limitations of utilising big data; challenges associated with its visualisation; the role of improved forecasting and new technologies – such as machine learning – for utilising big data; access and ownership of data; and the opportunities for experimentation within city systems. This project will aim to deliver a deeper analysis, focusing on new and emerging research and technological developments.

Visualising the Future: Big Data and the Built Environment - Prof Paul Linden - Read More…

Welcome to the Centre for Digital Built Britain.  

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and construction for the future and transform the UK construction industry’s approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure.