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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 - Dr Thomas Stone

This project investigated the principles of universal design applied to the built environment and specifically with reference to people with impairment. The validity of using VR as a test method was assessed by reviewing the neuroscientific justification and the new field of neuroarchitecture. Finally, examples of how VR is applied to the treatment and understanding of balance disorders were reviewed.

Designing Safe Complex Environments - Dr Thomas Stone - Read More…

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

This project developed 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 explores 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 the study was to explore the current use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the UK house building industry and the benefits BIM offers, and to consider the opportunities and barriers to its wider uptake. The study shows that the potential benefits from the adoption of BIM have been recognised within the industry, but that take up has been slow and prohibited by several factors.

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 has used advanced image processing and computer vision techniques to recreate geospatial viewpoints of some historic, 17th century David Loggan line drawings of Cambridge Colleges. Subsequent drone flights then captured current images of the colleges from these same viewpoints.

Autonomous Image Recapture - Dr Michael Ramage - Read More…

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

This project improved the foundations for applying tried-and-tested machine learning (ML) approaches to the built environment. This mini project reduced the cost of creating and deploying ML systems by creating versatile and extendable API’s, data management infrastructure and mobile apps. A future version of the API’s might 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

Osmose is a project aimed at building a new operating system for situated environments that can handle the demands of thousands of sensors and actuators that need to run in a coordinated and highly reliable fashion. The mini project facilitated the purchase of networking equipment to begin the deployment of the first prototype installation in the Computer Lab. We are also planning a prototype deployment within Pembroke College’s new Mill Lane site later in the year using the new hardware. Our software design is steadily advancing, and was published in its first prototype form in IEEE HotPost 2018.

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 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 including architecture, city planning, transport planning, spatial economic studies and infrastructure investment.

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 initiated 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

Building on four years of material generated by the Cambridge Forum for Sustainability and Environment, this report examines the future use of big data in the built environment. Experts from academia, government and private companies were invited to join monthly discussions in the Forum over four years of meetings. Big data within cities was a recurring theme and core challenges and opportunities for the advancement of the use of big data were examined.

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.