Product Models in Life-Cycle Evaluation and Management of the Built Environment

Arto Kiviniemi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


The artefacts which form our built environment are complex and have very long lifespan compared to most products of the modern society. In addition, these artefacts are usually unique, which causes special problems to the design and production process compared to the mass-products; thorough testing is not possible before production. Thus, each building is in some sense a prototype. With the traditional, paper-based design methods many functional properties are difficult to visualize and the life-cycle properties are in practice evaluated only by the earlier experiences of the design team. In such situation any new solution or material is a risk, and this is one of the reasons why construction industry has so many quality problems and has not been able to develop or increase productivity as the other industries. The product model technology enables the creation of “virtual buildings” which can be used for different simulation and evaluation purposes before the construction process. The life-cycle and environmental issues are very complex. Thus, gathering and evaluating the data for the different design alternatives manually is time-consuming and error-prone. In an integrated product model environment the complex data can be linked automatically to the design models and used in different simulation engines to evaluate the performance of the buildings compared to the requirements. This helps to compare the different alternatives and supports informed decision-making process. In addition the developing sensor and communication technologies will enable reporting buildings, and the actual performance of a building can be compared to the simulated performance in real time. This will enable automated diagnostics and control systems as well as further development and fine-tuning of the simulation models in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLifetime Engineering of Civil Infrastructure
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Workshop on Lifetime Engineering of Civil Infrastructure - honoring the career of Professor Asko Sarja
EditorsAyaho Miyamoto, Asko Sarja, Tommi Rissanen
Place of PublicationUbe
Publication statusPublished - 2006
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Workshop on Lifetime Engineering of Civil Infrastructure: honoring the career of Professor Asko Sarja - Ube, Japan
Duration: 9 Nov 200511 Nov 2005


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Lifetime Engineering of Civil Infrastructure


  • Decision Support
  • Integration
  • Life-cycle Management
  • Product Models
  • Requirements Management
  • Simulation


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