Category Archives: In the News

Bulletin Story-Bentley Research Project 2016

Graduate student, Zhouqian Jiang, spent last summer working with Bentley to generate a geospatially accurate 3D reality mesh model of the University Park campus at Penn State, and integrate the facility asset data from Maximo database with the model. The integrated model provides a better spatial interpretation of maintenance tasks, and facilitates a more efficient maintenance personnel distribution. In addition, 3D viewing capability can benefit the maintenance decision-making by providing detailed views of building facades and roofs, and also provides a relationship with the surrounding area (i.e., trees and other buildings). A taxonomy for diverse use cases of virtual 3D city models has been further developed. The taxonomy presents a structure of how these models are applied and allows model users to understand the scope of applications that virtual 3D city models can offer. Further evaluation and validation of the taxonomy should be developed.

For more information on this research, please reach out to Zhouqian Jiang ( and Dr. Messner ( or visit his website here.

S:PACE Trip – Washington, DC on November 11-12, 2016

The annual Penn State S:PACE Fall Construction Trip took place in early November. The trip was very successful this year, as group of 30 students traveled to the DC area visiting several active jobsites at different stages of construction. Students received a guided tour of each project, where they were able to learn more about the project processes and the construction methods being employed. Companies that hosted the trip this year included Benchmark Construction, Bozzuto Group, DPR Construction, James G. Davis Construction, Clark Construction, Balfour Beatty, and Barton Malow Company.


This year’s trip gave students the opportunity to see a variety of different projects. At Benchmark, students toured a hospital project that consisted of a co-generation plant and overbuild that added 6 stories over a functioning hospital. DPR took students on a tour of a new medical facility that will serve as a fertility clinic. Students also got to see large, high-rise residential construction at Bozzuto’s Anthem House project in Baltimore and a combination of hotel and residential at Clark’s Ballpark Square project near the National’s Ballpark. DAVIS gave students a tour of the new Capital One Headquarters, soon to be the tallest commercial building in the Washington area. Balfour Beatty toured students through and around their Capital Crossing project, which is the re-creation of three city blocks (7 acres) over an active interstate. Students also toured the new UMBC basketball arena on their visit with Barton Malow. Overall, the trip was a great success, giving students the opportunity to learn about many different types of building projects and the challenges associated with their construction.


S:PACE is truly grateful for all the generous support that our PACE company sponsors provide us year after year. Without your help, this year’s trip would not have been possible. The S:PACE Officers and student participants would also like to provide a special thanks to all our jobsite hosts that led the site visits and provided tours!

Thank you for all your time and support!

Submitted by: Cory Mosco (, S:PACE Vice President 2016-2017

Forecasting Occupant Comfort for Improved Energy Model Analysis

Indoor environments should meet the needs of the occupants and enhance their comfort, health and productivity. Efforts to reduce energy consumption often lead to decreased satisfaction for building occupants. These modifications to the environment often cause occupants to change their behavior to improve their personal comfort, often resulting in additional energy use and often cancelling any intended energy improvements.

This study examines how occupant behavior can be more accurately predicted based upon demographics and comfort profiles. Surveys and continuous energy monitoring results provide an in-depth understanding of the indoor environment preferences of the occupants and their energy consumption habits. The data are collected for two case study buildings in Pennsylvania, and two in Doha, Qatar and will be modeled into a machine learning algorithm to forecast occupant comfort desires ad behaviors in a space. A simulation platform is being developed that can accept occupant behavior and preferences as inputs and produce corresponding energy consumption behavior data to help better forecast the user impacts for different design decisions.

For more information on this research please reach out to Yewande Abraham ( or Dr. Somayeh Asadi ( and Dr. Chimay Anumba (

AE Grad Student Presents at VR Workshop

In early October, graduate student Jennifer Lather was invited to attend and present at a workshop in Immersive Visualization for Construction, Engineering, and Design at Odeh Engineers’ Rhode Island office. She presented a survey of interactive workspaces, or technology-enabled spaces, in a session devoted to understanding the breadth of these technological options to support AEC industry specific tasks. In addition, she held a focus group that concentrated on the classification of these spaces and their respective use cases. Session participants furthered their understanding of the value of interactive workspaces and their respective uses in AEC project settings. Participants also brainstormed additional present and future uses in terms of reasonability and desirability for trends in the AEC Industry. A summary of the results will be developed and incorporated into Lather’s Master’s thesis, expected to be available in December 2015. The workshop was sponsored by Scalable Display Technologies, a software company specializing in large format display image blending.