Tunnel design

Tunnel design

Designers of several disciplines need to coordinate their work to design a tunnel. This post describes a scientific case study of how to produce an integral design more efficiently.

Request

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Design service

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Situation

Designers of seven different disciplines make discipline-specific partial designs. As a team, they align their partial designs on a regular basis to form an integral design. When aligning their partial designs, the designers discover design conflicts, which they resolve by changing their designs.

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Challenge

[Improving a design service, Advancing a design team] How can designers from different disciplines reduce the number of design conflicts between their partial designs?

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Ambition

[Time, Cost] Spend less time on discovering and resolving design conflicts, which results in less cost. This is desirable, feasible, and viable.

Assessment

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Design service

Tunnel design

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Competitive position

[Weakness] Designers of different disciplines are unaware of conflicts arising between their partial designs.

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Problem

[System] To reduce the number of design conflicts between partial designs, designers from different disciplines need to share design objects, relations, and models when created and updated. This capability is missing. Designers can develop it, and its nature is explicit. Prognosis:

  • Unfavorable without intervention.
  • Favorable after an intervention.

Advice

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Design service

Tunnel design

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Concept

[System] Adapt the way of working to prevent design conflicts between partial designs from arising.

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Intervention

Step 1. Define a design ontology: have a knowledge engineer interview designers to extract meta-knowledge of design objects, relations, and models together making up an integral design.

Step 2. Create a meta-model of design: have a knowledge engineer represent the defined design ontology in a digital repository.

Step 3. Teach designers how to use a digital repository while designing: have a knowledge engineer train designers.