GT Digital Building Laboratory Announces its 2012-2013 Research Awards

Five GT projects win funding

The Digital Building Laboratory (DBL) at Georgia Tech conducts research to advance the practices of design and construction, funded by twelve industry organizations. We are pleased to announce the awardees of Digital Building Lab research awards for 2012-2013.

Annual DBL awards are made possible through contributions from the DBL industry members, whose representatives also serve as proposal evaluators. Awards are made annually, of amounts up to $50,000


According to Prof. Charles Eastman, Director of the Laboratory “the DBL Awards made each year build bridges between firms in architecture, engineering and construction with university faculty and students.  At the same time, they contribute to advances in building, allowing firms to be more innovative and creative.

The awardees for 2012-2013 are:

Baabak Ashuri – Determining the Impact and Effectiveness of BIM : What is the the impact and effectiveness of BIM – in its varied dimensions?  Quantified data on the impact of BIM will be collected based  on several project variables, such as number of Requests for Information (RFIs) and Change Orders (COs), considering project characteristics including project type (healthcare, federal, commercial, etc.), region of country, project delivery method, and others.

Jason Brown and Fried Augenbroe - Early Design Decision Support: Quantification of Uncertainty and Assessment of Confidence:  This research projects explores whether an architectural design decision be made during an early design phase with confidence that the performance-related outcome of that decision will be a preferred outcome at final design.  If so, what models can support such decisions with confidence? To examine these issues, the project will conduct research aimed at fundamentally improving how energy assessment tools are integrated in CAD environments and design decision-making.

John Haymaker - How to Decide How to Decide: An Analysis Of Decision Processes For AECO: AECO professionals make their living by making effective decisions – such as which consultants to hire, where to locate a utility plant, what fabrication technique to deploy, and when to upgrade a building’s mechanical systemsand by making those decisions efficiently. Until recently, AECO professionals informally communicated and managed information about their decisions, such as the people involved, alternatives considered, factors analyzed and priorities and uncertainties asserted. John Haymaker’s research will help AECO members understand the factors they should consider when selecting a decision method, and to apply the wide range of decision methods available to them.

Chuck Eastman and Yong-cheol Lee - Rules Checking for Complex Building Programs: Client-provided building programs are becoming more complex. In hospitals, clients may specify 30 or more requirements for a patient room , dealing with such aspects as finishes, utilities, and fixtures. Does the design satisfy the program requirements? This is currently a large, tedious and manually answered question. This project is directed at automating the interpretation and testing of a building model to determine if programmatic requirements are satisfied.

Javier Irizarry and Racel Williams - BIM2MAR: BIM Translation for Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) Applications in AECO Practices: This research project explores methods of translating Building Information Modeling (BIM) and building content for use in a Mobile Augmented Reality (MAR) environment that is accessible using current mobile technologies (e.g. smart phones or tablet devices). 

Marc Simmons and Marcelo Bernal - Expertise Capture within Specialist Design/Construction Firms: Marcelo Bernal will work with Marc Simmons to gain expert knowledge regarding building skins in terms of performance, erection, fabrication, and maintenance. The goal will be to structure this highly design-oriented information,  allowing others to use it.

Proposals are encouraged from Georgia Tech researchers and faculty as well as advanced PhD students. Those interested in applying for the 2013-2014 round of awards should contact Dr. Charles Eastman (

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