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Visualised inspection system for monitoring environmental anomalies during daily operation and maintenance

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Xiang XieORCiD


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PurposeVisual inspection and human judgement form the cornerstone of daily operations and maintenance (O&M) services activities carried out by facility managers nowadays. Recent advances in technologies such as building information modelling (BIM), distributed sensor networks, augmented reality (AR) technologies and digital twins present an immense opportunity to radically improve the way daily O&M is conducted. This paper aims to describe the development of an AR-supported automated environmental anomaly detection and fault isolation method to assist facility managers in addressing problems that affect building occupants’ thermal comfort.Design/methodology/approachThe developed system focusses on the detection of environmental anomalies related to the thermal comfort of occupants within a building. The performance of three anomaly detection algorithms in terms of their ability to detect indoor temperature anomalies is compared. Based on the fault tree analysis (FTA), a decision-making tree is developed to assist facility management (FM) professionals in identifying corresponding failed assets according to the detected anomalous symptoms. The AR system facilitates easy maintenance by highlighting the failed assets hidden behind walls/ceilings on site to the maintenance personnel. The system can thus provide enhanced support to facility managers in their daily O&M activities such as inspection, recording, communication and verification.FindingsTaking the indoor temperature inspection as an example, the case study demonstrates that the O&M management process can be improved using the proposed AR-enhanced inspection system. Comparative analysis of different anomaly detection algorithms reveals that the binary segmentation-based change point detection is effective and efficient in identifying temperature anomalies. The decision-making tree supported by FTA helps formalise the linkage between temperature issues and the corresponding failed assets. Finally, the AR-based model enhanced the maintenance process by visualising and highlighting the hidden failed assets to the maintenance personnel on site.Originality/valueThe originality lies in bringing together the advances in augmented reality, digital twins and data-driven decision-making to support the daily O&M management activities. In particular, the paper presents a novel binary segmentation-based change point detection for identifying temperature anomalous symptoms, a decision-making tree for matching the symptoms to the failed assets, and an AR system for visualising those assets with related information.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Xie X, Lu QC, Rodenas-Herraiz D, Parlikad A, Schooling J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

Year: 2020

Volume: 27

Issue: 8

Pages: 1835-1852

Print publication date: 21/09/2020

Online publication date: 07/07/2020

Acceptance date: 28/05/2020

ISSN (print): 0969-9988

ISSN (electronic): 1365-232X

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/ECAM-11-2019-0640


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