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Content archived on 2024-04-16

Computer-Integrated Building


This exploratory action aims to identify the potential for integration in the organisational and management of building operations from the design and planning stage, through to occupation and demolition. The acceptability of computer-aided building to professionals and end-users will be assessed.
Since information technology (IT) is well established now as the enabler of integration in the building industry, an assessment of what IT has to offer to reach this goal was carried out. The scope of this assessment was restricted to the type of research and development in IT that shows potential to be absorbed by the building industry. First, the following areas were considered:
the present situation regarding the use of IT in the building industry;
opportunities for further use of IT;
the sole of IT in integrating the building industry;
different levels of IT support for integration in the building industry.
Then a review of current research in IT relevant to computer integrated building (CIB) was carried out. Specifically the following subjects were dealt with:
computer integrated manufacture open system architecture (CIM-OSA);
electronic data interchange (EDI);
advanced information processing;
product model standardization;
computer aided manufacturing;
computer aided design;
CIB project review.

The building sector has many specific characteristics which made it quite different from any other industrial sector and which must be understood when considering information technology (IT) as a tool for integration and productivity enhancement. Thus an assessment of the current organizational structure of the building sector was carried out, under the following loadings:
specificities of the building sector;
bearings of the specificities of the building sector on IT;
economic importance of the building sector in Europe;
main actors of the building process (client, design team, builders, installers, user, property manager, industrial producers, stockists, suppliers, distributors, machinery and plant hire firms, authorities, financing institutes);
responsibilities of these actors in the building process;
national specificities; organisation of actions in the building process;
classical fragmented organisation;
integrated organisation.
Finally, from this assessment the conclusion is drawn that an integrated building process is the solution to most of the problems that occur in a traditional building sector and that the early stages of the building process are the ones which will benefit most from integration. IT must act as a catalyst of such an integration and provide the tools required to bring it about.

The construction process involves a large number of act as (organizations, companies and individuals) each of which has a part to play in influencing, executing or controlling some element of the process. Thus a selection of viewpoints into the building process was explored in order to investigate the future requirements for comprehensive computer integrated building to become a normal method of working. First, the view points of the user and the owner were considered. Then the building life cycle was considered in terms of stages of the cycle, the information generated and the transfer of knowledge between the differnt stages. Particular attention was paid to the methods by which information technology (IT) could be used to integrate the contributions of different actors in order to improve the whole building life cycle (eg the possibility of considering maintenance costs and problems during design could potentially result in substantial maintenance cost savings).
The action will consider the results and concepts of existing ESPRIT projects to establish an integration framework for the building sector.

Specific tasks or product life-cycles will be identified which could benefit from the use of information technology, such as planning, design, construction and maintenance. The potential for integration will be specifically examined. An open workshop will provide vital input to the action.


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4000 LIEGE

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Participants (9)