Skip to main content

Broadband Integrated Communication for Construction

Objective

BRICC aims to exploit emerging Integrated Broadband Communications (IBC) data, audio and image infrastructure. It is performing advanced application experiments with the aim of improving the long-term economic efficiency of the European construction industry in competing in the international marketplace.

The project is user-led and takes its direction from the fundamental requirements of the construction industry as they emerge during the course of the project. Specific industry goals include:

- Better co-ordination of the design and construction process.
- Improved communications of dispersed activities between project offices, design offices and multiple construction sites, resulting in rapid identification of risks and implementation of corrective action.
- Avoidance of unnecessary travel between management and design offices and construction sites.
The main objectives of the research was to exploit the emerging integrated broadband communications (IBC) data, audio and image infrastructure. It was proposed to perform advanced application experiments with the aim of improving the long term economic efficiency of the European construction industry in competing in the international marketplace.

The research was user led and took its direction from the fundamental requirements of the construction industry as they emerged during the course of the research. Specific industry goals included:
better coordination of the design and construction process;
improved communications of dispersed activities between project offices, design offices and multiple construction sites, resulting in rapid identification of risks and implementation of corrective action;
avoidance of unnecessary travel between management and design offices and construction sites.

Key issues in the research centre around real time access to all management, planning, coordination and design information by all relevant professionals and include:
integrated access to all relevant databases;
use of multimedia hypertext techniques to provide an integrated user surface;
expansion of data communications speed and storage capacity by several orders of magnitude to capture the vast amount of unstructured data on large projects;
implementation of adequate security, confidentiality and privacy safeguards.

The research partners have been able to successfully exchange one category of construction project information between their databases.

British Insulated Calender's Cables its subsidiary Balfour Beatty and British Telecom Laboratories have successfully establish links between different sites in the United Kingdom and have already demonstrated simultaneous voice, data, shared screen and video functions on 2 party conferences.
Technical Approach

Technologies are selected and integrated rather than developed from scratch.

In the prototypes and pilots, technologies such as mobile multimedia workstations, remote video monitoring of site progress and interactive access to remote databases are being evaluated in both simulated and real working conditions.

Key Issues

The focus of the project has been the shared real time access to all management, planning, co-ordination and design information by all relevant professionals. Current systems support the transfer of data to and from a central database. This needs to be extended in four ways:

- Integrated access to all relevant databases (project CAD data, suppliers CAD databases, building regulations, legal documents, related projects).
- Use of multimedia hypertext techniques to provide an integrated user surface to construction information, past experience and training material.
- Expansion of data communications speed and storage capacity by several orders of magnitude to capture the vast amount of unstructured data on large projects (CAD, images, video and audio records).
- The economic and organisational impacts analysis of the use of such technologies on the Construction sector will be a major focus of this project in 1995.

Expected Impact

The basic approach is to demonstrate the benefits of the IBC infrastructure over a range of scenarios that cover any stage, level and location within a construction project. Measurement of performance can then be made against present standards and extrapolated to cover all project activities. In this way opportunities for utilising IBC can be determined and ranked according to an economic comparison based on cost and benefit analysis.

Coordinator

BOUYGUES
Address
1 Avenue Eugene Freyssinet
78061 Saint Quentin-en-yvelines
France

Participants (8)

BICC plc
United Kingdom
Address
Quantum House Maylands Avenue
HP2 4SJ Hemel Hempstead
Bovis Construction Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Bovis House Northolt Road
HA2 0EE Harrow
British Telecom plc (BT)
United Kingdom
Address
British Telecom Laboratories Martlesham Heath
IP5 7RE Ipswich
Fratelli Dioguardi SpA
Italy
Address
Piazza Eroi Del Mare 9
70121 Bari
INSTITUT CERDA
Spain
Address
Pelai, 16 (6Th Flr)
08001 Barcelona
Mixer Consortium
Italy
Address
Via Clitunno 40
00198 Roma
Ove Arup and Partners
United Kingdom
Address
13 Fitzroy Street
W1P 6BQ London
TELESYSTEMES
France
Address
55 Avenue Des Champs Pierreux
92029 Nanterre