Bingunath Ingirige, Ghassan Aouad
Awareness and usage of information standards in the uk construction industry: a survey by the SIENE network
Abstract: Developments in information standards and interoperability in the construction industry are becoming increasingly popular. Much of this development is centred on the Internet for sharing of information and generic data exchange. However many industry participants are unaware of the benefits of information standards and reluctant to make long-term investment on them unless there is clear evidence of business benefits.
The Network on Information Standardisation, Exchanges and Management in Construction (SIENE) was launched in March 2000 to streamline information standardisation and interoperability in the construction industry. It is an international network consisting of academics and industry practitioners in the UK and elsewhere whose work on the subject is of international reputation. The project is funded by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under The Innovative manufacturing Initiative (IMI). The main source of knowledge gathering is through workshops conducted in the UK. The website of SIENE also provides opportunity for the members and other participants to enhance the knowledge base of the network.
SIENE’s main objective is to explore current research being undertaken in the area of information standardisation and to benchmark UK performance with the rest of the world. It has also conducted workshops to investigate sources and types of barriers that prevent the adoption of information standards and to identify business benefits for construction firms. The findings of the project will be disseminated amongst industry and academia.
The paper deals with the results of a questionnaire survey conducted by SIENE in the UK on awareness and usage of information standards among contractors, consultants, suppliers and clients in the construction industry. Forty members of the Construct IT, Centre of excellence in UK were selected as the initial target audience for the questionnaire survey. It is expected to broaden the scope of the survey to a wider audience in its second stage.
The paper will discuss the information standards, which are widely being used in the UK construction industry and will highlight any organisational problems, which hinder the adoption of standards. It will also propose areas, which need to be improved for the firms in the industry to gain business benefits.
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by CSIR Building and Construction Technology. The assistance of the editors, Mr. Gustav Coetzee and Mr. Frances Boshoff, is gratefully appreciated.