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Drewer S, Hazlehurst G

Myth and reality in the use of IT and computer based technologies in construction

Abstract: IT and computer based technologies are a catalyst for focusing attention of managers on technical and commercial efficiency. It is sometimes argued that a detailed evaluation of existing practices, in itself, generates a better understanding of the factors constraining efficiency. But it is also argued that it is the computer based technologies themselves which deliver improvements in efficiency. Because the construction process is fragmented, the overall efficiency of the process might ' a priori ' be enhanced by the use of IT and computer based technologies. However, this assumes that a coherent strategy for their use is in place, both within individual companies and practices, and within the wider construction process. Our current research has highlighted a problem, within a majority of construction engineering and design organisations, which constrains the development of 'IT' beyond that of discrete applications. The lack of a coherent strategy for the integration of these technologies within a company is a major constraint on their effective use within the organisation. The integration of the use of the technologies between separate organisations within the construction process, posits problems of an even greater level of complexity. This paper, has two primary objectives: to articulate the major constraints to the effective use of ' IT ' in order to develop a set of relevant criteria for evaluating future investments; and to examine the rationale for, and mechanisms through which, integrated systems, both within organisations and the construction process, may be introduced.

Keywords: construction; information technology; management; technology transfer; corporate strategies

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


Hazlehurst G, Pitt T, Buxton R

Implementation of single building modelling technologies into themanagement phase of the property cycle

Abstract: This paper brings together work carried out by Guy Hazlehurst, Stephen Drewer and RodenBuxton at the University of the West of England on the concept of the Single Building Model andresearch by Terry Pitt and George Griffith on the management of complex healthcare facilities,'Healthcare FM'. The central aim of the research has been to utilise advanced 3D, object modelsof complex buildings not only as repositories for 3D, 2D graphics, data and intelligence, but to actas 'information brokers'. The concept of the single building model has effectively evolved toprovide a spatial database that has the inherent potential to act as the spine of a 'heterogeneous'system. This spine links the sub-systems that enable complex processes throughout the life of thebuilding to be modelled.This paper will seek to address the issues of systems integration, through the creation andapplication of Single Building Modelling technologies, during the post occupancy stage of thebuilding process. Modelling complex buildings and estates at a time long after the facilities wereoriginally conceived, designed and built posits a set of unique issues that do not arguably arisewhen such models evolve through the incremental processes of inception, design and construction.It will be argued that the principal issues are those of data compatibility and the level of detailrequired within the 'ex-post' single building model to deliver optimum benefit to the owners andmanagers of complex buildings. The research issues identified by the production andimplementation of such a model within a Hospital's existing building management will bediscussed. Although the example cited in this paper is a healthcare building the points raisedwithin it arguably apply to any significant property or estate.

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Series: w78:1997 (browse)
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