Digital library of construction informatics
and information technology in civil engineering and construction


Paper fd03:
Information Technology in construction: domain definition and research issues

Facilitated by the SciX project

Bjork, Bo-Christer

Information Technology in construction: domain definition and research issues

Abstract: This article discusses the scope of research on the application of information technology in construction (ITC). A model of the information and material activities which together constitute the construction process is presented, using the IDEF0 activity modelling methodology. Information technology is defined to include all kinds of technology used for the storage, transfer and manipulation of information, thus also including devices such as copying machines, faxes and mobile phones. Using the model the domain of ITC research is defined as the use of information technology to facilitate and re-engineer the information process component of construction. Developments during the last decades in IT use in construction is discussed against a background of a simplified model of generic information processing tasks. The scope of ITC is compared with the scopes of research in related areas such as design methodology, construction management and facilities management. Health care is proposed as an interesting alternative (to the often used car manufacturing industry), as an IT application domain to compare with. Some of the key areas of ITC research in recent years; expert systems, company IT strategies, and product modelling are shortly discussed. The article finishes with a short discussion of the problems of applying standard scientific methodology in ITC research, in particular in product model research.

Keywords: Information technology, construction, research, integration, methodology


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