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Paper w78-1993-29:
Building industry and the agents of change

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Bharat D

Building industry and the agents of change

Abstract: The infornmtion technology and the changes it brings about are recent and evolving phenomena. In the absence of established historical perspectives, many previous studies have focused on the information technology issues that are of only immediate concern to the building industry and thus provide only limited perspectives. In this paper, we suggest that it is an appropriate time to look beyond the technological bottlenecks such as incompatibility of software or hardware, prohibitive resource investments, and others that are often cited as the reasons impeding applications of the information technology in the building industry. With the new developments taking place in the information technology, the gradual and paced changes in the building industry organizations will be rephced by changes with a bigger scope and a higher momentum. These changes will not result in simply a new breed of professionals who become another discrete part of the web comprising the building industry; they will affect the very web defining the building industry. Additionally, the technological developments that will bring about such changes are presently being carried out by forces external to the building irtdustty thus further obscuring their potential impacts. Five key information technology advances are submitted here as the agents of significant change in future: networks, groupware, robotics, flexible manufacturing, and microprocessor embedded building components. It is argued that the building industry needs to expand the debate about the role of the information technology by taking account of developments which presently lie outside its immediate and traditional concern. The paper initiates this discussion and describes a number of likely impacts of the new technology on the educational, professional and organizational spheres in the building industry.



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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.impact (0.050231) class.environment (0.047416) class.man-man (0.024687)
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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.


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