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Paper w78-2004-Paper-1:
The Significance and Priorities of IT in Sustainable Construction Development

Facilitated by the SciX project

M Betts & J Yang

The Significance and Priorities of IT in Sustainable Construction Development

Abstract: On a worldwide basis, sustainable construction is increasingly recognised as the primary challenge faced by the development industry. It requires a multi-faceted approach and a magnitude of professional intertwining, in contrast to the current pockets of fragmented knowledge development in areas such as indoor air quality and grey-water management. There is a need to consider the big picture concerning more complex processes, decision making, integration, collaboration, and coordination between hierarchies both internal and external to the industry. The handling of these issues can rely on information technology as a proven tool for managing projects and industry development for construction. Existing IT applications for sustainable development have been limited, with isolated studies on energy modelling, intelligent control of systems, and assessment tools for environmental ratings. There needs to be an emphasis on developing a common IT vision for sustainable development and action plans for strategic implementation. There should be expansion of IT application areas prioritising on benchmarking, simulation, process modelling, decision support, communication and education of sustainable construction principles and practices. The level of success in this endeavour will depend on how we demonstrate IT's significance to sustainable development and how we prioritise sustainability constraints appropriate for IT to enable alleviation. This can be aided by the promotion of exemplar projects and international alliancing, as outlined in this paper through some QUT initiatives.

Keywords: IT, sustainable construction, management, industry development

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