Construction collaboration technology


Construction collaboration technology

Construction collaboration technology refers to software applications used to enable effective sharing of project-related information between geographically dispersed members of a construction project team, often through use of a web-based Software as a service platform.

Contents

History

The terms "construction collaboration" and "construction collaboration software" were coined in Australia by Aconex in 2001.[1][citation needed] It was later adopted in 2003 in the UK when seven UK-based vendors joined together to form the Network for Construction Collaboration Technology Providers (NCCTP), to promote the benefits and use of collaborative technologies in the architecture, engineering, construction (AEC) and related industries.[2]

The phrase was taken on in the UK as it was preferred to the then commonly used term 'project extranet' which was felt might exclude use of the platforms for multi-project programmes of work, or for post-construction collaboration - e.g.: for facilities management.[3] It also supported progressive moves within the UK construction industry to promote more collaborative or integrated approaches following the 1994 Latham and 1998 Egan Reports. For example, Sir John Egan's follow-up report, Accelerating Change in 2002, recommended:

'Integrated teams, created at the optimal time in the process and using an integrated IT approach, that fully release the contribution each can make and equitably share risk and reward in a non-adversarial way.' (p.10, emphasis added)[4]

Other descriptions such as 'construction project management' or 'construction document management' were seen as confusing or misleading, being associated more with scheduling tools (e.g.: Microsoft Project) or with generic electronic document management systems (e.g.: Documentum) that could not easily handle AEC-oriented requirements for dispersed teams.

Characteristics

Essentially, construction collaboration technologies are deployed to support the requirements of a multi-disciplinary construction project team. This is typically drawn from multiple companies, all based in different locations with their own IT systems, and is brought together – usually temporarily – to plan, design, construct and, in some cases, to operate and maintain the resulting built asset.[5]

Construction collaboration technologies replace localised sets of data held by individual team members or companies. A centralised repository or data store is created that can be accessed by all authorised team members, usually using a lowest common denominator technology: a computer equipped with an internet browser and a telecommunications link to the internet. The platforms' functionality also reflects the industry's extensive use of graphical information - most notably design drawings - and the need to be able to access, view, mark-up and comment on designs.

The core characteristics of construction collaboration technologies can be summarised[6] as:

  • Organisation features (i.e.: security settings, user administration, information administration)
  • Communication features (i.e.: file publication, management, feedback)
  • Management features (i.e.: management of specific workflows, teams, work packages, multiple projects, standards)
  • Sharing, viewing and working with CAD-based drawings (including use of viewing tools)

Reflecting the need to encourage take-up and active use of their platforms, the leading UK construction collaboration technology vendors all adopted a similar charging structure. Rather than charging companies per-user or per-seat licenses, the applications were typically licensed per-project, with customers paying a single subscription (typically monthly or quarterly) for the duration of the planning, design and construction process, and allowing use by all companies in the project's supply chain.

Vendors

The founder members of the NCCTP were (in alphabetical order): 4Projects, Asite, BIW Technologies, BuildOnline (today Sword CTSpace), Cadweb, Causeway Technologies and Sarcophagus. Business Collaborator (today Unit4 Collaboration Software) and Aconex joined shortly afterwards. The NCCTP was initially managed by CIRIA before becoming a membership forum within Constructing Excellence in August 2007.

Other vendors/products in this sector include (in alphabetical order): Autodesk's Buzzsaw and Constructware platforms, Bentley Systems' ProjectWise, Bricsnet, Conject, CoreCon, EADOC, ePin, Kalexo, Incite, iSite, Meridian Systems' Prolog, Proliance and ProTalk platforms, and Woobius. There are also construction-oriented implementations of Microsoft's SharePoint platform, e.g.: Cadac's Organice, ProgramNetInc's ProgramNet Portal and CMBoost.

References

  1. ^ "Aconex Products and services brochure, 9 May 2001"
  2. ^ "Eight construction software providers are joining forces to form a representative body", Construction News 16 January 2003
  3. ^ Wilkinson, P. (2005) Construction Collaboration Technologies: The Extranet Evolution Taylor & Francis, London, pp.6-7.
  4. ^ Egan, J. (2002) Accelerating Change: Consultation Paper by Strategic Forum for Construction, London: HMSO.
  5. ^ http://ncctp.constructingexcellence.org.uk/about_ct.jsp Collaboration Technologies Explained (NCCTP)
  6. ^ Wilkinson, P. (2005), pp.65-94.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Technology Integration — is a term used by educators to describe effective uses of technology by teachers and students in K 12 and university classrooms. Teachers use technology to support instruction in language arts, social studies, science, math, or other content… …   Wikipedia

  • Collaboration — For other uses, see Collaboration (disambiguation). See also: Co operation; Coordination. Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal.[1] It is a recursive[2] process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize… …   Wikipedia

  • Technology during World War II — World War II seriesv · d · e …   Wikipedia

  • Science and technology studies — (STS) is the study of how social, political, and cultural values affect scientific research and technological innovation, and how these in turn affect society, politics, and culture. More than two dozen universities worldwide offer baccalaureate… …   Wikipedia

  • Swinburne University of Technology — Swinburne University Logo Motto Factum per Litteras Achievement through learning [1] Established 1908 …   Wikipedia

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology — Motto Mens et Manus Motto in English Mind and Hand[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology — Established 1 September 2005 …   Wikipedia

  • New Jersey Institute of Technology — Established 1881 Type Public, research university Endowment $67.5 million …   Wikipedia

  • Mirpur University of Science and Technology — Mirpur University of Science and Technology, Mirpur Azad Jammu Kashmir 150px Motto Enter to learn, leave to serve! Type Public Chancellor Sardar Yaqoob Khan (President of Azad Jammu Kashmir (Pakistan) …   Wikipedia

  • National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan — This article is about a university in Pakistan. For the similarly named university in Zimbabwe, see National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe. National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan Motto A Progressive Vision for… …   Wikipedia