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Global project collaboration in the construction industry: standardisation and integration

Faraj, Ihsan and Alshawi, Mustafa (2004) Global project collaboration in the construction industry: standardisation and integration. ISSN 0952-8091

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Collaborative working in construction is becoming widely spread as many activities are performed globally with actors based in various geographical locations. A number of technologies have evolved over the last few years that make it possible to explore new architectures for computer integrated environments. This paper discusses the underlying standard data models (IFC) and their implementation in an integrated database. The database has evolved to be a central repository to a number of distributed construction applications. CORBA is used to enable data to be transparently shared through an integrated computer environment. This environment is based on a three-tier architecture, where user interfaces, business logic and database are kept separate. It supports design (CAD), visualisation (VR and Drawing Web Format – DWF, data sheet), estimating, planning, specifications and supplier information. The environment also enables project information to be exchanged through a STEP Part-21 file and shared through the IFC database. A set of web pages allows for remote interaction, as well as access to the distribution of applications. This provides great flexibility and portability, thereby enabling construction professionals to contribute as well as to perform and manage their own activities.

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