Concurrent Engineering in Construction - A Long Time Coming?
Corresponding Author: Baldwin, Andrew
Author(s): Baldwin, A.
Organisation(s): Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough (UK)
Concurrent Engineering in construction will require true collaborative working between client representatives, construction professionals, suppliers and subcontractor organisations. The information technology required to facilitate such collaboration largely exists already. The barriers to the introduction of these technologies and efficient effective collaboration are human and organisational.

This paper combines material obtained through literature search, an industry wide questionnaire survey, a Delphi Survey of industry experts, case study reports and structured interviews to investigate collaborative working and the role of information technology. The author argues that whilst most organisations have automated the key processes within their organisation few have restructured their businesses sufficiently to benefit from the emerging.

Results from the case studies show that, apart from certain 'exemplar' projects, the overall situation is not encouraging. Those of us who are technology minded need to reflect that the advances in the informing technologies will not on their own break down the barriers to collaborative working in construction. Organisational change must be initiated and developed. Industry feedback confirms that such changes will have to be business led. Change will need to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. In evaluating such change pilot studies within organisations seldom attract the commitment required and the results are frequently non transferable. Industry requires a library of best practice combined with education and training if such barriers are to be overcome. The overall conclusion is that such change throughout the industry may well take another generation to achieve.