The Implementation of Internet Based Project Information Centre
Corresponding Author: Lakka, Antti
Author(s): Lakka, A.
Organisation(s): VTT Building Technology (Finland)
The  project  information  centre has been developed and applied in Finland already  for  several years. However, Internet technology can regarded as a technological  breakthrough  that  lowers  the barrier of adopting advanced data  transmission  in  construction  projects.  VTT  is  organizing  "Open construction  information  network"  (Rative) projects where Internet-based data  transfer  is  developed and applied in construction projects. On this moment  three  Rative projects have been carried out, in which 29 companies and  80  persons  have  been  participated.  This  paper  compiles the main findings and some new key rules of the game.

The   project  information  centre  is  developing  into  the  construction project's  work  group  solution  whose  key elements are dissemination of information  based  on the project's Web pages and a databank stored in the system's  folders.  Communication  between the parties is also supported by e-mail.  The  aim  of  the  project's  internal  Web  pages  is  to provide distribution of common data and a good overview of the construction project and  its  goals.  The  project's  folders  are  meant as a distribution and archiving channel for material that needs to be stored or conveyed to other parties in its original file format.

A project information centre established early and replenished continuously forms   a   solid   basis   for  utilization  of  information  also  during construction.  The project's internal Web pages are meant for disseminating information by the parties. In the project information centre documents may be  placed  in  folders or a database. The design phase documents typically consist  of  all  design documents and minutes of meetings meant for use by the  entire  design  team.  At  the construction phase, the records of site conferences and reviews, for instance, may also be stored there.

Depending  on  the  construction  company,  the information centre may also house  all  production  plans that the company uses at various branches and sites  or that other parties may utilize in their operations. Moreover, the information centre also holds documents that will have archival value after the  completion  of  the project such as the building's maintenance manual,
detailed designs and other handover documents.

The  software  of the various parties of the construction sector vary which hampers  joint  use  of  information. The standardized method of presenting information  and  the  procedures  applied in projects are also still under development. In the absence of general standards for building projects, the project's  manager  has  at  his disposal the following tools and means for recording the procedures and directing the information flows of a project:

-    design schedule
-    IT organization
-    CAD integration standard
-    project's information centre standard
-    agreed procedure for outputting and distributing drawings
-    agreed procedure for alterations
-    list of drawings required on site.

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