Guidelines for Distributed Engineering Information Management




This is a deliverable of the Work Package 3 (WP3) of the GLOBEMEN project that is aiming at developing methods, tools and architectures for inter-enterprise operations in one-of-kind industries.

The main purpose of this deliverable is to describe how the solutions developed by YIT, EPM and VTT for Distributed Engineering (DE) may be applied by partners of other virtual enterprises than the one that was implemented in Globemen. WP3 emphasises information management during the DE phase of a construction process. Thereby this deliverable is aimed at the decision makers of the entire construction field.

The partner contributions to this deliverable are as follows:

§       YIT Corporation is a Finnish construction company. As industrial partner in this project YIT provides guidelines about managing knowledge related to the DE process.

§       EPM Technology is a Norwegian software developing company. In this project EPM is focusing on development of software tools for the solution.

§       VTT - Technical Research Centre of Finland as an expert organization has carried out scientific background research for this project.

YIT, EPM and VTT developed a product model based project information management system for the construction industry. This new solution allows more cost efficient engineering in a distributed environment by sharing product data using the STEP/IFC standards. The solution enables collaborating partners to use concurrently product models and to merge related models.

The potential users of the solution are the construction process DE phase main actors: designers (architect, structural engineer, HVAC engineer), main contractor (project managers, project engineers, cost accountants, buyers, foremen and supervisors), sub-contractors and suppliers. The users work for different companies. They have various design tools, like commercial CAD-tools, which – with the new solution provided by WP3 - they may connect through Internet browsers to an object-oriented product model server, i.e., the Model Server over the Internet. The geometrical part of the information on the Model Server can also be viewed with a freeware IFC-browser.

The developed solution exploits both product model and Internet technologies and tools, to support rapid design, short set up time and integration of various applications. This solution will have several perceptible organisational impacts, a fact that stresses the need for training. Product model technology as a new technology has to be widely trained in the field.

This approach will also have some impacts on roles and responsibilities of the employees. Impacts on the business process concern the ownership of the data. The model based approach changes the traditional way of working and, therefore, also the content of design contracts.

Table of contents


1Introduction                                                                                                               4

2Definitions                                                                                                                6

2.1GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS                                                                              6

2.2ACRONYMS                                                                                                         7

3Guidelines by YIT                                                                                                     8

3.1VISION                                                                                                                  8

3.1.1Holistic view                                                                                                      8

3.1.2Business environment                                                                                          8

3.1.3Distributed Engineering view                                                                             10

3.2THE DEVELOPED SOLUTION                                                                            14

3.2.1Description of solution                                                                                        14

3.2.2Usage Scenario                                                                                                   17

3.3GUIDELINES FOR DISTRIBUTED ENGINEERING                                          20

3.3.1Establishment and Operation of Network, Distributed Engineering Focus          20

3.3.2Set Up and Operation of VEs, Distributed Engineering Focus                            21

4Conclusions                                                                                                               23