This web portal is dedicated to knowledge sharing on construction ICT adaptation and solutions enabling this adaptation. It is not our intention to present construction IT software or hardware. However, specific applications and products can be included when they are presented from the user's viewpoint and can thus explain the pains and gains in a structured way. Topics of interest are the following (though not exhaustive)
Quantification of benefits of using ICT in construction sector
ICT implication and benefit measurement models and metrics
ICT strategies and management issues in construction sector
Case studies of construction ICT implementations
In general, the topics above are demonstrating the content of construction ICT adaptation that has gained rather limited popularity amongst researchers and developers. As knowledge area the construction ICT adaptation could be far more elaborated. This is a major challenge to all experts working in the field of construction ICT.
A Virtual Building Environment (VBE) is referring to a group of software applications that, as a group, define a building, its parts, its behaviour and its performance. It facilitates the manipulation of data that are used in the planning, design, construction and operation of a building. It makes it possible to conduct experiments on the building or with its parts, without first erecting the building or its parts. The VBE is being used as a general title of this web site reflecting the situation where ICT is exhaustively used for the modelling of building.
Ideally, a VBE follows a building's entire life cycle, and the selection of software changes correspondingly: from that related to design, to that related to construction, to that related to commissioning, to that related to operation, and eventually to that related to demolition. It supports a broad definition of design in which, for example, the construction and maintenance processes can be designed along with the building itself to evaluate building constructability and maintainability in the early stages of a project.
VBE is an initiative for global effort to gain improved understanding and knowledge sharing on construction ICT adaptation. VBE global network involves a group of experts. Individuals in the group have experience, expert knowledge and skills in both software applications and the professions or disciplines the software is related to. They understand the relevance, the meaning and the quality of data used in a particular industry project, as well as real life implications of decisions made in the use of software. They can define problems and tasks in ways that are appropriate to specific applications, and can create 'work-arounds' within a particular application if the application cannot deal with the problem or data as defined.
The VBE initiative is an organized effort to plan and create initial VBEs that will eventually spread expert inter-disciplinary deployment of multiple industry 'mission critical' software around the world. It is an effort to fund, staff, operate and sustain the initial centers that will prove the validity of the VBE concept and will serve as prototypes for additional VBEs in the future.
The main goal of the VBE initiative is to fund, propagate and operate VBEs. Consequently, the initiative has several additional goals that will affect how the industry is likely to operate in the future. These range from effects on industry processes to enabling industry software interoperability, and from educating professionals to providing help on real life industry projects. Some goals, such as assisting real life industry projects, are short term; others, such as helping educate new generation of professionals, are long term.