Developments in IT over the next 10 years will provide opportunities to increase the provision of technical information to the end user. CD-ROM, multimedia, on-line broadband networks will increasingly be used. Integration with other electronic information processes will also increase. There are a number of limiting factors to this progress: absence of any standard for the electronic presentation of technical literature, increasing cost of information, diverse approaches by the commercial secondary publishers to electronic delivery.
IT is just a tool, but the most powerful one ever to be offered to us. This case study deals with the areas at which IT can be targeted within the Building Design Partnership. Firstly, should anything be done and if so, what criteria should be used to choose the priorities? A SWOT analysis is one way to identify goals. Strengths/weaknesses, opportunities/threats are the positive/negative pairs. We have to build our strength and perceive and take opportunities while at the same time countering weaknesses and threats. It is a threat that the industry sets a moving target of IT capability without wanting to meet its cost. It is an opportunity that only a few practices will be at the leading edge and that they will secure the key projects. IT could help us to overcome technical weaknesses and liability and reduce staff and premises costs. It could also increase our exposure to fixed capital costs in a cyclical business. IT could increase the success of integrated practice or it could make it easier for separate firms. We believe the likelihood is that IT will do as it has for financial services and favour the large, multi-national, well prepared and technologically advanced firms. New services will emerge and become essential and will separate the `sheep from the goats'.
The liberalisation of telecoms in the UK has had great benefits but BT is prevented from connecting optical fibre to each house. Digital cellular radio can deliver 1000 bits/s. Information Communications Systems include data, cabling and equipment to process voice, text, data and graphics. By the year 2005 optical fibre will be affordable in the workplace removing the current limitations on bandwidth. The BRICC project recommended more cooperative working. Business, ICS and manufacturing are likely to converge in the future.
This paper presents an auto-referencing framework and method applicable to notational labels in working drawings. The framework cross-references drawing information and updates label contents distributed in drawings. The method is applied to drawing labels, which are mainly the types or numbers of finishes, openings, or equipment, to represent the attributes or specifications of certain building components. Auto-referencing extends the functionality of traditional schedules in referencing inter-relationships between labels and drawing contents. The referencing method can also prevent mistakes due to draftspersons' mis-coordination, improve drawing management efficiency, and reduce reviewing time. One case is presented with created notational symbols, which can be easily used by most architectural firms. Demonstrations are illustrated accordingly.
Like other industries, the building trade has had to face up to economic crisis. It is crucial for all the interacting parties to design and achieve new practices and methods, allowing them to improve performances as well as the quality of the object to be built, while reducing the costs of building projects. To achieve this, a multiple evolution of the building trade is necessary: a technical evolution which defines a process for improving performances, an organisational evolution which better structures the building project procedure and improves communication between the actors, and finally a human evolution which increases the practical and theoretical background of the parties involved. The research of Laboratoire d'Automatique et de Mécanique Industrielle et Humaine, Université de Valenciennes, particularly concerns the last two points, and aims to define a complete methodology to apply a concurrent engineering approach to the building trade. This methodology includes three stages: the definition of a building project procedure which integrates a concurrent approach, the establishment of a product model; and the design of an integrated computer system for the building trade.
Telechiric, semi-autonomous and autonomous heavy plant is finding an increasing role in applications such as construction, sub-sea work and decommissioning. There is a need for improved operator interfaces for such plant, and hence for rapid-prototyping tools which link the development of the operator interface with control and operational strategies and with machine geometries. The paper sets out a strategy by which different operator interfaces can be readily evaluated while at the same time generating the requisite information structure for the control of real items of plant. The proposed system is based on the use of interconnected PCs, one to simulate the operator interface and another to provide a kinematic representation of the machine using an appropriate "desk-top reality" environment. This system offers a safe, practical, rapid and cost-effective means of assessing proposed operator interfaces, as well as facilitating the development of machine kinematic structures and the associated operational and control strategies.