A Study of Handling Design Information in Construction Companies

TitleA Study of Handling Design Information in Construction Companies
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsBerard, O., and M. Fischer
Year of Publication2011
Date Published11/2011

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is gaining a strong foothold in the construction industry but design intent is often communicated through documents, even when a design and fabrication model is available. BIM can lead to consistent and more coordinated design entailing fewer errors and improve the communication of design information to fabrication and construction. However, most construction professionals are not yet using BIM for their work. Through qualitative research interviews, practices related to finding, using, and sharing building information were studied on eight U.S. construction projects in contrast to practices in Denmark, found through a detailed case study, to understand the practices in use and determine the discrepancies between traditional, current, and advanced practices. This research shows that design information is not structured for the planning and construction tasks of builders, which makes retrieving information error prone and labor intensive. In the interviews, nine types of design information issues related to planning and construction were identified. Other than “well coordinated,” the interviewees had no specific quality criteria for design information and the case studies showed little evidence of a holistic perspective regarding the value of design information. Detailed knowledge of handling design information can inform development of information systems and methodologies and improve design information.
Acknowledgements...: The authors would like to express their gratitude to all of the people and companies involved in this study. We would especially like to thank the CIFE members and MT Højgaard for their support; the Ejnar and Meta Thorsens Foundation for funding this research; and Rolf Büchmann-Slorup, Flemming Vestergaard and Jan Karlshøj for their valuable feedback.

Keywords3D, Design, Design Information, Information Management, Product Model, Quality, VDC, Virtual Design and Construction
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