The Stanford Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) develops and tests engineering and management methods to address the persistent challenges of labor shortage and low productivity across all aspects of the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry.
The research at CIFE attempts to drive improvements for all AEC stakeholders, while moving the industry toward a common objective: Invent, develop, and test engineering and management methods that allow the industry to move beyond the notion of minimizing the negative impacts of the built environment, but instead move the industry towards a more resilient, innovative, and sustainable built environment with measurable improvements. The CIFE Industry Advisory Board aims to promote research that will:
- Address the climate crisis and improve the natural environment
- Improve efficiency of energy and resource use
- Build technical, social, and community resilience
- Improve the quality of life for society, communities, and people
- Foster business and the local, regional, or global economy
- Enhance the experience with the built environment for all involved stakeholders – from architects to engineers, builders, operators, and users
CIFE researchers develop solutions to support industry-leading design, engineering, construction, operation, and use of the built environment. Research topics span from the use of blockchain enabled payment tools to improve construction payment to the evaluation and use of robotics in construction. CIFE researchers are developing tools to automate the creation of as-built schedule updates, optimizing stacking logistics in prefabricated construction, creating sustainability-focused value through industrialized construction methods, developing the future of design workflow through virtual reality and augmented reality design review, and developing algorithms to facilitate the creation of digital twin BIM models. CIFE researchers are also applying data analytics and machine learning for design optimization of structures and energy systems at the building and district scale. Finally, CIFE researchers study how people, organizations, and alliances interact throughout the built environment, such as research on collaboration in high-performance teams and deployment of coordination theory to drive improvements across facility management.