An evaluation of current collaborative prototyping practices within the AEC industry

'Collaborative working' and 'prototyping' have both been identified by many within the industry as two methods of working that can help organisations become more profitable and productive. However, when used collectively the potential exists to bring improvements to the Architectural, Engineering and Construction sectors through the eradication of waste and re-work. The concept of 'Collaborative Prototyping' provides a process that challenges existing cultural attitudes and working processes and advocates a change in the way conventional projects are managed, in order to achieve a more competitive industry. This paper presents the results of a study on the evaluation of current Collaborative Prototyping practices within the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industry. It reviews existing collaborative methods of working along with current developments. An evaluation of the role of 3D modelling and prototyping practices has also been conducted, and the current levels of the industry’s use are established. This paper concludes that the industry makes little use of Collaborative Prototyping, and therefore at present does not maximise the potential that prototyping and collaborative working offer in improving working practices.