Improving building design through integrated planning and control

The construction industry is acutely aware of the need to improve the integration, planning and control of its design and production processes. A number of projects undertaken within Loughborough, Salford and Cambridge Universities, in collaboration with a number of construction industry organisations, are addressing this issue by investigating, and developing tools to assist, the design and construction process. Emerging from these projects is the common need for IT systems and support that will facilitate the capture, storage and retrieval of project knowledge. It is only by relating these compatible IT applications to a common and recognisable project process framework that construction industry organisations will be able to make optimum use of the available technological developments. This paper describes the development of techniques and strategies to support the integrated planning and control of design through the collaboration of the main designers, suppliers and contractor working on complex building projects, and discusses the relevance of clustering these in relation to the phases and activities of a generic model of design and construction.