Improving interoperability of AEC collaborative software through the creation of data exchange standards

2018-08-16T08:58:00Z (GMT) by Scott Moses
Today collaborative systems are increasingly being used to manage project information on large and medium sized construction projects. The speed of expansion in use of these systems combined with the lack of consolidation has led to a highly fragmented marketplace for collaborative products. Organisations participating in the construction lifecycle are currently free to select a collaborative system from any of the available providers, but once selected were unable to effectively change service provider until the conclusion of the project. This perceived lock-in along with concerns over the stability of some technology providers has created unease amongst the user community and is hindering the adoption of collaborative tools. Since 2003 the bulk of major UK construction project collaborative software providers have been working together to develop standards that will allow for project data to be transferred between vendor applications. Under the umbrella of the Network of Construction Collaboration Technology Providers (NCCTP), a number of solutions have been designed allowing for project data to be transferred between heterogeneous collaborative systems. Through extensive industry participation, this thesis shows how the theoretical work done in creating representations of collaborative systems can be applied to real world system to allow for data to be transfer in bulk, incrementally or in real time. The findings of work are presented in four peer reviewed papers, three technical reports and a number of supporting documents which comprise the developed data exchange standards. Work in this field is continuing to evolve with the suppliers of collaborative systems seeking to implement additional integration.