Information technology for construction management and building performance evaluation support - a North-American perspective
We provide a critical overview of the current status of computational support for construction the management and building performance evaluation in North-America. This overview is based on the research conducted in relation to the design and construction of the Intelligent Workplace (IW), Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. With regard to the commercial software products in the field of construction management the following limitations can be identified: Although project planning, cost estimating and construction simulation are supported, tasks like bidding as well as site and material management have not received the same level of attention. Few project management software packages are integrated in a total design support software system. Little analysis or evaluation options are provided to support managerial decision making. Various research groups address the construction planning and scheduling, construction contracting, site layout generation as well as the integration of these three topics. Currently problems such as efficient material management and calculation of environmental and energy responsive site management are insufficiently addressed within the ongoing research projects. In the domain of building performance simulation and decision support one can notice that, the development and application of computational tools is industry driven. As a result the concerns addressed by the tools are mainly issues pertaining to the selection and sizing of systems and components rather than an integrated performance evaluation. Consequently, these programs are rarely used by building designers, especially in the early design stages, where the predictive capabilities of simulation tools could be of significant value. Although many research institutions address the necessity for the integration of performance simulation within the overall design support environments most of the practically available performance simulation tools still remain mono-dimensional and isolated.