THESIS: Common Data Environments (CDEs) as tools for integrating information into large industrial and civil construction projects
The construction industry is a fragmented and complex sector that requires the participation of many stakeholders, making the projects’ completion challenging. Thus, the success of construction projects relies in large part on effective collaboration, including communication and management of information.
Nowadays, information technology is utilized to facilitate communications, and common data environments (CDE), defined as the central spaces to collect, distribute and control all the information throughout the project lifecycle, are considered by many as the ultimate solution to project information management. As the concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM) - based CDE is relatively new, only a few studies have focused on developing a good understanding of what a CDE is and how it should be structured.
However, there is virtually no research based on the perspective of construction practitioners. The research presented in this article explores the perception of practitioners involved in large industrial construction projects in an effort to provide a good understanding of their practices and expectations regarding the use of CDE. The results show that while half of the people in this field may know what CDE is, all of them already use information management systems in their projects. The types of structures, hardware and software are discussed, and it is clear that the success of the integration depends not only on the technology but also on the discipline and commitment of all the participants throughout the lifecycle of any built artifact.