As mentioned in the problem description (chapter 2), the need for solving the social and juridical sides of the problem stands undiminished. To ensure a dynamic BC, however, ICT implementation is a sub-problem of like magnitude.
The analysis of current information and knowledge sharing in the BC industry (chapter 3) concluded that the next generation instruments should promote transparent ways of storing information; provide for re-use of information and knowledge; support co-operation between applications; and have improved market acceptance.
The analysis of new applicable NG Internet technologies (chapter 4) resulted in the following conclusions, partly answering above problems:
Generic accessibility of information is provided by the Internet. First, Internet as such is available practically everywhere. Some building sites have started to use wireless Internet on-site (WiFi) and there are multiple projects using mobile Internet access. With the Internet, you can access all needed data from everywhere. Second, NG Internet makes the exchange of computer-readable data, instead of only human-readable data, possible. Third, web services allow applications to participate fully in the Internet-based flow of information and knowledge.
If BC intends to improve information and knowledge sharing, the Internet as such seems mandatory.
Use of Ontologies--capturing Semantics separate from the rest of the system--is assumed, as previous efforts at directly integrating the wide variety of BC objects in a communication standard have not met with success. For these Ontologies to be successful--which means actually being used by data--they profit greatly from generic Ontology support in data formats. The NG Internet provides this Ontology support, but its suitability needs to be demonstrated.
For a new, dynamic BC process, improved information linking seems needed. Activities like weighing alternatives, receiving feedback, discovering alternatives, connecting chosen solutions with the original requirements: in a much more dynamic BC, these activities have to be done much more often. On an information level, it are all basically links between both knowledge and information. Without the links, the activities are not possible. The NG Internet has a built-in generic linking mechanism that presents itself as the suitable candidate. Here, also, research is needed as to the suitability for BC.
Analysis of new applicable NG Internet technologies (chapter 4) adds the conclusion that BC Semantics has not received the attention required. One reason has been the difference between objects in BC in different countries. The European eConstruct project showed that objects like `inner doors' are different in each country. It seems therefore inevitable that detailed modelling efforts in an international setting failed.
If the generic linking mechanism works well, this opens opportunities to create Ontologies in a more distributed--and perhaps more dynamic--manner. Further research is needed, possibly combined with research for the generic Ontology support.Reinout van Rees 2006-12-13