Structure of the document

Chapter 1 describes the eConstruct project. Started in January 2000, the eConstruct (Electronic business in the building and CONSTRUCTion industry: preparing for the new internet) project aims to make electronic communication a reality in the - still mainly paper based - building and construction industry. During my graduation, I was enlisted in this project and I will also continue on eConstruct as a PhD student.

Chapter 2 is a survey on the current state of communication in the building and construction industry. A comparison with other industries clearly outlines the specific problems present in the building and construction industry. This chapter zooms in mainly on the electronic communication, this being the subject of this project.

The purpose of Chapter 3 is to serve as a guideline for the rest of the document, showing the direction the research has to take.

XML is a major building stone for this research project and therefore deserves a chapter of it's own describing it. (Chapter 4)

The purpose of Chapter 5 is to provide a basis for the design and implementation described in Chapter 6 and Chapter 7. My design and implementation are influenced mainly by three initiatives, who will serve as the underlying basis: ebXML (electronic business XML), GEN (Global Engineering Networking) and the LexiCon (a set of programs made by STABU).

Chapter 6 describes the underlying design of the vocabulary: the models. Each model is depicted using an Unified Modelling Language (UML) diagram.

The goal of Chapter 7 is to describe the implementation of the vocabulary of the previous chapter. It has to be a proof-of-concept.

The last chapter first lists the most important conclusions from the entire document. This is followed by a comparison of the results and the original objectives. It closes with a personal appraisal of the research project.