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Possible Map Process in Civil Engineering
Compendium in Civil Engineering
Nathan Eng
21.10.11

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry presents a unique combination of challenges. Building materials and energy expenditures account for substantial proportions of UK consumption but the means to improve on these are inhibited by poorly integrated decision-making across the building lifecycle.

Compendium has been used in a pilot study of civil engineering information management to determine its compatibility with existing practices and to develop use scenarios for future work. Data was collected through adaptation of existing documents into map-based formats, examination of information repositories and interviews with engineers exposed to the mapping methods on a live project [1].

Results echo previous work comparing these industries, highlight current limitations of "paperless" visions and point to adapted mapping methods that better fit the civil engineering context. For example, a great deal of information is spread across weekly reporting materials (presentations and minor drawing updates). The map-based representation provides opportunities to instead capture an evolving, synthesized representation that saves reporting time and improves reusability. Participating engineers were also keen to drive tasks from larger overviews of needed information for key decisions.

Future work will seek to extend this study by engaging additional companies, informing clients about potential gains in transparency and fleshing out identified scenarios.

[1] Eng, N., Marfisi, E., & Aurisicchio, M. (2011). Adapting Aerospace Design Rationale Mapping to Civil Engineering: A Preliminary Study. Proc. of International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED11). Copenhagen, Denmark.


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