Today collaborative systems are increasingly being used to manage project information
on large and medium sized construction projects. The speed of expansion in use of these
systems combined with the lack of consolidation has led to a highly fragmented
marketplace for collaborative products. Organisations participating in the construction
lifecycle are currently free to select a collaborative system from any of the available
providers, but once selected were unable to effectively change service provider until the
conclusion of the project. This perceived lock-in along with concerns over the stability
of some technology providers has created unease amongst the user community and is
hindering the adoption of collaborative tools.
Since 2003 the bulk of major UK construction project collaborative software providers
have been working together to develop standards that will allow for project data to be
transferred between vendor applications. Under the umbrella of the Network of
Construction Collaboration Technology Providers (NCCTP), a number of solutions
have been designed allowing for project data to be transferred between heterogeneous
Through extensive industry participation, this thesis shows how the theoretical work
done in creating representations of collaborative systems can be applied to real world
system to allow for data to be transfer in bulk, incrementally or in real time. The
findings of work are presented in four peer reviewed papers, three technical reports and a
number of supporting documents which comprise the developed data exchange standards. Work in this field is continuing to evolve with the suppliers of collaborative
systems seeking to implement additional integration.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Engineering at Loughborough University.