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The Irish construction industry is facing a series of fundamental challenges that is affecting every player in the AEC lifecycle, from architects to engineers to quantity surveyors to owners to tenants. Despite technological advances in recent years, the Irish construction industry lags behind other industries in respect to ICT investments. Although there is a pressing need for innovation, existing procurement and tendering procedures in Ireland largely discourage new ideas and put further pressure on thin margins that characterise the competitiveness of the construction sector. The low level of inter-company ICT connectivity reflects the general fragmented and adversarial nature of the Irish construction industry, where the absence of dominant players has precluded the imposition of de facto inter-company ICT standards, as has been the case in the retail supermarket sector. This paper will present the results of a two-year research project which sought to demonstrate that, by the adoption of readily available ICT tools, particular business processes in construction could be dramatically improved. The paper goes on to describe the opportunities and challenges that have arisen as the project draws to a close. It will, in particular, focus on the introduction of ICT standards within the Irish construction industry. The ultimate goal is not only to have ICT standards in place, but also to provide the impetus to ensure that as many stakeholders as possible use them. How this might be achieved is also part of the project and its success will be judged by the extent of the adoption of the standard by the industry.
Hore, A.V. and West, R.P., (2008), CITAX: A Collaborative ICT standards model for the Irish construction industry, 25th CIBW78 Conference, Improving the Management of Construction Projects Through IT Adoption, Santiago, Chile, 15th-17th July, Edited by Rischmoller, L., CRC Press.