Inter-enterprise collaboration to deliver a one-of-a-kind product is gaining momentum with the emergence of new information and communications technologies (ICT) to support information exchange and collaborative work amongst distinct geographically dispersed entities. Typically, the modus operandi of such collaborations is that of the virtual enterprise. While relatively new to some industries, this has been a common mode of operation for the construction industry for long. ICT support for the construction industry to support its ways and modes of operation has however been lacking. While organisation specific proprietary tools do exist, those supporting inter-enterprise collaboration are not up to a similar par. This paper presents the IMS GLOBEMEN (Global Engineering and Manufacturing in Enterprise Networks) and some of its core findings and developments related to reference architecture for virtual enterprises and primarily distributed engineering in construction. After an overall presentation of the GLOBEMEN project, and some basics of inter-enterprise collaboration, the paper presents the main elements of the Virtual Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (VERAM) through identification of its main components and their constituents. This is followed by an exploration of distributed engineering. In this section the focus is on building construction where some very high level use cases are presented. The section is concluded with a presentation of an ICT architecture at both generic and specific levels for distributed engineering at large and product model based distributed engineering in construction in particular respectively.
|Journal||Journal of information technology in construction|
|Issue number||Special Issue|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|