Roadmap for ICT-based Opportunities in the Development of the Built Environment

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    The built environment is a significant part of our national wealth. The built environment is the physical environment created by people. It consists of the buildings and all networks serving the flow of traffic, energy, water, waste and digital information, and the assemblies, equipment and (built) natural elements connected to them. This publication presents a review of the development trends of the built environment that utilise information and communication technology. The focus is on buildings and construction. The review is presented in the form of four change roadmaps. The "Digital solutions" section presents the technologies related to the subject field and applied in it from the perspective of the built environment. The "Operation methods and processes" section presents the changes required and enabled by the new technologies in the operation methods and processes. The "Services" section presents the services enabled by digital solutions and changing operation methods and processes. The "Meta Roadmap" encapsulates the essential ideas of the other roadmaps. The vision of development prospects in the built environment utilising information and communication technology is as follows: The technological foundation of the built environment utilising information and communication technology is based on well-timed sharing and utilising of information. Business is done through networks. This requires compatible processes and operation methods which can utilize commonly available interoperable digital information, such as, building information models and real-time information. These will fulfil the evolving needs of the user or customer and enable good usability and real-time services. Current state-of-the-art solutions for information and communication technology in the built environment are mainly separate services. Progressive demand is limited and the suppliers and exploiters of ICT for the built environment are differentiated into narrow categories. The service providers offer niche services for specific purposes. Currently there are four state-of-the-art service entities: 1) planning, construction, operation and maintenance services; 2) remote services; 3) security services and 4) new health services. At the moment, the processes used by operators do not yet correspond to the requirements of information modelling applied in the ICT for the built environment. Therefore, model information cannot be fully utilised in the planning and realisation of operations. Another area of change for operation methods is the development of commercialisation in both technological solutions and in the services packaging them. In the short term, i.e. 1-5 years, the development paths in the information and communication technology of the built environment will lead towards the utilisation of an integrated information model which opens up new ways of connecting products and services. However, the application of information models requires that the integrated information models are understood and explained from the points of view of different operators. Products and services utilise user-oriented content production. The services of the built environment are produced with networked operation methods. In the short term, the essential factors will especially include the following four service entities: 1) information model services; 2) data collection, maintenance and management services; 3) information-based additional value services; and 4) the integration of services. The application of information and communication technology in the built environment emphasises the value of and services targeted at the whole life span of the product. In the long term, i.e. 5-15 years, the formation of globally integrated operation models will start in planning and production, and large networks will produce services for the built environment. The end-user will be served in the whole design, planning and construction process by offering different mechanisms for visualisation, modularisation and giving feedback. In the long term, the following service entities will especially increase: real-time building information systems, services based on integrated information models supporting decision-making and operation, experience and health services and automated property assessment services. In the long term, a central factor supporting the change in operation methods will be the applications and tools designed for process management. In this respect, the key solution is found in the applications that utilise visualisation and information models and can officially be used as references for building inspections. New kinds of service providers may also be established for the services that exploit information models and integration. The roadmap process helped to recognize five large development paths that will exploit information and communication technology in the future of the built environment. 1) The amount and exploitability of digital information in the built environment will increase. Tools must be developed for the management, analysis and effective use of information to support decision-making. 2) The development of information models, computation methods and computing performance enables more versatile virtual testing of products. 3) The digital and physical worlds are interconnected during the whole life span of a product. 4) Service-based software integration, situation-specific systems, social media and location technologies enable services that are automatically tailored according to users' needs in the built environment. 5) Information modelling of the existing buildings is a significant challenge that requires the development of appropriate methods and technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    Number of pages96
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7229-8
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7228-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeNot Eligible

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


    • ICT
    • constructed environment
    • buildings
    • construction industry
    • roadmap
    • foresight
    • digital solutions
    • development
    • modelling
    • real estate
    • information systems
    • automatic property assessment services
    • visualisation


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