CEM208-Information Systems in Construction

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM106 Sustainable Heat and Power CEM107 Sustainable Design and Management Principles and Practice
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Ian Ewart

Email: i.j.ewart@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The module introduces students to modern electronic methods of communication and to some key information systems and IT tools used in the construction sector. Students will be given an insight into both current and future uses of IT that may impact the design and production process and the specific opportunities and change management challenges associated with implementing information systems in project organisations. It demonstrates the information and the technology issues confronting firms involved in the construction value chain such as the importance of information and knowledge management.

To gain basic knowledge and skills needed to describe, evaluate and implement information technology and systems in architecture, engineering and construction; to apply principles of information systems to ICT applications in construction and the built environment.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this course you should be able:

• Describe the information requirements of the construction value chain, and the tools available to manage these information flows; challenges if information overload, the value of information within organisations, and the impact on asset management.
• Describe the challenges of inter-operability and integrating operating systems across the supply chain and the role of systems architecture; relevant standards relating to industry wide information exchange and organisational processes.
• Describe the nature of the link between information systems investment and project/organisational performance and apply these approaches to assessing the positive and negative impact of these technologies on different stages of the real-life projects; and
• Discuss long-term strategic planning and the procurement/implementation of information systems for construction organisations.
• Describe and evaluate established and emerging ICT for coordinating design, construction and operations (e.g. estimating software; e-commerce, finance and procurement systems; CAD and BIM tools, visualization and model checkers; project planning tools; electronic data interchange; document management systems; communication and collaboration tools; mobile and site-based technologies; asset and building management systems).

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
The module will include an overview of current and new technologies that are changing design, production and operation processes. The aim is to understand technology and information management, from the early design stage to the operational facilities management stage; information flow is often complex and embraces both tacit and formal knowledge. Information technology enables communication to take place in a much more responsive and timely manner. The adoption of IT brings with it particular h azards in relations to culture, user acceptance and security. This module emphasises the human dimension of systems design for construction organisations developing information systems.

• Information systems in construction organisations - a broad view of how IT is leveraged to enable firms to provide services and products.
• Transaction processing systems and the use of automated data capture to provide data for such systems.
• Security issues related to construction pr ojects using public networking infrastructures.
• Role of web-enabled embedded systems in construction and building management.
• Electronic document management systems - translating a paper-based approach to the electronic environment.
• The role of decision support systems and executive support systems in construction.
• Cultural issues and user acceptance in the construction industry.
• Ethical issues, the law and trades unions in relations to the use of IT in co nstruction.
• The key features of BIM and how it is influencing the delivery of construction projects currently.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning is offered through case-supported lectures and tutorials, web-based material, guest speakers from national and international firms, a group project and presentation, and guided reading. The module involves industry speakers discussing advanced practices in the use of technology/IT on construction projects.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Project Supervision 4
Demonstration 2
Guided independent study: 76
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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