BIW’s system is already used by several major construction and property industry clients, including Sainsbury’s, BAA and ASDA, to manage ‘libraries’ of corporate information which are not project-specific, such as standard policies, procedures and specifications and any associated documents or drawings. The latest update creates a dynamic two-way link between the standards ‘library’ and each project-specific use of that standard. As a result, project team members can now quickly find and access standard reference material for use in live projects, while those managing corporate standards can easily monitor where particular standards have been employed.
“This is a further step towards use of online collaboration technology to manage corporate information about an organisation’s assets and projects,” says BIW chief executive Colin Smith. “We are developing powerful tools that allow project team users to feed back information to the client organisation. Potential amendments can be captured and used to update current standards, promoting continuous improvement.”
BIW Information Channel has its own viewer application to allow users to view, mark-up and comment on images of CAD drawings online. A new enhancement allows the user to call up comments and mark-up from a previous revision of a drawing and view these while looking at the latest revision. The viewer also now features a ‘status stamp’ enabling authorised users, for example, to ‘stamp’ a drawing as approved for construction, automatically revising its status and fulfilling an action required against their name.
New batch processing functions enable authorised users to, forward, change the status of, and print multiple documents simultaneously, automating previously repetitive tasks.
“The BIW Information Channel user base is now over 21,000-strong and increasingly sophisticated in its demands,” says Smith. “Our research and development work has to focus on meeting users’ needs at both the individual project and corporate levels. The new corporate standards functionality neatly addresses both groups by providing a key link between those working on individual sites and those responsible for managing those assets throughout their working lives.”
Note to editors
- Project collaboration services from BIW Technologies (www.biwtech.com) were first employed in 1999 on UK construction projects for Sainsbury. BIW believes it is the European leader in web-based collaboration systems for the construction and property industry, measured by both number of projects and number of users.
- At 26 January 2003, the total number of registered users had reached 21,420, from 2574 different companies. The total number of projects was 1045, with a total capital value conservatively estimated at around £10 billion. The total number of drawings was 309,719; the total number of documents stood at 169,022.
- BIW Information Channel is a sophisticated web-based supply chain integration technology, designed specifically for construction projects or programmes. Each client is provided with a unique, project-specific website created around a knowledge database. Using this, all data can be made available to every project team member – from the earliest concepts and specification, through detailed design, buildability studies, pre-fabrication, construction, maintenance, operation and improvement to the eventual demolition or dismantling of the facility.