4 Open proposal for activation on integrated building
This proposal is based on the assumption that even an ambitious program, having clear objectives but not a fixed time-schedule, can finally be realized through the ad hoc—without predefined commitments—contribution of a proper network of producers. Realization could be based on the "blackboard system" paradigm: the producers could act asynchronously, each one regarding the "blackboard's" current content and contributing according to his/her own domain of expertise. The producers could also communicate and coordinate in groups, so that their activities converge to the program's objectives. In our case the "blackboard" constitutes a body of knowledge about integrated building. The content of the "blackboard", after have been sufficiently processed, should describe integrated building systems having full documentation, both scientific and practical. In this state, as well as in preceding processing states, the "blackboard" could support academic and research activities (diploma or postgraduate projects, publications, participation in contests etc), while it could be enhanced by information coming from these activities. The announcement of a proper part of this information through the current website, which could be accompanied by publications or presentations, is possible to provoke response from third parts resulting in a non-predictable enhancement of the whole effort.
It is clear that this effort could not directly result in professional applications, as far as the team of the participants does not include producers capable to accept the required practical, temporal and economic commitments. However, if the collective work results in a product on which an open business proposal could be based, the announcement of this product would make possible (under certain circumstances almost sure) the response from firms or institutes that could accept the required commitments. Then, depending on each particular case, the communication between the participant producers and the firms or institutes interested could result in professional applications. Obviously, potential applications would provide both know-how and documentation, which if incorporated in the product of the collective work would enhance the latter, making it more attractive for future applications.
Next we schematically describe how the aforementioned effort could be formulated.
Development – utilization of integrated building systems which provide:
· Improvement of the quality of both the design and the construction of a building project
· Decrease of the time necessary for the design and the construction
· Decrease of the cost of both the production and the usage
· Development of a knowledge base concerning integrated building systems, either at the level of real production or at the level of ideas and research. This concerns any method of design, construction or usage of a building project which includes features of integrated building systems, while appears better than the conventional method with respect to either the work time, the cost, the environmental consequences or the resource consumption. The knowledge base could be used from every interested person for either research or entrepreunial activities.
· Recording of existing integrated building systems, as well as relevant information.
· Recording of existing production technologies which could be used for the development of integrated building systems.
· Exploration of the possibility to combine existing systems of specialized constructions (e.g. concerning specific parts of a building project) in order to develop broader integrated building systems.
· Development of either systems or methods of designing, constructing or using building projects. These systems or methods should be project-independent, while should be usable as infrastructure in different projects. Such an infrastructure would make possible information reusability, so that solutions of general problems should be available in different specific project cases.
· Communication between potential producers, as well as development of forms of organization resulting in either stable or casual (project-specific) collaborations appropriate for optimal project production. The term "optimal" refers to the satisfaction of all the project's specifications by the minimum resource consumption (labor, energy, materials, information).
· Participation in either the design or the production plan of particular projects (either contests or real cases). The form of the participation depends on the kind and the size of the project, as well as the expertise and the productive potential of each participant: it could range from a mere collection of information up to full production.
· Utilization and composition of the know-how of different persons or organizations
· Utilization and composition of the technical potential of existing production units
· Application of system design principles
· Application of sustainable design principles and technologies
· Application of appropriate CAD methods
· Study of the technical specifications, as well as the cost registration, of products of existing industries (this activity can be supported by a relevant questionnaire)
· Registration of the productive potential of existing industries (this activity can also be supported by the questionnaire, but may also require interviews of the production managers).
· Technical and economical comparison of industrial products with building materials, as well as elements of the conventional building.
· Design of building design-production-construction integrated systems having qualitative, economical, as well as temporal specifications superior than those of the conventional building.
· Technical documentation of the response of each system to its specifications (this could require cooperation of engineers of different expertise.
· Study of integrated building systems according to existing building regulations.
· Composition of prototype cooperation protocols that concern potential cooperation with industries capable to produce system's components. This includes both the context and the form of the cooperation, the specifications of the product to be produced by the industry, as well as the basic contract terms.
· Virtual application of integrated building systems in case studies not necessarily designated to realization (e.g. contest projects, preliminary studies, experimental problems).
· Composition of presentation – documentation booklets of integrated building systems (it could also include case studies).
· Presentation of documented integrated building systems, as well as case studies, in the web.
· Contact with either individuals or firms capable to take on—as head contractors—the realization of real case studies of integrated building, included the entrepreunial – economic management (potential head contractors could be informed about the current state of development of integrated building systems through the respective web presentation, as well as the presentation booklets).
· Registration of either individuals or firms that constitute potential head contractors.
The management of real case studies could be based on the following procedure:
In case a potential investor declares interest:
· The potential investor poses the project's specifications, being in contact with producers interested to work on the project.
· If there is no potential head contractor among the producers, the latter could communicate with either individuals or firms already registered as potential head contractors.
In case a potential head contractor declares interest:
· The producers interested to work on the project inform the potential head contractor about their potential contribution.
· The potential head contractor selects producers appropriate for the specific project, while composes a production plan in cooperation with the producers. Planning could also include identification and selection of production units (e.g. industries whose productive potential has already been registered) appropriate to supply products required for the project's realization.
· Proposals of contracts between the potential investor, head contractor, producers – subcontractors, as well as selected production units are composed, resulting in a "contract net" which is confirmed if accepted from all parts.
This questionnaire is composed in the context of the current proposal, while it is addressed to producers of either:
- integrated building systems or systems that can be applied in building projects, while concern part of the whole construction, or
- products that can be used in building projects, but probably have a wider domain of application.
The aforementioned classes could be analyzed as follows:
The first class includes "systems". A system is defined by a set of product types, as well as a set of methods to combine such products in composite ones which satisfy certain specifications. If the domain of the system is integrated building then each composite product could be a whole building. However, the composite product could be only a part of a building (e.g. the structural skeleton, the walls, the openings, an energy management system etc), not the building as a whole.
The second class includes independent products, not necessarily being parts of a "system". Consequently the method they can be combined with other products, as well as the nature of the composite product which could result from their combination, are not specifically predefined. The field of application of such products is wide, as it may not be limited—probably not even related—to building projects. The possibility to use such products in building projects depends on the design of appropriate building systems (for instance the implementation of a structural skeleton system for buildings could be based on the production of appropriately designed steel structural elements: these elements could be produced by an industry irrelevant to building projects).
The term "product", encountered in the questionnaire, refers to both independent products and systems, since the latter can be also considered as "products". Some questions concern specifically products designated to be used in building projects. These questions are addressed only to the respective producers.