Information standards - A hinder or an enabler for innovation?
Paper in proceedings, 2018
© Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2018. The potential of cost reduction by efficient digital communication in building processes in Sweden has been investigated to be 15-25% of the building sum. An important part of this potential is by using building information standards, such as Omniclass and IFC. This research has aimed at evaluating the use of building information standards and its impact on innovation. Standards are understood as classification of information and rules for building processes. Selected literature help reveal the multiple character of relevant standardization in building and the effects on innovation. Ten types of effect are identified. Three national longitudinal case studies of hospital projects in Scandinavia were carried out. Many barriers for innovation when using standards were found. The regional public authorities can decide to adopt standards locally and in two out of three cases they did not. For the companies this is a business consideration: In the Norwegian case, the proactive adoption of the architect, meant benefits for the client and contractor. However, other actors did not follow. In the Swedish case, BIM coordination was hampered by incompatible design systems. In the Danish case, the client demanded use of Cuneco Classification System, a Danish information standard, but the classification was done in a reactive manner at a late stage. The Danish and the Norwegian case were innovative, but the Swedish less so. Nine out of ten types of effects were found in the cases. Standard-enabled innovations were mixed with other innovations. The two most remarkable were the Danish reverse innovation, and the Norwegian shift of structural concept. The information standards and BIM are closely intertwined in practice. A common database of coded objects in the Danish case is a strong innovation enabled by standards. The use of TFM, in the Norwegian architect project and its subsequent use in site BIM is remarkable.