International Measurement Standards: Space, Cost and Technology

Brazilian Institute of Cost Engineering (IBEC)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Annals 10th ICEC World Congress, 2016, pp. 1284 - 1298
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Purpose This paper examines the emerging need for unified and harmonized international standards in the built environment, infrastructure and energy sectors to measure, classify and cost projects to improve industry performance in these sectors. It highlights the needs for these standards to incorporate rapidly developing digital technologies in fields such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Big Data and Smart Cities. Technology needs professional standards and, in terms of data collection, use of predictive data and general relevance, professional standards need technology. As the implementation of BIM and other digital technologies continues to grow the need to develop international professional standards becomes ever greater. This paper commences with an analysis of how decisions are currently typically made through the project life cycle and proposes that improving project performance is only possible by improving decision-making at each stage of the project life cycle and that decision making can only be improved by providing the right information, in the right form, at the right time. It then examines the key technological changes that are occurring in the industry and how this is likely to develop to support such decision-making. The need for international standards to further support this are explored and an industry perspective is provided from the energy sector. Two current industry initiatives being developed to address this need are then described – the International Property Measurement Standard (IPMS) and the International Construction Measurement Standard (ICMS). Research Methodology The research methodology is based on a review of global industry literature and data on project decision making, digital technologies and international standards, an industry perspective from the energy sector and two case examples of international measurement standards that are currently being developed. Findings, Value & Practical Implications The key findings of the paper are that development of international standards such as the IPMS and ICMS will help to provide essential global classifications to allow more consistent global approaches to using project data generally and the data/information available through BIM/Big Data/Smart Cities technologies. As BIM, Big Data and Smart Cities begin to merge as concepts, standard classifications will assume an even more important role in order to make sense of the deluge of data. This will provide enormous benefit for all industry players at all levels – project, national and international.
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