AEC Integration Lab



Architecture and building construction, as professions and academic fields, are at a turning point. The issues being faced are both technological and cultural. While medicine, engineering, business have all adopted a science and knowledge-based approach to their intellectual foundations, construction and architecture have remained crafts, in the sense that the main source of knowledge derives from practice. With the development of digital building modeling, new requirements for sustainability, new materials and new construction processes, the application of knowledge processes to building has become a necessity. The current cycle of waiting for maturity in the marketplace to test new approaches needs to move to improved cycles supporting innovation and adoption. Working relationships with research universities is an important means to gain new expertise and to learn, assess and where appropriate adopt new technologies and procedures. The new realities are putting tremendous pressure on architecture, construction and related firms to develop new ways to capture, utilize new knowledge, document and assess new innovations and transfer these to practice. University research groups, like the DBL, are developing ways to carry out these synergistic activities with industry. The DBL's purpose is to build and support a research and development link between the building industry and the research capabilities of Georgia Tech. It both adds to and is distinguished from the constellation of the Construction Industry Institute (CII) in Civil Engineering at Texas, and the Center for Integrated Facilities Engineering (CIFE) in Civil Engineering at Stanford. This document elaborates these purposes and describes the organization and practices of the DBL to support the development of this relationship. It also outlines its intended benefits of membership.