Shape Shifting: the story of a 3D model in construction

Stefan Gottlieb, Jesper Hundebøl, Jens Stissing Jensen, Casper Schultz Larsen, Kristian Birch Sørensen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution to proceeding


    In this paper we are concerned with the specific effects of a 3D building model produced and reproduced in the planning and construction phases on a particular construction project. We contrast these effects with the policy intentions expressed within a state funded, public initiative that aims to promote so-called ‘digital construction' in Denmark. One of the main objectives of this initiative is to ensure better coordination between the different phases of the building project through the application of 3D Building Information Models (BIM). The intentions are to improve the construction phase by providing pervasive on-site planning and logistics, where the 3D building model combined with process-data developed and maintained by the individual contractor should facilitate the production of detailed step-by-step production planning in the form of ‘production cards'. The empirical findings from the case-study reveal a much less pervasive and more coin cidental utilisation of the 3D model than envisioned programmatically. We show how the BIM is introduced into the construction phase in the form of paper based 3D prints - as a supplement only to the existing practices. While this modest utilization may resemble a failure from the view-point of the policy intentions, we suggest that it allows the craftsmen on the building-site to actively translate and contextualise the technology in a form relevant to their activities. We suggest that the top-down regulatory intentions of the policy programme may be hampered if they fail to create room for such local ‘contextualization' processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 5th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation
    Number of pages10
    Place of PublicationIsland
    Publication date2009
    ISBN (Print)978-9979-9832-0-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2009
    Event5th Nordic Conference on Construction, Economics and Organisation - Reykjavik, Iceland
    Duration: 9 Jun 200912 Jun 2009
    Conference number: 5


    Conference5th Nordic Conference on Construction, Economics and Organisation

    Cite this