Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering


Dr Behzad Nowbati


Visual Information and Knowledge Representation in Organisations

Project Title

Visual information and knowledge representation in organisations


Wates Construction


Professor Tarek Hassan
Dr C Pasquire

Miss S Greenwood

Director of Research:
Professor Andrew Price

Research Period


Visual information and knowledge representation in organisations


In the building industry it is traditionally an accepted fact that you learn by your mistakes and despite the 21st century technology we still insist on starting each job on a clean sheet of paper. It is unusual to come across any contractor that can base their work on agreed modules that have been tried and tested , advantages as well as disadvantages listed in a comprehensible, structured and user friendly manner for sharing with their colleges and to be used in future projects.

In PFI contracts this will have significant impact in design, planning and pricing of new projects since the contractor will need to finance the biding stage out of the companies coffers, and there is a likely hood of losing at least 1 out of every 3 jobs they bid for, the cost of which could be running into hundreds of thousands and in some cases escalate into millions of pounds.

Aims and Objectives

Development of knowledge base adviser system software using artificial intelligence and object-orientated technologies that can evaluate issues such as:

• Building design.

• Materials selection.

• Availability of resources.

• Past responses in given situations and the resulting outcome.

• Advise on environmentally sensitive techniques or material alternatives.

• Advise on best equipment or plant for a given task.

Compatibility with existing software environments such as Project Net & Humming Bird.

Method and Current Status

Following are some of the current works being carried out:

• Investigation in best suited query based software such as Prolog ,Lisp , C++.

• Gathering information from existing PFI projects through a data base software known as Project Net.

• Conducting interviews with members of the design team to get a feel for the day to day problems they face and how they are dealt with.

• Research studies in Value Management techniques.

Benefits/Expected Outcomes

To support decision-making and management of PFI projects using alternative construction methods by making advice and lessons learned available from those who have conducted similar projects. Personal with little first-hand experience in a particular alternative construction method will benefit from the expertise gained through others experiences. As a result, a project will have a greater chance for success, even though those managing it may have limited experience. Furthermore, the system generates a comprehensive record of a project progress and results, allowing for a more accurate assessment of alternative construction method’s effectiveness, and enabling the upgrade of advice and guidance.

Nowbati B, Hassan T, and Pasquire C (2008):Knowledge Management inOrganisations: A Constructive Case Study, Following the presentation of Paper 3 inthe “8th International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change inOrganisations”, the organisers were invited to publish an extended version of Paper 3, which was published in the “International Journal of Knowledge Culture and Change Management 2008”, Volume 8 , Issue 6 , pp 33-40.


Nowbati, B., Hassan, TM. and Pasquire, CL. (2007). Information and Knowledge Visualisation, Can it help the Crisis in the UK Construction Industry?. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Knowledge Management in Organisations KMO' 2007 Conference, Lecce, Italy.

Nowbati, B., Hassan, TM. and Pasquire, CL. (2006). Are we getting the best out of our intranet system - A practical case study. In Proceedings of the Joint International Conference on Construction Culture, Innovation and Management (CCIM), Dubai, pp.69-87.



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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
Loughborough University
LE11 3TU

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