Summary: THE UK INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE BASE FEASIBILITY STUDY
Amor R., Langham M., Fortmann J. and Bloomfield D.
ABSTRACT: The UK Department of the Environment (DOE) has funded a feasibility study into the
concept of an electronic knowledge base for the construction industry. It is envisaged that this
knowledge base would provide a single point of entry for the UK, creating a gateway to all
information of relevance to the A/E/C industry. A wide range of commercial, social and technical
issues have been investigated in the study, which provides a recommendation of the best way
forward together with a marketing strategy. The results of the feasibility study are summarised in
KEYWORDS: Internet, knowledge base, gateway, feasibility study.
There has been a high level of enthusiasm for making construction-related information available
electronically. Most research establishments provide electronic information about their work and
often publish the results of projects electronically. Manufacturers are very keen to put up electronic
information about their products, seeing it as a new medium for advertising. Information providers
also see a way of reaching a wider audience with their information (codes, standards, etc.) or of
targeting more specialised audiences with relevant portions of their information.
However, there is little coordinated effort between the large number of institutions putting up
information. This leads to a situation where there are many partial and overlapping collections of
information which must be searched, through different search mechanisms, to ascertain whether a