Integration of engineering, design, and construction

Kenneth F. Reinschmidt, F. H. (Bud) Griffis, Patrick L. Bronner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Center for Infrastructure Studies in the School of Engineering at Columbia University and Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation are conducting multidisciplinary research in the integration of three-dimensional computer models in the construction process. This research has the potential to improve the productivity of the construction industry significantly. Whereas manufacturing productivity has increased over the past several decades, construction productivity has declined. Litigation is up, and delays are common and increasingly expensive. Large computer data bases and three-dimensional models of construction projects are now feasible. Computer technology has the potential to revolutionize the methods used by the construction industry: Material quantities are immediately available from the computer model; the constructibility of the design is tested before actual construction; workers build the project on the computer screen before building it in the field; trades are coordinated visually; and progress is reported graphically. Columbia University and Stone & Webster are investigating the employment of this technology by using the construction of Columbia’s new $108,000,000 Center for Engineering and Physical Science Research as a field laboratory. Graduate students in civil, mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering are working with the construction managers to use this technology on the construction site and to document savings due to its use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-772
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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