Master of IT in Building. Open.
[education] Last update 2006.10.04 (2005.09.07 ) [1998.10.27]

Prof. Per Christiansson
IT in Civil Engineering
Aalborg University

The whole education is presented at, old MII projects, IT Universitet Vest.

Detailed course descriptions and lecture notes are found at

The learning site,

Master of IT in the Building Process.


    This specialisation gives insight into the role of IT in the total building process. The participants will gain understanding of and competence in using IT tools within all phases of the existing and future building process.

    The participants will be able to formulate requirements and actively participate in analyses, design and development of IT systems and tools in the construction process as well as practical experiences in use of advanced IT tools.

    The theme for the 2nd year is 'Models and Communication'. The aim is to convey theoretical knowledge and deep understanding of some important fundamental domains and IT-tools that will influence the future development e.g. computer supported collaboration, different types of knowledge representations, analyses and modelling of the building process, and knowledge management.

    The project work consist of a large theoretical project on design and demonstration of IT support in connection with company knowledge management and a small number of practical mini-projects with focus on change processes, tools for knowledge management, multimedia supported (including virtual reality) human computer interaction, virtual building models including modelling of building products and processes as well as computer supported collaboration.

    The theme for the 3rd year is 'Integrated IT in the Building Process'. The aim is to convey analyses, experiences and examples on advanced present and future use of IT in the different parts of the building process. Focus is on integrated databases, dynamic simulation of energy systems and indoor climate control, intelligent buildings and the digital city.

    The project work consist of a large theoretical project with focus on essential aspects within specification, implementation, maintenance, and re-design of IT support in connection with integrated systems and a small number of practical mini-projects with focus on integrated databases and simulation, the intelligent building, and services in the digital cities. (See course layout below).

      Danish Summary (Sammendrag)

        Denne specialisering giver indsigt i IT's rolle i den totale byggeproces. Deltagerne vil opnå forståelse for samt kompetence i at anvende IT-værktøjer inden for alle faser i byggeprocessen nu og i fremtiden.

        Deltagerne vil blive i stand til at formulere krav til og deltage aktivt i analyse, design og udvikling af IT systemer og -værktøjer til byggeriet. Derudover vil man få praktisk erfaring med brug af avancerede IT-værktøjer.

        På 2. studieår er temat for studierne modeller og kommunikation og sigter på at formidle teoretisk viden og dybere forståelse av nogle vigtige baseområder og IT-verktøjer for byggeprocessens fortsatte udvikling herunder computer-støttet samarbejde, forskellige former for videnrepresentation, analyse og modellering av byggeprocessen samt videnshåndtering,

        Projektarbejdet opdeles i et større teoretisk projekt med design og demonstration af IT-støtte i forbindelse med virksomhedens videnshåndtering samt et mindre antal praktiske miniprojekter med fokus på forandringsprocesser, værktøjer for videnshåndtering, samt multimedie-støttet (inklusive Virtual reality) menneske-maskine interaktion, den virtuelle bygningsmodel med modellering af bygningsorienterede produkter og -processer samt IT-støttet samarbejde.

        På 3. studieår är temat for studierne integreret IT i byggeprocessen og sigter på at formidle analayse, erfaringer og eksempler på hvordan avanceret IT äe og vil blive anvendt i byggeprocessens ulige deler. Fokus er på integrete databaser, dynamisk simulering af energisystemer og indeklimastyring, intelligente bygninger og den digitale by.

        Projektarbejdet opdeles i et større teoretisk projekt med fokus på væsentlige aspekter inden for specifikation, implementering, vedligeholdelse og redesign af IT-støtte i forbindelse med integrerede systemer samt et mindre antal praktiske miniprojekter med fokus på integrerede databaser og simulering, den intelligente bygning samt services in den digitale by. Specialet omfatter føgende kurser (se 'Course layout' neden).


    IT tools has been introduced in the building process since the end of the 1970s. Isolated digital islands have been created for design (2D/3D Cad, visualization, engineering calculations), construction (quantity take off, resource management), maintenance/use (hire administration, facility management), and recycling (components/material databases). To this we shall add access to external vendor product information, regulations, and community information.

    Communication is supported by IT-tools.
    Artifacts may be project, organisations, software (also embedded).
    Context is the building life cycle (from idea to re-cycling).

    There is now and in the future building industry a great need for person who can take active part in specification, design and implementation of tomorrows building process support systems. A broad view and insight into the complex building process together with a broad and in some key areas deep knowledge into existing and coming IT tools are required in combination.

    The complex project organisation of the building industry together with higher international involvement will take great advantage of the future advanced IT tools. The actual products will themselves contain embedded and coordinated IT support. The building process will be more integrated, though often through redundant product/process models, and information produced during the whole process will to a higher degree support the maintenance and use of he final buildings and provide subsequent experience data.

    We will through realistic simulations be able to get a much better support when we make important decisions in the very early requirements formulation phase of the design process. We will increase our competence in specifying, purchasing, building and maintaining the company IT systems.

    The multimedia and virtual reality properties of the interfaces to the computer models of the building process and products will improve all the building process participants way to communicate and collaborate less constrained by time and geographic position.

    The Master of IT in the Building Process education will higlly contribute to raise the IT competence within building industry, to enhance efficiency and our ability to fulfil changes related to IT-tools introduction, and increase global competitiveness.


    Persons who acquire a MI in the Building Process will primarily work with specification, implementation, maintenance and re-design of IT support in connection with
    • company knowledge managament
    • collaborative work support
    • systems for design, analyses, construction and maintenance
    • the intelligent and responsive building
    • building product/process modelling
    • multmedia interaction support
    • company intranet

Aims of the IT in the Building Process, BIT, education

  • Provide basic knowledge of the role of IT in the overall building process.
  • Mediate understanding of how present and future IT tools is and can be used in all phases of the building process from concept to use and demolition of buildings.
  • Provide knowledge for better IT-tools requirements formulations, participative design support, and development of IT systems and tools for the building process.
  • Give hands-on experience in use of advanced IT tools and state-of-the-art applications.

Course Participants

    The MI in the Building Process program requires the following basic competence of the course participants.
    • BSc
    • 2-4 years work experience

Professional Course Content

    The professional profile of the MI in the Building Process will be achived through courses within the following themes
    • Product- and process models in the Virtual Building
    • Distributed building systems
    • Systems for design, analyses and collaborative work
    • Systems for knowledge managment and information networks
    • Multimedia for knowledge transfer support
    • The intelligent building and the digital city

Course layout

The course of study is divided into three semesters with study time equally divided between project works and lectures/home studies. The length of the education is 1.5 year spread over 3 years each with a volume of 30 modules (15 modules per semester).

The study time is roughly divided between 2/3 week-end seminars and 1/3 a combination of self studies and distant learning. 50% of the courses are dedicated to project work.

The MSc education is divided into 5 specializations with a common first year.

  • IT in Building, BIT
  • Distributed Real Time Systems, RT-IT
  • IT in Industrial Production, PROD-IT
  • IT in Automatic Control, PROC-IT
  • IT in Systems Administration, SYSADM-IT

Each semester focuses on a specific theme

Semester 1-2: Distributed Information Systems (common for all specilizations)

  • System development, Computer Networks and Tools.

      Systemudvikling Objekt Orienteret Systemudvikling
      Human Computer Interaction and communication (Responsible Per Christiansson)
      Datanet Grundlæggende datanet, modeller og arkitekturer.
      Client/server og introduktion til distribuerede systemer
      Værktøjer Www værktøjer
      Den virtuelle arbejdsplads

  • Student project 1 homepages. (gruppe2, etc. Per Christiansson supervisor for Group 1).
  • Student project 2, December 1999. (Per Christiansson supervisor for Group 6).
Courses from 'IT in Industrial Production, PROD-IT' will be integrated with course 4.3. Especially courses on 'information Modelling' and 'Development of Information Systems'.

Theme for the 2nd study year:
Models and Communication

- 28 modules (28 ECTS-point) -

Semester 3: Knowledge management and Multimedia.

  • BIT3.1 - Multimedia interface design and Computer Supported Collaborative Work (2M) (PE)
  • BIT3.2 Knowledge management within companies and projects. (2M) (SE)
Semester 4: Knowledge representations and modelling
  • BIT4.1 - Computer integrated building process systems in practice (2M) (PE)
  • BIT4.2 - The Future Virtual Building. Knowledge representations and their applications. (2M) (PE)
  • BIT4.3 - Conceptual modeling of the building process (2M) (PE)

    Theme for the 3rd study year:
    Integrated IT in the Building Process

    - 28 modules (28 ECTS-point) -

Semester 5: IT-tools integration

  • BIT5.1 - Integrated Engineering Databases (2M) (PE)
  • BIT5.2 - Engineering simulation and design with examples from Dynamic Simulation of Energy Systems and Indoor Climate control (2M) (PE)

Semester 6: IT support in the built environment

  • BIT6.1 - Intelligent Buildings and the Digital City (2M) (SE)

Detailed Course Information

The following courses are proposed
  • BIT3.1 - Multimedia interface design and Computer Supported Collaborative Work (2M) (PE)

      Goal: To mediate knowledge about concepts, methods and technology for design and implementation of multimedia interfaces as well as collaborative design and team work in web-based environments
      Content: Human computer/process interface (Continuation from semester 2 HCI course. Deepening of certain areas).
      Principles and techniques for computer supported collaboration and design. Creative, innovative and routine design support. Design theory. Usability testing.
      Design methods. Contextual collaborative design of human computer interfaces.
      The virtual design team. Common digital works spaces definition. Design of collaboration environments. Experience capturing and feed-back mechanisms, process control models.
      Standards and languages (H.323, VRML,...) Media communication languages. Collaboration and communication support tools. Photo realism, graphic design and rendering. Pattern recognition. Portable input/output devices properties.
      Team configuration. Building process disciplines communication. Organization culture influences. User models. Cognitive models.
      Web-supported project work. Application examples.

  • BIT3.2 - Knowledge management within companies and projects (2M) (SE)

      Goal: To mediate knowledge about concepts, techniques and methods for capturing, dissemination and re-use of company and project knowledge and to give an understanding of important parameters and methods for analyses, planning and management of organizational and work routines change
        at give de studerende kendskab til koncepter, teknikker og metoder i opsamling, genbrug og spredning af vital viden, i virksomheden og i projekter, samt metoder til analyse, planlægning og styring af ændringer i organisation og arbejdsrutiner.

      Content: Organization analyses from IT perspective. IT and change strategy formulation and implementation. Virtual companies and organizations. Collaborative enterprises. Learning organizations.
      Life long learning. Information and communication technology supported learning. IT and pedagogics. Learning theory. Distant learning concepts and systems. Specification of systems for distant learning. Application examples.
      Knowledge search and navigation tools. Knowledge capturing and storage. Project experience transfer. Logical knowledge containers. Knowledge nodes in practice. Knowledge Warehouses. External product information. Electronic trade models and systems. Application examples.
      Data acquisition and information filtering. Application software communication protocols. Data mining and meta classification. Information mediation tools. Information quality assurance. Knowledge discovery.
      Design of knowledge management systems. Intranet/extranet specification and organisation.
        Organisationsanalyser, set fra et IT perspektiv
        Dataopsamling og filtrering af information
        Viden og erfaringer - opsamling, lagring og formidling
        Egenskaber og opbygnig af forskellige vidensrepræsentationer

  • BIT4.1 - Computer integrated building process systems in practice (2M) (PE)

      Goal: To give an overall understanding of the building process in an IT and historic perspective.
      Content: History of computer based building process models and systems. IT development history. Barriers for development. Specific building and whole building process IT tools. IT tools utilization. Client, designer, builder, and maintenance views. Life cycle design. Information flow and decision points. Modelling and visualization tools. The Virtual building site IT support Materials handling system. Resource management. Product and material flow. Industrialized building. Building Cad/Cam. Robotics. Current IT applications and systems in construction.

  • BIT4.2 - The Future Virtual Building. Knowledge representations and their applications. (2M) (PE)

      Goal: To give an overview and understanding of different types of computer stored knowledge representations, and how they can be build and accessed. To mediate knowledge about existing and future tools to build and use the Virtual Building model.
      Content: Different knowledge representations, their properties and how they can be built up. Integration of representations and how we can communicate with them through the computer interfaces and meta classification schemes. Relations between different building process and user domains and possible knowledge representations. Relations between conceptual models and data models. Knowledge acquisition in practice (case based reasoning, induction systems, rule based systems, semantic nets, analog, OO, DB, hypertext, expert systems, neural nets,...) Properties of the Virtual Building. Conceptual descriptions of Virtual Buildings. History, background, and present situation. Models requirements formulations. Product model classification schemes. (STEP, IFC, EDIFACT, ISO layers, BSAB,..) CAD systems properties. Process descriptions, project information flow support.

  • BIT4.3 - Conceptual modeling of the building process (2M) (PE)

      Goal: To mediate knowledge about concepts and methods for conceptual modelling of building processes and products.
      Content: Usability of different conceptual modelling methods. Combination of conceptual modelling methods. Relations between conceptual modelling methods and underlying knowledge representations. Time dependent representations. Information modelling paradigms. (express, idef1/x, UML, NIAM, SAM,...)

  • BIT5.1 - Integrated Engineering Databases (2M) (PE)

      Goal: To mediate knowledge about concepts and requirements for structuring and building of integrated engineering databases
      Content: 4D and temporal database properties. Database mediator technology. Consistency maintenance. Data dictionaries. Database, applications and human interface integration. Computer simulation methods. Integration of calculation programs and databases. Decision support systems. Design databases requirements. Application examples.

  • BIT5.2 - Engineering simulation and design with examples from Dynamic Simulation of Energy Systems and Indoor Climate control(2M) (PE)

      Goal: To mediate knowledge about methods and technologies to support engineering simulation and design. To give understanding of the components of indoor climate and their influence on human comfort, health and work and how they can be used as part of analysis and simulation of operating conditions and plant action for thermal systems.
      Content: Latest research results within engineering simulation. Design systems and optimization of engineering design. Simulation systems. Code compliance checking. Input output models for engineering simulation and calculation systems. Overview of propereties and applicability of available engineering design and analyses IT-tools. Atmospheric indoor environment and comfort. Perceived air quality. Emission of contaminants from materials. Sick Building Syndrome and Building-Related Illness. Latest research results within thermal comfort. Development of physical and mathematical models for thermal systems and plants. Simulation of systems and optimization of operation for both steady-state and dynamic conditions. Description of models and theoretical conditions for utilization of energy sources.

  • BIT6.1 - Intelligent Buildings and the Digital City (2M) (SE)

      Goal: To mediate knowledge on how IT can enhance methods, systems, and techniques for use, operation and maintenance, and administration of buildings as well as environmental effects of IT introduction. To mediate understanding of systems and services in digital cities.
        at give de studerende kendskab til hvordan IT kan forbedre metoder, systemer og teknikker i brugen, vedligeholdelse og administration af bygninger.

      Content: Services and systems in the intelligent and responsive building. User services systems, and administrative system.Building operation & maintenance support systems. Computer aided facility management. Information networks in the intelligent building. User services interaction. Intelligent building design. Home automation. Design and maintenance of intelligent building systems. Intelligent installations. Embedded systems and communication protocols. Relations to the digital city. Present and new services and systems in the digital cities. Relations to Intelligent buildings. Citizen networks. Environmental city planning feedback. Access to environmental data and as built information. Geographic information systems. Properties of existing and future Metropolitan Area Networks. Transport and supply systems optimization. Recycling process support. Geographical information systems. Computer representations of the digital city. Administration of the digital city. Application examples.
        Services og systemer i den intelligente bygning
        Støttesystemer til drift og vedligeholdelse
        Intelligente installationer
        Grafiske Informations Systemer


Aalborg University
Dept. of Building Technology and Structural Engineering
Sohngaardsholmsvej 57
DK-9000 Aalborg
Tel: +45 9635 8080/8545 (Per Christiansson)
Fax: +45 9814 8243 (this page)

Per Christiansson