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International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction
International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)
URL  : http://www.cibworld.nl/site/home/index.html
This section focuses on a unique overseas website related to civil engineering IT. This issue features "International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)", a worldwide network that facilitates information exchange and research cooperation in the building and construction sector.

Framework of International Research: With Infrastructure Reconstruction in postwar Europe in view
CIB was established in 1953. It was positioned as an Association whose objectives were to stimulate and facilitate cooperation and information exchange beyond international boundaries among governmental research institutes in the building and construction sector.

CIB is originally the acronym of the abbreviated French (former) name: "Conseil International du Batiment" ("International Council for Building" in English). In 1998, the full name was changed into: INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL FOR RESEARCH AND INNOVATION IN BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION, with the abbreviation being kept.

When CIB was established as a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization with the support of the United Nations, it was also expected to have the role of helping rebuild the European infrastructure for building and construction research following the ravages of the Second World War.

Under these circumstances, 43 research institutes participated as starting members of CIB and by far the majority of these were European. The programme was structured with a strong emphasis on technical topics.

For example, for selected topics CIB Commissions were established to which member organizations appointed experts from their staff to participate. The outcomes accumulated through various activities including these Commissions are sent out via numerous international symposia and conferences, and publications acknowledged globally. Many of these formed the factual basis for developing international standards. Also international state-of-the-art reports have been prepared to give an indispensable input to programming new research by the participating institutes and countries.

A Global Network of Over 5000 Experts from About 500 Member Organizations
The purpose of CIB, according to its Mission statement, is to provide a global network for international exchange and cooperation in research and innovation in building and construction in support of an improved building process and of improved performance of the built environment.

Its scope covers the technical, economic, environmental, organizational and other aspects of the built environment during all stages of its life cycle. It addresses all steps in the process of basic and applied research, documentation and transfer of the research results, and the implementation and actual application of them.

Then it presents its three objectives as follows: 1) to be a relevant source of information concerning research and innovation worldwide in the field of building and construction, 2) to be a reliable and effective access point to the global research community, and 3) to be a forum for achieving a meaningful exchange between the entire spectrum of building and construction interests and the global research community. In achieving its objectives, CIB thinks that it should promote for international benefit appropriate collaboration with other international and national organizations.

CIB has so far developed into a global network of over 5000 experts from about 500 member organizations active in the research community, in industry or in education. They cooperate and exchange information in over 50 CIB Commissions covering every field in building and construction related research and innovation.

CIB Members are broadly divided into Institutional Membership and Individual Membership. Institutional Membership is further divided into a Full Membership and an Associate membership according to the size or characteristics of the organization. Types of organizations among the institutional members of CIB are grouped into four main classes: Research, Universities, Industry and practitioners, and Others. Institutional Member organizations are entitled to appoint an unlimited number of individual experts who are employed by the organization to participate in CIB Commissions.

CIB Organization consists of the General Assembly, Board, Committees appointed by the Board, Officers, and the General Secretariat. The final responsibility for CIB's policy lies with the General Assembly, which is held every year with representatives of the member organizations. It discusses and determines the general policy of CIB. At every third annual meeting of the General Assembly, the CIB Officers and the other members of the CIB Board are elected.

The CIB Board appoints the members of its two Standing Committees (the Administrative Committee and the Programme Committee) and such other committees as it may decide. The Administrative Committee deals mainly with all financial and related affairs of CIB as well as with membership applications. The Programme Committee deals with the CIB research and innovation related activities. It establishes the various CIB Commissions, conducting an ongoing review of the performance of these Commissions and terminating them if they have accomplished their task. It also appoints the Coordinators of these Commissions. There is also the Marketing and Communication Committee, whose objectives are to give guidance on the planning, production, and dissemination of CIB's output. It reports to both the Administrative and Programme Committees. The Student Chapter Committee has the responsibility of encouraging the maintenance and growth of CIB Student Chapters. At the center of the CIB organization are the 50 or so CIB Commissions. These take the form of either a Task Group where there is a limited programme that can be accomplished within a defined period, or a Working Commission.

Located in the Netherlands, the CIB General Secretariat facilitates the CIB organization.

The CIB website presents such corners as basic information about these organizations, newsletters that gives access to information related with various activities of CIB, online database, and programs. It also introduces CIB by video presentation.

International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)

An example of important themes of CIB Commissions: Sustainable Construction

Images provided by CIB

This article is written based on the above website with permission from CIB.