Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Cybergrid: A Virtual Workspace for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction

Taylor, John E.; Alin, Pauli; Anderson, Anne; Çomu, Semra; Dossick, Carrie Sturts; Hartmann, Timo; Iorio, Josh; Mahalingam, Ashwin; Mohammadi, Neda. (2018). Cybergrid: A Virtual Workspace for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. Transforming Engineering Education: Innovative, Computer-mediated Learning Technologies, 291-321.

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Projects in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry frequently involve a large number of firms that increasingly span national boundaries. National boundary spanning by AEC firms engaged in complex, interdependent work introduces coordination challenges because stakeholders may not share the same language, culture or work practices. These types of firms have begun to explore the use of technologies that can meaningfully create productive work connections between the distributed participants 47 and help improve work coordination and execution. In this chapter, we describe the CyberGRID (Cyber-enabled Global Research Infrastructure for Design); a virtual workspace designed to support geographically distributed AEC work coordination and execution. The CyberGRID was created as a research tool to both enable and study virtual AEC teamwork. We summarize findings from multiple experiments over the jive year history of CyberGRID research and development. These findings help to improve our understanding of interactional dynamics among virtual teams in complex sociotechnical systems like the CyberGRID. We then discuss the challenges faced in developing the CyberGRID and in achieving widespread adoption of such tools in the industry. We close the chapter with a discussion of future research opportunities to develop improved sociotechnical systems to better support the execution of AEC projects. Our goal with this chapter is to argue that sociotechnical systems like the CyberGRID can fundamentally and positively transform the interactional dynamics of AEC project stakeholders to create more efficient global virtual work practices.


Civil Engineering Computing; Construction Industry; Data Visualisation; Groupware; Project Management; Team Working; Virtual Reality; Cybergrid; Virtual Workspace; Construction; Engineering; National Boundaries; National Boundary Spanning; Aec Firms; Complex Work; Interdependent Work; Coordination Challenges; Culture; Productive Work Connections; Chapter; Global Research Infrastructure; Geographically Distributed Aec Work Coordination; Research Tool; Virtual Aec Teamwork; Virtual Teams; Complex Sociotechnical Systems; Future Research Opportunities; Improved Sociotechnical Systems; Aec Projects; Aec Project Stakeholders; Efficient Global Virtual Work Practices