I have been a long-time enthusiast for Wiki technology. I started editing Wikipedia in 2003 and have completed literally thousands of edits over the years since then. I have also started internal wiki projects and contributed to shared wikis run by various professional groups (eg: the RIBA’s own Ribapedia). I was therefore delighted to read about Building Sustainable Design‘s latest social media project: the BSD Project Wiki.
BSD says its wiki will allow users to upload details of projects, images and design team information to its project database:
You don’t have to know every last detail about a particular project, just log in and fill in the bits you do know then encourage other members of the project team to upload information on the aspects of a scheme for which they were responsible.
Like Wikipedia, the BSD site is a database open to everyone, to contribute or scrutinise. Over time we hope the BSD Wiki will grow into a valuable resource of contemporary project design.
One of the reasons I welcome this initiative is that I have long felt the construction industry has needed an accessible repository describing successful projects. During the late 1990s, I wrote numerous case studies for the Construction Best Practice Programme, and while these were (of course) excellent descriptions, they were ‘snapshots in time’, tending to focus purely on design and construction, and didn’t take account of lessons that may have been learned later, for example by building users or occupants.
Hopefully BSD’s wiki won’t focus just on design, but on the whole process from initial brief, through planning and detailed design to construction and onward facilities management, repair, maintenance, refurbishment, etc, so that industry professionals and their clients can share and learn from previous industry practice. There is also, perhaps, an opportunity for existing organisations (such as Constructing Excellence) to contribute their case study resources and help populate BSD’s wiki with a strong cross-section of recent and ongoing projects.
(It is also good to get a reminder of the collaborative value of wikis as social media projects – hopefully, it will be something that will be covered at next month’s Be2camp North in Liverpool on 15 May. Register to attend this free event now.)