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Last edited 27 Feb 2021
Knowledge plug-in launched to support isolated practitioners
On 23 April 2020, Designing Buildings Wiki launched Designing Buildings Anywhere to help locked-down construction professionals, researchers and students.
The free browser plug-in gives users instant pop-up access to 20,000 construction definitions, explanations and acronyms without leaving the website they are on. When they see a term they don’t understand, a topic they want to find out more about, or an acronym they don’t recognise; they simply highlight it and a window pops up with an explanation.
Architect Dr Gregor Harvie, Co-founder of Designing Buildings Wiki said:
“We created Designing Buildings Anywhere to support people while they’re away from the resources they would normally use to access industry knowledge. The lockdown may mean they can’t leave home, but now they have instant access to the knowledge they need without even leaving the website they are on.
“We want to make life easier for practitioners, particularly now, when so many of them are a long way from their offices and the support structures they rely on. It’s our mission to help them become more efficient, more collaborative, more innovative and better able to compete – no matter what the circumstances.”
The plug-in has been developed following a survey by the Construction Knowledge Task Group in 2019 that revealed more than a third of practitioners don’t have easy access to the knowledge they need to do their job. This is of great concern to the industry given the Hackitt review’s call for greater competence, and the government’s ongoing drive for improved productivity and innovation.
Nick Sumption, KTN Strategic Advisor to i3P said:
“There’s increasing evidence we need to find new ways of getting knowledge to practitioners so they have confidence they are fully informed wherever they are and whatever they are doing. This plug-in is an innovative first attempt that enables knowledge to be presented to practitioners rather requiring them to have to look for it. This is an exciting development which i3P, as a member of the Construction Knowledge Task Group, believes will be a key enabler for accessing knowledge. It will be fascinating to see how it is received.”
Designing Buildings Anywhere is a free add-on to the Firefox browser and takes less than a minute to download from the Firefox store: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/designing-buildings-anywhere/
Designing Buildings Anywhere works on the Firefox browser for desktop and laptop devices. It does not work on mobile devices or tablets as these do not operate the full version of Firefox.
Designing Buildings Wiki is the construction industry knowledge base. It is supported by; The Institution of Civil Engineers, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, The Chartered Institute of Building, The Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation, BRE Trust, BSRIA, The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and ECA.
It was created in 2012 by project manager David Trench CBE FCIOB, architect Dr Gregor Harvie, construction law solicitor Richard Winward and chartered banker and finance director Martin Cantor.
It includes a vocabulary of more than 16,000 construction industry terms and 3,000 acronyms about the planning, design, construction and operation of built assets - all available for free. Designing Buildings Wiki is used by 7.5 million people a year.
The Firefox add-on Designing Buildings Anywhere is available at: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/designing-buildings-anywhere/
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