CIB Commissions in Brief

A CIB Commission is a worldwide network of experts in a defined scientific area who meet regularly and exchange information on a voluntary basis.

The scope, objectives and work programme of each Commission are defined by its members and officially approved by the CIB Programme Committee.
Most Commissions have one Coordinator, who is appointed by its members and by the CIB Programme Committee.
Some Commissions have not one but two Joint Coordinators and some have a Secretary also.
Some Commissions have set up Working Groups to focus on specific parts of the work programme and some have established their own projects in which Commission members or their institutes collaborate.
Most Commissions have annual plenary meetings, which are organised by a CIB member organisation represented in the Commission. Certain Commissions however, have more frequent plenary meetings and/or additional meetings of their Working Groups. Also most Commissions at regular intervals organise an international symposium, conference or workshop.

Although there are a few Commissions which only act as a platform for an informal exchange of information between their members, most also produce official publications featuring their output which are then distributed within the CIB community and sold externally on a commercial basis.

A growing number of these Commissions now have their own Home Page and there are also some which have a liaison with an officially CIB Encouraged Journal covering their particular area of expertise.

For each Commission detailed information on its Scope and Objectives, Work Programme, Meeting Schedule, Publications, External Relations, Membership and Electronic Addresses is given in the section "Commissions" of the part "Data Base" of this Home Page.

CIB Meetings

What takes place at the CIB meetings is the very essence of CIB's raison d'etre.

Most common are the regular Commission Meetings organised all over the world in which, for example, 25 members of a Commission report on their current work in their own country, on already available research results and on future plans. It is here that experts meet their peers from other countries, discover that they are working on similar problems and initiate the process of information exchange or even collaboration. And it is this international information exchange and collaboration that will substantially enhance the day to day performance of such an expert in his or her own organisation.

Most CIB Commissions organise an International Symposium or Conference every three or four years. The underlying aim is to allow everyone working in the specific scientific area to present his or her work; to learn about the state of developments in all parts of the world; to update themselves on different approaches to problems on which they themselves are working and to initiate contacts with their peers from all over the world.

A clear trend in the CIB community is to put on meetings with the characteristics of a Workshop or Seminar in which each participant is asked to prepare an input that is focused on a well defined theme. The idea is not to have passive participants just sitting in and listening but instead to have them participate as actively as possible in the expectation that they will contribute towards achieving a pre-defined final result.

The latest information on dates, locations and topics of all CIB Commission Meetings, Symposia, Conferences and Workshop or Seminars is included in the section "Meetings" in the part "Data Base" of this Home Page.

CIB Publications

Three main types of published output originate from the CIB Commissions:
    • scientific or technical analyses
    • international state-of-the-art reports
    • proceedings of workshops, symposia and conferences
A Commission's project is often a scientific or technical analysis executed by a selected group of Commission members from different countries frequently with different scientific disciplines. A scientific analysis is of significance for the wider international scientific community and may for example be utilised in educational programmes in universities. The results of a technical analysis are intended for application by the building industry and practitioners.

A special type of Commission project is the international state-of-the-art analysis. The composition of its membership ensures that a CIB Commission is the most efficient vehicle for executing such an analysis. The resulting publication is a report that describes state-of-the-art developments worldwide in a way that is attractive and beneficial to researchers and educators as well as to innovators in the industry and to practitioners and governments.

Similar projects and publications of CIB Commissions are: the international status reports which analyse and compare developments per country and the international collections and analyses of best practices.
Many CIB Commissions have an ongoing relationship with an international standardisation Commission, for example an ISO Commission. Through such a relationship, a scientific or technical analysis or an international state-of-the-art analysis produced by a CIB Commission will often prove to be an effective tool within the context of preparing an international standard.

The most common CIB publications, however, are still the proceedings of CIB symposia and conferences which bring together refereed papers covering a defined area of building research and technology development by authors from all over the world.

CIB Commissions' Scopes

Within the CIB organisation there are almost 60 Commissions. The complete list can be found in the section "Commissions" in the part "Data Base" of this Home Page, in which information is also given about the scope and objectives, the work programme, the meetings schedule and the publications of each CIB Commission.

Collectively these Commissions cover virtually every aspect of building and construction research and innovation.

In order to give an insight in the programme of CIB's current Commissions two documents can be downloaded: an overview of the scope and objectives of all Commissions and also a here in which those are mapped in detail via the following Areas of Scientific Interest:

- General: broad aspects of research, education, innovation, information, regulation

- Building Technique
Construction Materials and Technologies
Building Physics
- Buildings and the Environment
Design of Buildings
Built Environment
- Building Process
Management Organisation Economics
Legal and Procurement Practices
Each Commission is different, according to its members' needs for international exchange and collaboration and to the enthusiasm and commitment which these members show for the importance and the complexity of the topics on which they are engaged.

In these CIB Commissions you will come across representatives of all building professions, all scientific disciplines and indeed all interests in building from every part of the world.

Some of the Commissions are joint Commissions with a CIB partner organisation. It may be expected that in the future we will see more of those joint Commissions.

Just how these Commissions perform is kept under permanent review by the CIB Programme Committee. Regularly existing Commissions that have accomplished their task are terminated and new ones are continually being added in response to a freshly arisen need for international information exchange and collaboration by CIB members.

CIB Priority Themes

In the past the CIB Programme was no more than the outcome of what could be referred to as the re-active approach: CIB Members proposed the setting up of a new Commission, the CIB Programme Committee made an assessment of the interest in such a Commission amongst the Membership at large and of its potential added value and decided whether the proposed work programme was not already covered by another international organisation and, in case of a positive assessment, established the Commission.

The result is a programme made up of a large number of what are in principle non-related Commissions, in which individual experts participate on a voluntary basis only and which in fact are not really able to undertake a firm commitment to a pre-defined objective, if this includes a deliverable within a stipulated period.

In addition to this re-active approach CIB has recently adopted the so-called pro-active approach: the CIB Board, in consultation with the Membership, chooses two or three themes, defines the envisaged deliverables for each theme and sets up a three or six year programme for their productions.

Components of such a programme for each theme in this approach can be:
    • committed projects to be carried out by the CIB Commissions
    • collaborative Member projects
    • targeted partnerships with other organisations.
The established CIB Priority Themes are:
  • Sustainable Construction - detailed information on this can be found here
  • Integrated Design and Delivery Solutions - detailed information on this can be found here
A schematic presentation of the structure of the CIB Programme, including the many Commissions and the Priority Themes, can be found here .

CIB Triennial World Building Congress

Every third year, at the conclusion of the CIB Triennium, CIB organises its Triennial World Building Congress.

One aim of this Congress is to provide a platform for all building and construction experts in the world, both in and outside the CIB community, to come together and exchange their expertise.

Another aim of this Congress to to present and discuss all results from projects set up in conjunction with the CIB Priority Themes which were in place during the Triennium.

In conjunction with this Congress the following events are organised:
    • CIB's Triennial General Assembly, at which among other items the CIB Board for the next Triennium is elected and CIB Policies discussed
    • CIB's Triennial Coordinators' Meeting, at which the Coordinators of all CIB Commissions meet and discuss the internal modus operandi of CIB to the extent that this may have an impact on the operations of their Commissions.
Also the majority of the CIB Commissions will schedule their annual meeting for the respective year adjacent to the Congress.