Report of the CIB Expert Seminar on Building Non-Handicapping Environments,
CIB is the abbreviation of the French title of the
International Council for Building Research, Studies and Documentation whose
purpose as stated in its bylaws is "to encourage, facilitate and develop
international cooperation in building, housing and planning research, studies
and documentation, covering not only the technical but also the economic
and social aspects of building and the related environment."
Since building is the activity through which man seeks to adapt his environment
to better serve his purposes, CIB's sphere of interest covers a wide range.
Some primary topics are:
- the planning, utilization and adaptation of the environment to the
extent it directly influences the building activity;
- the entire domain of building science and technology including engineering,
economics, industrial management, the sociological and social questions
related to the analysis of building needs;
- the bridge between scientific innovation and full-scale application,
preparation and provision of the information for different user categories,
development of information techniques and systems, development work involving
both research and industry.
CIB is thus an organization with comprehensive interests in building and
the building industry and it frequently collaborates with various international
organizations whose interest in building is of a more specialized nature.
Membership is essentially institutional. Most members
are national institutes engaged in research, information and development
activities. Among these institutes are building research establishments
which have existed for longer or shorter periods, institutes specializing
in information, associations devoted to one particular group of materials,
research sections of universities, national and international research groupings,
etc. Virtually all major research institutes around the world (in nearly
60 countries) are now Members. CIB also turns its eyes towards industry
and invited firms with a major research capability to become Members.
Such institutions and firms may elect to apply for Full Membership or Associate
Membership where the scale of their operations determines which category
is appropriate. Annual membership fees are calculated according to a formula
with several variables such as GNP, population, etc.
It should be pointed out that CIB does not have "member countries"
and that CIB membership is not restricted to one single institution per
country. There may be -and there often is- a substantial number of institutions
in the same country that are CIB members.
A third membership category, Unattached Membership, affords the possibility
of individual membership to those experts who are able to male personal
contributions to CIB's work but who cannot easily establish a liaison via
a member institution.
How does CIB aim at achieving its objectives? Firstly,
through a network of highly specialized Working Commissions and Steering
Groups. Members appoint representatives to those groups engaged in fields
of particular interest to themselves which provides them with the unique
opportunity of keeping abreast with international research trends.
The Groups operate in a wide variety of fields such as structural safety,
timber structures, heat and moist transfer, tolerances, acoustics, low cost
housing and construction organization and management, to name but a few.
A significant sphere of operations is information and documentation. It
is here that CIB had its origins.
Secondly, through organizing Congresses, Symposia and Colloquia on themes
of general and particular interest. The CIB Congress itself, held every
third year, has become a major event on the international construction research
calendar. Working Commissions and Steering Groups meet more frequently.
Thirdly, through its publishing activities. The results of Working Commissions
and the Proceedings of Congresses are made available to practitioners and researchers
everywhere. The CIB Journal, Building Research and Practice, appears six times
a year in English and French. It is considered a "must" on the desks
of building scientists throughout the world.
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