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Report of the CIB Expert Seminar on Building Non-Handicapping Environments, Harare 1992


About CIB


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:
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.

Harare CIB Report Contents | About CIB