Creative Education
2012. Vol.3, Supplement, 14-16
Published Online December 2012 in SciRes ( DOI:10.4236/ce.2012.37B003
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Korea’s Construction Business Informatization Overview and
Future Plans
Myoung Bae Seo, Nam Gon Kim
ICT Convergence and Integration Research Division, Korea Institute of Construction Technology, Goyang-Si,
Gyeonggi-Do, Republic of Korea
Email:, ngkkim
Received 2012
South Korea’s construction industry won orders worth USD 58 billion in 2011, and as such, it has
achieved a remarkable growth. However, despite such an impressive quantitative growth, value-added
quality growth has been very slow. Thus, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Marine Affairs (MLTM) is
pushing ahead with the construction informatization initiative (Construction Continuous Acquisition &
Life-cycle Support - CALS) in order to systematically manage a wide range of construction information
by stage and to enhance the efficiency of construction costs. This study aims to review the country’s con-
struction CALS to explore a construction development direction.
Keywords: Construction CALS; Project Management; Land Acquisition Compensation; Facility
Maintenance; Construction Approval; Construction Standards
South Korea’s construction industry has contributed to the
country’s economic growth and the people’s housing stabilization
through the building of SOC and the construction of housing. In
this process, the construction investment amount and the value
of earned construction orders have remarkably grown. The
value of earned overseas construction orders reached USD 58
billion in 2011, and as such, large constructors are actively
winning overseas construction orders. Notably, the MLTM is
setting a goal of winning overseas construction orders worth
USD 70 billion in 2012 by driving ahead with overseas con-
struction initiatives and penetrating the Middle East and Asia
construction markets where large-scale orders are expected.
The government is preparing across-the-board support measures
encompassing finances, technologies and diplomacy in order to
achieve the 2012 goal. However, despite this impressive
quantitative growth, due to a lack of engineering technology
competitiveness, and not much transparent management, the
country’s construction industry is backward and has yet to
achieve value-added quality development compared with that
of developed countries.[1]
Thus, the MLTM has formulated national informatization
strategies to improve the construction industry’s efficiency and
advance its knowledge and informatization to create value-
added construction businesses and bolster the industry’s com-
petitiveness. These efforts have improved diverse knowledge
and informatization systems and services for the general public.
Notably, in order to cope proactively to changing domestic and
international environments and to strengthen the transparency
and efficiency of construction project management through
informatization, the government formulated the master plan for
construction CALS in 1998 and has since implemented the
construction informatization system. This study thus aims to
review the country’s construction business informatization
overview and future development direction based on the con-
struction CALS.
Background to CALS Introudction and
The construction business knowledge and informationzation
systems were neede d in orde r to improve th e construction business
efficiency and to create value-added construction businesses. An
informatization strategy was formulated to enable clients and
constructors to electronically exchange and share the production
information of the entire construction business process
encompassing design, construction work and maintenance. The
outcome of the strategy is construction CALS.
In a bid to facilitate the informatization of construction work
process and to effectively use the results of such efforts, the
South Korean government formulates and implements a five-
year master plan every five years.[2] The current construc- tion
CALS is stage 3, and supports the strengthening of linkage wit h
diverse institutes and national policies.
Implementation of Construction CALS
In order to exchange and share information on the whole
construction business process, six construction CALS systems,
including construction business management, construction ap-
proval, land acquisition compensation, facility maintenance,
Table 1.
Goals of Construction CALS by Stage.
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Build clients’
infrast ructures
Computeri ze work
Achieve advanced co-work
and integration
single-unit works Build institutes’
systems Support linkage integration
and policies
M. B. SEO, N. G. KIM
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
Figure 2.
Six Types of Construction CALS Systems.
Figure 3.
Expected Vision and Goal of Construction CALS.
construction CALS portal, and harbor construction information
integration system are now being operated. Currently, these are
applied to some 1,000 projects in roads, rivers and harbors.
They are outlined as follows.[3]
Along with the systems, six types of standards are being im-
plemented to exchange and share overall construction business
data. They include electronic drawings, drawing information
exchange, electronic documents, construction information clas-
sification system, devising of construction information models
and common delivery criteria, and digital quantity calculation
exchange standard. These standards are being utilized across
the construction industry, and efforts are being made to estab-
lish some of them as international standards.[4]
Construction CAL S Development Direction
The construction CALS should continue its development
efforts to reduce the construction business costs, to improve the
efficiency based on informatization strategies, and to meet the
rapidly changing social needs. Thus, this study formulated the
vision and goal of the construction CALS aimed at realizing the
informatization of construction businesses that create the
national wealth creation as a new growth engine.
To achieve this vision and goal, five major strategies were
determined. To effectively implement these strategies, detailed
strategies will be devised. Five major strategies are outlined as
Support the lifecycle of construction business from
planning to maintenance: Use systems in managing major
construction business process data, expand work-classification
system (WBS)-applicable projects, and link and integrate with
the mainten anc e systems.
Facilitate the use of accumulated design and construction
work information: Analyze and process accumulated in-
formation to give feedback to planning and design stages.
Link increased user convenience with IT: Adopt mobile,
cloud computing, space information (GIS), and construction
information model (BIM).
SOC construction business portal service: Link with
construction business systems for roads, harbors and railroads,
run by the MLTM and institutes under its control, thus
providing integrated services.
Use and promote the construction CALS: Organize con-
struction business management systems to spread them as na-
tional standard models to local governments, etc., and to re-
spond to additional standardization demand.
M. B. SEO, N. G. KIM
Copyright © 2012 SciRes.
The application of construction CALS provides the following
expected benefits. First, it is possible to reutilize the existing
information, gather information speedily, cut the construction
period and reduce the cost. It is possible to cut the construction
period by 15%~20% and a yearly project budget of KRW 177.7
billion. Second, it is possible to make speedy communications
by sharing information across the construction business stages,
and to cut user waiting time by 30%~60%. Third, it is possible
to eliminate paper documents and effectively use spaces and to
reduce document distribution costs. Also, it is possible to
improve the public and private-sector construction work quality,
to help eliminate poor construction works, and to strengthen t he
country’s construction industry competitiveness.
The construction CALS will respond to the ever changing
social needs, and continue to expand and develop so as to es-
tablish itself as a new growth engine in the construction cate-
gory in South Korea.
Acknoweledgmen t
Part of this research was conducted as part of the MLTM’s
project to operate the CALS system and improve its functions.
We would like to express our thanks to the MLTM.
Jin Gyeong-ho, Opportunities for the Improvement of Competitiveness
and Efficiency of Constructio n Industry, NIIST’s Role, Construction
Technology T rends 2010, KICT, December 2010.
MLTM, Third Master Plan for Construction CALS, December 2007.
KICT, 2010 Construction CALS Operation and Function Improvement,
MLTM, March 2010.
KICT, 2010 Construction CALS Standard Construction and Operation,
MLTM, March 2010.