Korea’s Construction Business Informatization Overview
and Future Plans
MyoungBae Seo
ICT Convergence and Integration Research Division
Korea Institute of Construction Technology
Goyang-Si, Gyeonggi-Do, Republic of Korea
NamGon Kim
ICT Convergence and Integration Research Division
Korea Institute of Construction Technology
Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea
ngkkim @kict.re.kr
Abstract-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
construction CALS to explore a construction development
Keywords-Construction CALS, project management,
land acquisition compensation, facility maintenacne,
construction approval, and construction standards
1. Introduction
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 construction 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 competitiveness. 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 construction CALS.
2. Background to CALS Introudction
and Implementation
The construction business knowledge and
informationzation systems were needed in order to improve
the 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
construction CALS is stage 3, and supports the strengthening
of linkage with diverse institutes and national policies.
TABLE 1. Goals of Construction CALS by Stage
Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3
Build clients’
Computerize work
Achieve advanced co-
work and integration
Computerize single-unit
Build institutes’
Support linkage
integration and policies
Open Journal of Applied Sciences
Supplement2012 world Congress on Engineering and Technology
ht © 2012 SciRes.15
3.Implementation of Construction
In order to exchange and share information on the whole
construction business process, six construction CALS systems,
including construction business management, construction
approval, land acquisition compensation, facility maintenance,
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]
Figure 2. Six Types of Construction CALS Systems
Along with the systems, six types of standards are being
implemented to exchange and share overall construction
business data. They include electronic drawings, drawing
information exchange, electronic documents, construction
information classification 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 establish some of them as international
4. Construction CALS Development
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 follows.
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 maintenance systems
Facilitate the use of accumulated design and
construction work information : Analyze and process
accumulated information 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
construction business management systems to spread them as
national standard models to local governments, etc., and to
respond to additional standardization demand.
Figure 3. Expected Vision and Goal of Construction CALS
5. Conclusion
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 the
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
establish itself as a new growth engine in the construction
category in South Korea.
16 Cop
ht © 2012 SciRes.
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.
[1]Jin Gyeong-ho, Opportunities for the Improvement of
Competitiveness and Efficiency of Construction Industry,
NIIST’s Role, Construction Technology Trends 2010,
KICT, December 2010.
[2]MLTM, Third Master Plan for Construction CALS,
December 2007.
[3] KICT, 2010 Construction CALS Operation and Function
Improvement, MLTM, March 2010.
[4]KICT, 2010 Construction CALS Standard Construction
and Operation, MLTM, March 2010.
ht © 2012 SciRes.17