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.

Detailed information on the working of Commissions can be found via the main tab above.

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 over 40 Commissions. The complete list can be found in the "Commissions" tab in the main menu above and in the "Database" section, 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.

Further information on the programme of CIB's current Commissions can be downloaded: an overview of the scope and objectives of all Commissions and also 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.

The activities and performance of these Commissions is kept under review by the CIB Programme Committee. From time to time Commissions that have accomplished their task are terminated, and new ones are regularly added in response to a freshly arising need for international information exchange and collaboration by CIB members.

CIB Priority Themes

In the past the CIB programme was the sum of what could be referred to as a reactive approach: CIB Members proposed 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, approved the new Commission. The result was a programme made up of many unrelated Commissions, in which individual experts participate on a voluntary basis, a feature which has many strengths but can also have the weakness of lack of committed resource when required to produce a specific deliverable within a stipulated period.

To complement this reactive approach, in recent years CIB adopted a so-called proactive approach, under which the CIB Board, in consultation with the Membership, identifies 2-3 central themes, defines desired objectives and deliverables for each theme, and sets up a three or six year programme to produce a set of outputs. This reflects the three-year cycle of the CIB between World Building Congresses (see below).

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.
Since 2016 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, CIB Policies approved, and annual financial accounts adopted.
  • CIB's Triennial Coordinators' Meeting, at which the Co-ordinators of all CIB Commissions meet, co-ordinate their activities where there may be overlap, share ideas for ways of working, types of output etc, and communicate their collective views to the CIB Board and Secretariat including for supportive actions.
The majority of the CIB Commissions will seek to schedule their annual meeting for the year adjacent to the Congress.