Last edited 09 Sep 2022


Knowledge pyramid.jpg

Very broadly, the term ‘knowledge’ refers to organised information, such as might be found in a report.

It is differentiated from data - which refers to discrete facts (numbers and characters that in themselves have no meaning) and information - which is data that has been structured so that it does have meaning (such as text or a table).

The application of knowledge is sometimes referred to as wisdom.

Knowledge can be explicit knowledge, which has been codified and recorded, or tacit knowledge, which is experiential and more difficult to formalise.

The construction industry is a knowledge-based industry, which depends on knowledge and high skill levels, and has an increasing need for ready access to knowledge. Knowledge is vital to the construction industry, defining what is required, setting standards and explaining what is possible. It includes legislation, regulations, policy, best practice, research, innovations, news and so on. For more information see: Types of construction knowledge.

However, unlike data and information, which tend to be project based and so have clear authorship, ownership, responsibility and control, knowledge tends to be industry-wide and intra project, with no overall controlling mind. As a result, tt is fragmented, inconsistent, sometimes contradictory, and often hidden behind pay walls and membership sign ups, or held on private intranets.

Knowledge jigsaw.jpg

The Construction Knowledge Task Group is working to improve the standardisation of, and access to knowledge by practitioners.

Articles about knowledge on Designing Buildings include:

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again