The Council for the Built Environment (CBE) launched a new electronic portal - dubbed the information and knowledge centre - on Monday, which was designed to provide a "one-stop" solution for those seeking access to information on the built environment.
CBE board chairperson Gwen Theron explained that, although the information hub was not in any way restricted, but would probably appeal most to professionals in the sector, as well as academics teaching subjects related to the built environment, or students.
Topics encompassed included engineering, landscaping, architecture, project and construction management, property valuation and quantity surveying.
The intention of the online portal was to make available credible and accredited information from universities and research institutions at a single centre that was freely accessible.
Theron said that the CBE's centre currently had agreements with the University of Pretoria and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research allowing it to access and publish information arising from the two institutions. She added that the CBE intended to establish agreements with all the tertiary education institutions across the country, and that it also had a view to expand this collaboration internationally.
The centre has taken about a year to come to fruition and CEO Bheki Zulu commented at the launch that it was still a work in progress that required engagement from stakeholders to keep the service relevant.
To ensure sustainability of this initiative a number of steps have and would be taken, including the appointment of full-time staff to oversee the centre, quarterly peer review sessions in the first year and tracking of monthly hits reports to define an awareness raising strategy.