RIB History

From a Data Processing Centre to a Premium Solution Provider for Construction Management

Professors Hahn, Bornscheuer and Leonhardt laid the foundations for RIB Software SE in 1961

"Nobody I knew showed the faintest interest in my electronic computing office for the construction industry. Then I told Professor Leonhardt about my ideas and was actually able to win him over. He said I ought to approach Professor Bornscheuer - and that's how RIB came into being."

These are the words of Professor Dr.-Ing. Volker Hahn, who founded the computing institute for the construction industry in 1961 together with Professors Leonhardt and Bornscheuer. Sponsored by the Ministry of Economics of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the then independent institute for technical and commercial data processing developed the first programme chains for electronic calculation of bridges and road design.

From left to right: Dr.-Ing. F.W. Bornscheuer, Dr.-Ing. H.c.F. Leonhardt, Prof.Dr.-Ing. Volker Hahn and the former CEO of RIB, Prof. Dr. Karl-Friedrich Höfner
The IBM 1620: the first computing system in the RIB company with a capacity of 12.5 KB

RIB budget preparation and tender processing solution used nationwide

Renowned for its pioneering achievements in statics and as an all-round provider of AEC and EPC solutions, the name RIB has stood for efficient construction management ever since the early seventies. At the end of the sixties, the company began development of a first system for budget preparation and tender processing: the batch system IDEAL 1, designed for large data processing systems.

In 1970, the Gemeinsame Aussschuss für Elektronik im Bauwesen, GAEB (Joint Electronic Committee for Civil Engineering and Building Construction) started work on the Standardleistungsbuch (Standard Library of Descriptions of Building Works). With RIB software, this Standard Library could be processed according to the rules. IDEAL was already independent of the hardware used. Hardware independence is still a characteristic feature of RIB software today.

In 1974, the ISYBAU Group purchased the software for use at Federal and state level. After that, RIB software was used all over Germany. With punch card systems like IDEAL, the search for errors usually took a great deal of time.

This problem was remedied by the IDEALOG dialog system for processing the Standard Library of Descriptions of Building Works, which RIB developed from 1975 onwards and launched on the market in 1979.

IDEALOG was developed at the same time as the dialog-capable operating systems well known at the time for large computing systems, BS2000 and TSO. Soon afterwards, in 1976, a user association was established with the aim of identifying customer requirements and translating them into practical solutions.

Even in those days, customers of the data processing centre had an influence on program optimisation. Developing and optimising software solutions together with the customer is still the company's philosophy today.

Startscreen IDEALOG
The intelligent solution for budget preparation and tender processing IDEALOG proved successful in the eighties.

RIB AEC and EPC: Developed from practical experience to suit practical requirements

In 1992 the BAR2 study group composed of the companies Strabag, Bilfinger Berger, Züblin, Heilit and Werner, Dyckerhoff & Widmann and Walter-Bau worked out the specifications for new software that had been considered for the development of the new RIB solution.

Like the user association in the seventies, this cooperation with practical experience yielded valuable results in the form of an integrated software solution for the engineering and execution sides of construction projects.

RIB CSuite was born: transparent software integrating all phases of a project. Because of the modular design, the software was at the same time a target-group oriented solution geared to the tasks of an internationally operating construction company while equally addressing the needs of an architectural firm. The RIB philosophy proved once again that the most innovative solutions are created by a lively exchange of information with customers and other companies.

Today, a large number of reputable construction companies rely on the RIB solution, using it for successful projects all around the globe. Apart from the classic construction companies such as Bilfinger Berger, Strabag or Max Bögl, RIB is also popular with the German automobile industry. The solution is used by several car manufacturers, including Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

In the last few years, the Stuttgart software company has been able to gain a foothold in another target market with RIB EPC. In 2006, RIB presented the integrated solution for national and international EPC and E&C projects.

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