CII was established in October 1983 with the purpose of improving the competitive position of U.S. business in the global market. Its 28 charter members were responding to the recommendations from a study by The Business Roundtable entitled the Construction Industry Cost Effectiveness (CICE) Project. That five-year study of the industry and its problems specifically recommended that an organization be created to take a leadership role in construction research. The CICE participants – including more than 250 industry leaders, practitioners, and academicians – recognized this particular recommendation as an opportunity for companies and academia to work together for the improvement of the industry. Since its establishment at The University of Texas at Austin in 1983, CII has pursued a research agenda defined by its Board of Advisors, which is composed of one representative and an alternate from each member company. Volunteers from member companies are the core of the effort by CII in all of its activities.
CII was conceived as a three-way partnership among owners, contractors, and academia. This partnership was based on the premise that each party would contribute from its experience and competence to the overall work of the Institute. The academic community could play a major role in CII by bringing its knowledge of the research process and by providing a credible, neutral voice in the CII process. For practical experience, owners and contractors would provide the knowledge that comes from first-hand and in-the-field experience. Together, the three would form an owner–contractor–academia triad that would lend itself to conducting world-class research whose findings could be applied immediately.