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Establishing the foundations for a European Construction digitalization

The Construction and Built environment sector represents 13% of the World’s GDP and 9% of the European GDP. This sector is still energy and resource intensive and is one of the industrial sectors responsible for high levels of GHG emissions. Evermore, this sector is expected to be one of the most important in the future to be resilient and to address challenges related to climate change and population growth. The Construction and Built environment sector needs to continue its deep internal transformation to evolve and to address these challenges. Digitalization, as the sector has increasingly demonstrated in the 20th century, is one the most important drivers to achieve that goal.

The digitalization of the Construction sector tangibly took off in the last decade with many large-scale implementations based on digital tools for planning, design, construction, and operations of facilities. For example smart meter deployment in buildings for energy management, IT-based decentralized renewable energy solutions (production, consumption and storage), digital twinning for different scenario forecasting and fine-tuning of existing buildings, etc.. Increased computing capacity help detailed development and sharing of Digital models of buildings and exploit collaborative BIM technologies not only for new buildings, but also for retrofitted ones. This approach also applies to larger infrastructure projects like bridges or tunnels for example. Digitalization also plays an important role in industrialization of processes, notably for prefabrication solutions and the possibility to shape individually each element of a wall or a roof. Organization of worksites is more and more digitalized, supervision of some of them uses drones, and should rely in a very near future on Digital Twins. Eventually, digital solutions for the elderly population will open new horizons for people to live more comfortably, safely, and longer.

Construction therefore appears as a quite successful sector to see digitalization thrive, boosting the economy, increasing the quality of life, and lowering environmental impact of the built environment. A dynamic and significant Innovation strategy is essential to improve existing solutions, develop new ones, make them more affordable, faster, more circular people-centric, and therefore to allow generalizing their use to buildings and infrastructures of all ages, of all sizes and functions and in all Member States, and for all the Construction and Built Environment stakeholders

The Digital Built Environment (DBE) Committee aim is to establish the foundations of the European digitalization strategy towards a digital built environment. Furthermore, it aims to create an exhaustive network, including the relevant stakeholders of the construction sector and of the relevant technology and supply value chains, including citizens, so as to deliver a European-wide consensus around the Digital Transformation of the Construction sector and the needed actions to achieve it. The Committee will especially focus on the digitalization process in SME’s since it considers that SME’s are at the core of the construction sector and have a critical role in the future of the sector.

In order to accomplish these goals, the Digital Built Environment committee will undertake the following actions:

  • Identification of the current barriers and limitations in the introduction of digital technologies and techniques.
  • Definition of measures and interventions to overcome identified barriers.
  • Gathering “best practices” from different sectors, institutions and member states.
  • Definition and promotion of European SRIA and roadmap to support the sector’s transition and digital transformation.
  • Definition of gaps and cross-transversal challenges in the different national strategic plans related to the digital transformation of the construction sector.

ECTP Digital Built Environment Committee Chair: Rita Moura (PTPC)

ECTP DBE Committee Executive Board Members

Name Organisation 
Rita Moura (Chair) PTPC
Sylvain Kubicki (Coordinator) LIST
Javier Bonilla ACCIONA
Larissa De Rosso ACE
Noemí Jiménez Redondo CEMOSA
Pablo Coca CTIC Technology Centre
Miguel Segarra DRAGADOS
Laura Tordera FERROVIAL
Simeon Oxizidis IES
Antoine Dugué NOBATEK/INEF4
Lizhen Huang NTNU
Carl-Magnus Capener RISE
Stefano Carosio STAM
Jose Manuel Olaizola Martija TECNALIA
Francisco Javier Diez TEKNIKER
Rob Roef TNO
Ilari Aho UPONOR
Johanna Kuusisto VTT