Representatives of the EU Construction industry join forces to agree on a ‘European Construction Industry Manifesto for Digitalisation’

Four organisations of major industries – Committee of European Construction Equipment (CECE), Construction Products Europe (CPE), European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) and European Builders Confederation – joined forces to draft and agree on the “European Construction Industry Manifesto for Digitalisation”. Here are the manifesto’s three main pillars:

– The EU must take the political lead on digital construction;
– The need for an appropriate regulatory framework on data policy;
– An EU budget for the development of digital skills, R&D and the deployment of IT infrastructure.

As the European construction sector is already adapting to the digital transformation, EU policymakers can take advantage of the gained experience to help the industry cope with the digital disruption. Within the manifesto, the industry organisations pledge ‘to collaborate intensively, to lead and support the industry in order to enable a successful digital transformation of the construction industry’. However, through the establishment of a strong network of construction actors with different capabilities and input, the industry can only go so far. Such a transformation requires the appropriate political, regulatory and financial framework at European Union level.

‘European construction industry is already adjusting to the digital transformation, however the support from the EU policymakers is crucial’ said Riccardo Viaggi, CECE Secretary General.

Kjetil Tonning, FIEC’s president, said ‘The construction industry is vital for the EU economy and its products significantly impact the lifestyle and wellbeing of citizens. The health of the industry acts like a barometer for economic prosperity.’

‘Construction is one of the pillars of our economy and society. Digitalisation is transforming the way we operate and our industry wants to play a leading role in its transformation’ added Christophe Sykes, CPE Director General.

At the data standardization level, the EU has already made a major progress in terms of establishing best practices for data management in regard to digital construction. European and International standardization bodies (CEN, ISO, buildingSMART International) have set up technical committees solely responsible for the development of a structured set of standards that specify methodologies to define, describe, exchange, monitor, record and securely handle all data used within the construction sector.

Cobuilder sees the work done by CEN TC/442 and the Smart CE marking initiative as essential for the advancement of the future regulatory framework. The industry will highly benefit from a common methodology to define and manage construction product characteristics for digital use, which is a major focus of the CEN 442 committee. Only when we have the basis for defining how data is structured and shared, can we go on to discussing further policies for data security and intellectual rights.

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