Accelerating the transformation of Construction to respond to the "Green Deal" and the "Digital Decade" of Europe

Accelerating the transformation of Construction to respond to the

The European Union takes up the subject of BIM with the 2014 directive and then with the creation of the EU BIM Task group in 2016. This is how the national policies for the deployment of BIM ( Handbook ) are identified and a methodological guide for public contracting authorities to initiate projects in BIM ( BIM Costs Benefits Analysis ). “We are currently working with the EC on the collection/analysis across EU countries of BIM use cases in public projects including buildings and infrastructure. Particular attention is paid to the use of openBIM as well as to the links with energy performance, environmental impact and the circular economy” specifies Souheil Soubra, president of the EU BIM Task Group.

Various support policies are also developed by the European Commission (EC) through projects such as Horizon 2020 for example. In 2020, the EC adopts a new strategy which highlights the need to further accelerate the green and digital transitions in line with the Green Deal and the Digital Decade, to increase the resilience of EU industrial ecosystems and to advance competitiveness and the sovereignty of Europe. " We are working on the concrete development of actions to make this "digital bridge" - between the different scales of the built environment, between the different professionals and users - a catalyst for trust, transparency and better decision-making. decision-making in construction processes (public procurement, building permits) but also a lever for economic and environmental efficiency, " explains Ilektra Papadaki, policy officer for digital construction and the built environment at the European Commission (DG -GROW).

In 2021, a co-creation process is initiated with the High level construction forum (see 3 HLCF 2021 reports in English) to move forward on the transition paths, including all the players concerned, including industry stakeholders, EC institutions and Member States. In addition, DG GROW* is launching a consultation on Scenarios for the transition pathway for a resilient, greener and more digital construction ecosystem ( . In 2022, the HLCF forum is adjusting its actions around the implementation of a roadmap towards a greener, digital and resilient construction ecosystem. " And on the study project 'Digitization of the built environment' which will start at the beginning of 2023, we are currently in the evaluation phase: we are carrying out additional research on the digitization of permit systems, and on the progress of BIM adoption in EU Member States ” explains Pieter Staelens of DG GROW.

What are the work areas of the EC for the digitization of Construction?

From 2020, priority is given to sectors facing the most significant challenges – digitalization and environmental neutrality – such as construction. In recent years, EU initiatives have supported the digitization of the construction ecosystem in the EU according to different guidelines.

  • A central axis relates to the optimization of the sharing and organization of information . Common repositories forall relevant building data is indeed one way for governments to help digitize the sector. The availability, sharing, and use of information remains limited, and a great deal of data is lost and must be recreated. Digital site diaries and databases on the energy performance of buildings could thus be set up in order to increase the availability and sharing of information.
  • The public sector , as purchaser and administrator of buildings and infrastructure, has an initiating role. This is the whole purpose of the work of the EU BIM Task group around public clients.
  • Digital platforms to coordinate public and private sector initiatives. For example, the Horizon 2020 project, DigiPLACE, bringing together more than 40 players (public authorities, associations and researchers) has proposed a reference architecture framework and a strategic roadmap for the platforms to be used for the future development of a data for construction. An approach that crosses the work carried out in the GAIA-X project for example (in connection with the DG Connect of the EU). The aim would be to create a European operational data cloud to consolidate construction data and enable new business models.
  • Government online services . Slow paper-based business processes hinder productivity and data reuse. The digitization of building permit systems is therefore essential: this is why the Commission has already issued various recommendations on this subject, which should soon be developed.

Estonia and Finland: pioneers of digital building permits

In Estonia in 2015, a declaration of intent was put in place to encourage building information modeling and management for all public service customers and for all stages of the life cycle. This allowed us to centralize the way of doing BIM, the conditions and the prerequisites. Recommendations, which have now become BIM standards in Estonia, even though there is no legislative obligation. In 2021 “A long-term view on construction 2035“ Ehituse pikk vaade 2035 ( is signed by all stakeholders, between government and industry: one of the bases concerns the building permit. Learn more:
The Joint Building Control of Järvenpää and Hyvinkää is one of the most advanced authorities in Finland in the field of BIM. It allowed the developer to apply for a building permit using a data model, provided that it contained all the information on the types of structures, materials and premises of the building as well as the surfaces / total volumes. All this information must be provided in IFC format. In 2022, a building permit was thus created, instructed and approved using the 3D model in openBIM for a site in Lepola, Järvenpää. Read more: Maailman ensimmäinen 3D-mallilla hyväksytty rakennuslupa Järvenpäässä |Järvenpää (

A concept note signed by Guersendre Nagy of buildingSMART France

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