State of play, digitalisation in construction: The EU construction sector is making progress in the uptake of digital technologies. The integration of digital technologies is often viewed as a key element to tackle some of the main challenges it is faced with, such as labour shortage, competitiveness, resource and energy efficiency, and productivity. In fact, the digitalisation of the construction sector is particularly important in times when the construction sector faces labour shortages and a profitability margin squeeze. The sector also generates 374 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste (CDW) in the EU, making it the largest producer of CDW in the EU in terms of mass.
The technologies presented are, in some cases, heavily interconnected. To give an example, the report analyses sensors, drones, and robotics as three separate technologies; however, drones can be equipped with various sensors and robot-ic parts. At the same time, 3D scanning, BIM, Augmented reality and Digital Twins are also deeply interconnected, as they refer to similar technologies being used in different ways or to different stages of the same technology (e.g. augmented reali-ty in the construction sector can be seen as the combination of BIM projects with visual sensors; a Digital Twin is a BIM project regularly updated by using data from several sensors, scanners, etc.).
Digitalisation policies and initiatives in the EU: The public sector can play a pivotal role in supporting, incentivising, pushing for the uptake of digital technologies and processes in the construction sector. It does so through mainly three types of interventions: i) as policy-makers, being able to set the rules of the game and lead the digitalisation process; ii) as buyers and owners of buildings and infrastructures, being able to influence the market, by providing business opportunities; and iii) as providers/administrators of public services related to construction and management of the building stock, hence having the possibility to digitalise their own processes first – so as to facilitate the digitalisation uptake down the value chain
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