On 27 May, the Horizon 2020 project DigiPLACE held its closing conference, entitled “The future building blocks: How digital platforms will help deliver the EU Green Deal goals“. DigiPLACE, thanks to the efforts of an EU-wide consortium composed of 19 partners (including EBC) from 11 countries, succeeded in establishing a Reference Architecture Framework (RAF) for digital construction platforms and in developing a strategic roadmap to implement this RAF, with the ambition to connect EU, national and regional scales to upscale digital platforms and solutions.
This hybrid event was live-streamed from Brussels, gathering a total of almost 300 participants connected online during the 4 different topic blocks in which the conference was structured (sessions that were preceded by an opening speech by Maive Rute – Deputy Director-General at DG GROW of the European Commission):
- Session 1: “A recap of the DigiPLACE project & its main outcomes”
- Session 2: “Putting the power of digital at work for the EU Green Deal”
- Session 3: “How to fit into the DigiPLACE RAF: some practical examples”
- Session 4: “After DigiPLACE: the EU support for the digital transition”
EBC Secretary General Eugenio Quintieri was invited to participate in the context of the session “Putting the power of digital at work for the EU Green Deal”, engaging in fruitful discussions with Daniel Mes (Advisor to Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans), Clemence Arto (Head of European Government Affairs at Autodesk) and Žiga Turk (Professor at the University of Ljubljana) on how digital construction could benefit the EU Green Deal. The EBC Secretary General took the occasion to remind that “it’s crucial to have a more sustainable built environment. But for that, we need to make sure also that the sector is ready for this Renovation Wave in terms of sufficient capacity and appropriate skills”. Also, when confronted on the role of small and medium construction enterprises in the digital transition of the sector, he stated how “construction SMEs are the enablers of digital construction, they are the backbone of the sector and ready to deliver the Renovation Wave provided that they are well supported“.
The third session was dedicated to practical examples of digital platforms for construction, and how these existing platforms can match the requirements of the DigiPLACE RAF. Prof. Jakob Beetz of the RWTH Aachen University presented the BIM4Ren platform with easy-to-use BIM tools for construction professionals and enthusiastically welcomed the challenge of making the connection with DigiPLACE’s proposals. The regional Italian platform BIMRel, the IBM OpenBuilt initiative, and the public “e-construction platform” by the Estonian government were also presented.
After the fourth session, dedicated to the sustainability of the DigiPLACE outcomes after the completion of its project lifecycle, the event was concluded with the closing remarks by Dr. Joao Neves (Secretary of State & Deputy Minister for Economy of Portugal).