Construction 2020 discussion on digitalisation
FIEC presented some of the challenges that lie ahead for the construction industry, both technical and practical, as the European Commission is considering with Construction 2020 stakeholders how best to support the uptake of digitalisation in the industry. Wilfred van Woudenberg from Royal BAM Group spoke on behalf of FIEC, highlighting some key issues, such as the cost of initial investment in BIM, the lack of knowledge and the fear factor and some more technical issues such as the lack of interoperability and open platforms. A presentation on 3D printing, by the General Manager of a small French enterprise, showed what is possible if companies can be allowed to experiment and develop and roll-out new processes, which will solve many productivity problems, creating new job opportunities, albeit for different kinds of skills, which are likely to attract young people into the industry. It was acknowledged that any regulatory framework which constrains innovation too much, could result in the opportunities being lost to less regulated countries outside of Europe. On the other hand, the inevitable trade-offs that will face the industry and policy makers need to be addressed now, so that solutions can be found.