How do you think digitalisation should be introduced in the Green Deal EU regulation?
Full Question: The European Commission has made a proposal for a European Green Deal. Within this proposal, they mention a review of the construction products regulation, which should "ensure that the design of new and renovated buildings at all stages is in line with the needs of the circular economy, and lead to increased digitalisation ... of the building stock." How do you think digitalisation should be introduced in this EU regulation?
The European Green Deal is a great initiative and we're glad that you brought this up. We'd like to get back to the value-chain here and the benefits of securing an unbroken chain of information. Products play an important role in the information chain and setting common European legisliation here may facilitate digitalisation in the construction sector. The inherent challenge in the traditional construction sector is that we tend to work in silos, and that we lose sight of the life cycle persective along the way. Information is lost along the way.
In post-Grenfell England, the government had to identify risk facades in the UK. It turned out to be tedious work since construction documentation often does not provide that level of detail and transparency. In the end, thousands of buildings had to be examined and it turned out that 500 buildings have risk constructions. From this example I think we can learn that securing information of products and systems are vital to ensure transparency, accountability and in the end - compliance.
Making sure that the Construction Products Regulations accomodates digitalisation and supplies product information in suitable exchange format is therefore key to securing an unbroken chain of information. CPR therefore needs clearer information requirements and we need mandates to CEN to develop the needed standards. The new standard on data templates for product information is a good start, but more work needs to be done in the respective disciplines. For example, for fire safety we have yet to see common definitions and machine-readable parameters and their associated values for fire safety performance.