INTERMAT 2018: SBS and EBC emphasise the importance to engage SMEs in digitalization and standardisation

On Tuesday 24 April, Small Business Standards (SBS) and buildingSMART International organized the conference organized the conference “Why are open standards a way for SMEs to access BIM?, during INTERMAT, the international exhibition for construction and infrastructure, in Paris, with 1,500 exhibitors presenting equipment, materials and solutions for civil engineering and structural building works. EBC Secretary General Eugenio Quintieri, participated in the conference panel on behalf of SBS, alongside representatives from buildingSMART International and the French standardization organisation AFNOR. After a presentation of the mission and structure of Small Business Standards, the speakers exchanged views regarding the importance of openBIM for construction SMEs and how to better involve them in the standardisation process.

In addition to this, EBC took part in the conference “BIM for all: examples of good practices organized by buildingSMART France on Wednesday 25 April. During this occasion, Mr Quintieri presented the benefits of digitalisation for the sector, but also the barriers that especially micro and small enterprises are facing  and stressed that the agenda of the European Union has to prioritise digital construction. The session furthermore included presentations by the Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI), the French Scientific and Technical Centre for Building (CSTB) and buildingSMART France.

BIM offers many opportunities to construction stakeholders, but also challenges, especially for SMEs and crafts. EBC has always emphasised that with around 93% of the EU construction sector made up of micro enterprises, it is imperative that these players are not left behind in defining but also reaping the benefits of the digital revolution taking place in the industry. To do so, we need the cooperation of the whole construction sector as well as prioritising digital construction at the European, national and local levels.