Rebuild Expo & Congress: putting construction construction SMEs at the frontline of digitalisation

On 27 September, the European Builders Confederation participated to the first edition of the REBUILD Expo & Congress held in Barcelona. On the occasion, EBC Secretary General Eugenio Quintieri delivered a keynote speech on how construction SMEs and craftsmen are fundamental in order to achieve the needed digital transformation of the sector.

REBUILD provides a unique innovation platform to the construction sector, with a special focus on renovation and energy efficient houses and buildings. Around 500 participants from across Europe took part, among them BIM experts, public administrators, developers, service consultants, material suppliers, in a nutshell, several decision-makers for the construction industry. “Scenes as Rebuild are extremely important to further disseminate and exchange about what is the future of our industry; we thank the organizers for such a rich event and look forward to further collaboration in the future” said EBC Secretary General.

As 99.9% of the European construction sector is composed of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, the expected digital transformation of the construction sector cannot happen without these crucial actors. Digital solutions have great potential to increase productivity, reduce construction costs, alleviate burdensome and physical tasks, improve the data collection and analysis of energy efficiency performances, and lower life-cycle costs of buildings.

However, given their limited size, SMEs often lack internal experts that are able to deal with digital tools. For this reason, the support from large contractors, architects, manufacturers and further value chain actors is essential. Best practices show that when SMEs are introduced to digital tools from other sectoral actors, there are higher probabilities that those SMEs will make use of them in their future daily routine. Amongst the different best practices, Eugenio Quintieri gave a quick overview of BIMio, the BIM viewer under development by the Belgian Building Research Institute (BBRI) that will provide construction SMEs with a free and simple digital tool in the next future.

Digital solutions, such as BIM, make sense when they are affordable, easy to access and constitute a real added value to our construction SMEs and craftsmen. Only an inclusive digital transformation will ensure the strengthening of the sector as a whole. In order to do so, we need to achieve the main objectives of the European Construction Industry Manifesto for Digitalisation: a strong cooperation of all actors within the construction value chain, paired with supportive European and national regulatory and financial framework” concluded Eugenio Quintieri.

For more information on the Rebuild Expo & Congress

To read the European Construction Manifesto for Digitalisation