Digital Building Logbooks: No rollout without addressing pending challenges

Recently, the European Commission published the final study report on the “Development of a European Union Framework for Digital Building Logbooks”, which aims to support and structure the widespread use of digital building logbooks in the EU Member States and increase data availability and transparency on buildings to a broad range of market players. EBC welcomes this report as an important step towards improving knowledge on Digital Building Logbooks and supports the proposition that several questions and gaps still need to be overcome before a possible rollout.

EBC considers Digital Building Logbooks as a valuable tool to follow the long-term evolution of a building by storing all data and documents related to the building at a central place and by facilitating information-sharing. This can positively influence owners’ knowledge and professionals’ services, e.g. when renovating or maintaining equipment in the house.

However, storing information online, and especially critical data, always implies risks in terms of unauthorised access, which is why a clear framework concerning data ownership and data liability responsibilities needs to exist before any kind of recommendations for a Digital Building Logbook rollout are proposed. In addition to this, it must be ensured that administrative burdens for owners and professionals are kept to an absolute minimum. Therefore, EBC recommends the following main points regarding Digital Building Logbooks:

  • Undertake a study in all EU-27 Member States focusing on current data ownership, access rights to the data, and responsibilities regarding data liability as a priority.
  • Make sure that Digital Building Logbooks take existing initiatives at the national and regional level into account in order to avoid overlaps and additional administrative burdens.
  • Respecting data ownership and privacy rules, public authorities and building professionals should have limited and/or project-based access to Digital Building Logbooks, because the data available can improve their advice and service to homeowners.

“Digital Building Logbooks have a great potential to increase the knowledge and information about the building, both for owners and professionals, which can further increase and improve building related services. Yet, it is essential that we first address the challenges identified, in particular related to data ownership and liability responsibilities, in order to ensure that Digital Building Logbooks can serve the purpose they are designed for”, emphasises Eugenio Quintieri, EBC Secretary General.

To read EBC position paper on Digital Building Logbooks and Building Renovation Passportsclick here