On Monday 26 September, the opening day of the European Energy Sustainable Week, EBC organized the final event of the Horizon 2020 project BIM4Ren – BIM based tools & technologies towards a fast and efficient Renovation of residential buildings, on the verge of successful completion after four year of intensive work.
EBC Secretary General Fernando Sigchos Jiménez moderated the event, titled “Making the Renovation Wave a reality: Easy-to-use digital tools for construction SMEs“, taking the audience through the milestones and outcomes of the project and leading the debates on the digitalisation of the construction sector, the needed up-skilling and re-skilling of the construction workforce and the main challenges construction SMEs face in these processes.
Ilektra Papadaki, Team leader in the Construction and built environment unit of the European Commission, opened the discussion saluting BIM4Ren as a front-runner in showcasing that digital tools can enable and facilitate the green transition of the EU, presented the ongoing work on the Roadmap for the transition pathways towards a green, digital, and resilient construction ecosystem, and announced the recent launch of the website ”Digitalisation of construction SMEs” where a set of tools is available to support the digitalisation efforts of construction SMEs.
Then, Antoine Dugué, coordinator of the BIM4Ren project on behalf of the French RTO Nobatek/INEF4, presented the BIM4Ren concept and methodology to contribute to a further uptake of BIM based tools and technologies in renovation projects of residential buildings and showcased the highlights from the pilot sites and living labs in France, Italy and Spain.
Our Secretary General then opened the second session dedicated to introducing the BIM4Ren training material targeting construction SMEs and a sample of easy-to-use digital tools. Valentina Marino, from the Green Building Council (GBC) Italia, presented a specific website with 12 training modules in 4 languages (English, French, Italian and Spanish) to improve construction professionals’ knowledge on BIM, renovation practices, digital technology and more, while Prof. Jakob Beetz from RTWH Aachen University summarised the technical process leading to the BIM4Ren One-stop-access platform including all the BIM4Ren tools and services. Out of the more than 25 tools developed, the smartphone app Context-Aware Image Acquisition (CAIA) to collect and exchange data on-site developed by the German university RWTH; the software Plans2BIM enabling the quick creation of a BIM model from 2-D plans, developed by the French company WiseBim; and BIMSolar, a digital tool to make the most of solar positioning developed by another French company EnerBim, were presented as a sample.
Finally, a policy session closed the event with an exchange on the importance of SMEs for the twin digital and green transition, with SMEunited Sustainable Development Director Guido Lena, GBC Italia Valentina Marino and EBC Secretary General. In addition to the presentation of the BIM4Ren White Paper “BIM and Renovation: innovation for a better future”, the discussion focused on the need to better map and analyse skills needs at national level, to improve the image of the sector to attract young people and working women, to deepen collaboration along the value chain for inclusive digitisation, and to further develop digital innovations to meet the environmental targets for the European built environment.