Brussels, 29th October 2018 – With 3 million enterprises and 18 million workers, the construction industry represents around 9% of the European Union GDP. However, the sector is among the least digitalised industries of the European economy. The construction industry is also responsible for about 40% of final energy consumption in the EU and generates 36% of greenhouse gases in Europe. In this context, the EU-funded project BIM4REN, gathering 23 construction stakeholders under the lead of French Research and Technology Centre (RTO) Nobatek/INEF4, aims at developing user-friendly Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools and services in the field of energy renovation of existing buildings. The kick-off meeting of this 4-year project, financed up to € 7 million by Horizon 2020, took place on 24-25 October in Bordeaux, France. The vision of the project was already exposed to some BIM experts, renovation practitioners or public bodies in a public conference called “Digital Conference 2018 – Digitalise or die: New tools for the construction sector” attracting 80 people to discuss about the need of a digital revolution of the construction sector to improve collaboration, productivity and quality.

Digital transformation is happening at a slow pace in the European construction industry. This means a huge gap between the theoretical digital opportunities and construction on-site realities. More energy efficient buildings require innovative or adapted methods and tools for construction professionals, especially construction SMEs, and efficient and collaborative processes along the whole construction value chain. The project “BIM based tools & technologies towards a fast and efficient RENovation of residential buildings – BIM4REN” aims at introducing state-of-the-art and easy-to-use BIM tools for collaborative construction energy renovation processes to face these issues, building in particular on the results of three pilot sites (Paris, San Sebastian and Venice) providing solid elements to evaluate the performance of the BIM4REN innovations.

BIM is too often perceived as a collection of complex tools and work methods that require several weeks of heavy training, often inaccessible to small companies from a financial and practical point of view. The BIM4REN partnership aims to make full use of BIM technology to improve the energy efficiency in situations of refurbishment and renovation of the existing building stock, with a particular attention for construction micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Top-notch RTOs active in the built environment domain (Nobatek, CSTB, Tecnalia, TNO and Fraunhofer ISE) will work alongside key industrial actors (EDF, CMB Carpi and ATI Project), Universities (Aachen University and Vilnius University), R&D firms (R2M Solution, COMET and Ekodenge), technology providers (IES, EnerBIM, WiseBIM, VRM and AEC3), SME contractors (Kursaal and Termoline), a social housing organisation (Logirep), the Green Building Council- Italy and the European Builders Confederation EBC, the European organisation representing micro, small and medium-sized construction companies.

“Our sector is 94.1% of companies with fewer than 10 employees and 99.4% of less than 49 employees; however, while the digital transformation of the construction sector cannot be done without SMEs, these companies do not have access to it or do not use it”, says Eugenio Quintieri, EBC Secretary General, who adds: “Digital tools and methods make it possible to alleviate heavy tasks and avoid doubling actions, to improve the image of our professions, to go towards more efficiency, more energy saving and better communication within the value chain, as long as they are financially and technically accessible for SMEs and constitute a real added value!”

Responsible of 40% of final energy consumption in the EU, the construction industry must contribute to the decarbonisation of the European economy by 2050, in order to reach EU targets of reducing its CO2 emissions by at least 80% and its energy consumption by as much as 50%. “The digital transformation brings results in terms of productivity and energy consumption, especially by bringing the real consumption of the building closer to the expected consumption”, adds Thomas Messervey, CEO of R2M Solutions; who warns that within 5 or 10 years, the transformation lead by digital technology will be even more radical: “In addition to collaborative platforms and digital models, we will have to learn to work with artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, stand-alone bulldozers, digital twins, cloud and edge computing, and many more digital and intelligent tools.”

BIM should not only be regarded as a tool for creating and managing high quality construction projects in a faster and cheaper way, but also as a significant opportunity that could reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions, and as the ultimate trigger for a better collaboration along the whole construction value chain. “Given the gap between how the use of BIM is designed and the reality of its use by micro, small and medium-sized companies, we must develop powerful tools to attract and involve construction professionals in the deployment of BIM”, concludes Antoine Dugué, the coordinator of BIM4REN.

Indeed, BIM4REN aims at developing a collaborative service platform that engages all stakeholders across the value chain in order to steer digital-driven workflows. In this sense, the BIM4REN consortium will reunite a broad construction stakeholders community, for liaison activities with construction-related entities that might be interested in the results and findings of the BIM4REN project. Feel free to manifest your interest in joining the BIM4REN stakeholders community!

Contact

Eugenio Quintieri, EBC Secretary General: eugenio.quintieri@ebc-construction.eu+32 2 514 23 23

Antoine Dugué, NOBATEK/INEF4 R&D Responsible & BIM4REN Project Coordinator: adugue@nobatek.inef4.com; +33 5 56 84 63 70

R2M is proud to organize in collaboration with UNICA, GBC Italia, Onyx Solar and the Cagliari Order of Engineers a National Stakeholder Liaison Forum – a day of workshops, discussion and training on Smart Cities, Sustainable Buildings, Renewable Energy Technologies and the Smart Grid.

The event will be hosted by the University of Cagliari in collaboration with the Cagliari Order of Engineers. The event is organized by R2M Solution, Green Building Council Italia and Onyx Solar Energy.

The event will feature innovations, results and tech transfer opportunities coming out of a series of European H2020 projects in the sustainability topic areas. The event will also feature information related to training pathways for sustainability professionals and the courses and certifications available from GBCI, OIC and CERT’ing.

The event is worth 2+1 CE credits.  It is free.  It is public.  Join us!

Register: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScYKHn3x4Lw0NafCD-6pxLHMUShGkA-sLgjJ7m1E4BRUvzTKA/viewform

We also proudly announce the the Sardegna Chapter of GBC Italia will be launched and inaugurated at this event!

R2M Solution has successfully co-organized another edition of the conference Sustainable Places. The conference took place during the days 27-29 June 2018, hosted by INES in Aix-les-Bains, and it was part of the #EUSEW18 as an “Energy Day”. Read more

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The Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) is organizing two events in the Conference Sustainable Places 2018: Read more

“Demand Response Integration tEchnologies: unlocking the demand response potential in the distribution grid” DRIvE

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R2M Solution is involved in the new 6M€ project HYBUILD supported by the European Commission under its Horizon 2020 programme – Energy-efficient Buildings Public-Private partnership. The project will develop two innovative compact hybrid electrical/thermal storage systems for stand-alone and district connected buildings.

R2M Solution Spain is a part of the Consortium in Heat-to-Fuel, a Horizon 2020 funded project that aims to deliver the next generation of biofuel production technologies supporting the de-carbonisation of the transportation sector.

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As part of the post-event activities for Sustainable Places 2017 (SP2017), Dr. Thomas Messervey, CEO and co-founder of R2M, is guest editing a special issue of the Buildings Journal published by MPDI AG.