Construction 4.0 gives fresh impetus to BIM activities
After a busy first year with a full programme of activities, which included the publication of the BIM manifesto Making BIM a global challenge in May this year, FIEC’s BIM Working Group has widened its scope and has changed its name to the Construction 4.0 Working Group. New priorities are currently being drawn up and they are likely to include robotics and industrial production, both of which are already having an impact and pose major implications for the future of the construction industry. BIM remains a part of the scope of the Construction 4.0 Working Group and FIEC is addressing, amongst other things, how all the elements of Construction 4.0 can be brought together in a coherent and systematic way. The federation is also discussing how it can best support contractors through the change process, in particular SMEs which are likely to find it more difficult to respond with their limited resources. Large companies can support smaller ones and collaboration across the entire construction value chain is already widely known to be a critical success factor for the digital transformation of the industry. With this in mind, FIEC is keen to work with other relevant industry federations and plans to host a gathering of interested organisations in the near future.
EU Platform against Undeclared Work : Virtual library
The website dedicated to the EU Platform against Undeclared Work, which was launched by the European Commission in 2016 and in which FIEC sits, allows the sharing of information on the activities of the Platform, as well as on more specific initiatives at national and/or sectoral level.
The “virtual library” section contains information generated by the Platform’s participants, namely the latest thinking and practice on tackling undeclared work. It aims at facilitating better understanding of undeclared work and effective ways to tackle it by sharing documents referring to the different measures and approaches applied by each country.
The “virtual library” is updated regularly with new documents and tools to support mutual learning. The types of resources available include: good practice, studies, toolkits, learning from events. It can be accessed directly by clicking on the button below.
EPBD amendments raise concerns for FIEC
Since publishing its position on the proposal to revise the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive (EPBD), FIEC has been following the amendments proposed by both the ITRE and ENVI committee members. In total, there were originally almost 1000, but the latest ENVI opinion reduced its original batch of more than 300 to just 82 amendments. The proposed changes have not been easy to follow, but FIEC has nevertheless more or less reached its conclusions about the amendments and although it strongly supports some, others are not welcome and some issues have been tossed around, with no clear conclusion as yet. One example is renovation/building passports, which have generated many amendments and subsequent deletions. A more comprehensive statement will be issued by FIEC in due course, but the main concerns include the oversimplification by policy makers of what deep renovation implies. Simply installing off-the-shelf kits is not always an answer, although FIEC accepts that even small improvements are valuable. Another complication has arisen since the amendments were published in that the voluntary assessment framework developed by DG ENV and the Joint Research Centre has now been published. The Level(s) framework has been in development for around three years and now renders some of the European Parliament’s amendments to the EPBD proposal rather superfluous, even adding to the confusion. This may well be a question of unfortunate timing, but the apparent lack of coherence (even if unintended) and the duplication of measures will not encourage the industry to get behind the EPBD with enthusiasm. Other concerns are the lack of neutrality with regard to materials and technology to be used. FIEC believes that wide-sweeping recommendations about specific materials do not take account of the unique circumstances of a given renovation project, each of which is different. In the days before we are able to publish our complete view, the original position is available on our website.