The DigiPLACE project relied on a unique Construction-wide consortium teamed up to address the critical short and middle-term needs for the Construction and Built environment at large, to adopt, customise and deploy a growing number of information models, digital platforms and digital tools/services (and implement many others in a near future), in a unified framework and as such in a pan-European ambition.
DigiPLACE has in particular established a Reference Architecture Framework (RAF) for digital construction platforms based on an EU-wide consensus involving a large community of stakeholders, eventually providing an evolving structured set of guidelines, recommendations and development/deployment guidance that should be the grounding for generalisation of these future digital platforms as common ecosystems of digital services that will support innovation, public procurements, commerce, etc.
Along with the RAF, DigiPLACE has developed a strategic roadmap for successful implementation of this reference architecture, establishing the scope and targets of future mandatory activities and developments to be undertaken under the 2021-2027 period to make this upscaling of Construction digital platforms and services a reality by the end of this decade – with the ambition to linking EU, National and regional scales to upscale digital platforms and solutions in the European Construction and Built environment sector.
There is more than one digital platform for construction in Europe and some of these have been developed at national level, for example Kroqi, in France. Some platforms are being created by private companies and this means that there are already - and will be even more – digital platforms for construction in the EU. This could lead to confusion for industry stakeholders. Therefore, the benefit of having a “hub” at EU level, such as DigiPLACE, is that this central platform will connect all other public and private platforms and applications that fulfil any “DigiPLACE compliant” criteria.
Such criteria will include interoperability and the DigiPLACE platform will offer an entry point to others, making it easier for construction stakeholders to access all relevant platforms that will support the digitalisation of the industry.
Although the integration of (more) digital technologies in the construction sector holds the promise of important efficiency increases, the review of literature as well as the interviews and EU-wide survey carried out in the DigiPLACE project confirmed a number of barriers & challenges hindering the large uptake of such technologies. They are summarised in the 3 blocks below, together with a series of expectations for future developments. These elements are the basis of the DigiPLACE Reference Architecture Framework and other concepts presented in the following sections.
The Refererence Architecture Framework provides a set of common guidelines for building and deploying interoperable digital platforms for the construction sector across Europe.
A first ambition is to improve the common understanding of the ongoing evolutions related to digital platforms, by identifying the relevant references and putting into a structured vision.
Beyond this, the framework identifies the gaps in this current landscape, and the actions to be carried out to fill them in order to support the objectives identified by stakeholders, with a particular focus on the required public initiatives and platforms.
Soon to be published
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The Strategic Roadmap is based on 4 pillars of actions to promote and nurture the DigiPLACE RAF: