We launched the first High Level Construction Forum (HLCF) meeting to initiate the co-creation process of a transition pathway towards a green, digital and resilient construction ecosystem.
About 220 representatives from industry, EU countries, European Commission, social partners and other stakeholders joined to exchange on the main priorities and themes of the HLCF.
Overall, the invitation by the European Commission to join this co-creation process was embraced by stakeholders, highlighting the HLCF as a valuable platform to collaborate on a wide range of topics of relevance to the sector and for identifying the pathway for a green, digital and resilient transition.
The morning session
The construction ecosystem is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic but faces many challenges. These include the climate crisis, renovation ambitions, digitalisation, the need to invest in people, construction material shortages and more.
An overall challenge is to find the economic and business case for a more green, digital and resilient construction ecosystem and move towards a carbon-neutral future, all while taking into account the enormous complexity of the construction ecosystem.
A range of European initiatives set the scene for the transformation of the ecosystem: the fit for 55 package, the renovation wave, the national recovery plans, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Construction Products Regulation, the circular economy action plan, the climate adaptation strategy, the pact for skills, the new European Bauhaus, etcetera. Now the time has come to look at this broad set of initiatives in an integrated and holistic way.
Active participation of the public sector (national, regions, municipalities) is key to creating demand for a digital, green and resilient built environment through procurement.
The transition has to keep humans in the centre and support a high quality of life for European citizens through an attractive, affordable and climate-neutral built environment.
The afternoon session
Going beyond energy efficiency, setting life cycle assessment (LCA) based targets, and enabling circularity was the principal consideration, also linked with the availability of secondary materials and products. Alignment along the value chain, certification mechanisms and the creation of infrastructure and conditions are needed.
Digital transition benefits and connects all steps in the building life cycle. To advance, it requires regulation. The EU Data act can help level the playing field. Trust, collaboration and interoperability can allow better sharing of data and, as a result, support greening and resilience. Public demand through public procurement as a lever for innovation and standardisation (e.g. open BIM).
Stakeholders and colleagues call for a skilled construction workforce that can implement the transition. Shortage of materials is a principal concern for the industrial stakeholders that point out risks implementing EU strategies (e.g. renovation) in these conditions. Increasing the resilience of the built environment that suffers the pressure of the climate crisis requires involvement from municipalities and willingness from the industry to propose new approaches.
Follow-up - Meetings of the Cluster groups on 19, 20 and 22 November
- Report from the 1st meeting of the Digital Cluster Group on 19 October 2021
- Report from the 1st meeting of the Resilience Cluster Group on 20 October 2021
- Report from the 1st meeting of the Green Cluster Group on 22 October2021
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For queries or comments, please email HLCFecorys [dot] com (HLCF[at]ecorys[dot]com).
- Publication date
- 28 September 2021