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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article19 April 2022Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs3 min read

Second meeting of the High-Level Construction Forum

On 6 April, we held the second meeting of the High-Level Construction Forum (HLCF) to discuss the next steps for the co-creation of the green, digital and resilient transition pathway for the EU construction industry ecosystem.

Over 150 representatives from industry, EU countries, social partners, the European Commission, and other stakeholders came together virtually for this event. The European Commission presented the results from the recent consultation on the scenarios for a transition pathway for a resilient, greener and more digital construction ecosystem, which was followed by a discussion on the resilience of the sector. Finally, representatives from EU countries and industry presented their pledges and good practices on specific green, digital and resilient topics.

The first presentation by the European Commission revealed the enthusiasm of the construction ecosystem to contribute to the co-creation process as 108 stakeholders provided in-depth contributions through the online consultation on the Commission staff working document ‘Scenarios for a transition pathway for a resilient, greener and more digital construction ecosystem’. The contributions came from business associations, companies, research and standardisation organisation, civil society and public authorities, demonstrating their strong commitment to addressing key topics for the transition pathways for the ecosystem, including

  • resilience – on topics such as skills, supply chain resilience and an enabling framework
  • green – on topics such as energy efficiency and decarbonisation, waste definitions and assessment methodologies for LCA
  • digital – on topics such as interoperability, data sharing, standardisation and access to technologies

Furthermore, actions to take were suggested for the European Commission, national and regional authorities, industry and academia, which will be integrated with the transition pathway. The results of the online consultation determined twelve key topics and members were asked to vote on those which they wish to bring forward to the upcoming dedicated sessions aiming to facilitate an additional exchange and suggest milestones and targets.

In light of recent events, high-level representatives featured in a dedicated discussion panel on the topic of the resilience of the construction ecosystem, highlighting that the meeting exchanges were both important and timely. Multiple crises have hit the construction sector, including those related to the climate crisis, the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, which have led to new challenges including supply chain disruptions, price increases and labour shortages. These point to a new sense of urgency and meaning to the topics of green, digital and resilient recovery of the construction sector. The challenges however also provide an opportunity to accelerate the transition and use it to address them.

In the final part, a series of presentations were provided by representatives from EU countries and industry on pledges and good practices for the digital and green transition.

The Nordic Collaboration for Sustainable Construction highlights a unique collaboration platform between Nordic countries to address the green transition. It includes five work packages – one of which includes a specific use case for normative LCA.

The Czech national BIM strategy enables consistency through standardisation, allowing digital building permits procedures including BIM. The upcoming Czech Presidency of the EU will also prepare a Presidency Conference on Digital Construction in early November 2022.

Underlining their commitment to fossil-free competitiveness, the Swedish construction industry has developed 22 roadmaps for a fossil-free future. The Swedish Construction Federation outlined eight steps that can be used in everyday work to implement these roadmaps.

Developed by the Associazione Nazionale Costruttori Edili (ANCE), the ‘Sustainability Guidelines for the Decarbonisation of the Construction Sector in Italy’ provide different levers for companies to achieve their net zero strategies, including an operational calculation tool for emissions.

The growing collection of good practices and pledges from EU countries and industry confirms the ambition to work towards a joint transition and the uptake of a holistic approach.

Participants voted for their preferred topics during the meeting, and the results were revealed at the end. The following topics will be discussed during dedicated sessions

  1. Calculating whole lifecycle GHG emissions in construction
  2. Expanding and reinforcing digital tools to serve the green transition
  3. Creating and supporting stronger secondary markets for construction materials, products and equipment
  4. Stabilising the supply of materials and increasing resilience to external shocks
  5. Enabling collection, interoperability and sharing of data

In upcoming weeks, we will discuss them in dedicated sessions chaired by stakeholders to further co-create the transition pathway for the EU construction ecosystem by 2023.