The updated EU industrial strategy highlights the need to accelerate the green and digital transition of EU industry and its ecosystems. To that end, it proposes working together with industry, public authorities, social partners and other stakeholders. The resulting transition pathway for construction was published on 15 March 2023.
The updated EU Industrial Strategy emphasises a swift green and digital transition of EU industry and its ecosystems. It foresees cooperation with industry, public authorities, social partners and stakeholders to navigate each ecosystem's transition. Each industrial ecosystem must transform its business models and value chains to become the foundation of a green, digital and resilient European economy. But such transitions require concrete and actionable plans (transition pathways) developed for each industrial ecosystem.
This transition pathway describes conditions and necessary actions for achieving a resilient, competitive, greener, and more digital construction ecosystem. In addition, it proposes actions that support the transition towards safer buildings and affordable housing for all Europeans.
The transition pathway for construction aims to offer a bottom-up understanding of the scale, cost, and conditions for resilience, competitiveness, and the green and digital transition. We incorporated these conditions into the action plan, its success depending on collaboration between the EU, EU countries, regional and local governments, industry, academia, and citizens. The High-Level Construction Forum (HLCF) is the vehicle we use to co-create the transition pathway. It includes over 700 members (companies, industry associations, EU countries, academia and other stakeholders). The HLCF plenary meetings and focused thematic sessions are open to all interested parties, and as a result, this is a growing community. The Commission services’ presence ensures that construction industry actors are informed and appropriately consulted in all relevant policy areas that might affect them.
The Commission prepared a staff working document (December 2021) outlining scenarios for a transition pathway towards a more resilient, sustainable and innovative construction ecosystem. In terms of background, we also consulted analyses by the ECSO (European Construction Sector Observatory).
This working document invited stakeholders to reflect and contribute to the scenarios for 2030 and list key enablers for the transition of the construction ecosystem. It invited stakeholders to work with each other, EU countries’ authorities and the Commission, and propose concrete actions, commitments and investments at sectoral, national and regional levels. It also asked stakeholders to assess the scale, cost, benefits and conditions of the required actions for the twin transition of the European construction sector.
To gather contributions from the construction ecosystem’s actors, we conducted a consultation survey from December 2021 to March 2022. The responses were essential for identifying the pathway’s key areas and topics of focus.
The HLCF is made up of the Commission, construction organisations, EU countries and other stakeholders in the ecosystem. The HLCF will monitor the implementation of the co-created construction transition pathway towards a green, digital and resilient construction ecosystem.
The first forum took place in September 2021 and attracted 220 participants.
In April 2022, we held the second forum with over 190 participants. Based on the stakeholder consultation that finished in March, we presented 12 key topics to the meeting. The members then chose which of these topics should be the focus in co-chaired thematic sessions, to facilitate more in-depth exchanges about milestones and targets.
In addition to the HLCF, stakeholders convene by theme to discuss more targeted topics on resilience, green or the digital transition. We held the first thematic sessions in autumn 2021. For the construction ecosystem, Resilience covers, for example, climate-adaptation, skills, and new business models. The Green transition includes renovation and decarbonisation of the building stock and the circular economy, whereas the Digital group looks at topics such as data sharing, BIM, standardisation and skills. Some topics concern the whole ecosystem in different ways, such as skills and public procurement.
Of the topics chosen by the second HLCF, the groups focused on point 4 for Resilience, 1 and 2 for Green, and for Digital both points 2 and 5 apply. Stakeholders co-chaired the sessions and the Commission participated.
- Calculating whole lifecycle GHG emissions in construction. HLCF - Meeting Report - Addressing WLC 23 May 2022.
- Expanding and reinforcing digital tools to serve the green transition. HLCF - Meeting Report - Digital tools & green transition 18 May 2022.
- Stabilising the supply of materials and increasing resilience to external shocks, including through circularity. HLCF Meeting Report - Resilient supply chains 13 June 2022.
- Enabling collection, interoperability and sharing of data. HLCF Meeting Report - Data interoperability 31 May 2022.
Following the thematic sessions, additional webinars were organised in the 2nd half of 2022.
- HLCF webinar on asbestos. See webinar report
HLCF webinar on ongoing EU initiatives supporting the green transition of construction. See webinar report
HLCF webinar on Digital Public Buyers Community - BIM and Public Procurement
Webinars on innovation
On 19 and 20 October 2022, the high level construction forum (HLCF) organised two webinars aiming to identify technologies with potential to advance the construction ecosystem's green and digital transition. It initiated an exchange on challenges and needs regarding research and innovation, the uptake of technologies and the transfer of technology from research to market.
See the webinars’ report
See the webinar videos
HLCF webinar on innovation in construction - New ways of building
HLCF webinar on innovation in construction – New ways of collecting and using data
The transition pathway for construction was published on 15 March 2023.
The final report identifies six building blocks for the green and digital transition and improving the resilience of the EU construction industry. The report draws on the EU’s Industrial Forum's blueprint, the High Level Construction Forum (HLCF) plenary meetings and thematic sessions as well as the 2021 staff working document on the transition pathway for construction.
See the transition pathway for construction.
Sector Skills Alliances and the Eramus+ programme guide (pdf, available in all languages).
Blueprint for sectoral cooperation construction
Research - Horizon Europe Cluster 4 Digital and Industry
Public procurement – the Big Buyers Initiative (GROW)
Green Public Procurement criteria
Sustainable finance - Taxonomy
Handbook – EU BIM Task Group
BIM Cost Benefit in Public Tenders
Digitalisation of building permits
CE Principles options (2021): Study on circular economy principles for buildings’ design
Communication 'Resource efficiency opportunities in the building sector'
2050 whole life-cycle performance roadmap to reduce carbon emissions from buildings (2023)
Construction & Demolition Waste Management Protocol (2016) and guidelines for waste audits (2018)
Until 2020, and together with EU countries, industry and other interested groups, we based our work on the action plan in the 2012 Strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the construction sector and its enterprises, commonly known as Construction 2020. This strategy was part of Europe 2020, and focused on promoting favourable market conditions for sustainable growth in the construction sector. In addition to the high level forum, we had 5 thematic groups that focused respectively on financing and digitalisation, skills and qualifications, resource efficiency, the regulatory framework, and international competition.