Photo: LaCozza/

Photo: LaCozza/

The potential of digitization in construction

As part of a recent survey by TU Wien (on behalf of BMVIT and the Austrian Economic Chambers) the opportunities and challenges presented by digitization in construction were analysed and a roadmap drawn up for implementing digitization and cross-linking processes step by step in every phase of construction projects. A list of recommended measures was assembled in close collaboration with relevant stakeholders from the construction industry and public institutions. Special attention was paid to Austrian SMEs‘ needs.

The vision of a “digitized construction project” goes well beyond employing a BIM. Whereas BIM refers to an interdisciplinary process based on a digital building model (up to 7D), a digitized construction project covers the entire process of implementing and operating a building in digital form. Amongst other things this involves real-time data recording, automated invoicing and controlling, tracking components, documentation and recording operating and service data continuously. The goal is to interlink all aspects throughout a construction project’s entire life-cycle.

Strategies and measures 

On the basis of the investigations, and with consideration of international developments, various measures for digitizing the construction industry step by step were identified in the survey. For instance:
> Developing a digital application for planning permission via an open data format for public construction projects
> Introducing open BIM in public construction projects
> Funding pilot projects on construction sites, e.g. to try out automated invoicing on site or installing sensor technology and using IoT systems for cross-linking and centralized control
> Drafting a digital building pass
> Standardizing data traffic, e.g. to IFC Standard
> Developing the feature server further, to improve software/model interoperability*
> Certification programmes for SMEs (e.g. BIM site manager) and funding cross-linking (in German)
*Unique in Europe – the ASI feature server developed in Austria as part of ÖNORM A 6241-2, an online database for multi-trade collaboration ( which defines how structural elements and materials are to be described.