The European Council for Construction Research, Development and Innovation (ECCREDI1) has a new President. FIEC’s Director of Technical and Environmental Affairs, Sue Arundale, has already been involved with ECCREDI for several years and has recently served as a Vice-President. The Council brings together colleagues from other construction federations, including those focused in particular on research (the European Network of Building Research Institutes, ENBRI, European Large Geotechnical Institutes Platform, ELGIP and the European Network of Construction Companies for Research and Development, ENCORD).
With the digitalisation of construction already happening, albeit at various speeds, this topic will be central to the work programme. There are five other strategic themes, including zero footprint construction and safe and healthy construction. Acknowledging the importance of the task facing ECCREDI, Ms Arundale said “Although the current pace of change in construction is rapid, innovation is not new to the industry, which has always responded to foreseen and unexpected challenges with timely solutions. Having said that, digital construction is indeed a major breakthrough. Now that GPS, 3D scanning and printing and digital models are being used every day, with robots/cobots being introduced to support workers by carrying out dangerous or repetitive tasks, we hope that policy makers will finally be able to see that construction is not a low-productivity, low-technology industry. On the contrary, due to advanced technology and innovation, this modern industry can provide tailormade solutions and help to achieve EU/global goals, such as those related to energy efficient buildings and climate-proofed infrastructure”.
ECCREDI aims to ensure that the right kind of construction research is supported financially by EU funds, so that findings can be shared with practitioners, leading to better uptake of solutions and with that, a much better return on investment for the European Union.