Construction industry consortium to conduct study into feasibility of digital product passports

Construction industry consortium to conduct study into feasibility of digital product passports

A Spanish-Norwegian consortium, supported by a large group of industry stakeholders, will conduct a feasibility study on an EU database defined in the Construction Products Regulation. The objective is to define a system for a digital product passport which considers the digital information needs of regulators, manufacturers and other actors in the construction value chain.

The consortium of Cobuilder, TECNALIA and UNE will deliver a technical assessment for different solutions of an EU database or system for construction products to the European Commission. This system is envisioned in the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), which is currently still under development.

The expected changes will have both a practical and legal impact for the construction industry, through the potential implementation of Construction Digital Product Passports, as well as detailed documentation of environmental data.

“The revised CPR aims to make the construction industry contribute to the digital and green transition and promote efficiency in the value chain,” says Aitor Aragón, responsible for Sustainable construction and BIM at the Spanish Association of Standardization (UNE), one of the consortium participants.

A first step will be to decide on the future data infrastructure to support the changes needed. This is where the creation of an EU database for construction products becomes important for the EU market and member states. The goal is to ensure that all stakeholders in the industry across different regions can share construction product data in a standardised way.

“We need to understand and decide how product data should be structured, shared and managed on a cross-industry level. The reason why we haven’t succeeded with this earlier is the fragmented nature of the construction industry and its complexity. The push and sense of urgency now coming with the European Green Deal and the need for digitalisation, will definitively take us to the next level,” says Lars Chr. Fredenlund, CEO of Norwegian tech company Cobuilder.

Feasibility study for a digital product passport and registry for construction products
The main objective of the project is to do a feasibility study on five different options for

setting up a database or system at EU level, storing information regarding construction

products. TECNALIA, a centre of Applied research and technological development in Spain, is the third partner in the consortium.

“The study will evaluate combinations of centralised and decentralised solutions, analysing pros and cons from the technological point of view, and from the perspective of different stakeholders such as the EU Commission, manufacturers, market surveillance authorities and information consumers,” says Amaia Castelruiz Aguirre, senior researcher at TECNALIA.

Industry partners on board

In addition to the contracted consortium participants, the bid is supported by a broad group of industry stakeholders across Europe, including Construction Products Europe, FIEC, Construction SMEs Europe, GS1, BuildingSMART International, and more.

Figuring out how a common EU database or system for construction products can be set up, how to exchange data via a digital declaration of performance (smart CE-marking), and how to use data dictionaries, represents an opportunity and an important step towards solving how ambitious legislation and regulative initiatives can be merged and implemented in practice. This will be instrumental in helping the industry to meet the European Green Deal targets. The work on the study is already underway and a start-up meeting with the European Commission has been carried out on 5 October.

COBUILDER is a privately-owned international company located in Oslo with wholly-owned subsidiaries in England, France and Bulgaria. The company offers a software platform that employs all relevant international standards for data management to help the construction industry unlock the potential of product data. Fit-for-purpose and accurate product data improves quality and reduces time-use, cost and environmental footprint. Cobuilder is a major driver for the digitization in construction and is a strategic contributor to ISO, buildingSMART, CEN and CENELEC.

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