The European Construction Sector plays a major role in the European economy, responsible for 10% of the GDP, and has a huge impact on sustainability rates in Europe. Innovative concepts which aim to comply with sustainability criteria, will help to increase the competitiveness of the European construction industry and SMEs in an environmentally friendly way. Eco-innovative construction value chains have to be increasingly client-driven, sustainable and knowledge-based. Such sector mobilisation and benchmarking for the built environment involves reinventing concepts, methodologies, processes, products and services. The necessary skills have to then be provided on how to implement these tools.
Many European countries have established National Technology Platforms (NTP) addressing the future needs of the built environment. Additionally, the European Construction Technology Platform was created in 2004 to enhance the competitiveness and innovation of the European construction sector. The platform is open to all stakeholders, professional associations, and market players who wish to participate in sharing good practices as well as providing support to business, and helping to develop regulations and standards in the field. ECTP participates in the European Council for Construction Research, Development and Innovation (ECCREDI)., Based in France, the platform has approximately 200 stakeholders which represent the diversity of the construction sector.
Being a member of ECTP one becomes part of a leading network which is driving the construction sector towards an eco-innovative approach. The work focuses on 6 main areas; underground construction, quality of life, materials, networks, cultural heritage conservation, and processes & ICT. For each area, specific documentation and tools exist. The NTPs promote the work of the ECTP in the national context, stimulating organisations to participate in focus areas, disseminating information to appropriate national organisations or identifying potential new focus areas. A mirror group assures the link between member states and the ECTP. ECTP members have access to the construction portal wherea well maintained list of useful documents are available for download.
The European Construction Technology Platform qualifies for an estimated level 7 on the generic maturity scale GML. It seeks to invite enthusiastic companies and other stakeholders to get involved in networking activities and to join efforts to establish a more eco-innovative construction sector. Financed by an annual membership fee, the platform comprehensively facilitates the activities of its members. Vision 2030 is a substantial document which describes the likely challenges and opportunities which may be faced in the transformation of this sector, a sector which is important to both the European and global economy. The document also provides concrete guidance on how to deal with these challenges and opportunities. Consequently, everyone – from material production to planners and investors – can benefit from the actions ECTP drives forward.