MENU

Technologies for a sustainable and competitive construction sector

There are two main challenges: 1. To become sustainable by reducing resource consumption, managing transport and utility networks in a sustainable way, reducing environmental and man-made impacts, improving safety and security and protecting cultural heritage; 2. To become a demand-driven sector.

In the last 100 years, the construction industry has been focused on the construction of products. The combination of industrialisation, efficiencies in the construction process and in the performance of construction materials brought about dramatic improvements. For example, skyscrapers could be built reaching 500 metres (m) or more; magnificent viaducts and bridges could span more than 1,400 m; record tunnels could reach 56 km in length; and record-breaking deep foundations could reach 120 m. All of these remarkable achievements were driven by technology and set the pace of innovation for the construction sector of the 20th century. As we enter the 21st century, European society is facing an overwhelming number of challenges. Demographic changes, climate change, globalisation, and the sobering prospect of declining natural resources - such as drinking water and oil - create pressing problems to which we must find urgent solutions. And yet, European society is still relying on the construction sector to produce better living and working conditions in the built environment. Society demands that it be accessible and comfortable for all, safe and secure, enjoyable for the long-term, efficient and flexible to changing demands - while being both available and affordable. For the construction sector, this represents a dramatic upturn, providing the opportunity to convert a technology-push industry into a demand-driven sector. A race for performance is not the objective any more; the new objective for development is sustainability. This means building durable structures which do not impact on the environment, and which instead consume a minimum of resources. The new measure of success is the ability to satisfy all of the customer's needs. Therefore 'Challenging and Changing Europe's Built Environment' is the vision that the construction sector is pointing towards in order to reach a sustainable and competitive sector by 2030. Through the European Construction Technology Platform, the Construction sector has committed itself to the following goal: 'In the year 2030, Europe's built environment is designed, built and maintained by a successful knowledge and demand-driven sector, well known for its ability to satisfy all the needs of its clients and society, providing a high quality of life and demonstrating its long-term responsibility to mankind's environment. Diversity in age, ability and culture is embraced. Equalisation of opportunities for all is a principle throughout; construction has a good reputation as an attractive sector to work in, is deeply involved in research and development, and is a sector where companies are well known for their competitiveness on the local and regional as well as global levels.' The constant and fast evolution of technology puts pressure on the construction sector. Keeping ahead of international competition calls for rapid integration of the most recent technological advances. This pressure must be seized as another opportunity to transform the sector into a sustainable knowledge-intensive industry. Projects to be developed through the support of this EUREKA Umbrella will support this evolution by being dedicated to two main objectives of the construction sector: Becoming Sustainable and Transforming its Process. Keywords: protection of cultural heritage, sustainable construction.
Acronym: 
EUREKABUILD
Project ID: 
3 790
Start date: 
01-06-2006
Project Duration: 
43months
Project costs: 
0.00€
Technological Area: 
Construction Technology
Market Area: 
Power Supplies

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.