European Building Summit 2023

The industrialisation of the construction process: a sustainable and efficient approach for the future

The industrialisation of the construction process has become a major necessity in our society because by applying it we will obtain numerous benefits for the sector, taking into account its current needs. In order to be more sustainable and efficient, the construction sector is aiming to abandon traditional methods and to look for new ways of tackling construction. At the European Building Summit, Barcelona talked about how to industrialise in the construction sector, and it was possible to hear experts working with innovative technologies leading this transformation.

Starting from scratch

María Begoña López, of Components i Unitats, said that, in order to move towards genuine industrialisation, we must abandon the idea that industry must mark the environment and, instead, adapt the industry to the characteristics and needs of the context. For López, “this involves unlearning traditional methods and concepts and thinking innovatively”. The figure of the industrialization engineer becomes essential in this process as he has the ability to rethink construction processes and look for new solutions that are sustainable and efficient.

Sergio Baragaño exhibited the experience of Room 2030, where they seek to create new industrialized habitats. Its focus is on design for mass manufacturing, with emphasis on product, assembly and ecosystem management. Although their purpose is mass production, these habitats are also adapted to the environment, regulation and consumer needs. To achieve this, it follows a car chassis-like system, seeking to maximise the prefabrication and standardization of components to achieve greater efficiency in construction.

One of the challenges of construction has been low productivity from the 1950s to 2012. This is why companies such as Byrden Wood, represented at the EBS Barcelona by Guillermo Grillo, are working on the development of more efficient components using digital models. These models allow us to study in advance which components to combine for efficiency, sustainability and economy. And here 3D technology plays a key role in allowing greater precision and foresight in project planning and design.

Well using of information

The introduction of tools such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and 4.0 processes are fundamental to the digital transition of construction. On this, Ramón Ribó, CEO of Scipedia, spoke, stressing the importance of proper information management through BIM because it facilitates operations and allows the collaborative work of all those involved in the constructive process. On the other hand, Montserrat Monteagudo, responsible for the Cartography section of the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, called for the use of BIM models of the territory to provide an open platform that facilitates work in urban planning and construction.

In short, technology not only helps the sector to improve industrialisation processes, reduces construction time, minimises employment risks, and allows the work to be delivered with greater guarantees of quality and completed in 4 or 6 months, as stated by Joan Vallès and David Breva, managers of the Constructora del Cardoner, drive partner of the congress, but it must also be a tool to minimise the environmental impact of building in the environment.