Big data and data sharing in the AEC: Stakeholder priorities, opportunities, and perceived barriers
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Construction City is a business cluster that works to consolidate the competitiveness of the construction, civil engineering and real estate development sector in Norway. We have almost 100 members, varying from promising start-up companies to major entrepreneurs. Together we share knowledge and find new solutions on behalf of an entire industry. The construction, civil engineering and real estate development sector in Norway is currently a world leader in terms of its use of digital tools but is failing to apply cross-sectoral systems that have real and effective impacts on efficiency and competitiveness. According to Statistics Norway, there were 4.2 million buildings in Norway in 2020. Most of this building stock consists of structures built before the digital age, and many of the newer buildings have been constructed with their data sources locked inside inaccessible, specialist and proprietary digital tools. Construction City wants to address this issue. Single-company data strategies address the value of data and the need to share, but often lack enabling mechanisms for access to essential data expertise and data management processes. For users, this means poorer service, and systems that are less tailored to individual needs. For wider society, it means that we fail to make the optimal use of our building stock. We believe that more learning and smarter operation of buildings may result in a need for less space per user and better energy optimization, leading in turn to an enhanced perception of building quality. The sharing and reuse of data will also provide opportunities to promote innovation in the construction and real estate development sector. Standards must be adapted to the needs of our industry, but at the lowest possible levels of complexity. Voluntary and more open industry standards can be the basis for cost-effective and scalable solutions. Norwegian companies have the opportunity to take the lead in developing such standards in areas where they hold a strong position. Construction City wants to promote the formation of a major ‘community’ that will facilitate a system of expertise and solution sharing, rooted in experience from both Norway and overseas.