The construction industry needs to digitize faster and become more sustainable. The industry’s common development platform, ConTech Lab, will continue to support this, and with a new grant of 30M DKK from the Danish Industry Foundation and Realdania, the transition can now be accelerated further.

This article is made in collaboration with ‘Contech Lab‘ – one of the amazing partners making the magazine ‘Tech for the Planet 2021’ possible. You can read the full magazine here.

If Denmark is to achieve the ambitious climate goals of reducing its CO2 emissions, the construction industry plays an important role. The industry accounts for about 30 percent of total emissions.

One of the keys to reducing emissions and ensuring sustainable construction is an increased focus on digitization and use of technology. That is the opinion of the Danish Industry Foundation, Realdania and Molio, who are behind ConTech Lab, the construction industry’s common development platform, where construction companies can develop and experiment with new ways of using data, digitization and technology to create the construction industry of the future together – a more sustainable and productive construction industry.

Digitization to sustainability

As an industry, construction faces a major challenge in ensuring future competitiveness, and here digital transformation is key. To be able to increase sustainability, it is absolutely crucial that we spread digital tools that benefit the hundreds of SMEs in the construction industry who do not themselves have the resources to initiate the transition. ConTech Lab’s application-based approach ensures testing of technology and digital working methods in practice and then translates the results into scalable solutions for the benefit of the broad industry

Practical pioneer projects together with the industry

In the past year, ConTech Lab has created the first strong results with a broad involvement of construction companies. One focus has been on the sustainable construction site. We know for example that 6 percent of the total energy consumption comes from the construction process worldwide and 14 percent of all waste from the same place.

The latter is a topic closely connected with the Danish voluntary sustainability classification, where requirements are set for resource consumption on the construction site. So far, as stated in the name of the classification, it is voluntary to document these requirements, but from 2023, the classification will be mandatory for all new buildings of more than 1,000 sqm.

It is an important step towards the green transition, but the challenge remains that there is no single common framework for documenting the requirements – this is one of the things ConTech Lab set out to do something about.

The sustainable construction site as an example of a pioneer project

One of the keys to reducing emissions and ensuring sustainable construction is an increased focus on digitization, which can more accurately measure consumption and activity using digital sensors connected to the Internet – also known as IoT.

At the construction site, as we know it today, it is virtually impossible to identify which actors use how much power. The pioneering project focuses on resource consumption on the construction site and documentation requirements in a collaboration with Sensohive. Digital sensors have been set up on three construction sites operated by CG Jensen, Pihl & Søn and 5E with the aim of setting a precedent for how data related to power consumption in the execution phase is collected, stored and analyzed. We can only begin to change behaviour and reduce CO2 emissions through analyzed data. And ConTech Lab wants to get closer to the method so it can be shared and benefit the whole industry.

Now the people behind ConTech Lab’s data collection are looking forward – through several practical projects and in collaboration with the entire construction industry – to break down the barriers that stand in the way of creating a digital and future-proof construction industry. A Danish construction industry that is a frontrunner in sustainable construction.