ECOBIM

Value driven life cycle based sustainable business models

Project website

Duration: 30 months

Leader and partners

• Finland: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (coordinator)
• France: CSTB, Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment
• Finland: Arkkitehtitoimisto Ulpu Tiuri Oy     
• Germany: Ingenieurbüro Trinius GmbH     
• France: LASCOM

Funding organisations

• Finland: Teknologian ja Innovaatioiden Kehittaemiskeskus (TEKES)
• France: Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
• Germany: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)

The paradigm change to eco-innovation within the construction sector means more than technological innovation. Systemic approaches including LCA and ICTs are needed to cover social, environmental and economic aspects. Novel business models are needed to create clear advantages for all actors (particularly SMEs) in the value chain. Effective and easy-to-use tools are needed for the implementation of the developed model.

A roadmap for new business models for sustainable construction procurement in direct collaboration with SMEs is innovative through flexible life-cycle assessment tools based on indicators and linked to BIMs. The life-cycle approach in this case considers a wide perspective, beyond the common rigidity, to adapt to different realities while being able to accommodate changes and allow room for innovation. Virtual Breeding Environment for new business ecosystems generates opportunities to SMEs which foster simplicity and agility in a complex and fast changing environment.

Establishing a networking platform with SMEs able to discover new innovation fields within the construction sector and develop the required methodologies and tools to serve the whole value chain.

Case studies form a solid basis to link development to SMEs daily practice. Interactive face to face workshops and virtual webinars help maintaining ecobim's international nature and to cover the whole value chain. Top down and bottom up approaches are used concurrently to boost the eco-innovation infrastructure. System thinking is at the core of this systemic approach. Comparisons will be made between approaches adopted in the manufacturing industry and construction industry. Furthermore, best practices will be underlined and shared between partners across various European regions.

The work will be carried out in three countries in north, central and south of Europe, thus covering the European dimension and providing business opportunities for the common marketplace. The case studies are national but interactive information exchange ensures covering the whole value chain even considering local special features.

The proposal clearly promotes collaboration with SMEs. The input expected from the architectural firm is important to define the design/procurement process from a life cycle perspective and its obstacles regarding the implementation of sustainable eco-innovative measures beyond commonly adopted energy-efficiency and indoor-environment measures. The eco-consultant helps to introduce a wider scope, bringing also in other views (client - main contractor - supplier). Finally, the ICT consultant can provide an adequate interface according to the needs defined.

Next generation of integrated (social, environmental, economic) user-oriented sustainability assessment tools incorporating innovation as a common parameter to aid paradigm change in construction business models.
A roadmap to a sustainable eco-innovative paradigm change for construction enterprises, particularly SMEs, at a European level.

The main output expected is the development of a set of guidelines based on indicators for sustainable eco-innovative construction business models. This process will also provide as a result a roadmap for enterprises, particularly SMEs, and easy-to-understand recommendations for policy makers.

Implementation plan incl. IPR issues, publications, possibilities to contract research The results are intended to be primarily implemented during the project already. IP issues relate with ecobim tools and will be contractually agreed on before the work starts.

Increased sustainability for the community in all dimensions (economic: less energy and resource dependency; environmental: less impacts; social: improved quality of life for citizens).

Main focus on collaborating with SMEs in developing easy-to-use tools that aid paradigm change in construction business models and that, at the same time, can act as recommendations for policy makers. New business opportunities for the participant partners.

Further information