Digital Buildings Council pushes for best practice

Abstract image for Digital Buildings Council
Image: Panom Bounak |

A new industry body, the Digital Buildings Council (DBC), has launched with a mission to enhance best practice and drive demand for smart, digital buildings.

The DBC is a not-for-profit group of industry specialists who “see a more collaborative and interconnected approach as the means of breaking down silos and providing the necessary clarity and assurance to help fulfil the potential of digital buildings”, it claimed.

It added: “While various groups focus on different vertical silos or layers of the technology stack, the required approach to providing the market with the necessary clarity and assurance is more collaborative, as digital is by its very nature, horizontal.

“At the same time, the growth of the digital buildings market is currently constrained by uncertainty and unless the following issues are consistently addressed, there is a significant risk that it will not fulfil its potential.”

The DBC highlighted the following issues:

  • market confusion through too many conflicting voices, vested interests and inconsistency of language used;
  • the gap between the technology promise being claimed versus what’s possible;
  • change focus from the ‘why’ and ‘what’ to the ‘how’ of digital building implementation;
  • how to demonstrate ROI and think holistically about how it’s calculated.;
  • practical guidance on sustainability performance and how technology can help improve good governance and user experience; and
  • engagement of cost and project management consultants to mitigate value engineering through aligning digital outcomes and their costs early in the project lifecycle.

Agile working groups

The DBC has been set up to address these issues with “smaller, focused and more representative agile working groups that can effectively fill gaps in existing frameworks, as well as help enhance best practices and drive industry-wide improvement for the common good”.

The DBC’s steering committee includes representatives from the likes of Canary Wharf Contractors, Ethos Engineering, Multiplex and SES Engineering Services. Market engagement specialist Justin Kirby has been appointed as chief advocacy officer and interim chair.

Initial plans include improving professional understanding through knowledge sharing and developing common language and approaches as part of engaging with stakeholder groups across the built environment. More initiatives including membership development plans will be announced soon.

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