Digitisation in the construction sector: a story to be written

In terms of digitisation, the construction industry is slowly starting its transformation. However, solutions already exist which will soon allow the two worlds of construction and operations, for building and infrastructure, to communicate with one another, while very little interaction was possible up until now. Pascal Berger, CEO of Sixense Group, explains.



The digitisation process in the construction industry is going at a slower pace than in other sectors. How far have we come in this respect?

We are still at the beginning of the journey, even if digitisation is already in place in numerous areas, such as quality control or supply chain, which follow established standardized processes. However, as far as the core business is concerned, construction on one hand and infrastructure operations on the other, digital tools are still not visible at a large scale. There are many stakeholders collaborating and interacting in these activities. One of the challenges that digitisation addresses is the orchestration of these actors, who need to have access to a common source of information continuously and updated in real time. In this context, the key principles to be implemented are the digitisation of the operational tasks and the capture of real time information to provide updated status on the work or the asset.


What is the main purpose?

The ultimate objective is to monitor the full life cycle of the infrastructure in order to help make decisions during construction, operations and maintenance. Today, the two worlds of construction and operations continue to exist separately. Both are being digitised, but independently. Therefore, there is still a gap between these two worlds, which do not yet communicate efficiently. A seamless process between them needs to be built; the goal being to manage and control the data throughout the full life cycle.


Are there already solutions to achieve this?

We do have a solution under development. It is a data integration platform called Beyond. This platform can be activated during the construction phase, just as it can be used during the operations and maintenance phase. Digitisation will then expend through the multiplication of use cases generating value. Over time, the multiplication of such use cases will create a seamless connection between construction and operations, through the emergence of common standards relevant for both domains.


Environmental responsibility is one of the new challenges facing construction companies. Will digitisation enable the industry to meet its commitments on this topic?

Environment is a major stake for these new technologies, in which I also include artificial intelligence, and how they can contribute to this challenge. These technologies offer new ways of ensuring infrastructure and building sustainability, which essentially means expending their lifespan. Thanks to real-time monitoring, it will become possible to get a better understanding of how these infrastructures age and evolve. Civil Engineers will be able to optimise their maintenance so that buildings and infrastructures can last longer, while anticipating and managing risks, whether these risks are linked to ground events (landslides, subsidence, etc.) or to the structure of the edifice itself.



An article from #JMLECO BFM Business by Scribeo (France)