PORTUGAL - Real Estate & Construction
President, Plataforma Tecnológica Portuguesa Da Construção (PTPC)
Rita Moura is President of the Plataforma Tecnológica Portuguesa da Construçao (PTPC) and Cluster AEC & Head of R&D Teixeira Duarte Engenharia e Construçoes, S.A.
PTPC is an active agent in the promotion of innovation and competitiveness in the construction sector.
Can you elaborate on the operations of PTPC?
PTPC’s mission is to implement R&D and innovation initiatives and projects promoting the cooperation between companies, R&D entities, associations, public and private entities from the construction and public works sector. Currently, it gathers more than 50 associates that represent the sector in all segments of its value chain (technical, technological, research and development). PTPC is the mirror association of the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP), thus fostering new collaborations between the members of PTPC and other European entities. PTPC is the managing entity of Cluster AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction), recognized by Portuguese government.
Was the pandemic an obstacle or an opportunity for the Portuguese business community?
Just like other industries with the pandemic, we have learned to work in different ways, with more flexibility; however, almost all of the activities in the construction process are physical (onsite). Digitalization, and especially the adoption of building information modelling (BIM), opens the opportunity to spend more time in planning (off-site) and less time executing (on-site) so construction could be a more virtual activity. In addition, prefabrication and automation will reduce the demand for labor, which is hard to find.
How does PTPC innovate and apply the concept of innovation in its daily operations?
One great example of how PTPC innovates is the Rev@Construction—Digital Construction Revolution consortium, a project led by Teixeira Duarte which includes two other major construction companies, Mota-Engil and Grupo Casais, and other construction and design companies, universities, RTO, and public entities, in a total of 20 members of PTPC, which will jointly cooperate in order to promote the digital transformation of the AEC sector. This mobilizing project will promote the “democratizing” of everyone’s access to digital methodologies in a movement never seen in the construction sector in Portugal. It will be developing tools and a platform that standardize and systematize rules for digitization; applications for the digitization of construction processes; development of the Digital Twin concept in the construction and facility management; tools and a platform that will standardize and systematize a set of rules, which are essential to reach the desired level of digitization in design, tender, construction, and operation; digital applications representing the construction and operation specialties, which allow considerable gains in productivity (5- 17%). The Digital Twin developments will allow framing of the principles of energy efficiency and circular construction, being a powerful support tool for lifecycle analysis and benefit-cost analysis, as well as for maintenance and asset management activities.
What are the expansion plans of PTPC?
The most important thing is to intensify the activity of Built CoLAB, our technical team of more than 25 high qualified human resources for innovation. This year, we will create a digital innovation hub focused on contributing to the twin transition of construction, according to the European Commission strategy for the Digital Europe Program and supported by competence and skill creation; innovation ecosystem and networking; support to find investment; and allow SMEs and Public Administration Entities to test before investing. DIGITALbuilt’s general objectives are the digital capacitation and inclusion of the built environment agents involved in the construction, mineral resources, and railway sectors.
What are your targets for 2022 and your medium-term outlook?
To face the huge challenge of the twin transition (digital and ecological) in construction, the main trends are, in the short to midterm, the digitalization automation (re-industrialization) to increase productivity within the construction industry and at the same time working on proceedings, mechanisms, and measures to promote ecological performance. In the long term, we need to fully integrate the principles of circularity so that new buildings should be designed for deconstruction and reuse. For that, we need to develop adequate standardization, create materials passports, and with the digital twin we will have the traceability of these construction components that will be the “gold for tomorrow” for construction.
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