EFCA: Construction consultants push sustainability and digital agenda
By Mike Hayes08 December 2022
On its 30th anniversary, the Federation of European Engineering Consultancies marks this milestone with a new policy document explaining how the sector is contributing to a resilient, green and digital built environment.
In its manifesto for 2030 and beyond, EFCA sets out its commitment to developing innovative solutions.
Consulting engineers will drive the changes necessary to solve the climate emergency, in turn protecting citizens from the kind of destruction that is becoming the norm, as extreme weather ravages the infrastructure on which our daily lives depend.
EFCA also proposes policy recommendations that can help the sector to work in strong partnership with the EU institutions, for the good of the environment and civil society.
Technical designers with global impact
When we think about a beautiful building or bridge, we know an architect was behind its creation. We might never look beyond the art, to consider who designed the operational systems that make the structure function; but the other designers in the construction ecosystem are the scientists, our engineers.
These are the professionals that are designing in and delivering structural resilience, as well as sustainability, helping to meet the EU’s climate targets for 2030 and beyond.
More than that, as consulting engineers have global reach, they have a critical role in spreading success beyond the EU, ensuring that best practice in technical design is transferred to projects funded by the EU’s external action programmes.
This kind of quality design will ensure that climate resilience and sustainability are not only tackled within the EU’s borders, but are achieved worldwide, including in countries that have more recently embarked on their own green transitions.
International collaboration across the value chain
Consulting engineers advocate for partnership and collaboration, right from the procurement stage, where Early Contractor Involvement is recommended.
As structural scientists, they can also support the development of new materials and construction processes.
Increasingly, consulting engineers expect to become data scientists, able to harness the power of AI and other emerging technologies, to improve the technical design of our future built environment.
One of the recommendations in EFCA’s policy document is to make the New European Bauhaus a laboratory for solution creation, where the meeting of minds in the ecosystem can fuse the aesthetic, the technical and the practical for the best possible outcome, engineered to meet the highest EU standards for sustainability and comfort.
EFCA’s policy recommendations in 6 areas
- Responding to the climate emergency
- Completing the digital transformation
- Ensuring successful sustainable development projects
- Achieving the highest quality result in procurement
- Making engineering the career of choice
- Pioneering solutions for future generations
Driving the change towards resilience
EFCA’s manifesto asks for an impact assessment of all future legislative proposals aimed at the built environment, to ensure they pass the climate resilience test.
Covering public procurement, climate and energy policy, buildings, infrastructure and products, digitalisation, sustainable development, education and training and innovation, the manifesto has something for all policy makers and other relevant stakeholders and can be found here.
Changes at EFCA
Members recently said goodbye to Jan van der Putten, outgoing secretary general. Jan served consulting engineers for 30 years.
He has been replaced by Sue Arundale, who started as director general before the summer break. Sue previously worked in construction, as director of technical and environmental affairs at FIEC, the European Construction Industry Federation.
Founded in 1992, EFCA has member associations in 28 European countries representing over 10,000 companies and more than one million staff in engineering and related services. It is the only federation to represent the engineering consultancy industry in Europe.