On July 3 the Pacte Industrial de la Regió Metropolitana de Barcelona (RMB) presented a study entitled “The Future of the Construction Industry in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona”, which points out that sector recovery will require a radical change in culture and our way of thinking and acting, lending greater importance to rehabilitation, innovation and worker training. This new model of sustainable construction also implies taking into account the entire serviceable life of the building, including its dismantling, during building planning. The study proposes 70 specific initiatives for transforming the sector.
The presentation took place in the Roca Barcelona Gallery and was delivered by Carles Ruiz, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Pacte Industrial and Mayor of Viladecans; Carles Velázquez, Director of Marketing at Roca Group; Gregori Cascante and Sonia Llera, Managing Director and consultant, respectively, at Daleph Group, the company charged with conducting the study; and Carles Rivera, Managing Coordinator of the Pacte Industrial.
SECTOR CHARACTERISTICS AND FUTURE SCENARIOS
The construction industry is characterised by its fragmented nature, evidencing a low level of cooperation and business association, decreased building quality, an environment lacking industrialisation and innovation, the overuse of subcontracting, thereby limiting specialisation within the sector, and poorly-trained and low-skilled labour.
Among the numerous future scenarios identified, the study points towards a transformation in the sector’s current model through a radical change in culture and our way of thinking and acting, in efforts to form a new production model that guarantees sustainable and robust industry and economic growth. The new model should lend greater importance to innovation and worker training and use rehabilitation as the driving force for recovery.
THE NEW CONSTRUCTION MODEL
This new model is founded on sustainable construction, a concept that implies taking into account the entire serviceable life of the building, including dismantling, during building planning. This requires:
- Ensuring that the number of building projects corresponds to existing needs, taking into account the part corresponding to market friction.
- Planning for and making rational use of resources: land, labour, materials, etc.
- Introducing energy saving and efficient measures, and not just employing materials designed for such purposes, but also applying innovative construction and planning techniques that make these concepts possible.
- Creating skilled, professionalised labour acquainted with correct building techniques: good construction work allows for more time before maintenance and repairs become necessary, they will be less costly and subsequently require fewer resources.
ACTION PLAN: 70 INITIATIVES FOR TRANSFORMING THE SECTOR
The proposed action plan is divided into seven action areas and suggests seventy specific initiatives that should be implemented over the next fifteen years. Such initiatives include implementing a relocation plan for people expelled from the sector; amending the legal framework to include alternatives to land ownership; reformulating training plans and adapting them to the new scenario; boosting collaboration between research and technology companies and educational institutions; encouraging learning among agents from different sectors; promoting exchange between industry companies and Union for the Mediterranean member organisations; and creating an online platform for the sector to promote cooperation.