Designers, builders and ordinary citizens are entering the digital age

by   CIJ News iDesk III
2021-09-28   19:44
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Designers, builders and ordinary citizens are entering the digital age - a successful transition also depends on the state's readiness; was heard at the conference Engineering Day in Brno

Acceleration or disruption? Both scenarios for the transition of construction management to the digital environment are possible. Authorized engineers, technicians, and other professions generally welcome the retreat from printed drawings. They also highlight the benefits of building information modeling (BIM) - a new, comprehensive approach to buildings that brings with it multidimensional design.

At the same time, however, the professional public draws attention to the fact that the digitization of construction proceedings does not only concern designers, but will affect the lives of all citizens of the Czech Republic. The era of the solution of extensive documentation and postal correspondence will be replaced in any construction documentation by electronic communication and electronic circulation of relevant documents.

Digitization was the main topic of the prestigious Engineering Day - a conference organized by the Czech Chamber of Authorized Engineers and Technicians in Construction (ČKAIT) on Wednesday, September 22, at the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Brno University of Technology. And as it was said several times at the conference, the authorized persons are ready to digitize the construction procedure. The electronic authorization stamp will be available from the beginning of next year.

"However, we have doubts about the state administration and its ability to unify the methodologies for all the bodies concerned in less than two years, which separates us from the full effectiveness of the new Building Act. They will continue to comment on the documentation - but now under the responsibility of the still non-existent Supreme Building Authority, which is to be established in Ostrava from January 2022. As part of the transformation of building authorities, the state must ensure a sufficient number of qualified officials trained in the digital environment," calculates prof. Ing. Alois Materna, CSc., MBA, first vice-chairman of ČKAIT and moderator of the Brno conference.

Experts from the Chamber agree that in the first place of the whole process of digitization in the construction process are the implementing decrees to the new building law, which are now being created. ČKAIT cooperates on some of them. According to the panelists, the e-government, or the Citizen's Portal with the Builder's Portal, the creation of which is to be guaranteed by the new Supreme Building Authority by 1 July 2023, must ensure access for all builders.

Thanks to the connection with banking identity systems, 4.3 million people now have theoretical access to the Citizen's Portal. However, it was stated at the conference that half of them do not know about it yet. Thus, not only the information campaign of the state is missing, but also a functioning call center for questions from ordinary citizens. So far, the creation of the e-Collection has been postponed, which was to make all legal regulations available in full up-to-date version with history as early as January 2021, and the public will probably not see its commissioning this year.

In addition to the Builder's Portal, the National Geoportal of Spatial Planning, the Register of Construction Procedures or the Construction Management Information System must also be created. "This is also why we hope that programmers for the digitization of construction management will be better selected than in the case of central vehicle registration or mandatory registration of public contracts through national electronic tools in 2016. The problems associated with the transition and operation of these systems are well remembered. , "Adds Ing. Robert Špalek, Chairman of ČKAIT.

Lawmakers, who agreed across the political spectrum to support the digitization of construction proceedings between 2019 and 2020, sought support in working models abroad - mainly in the United States, Finland and the United Kingdom. One of the initiators of digitization in the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic was Martin Kupka, who together with colleagues prepared proposals for legal changes. In addition to the analysis of good practice from the mentioned countries, the input was also the inputs of Czech engineering and architectural offices, which have extensive experience with digitization thanks to contracts abroad.

"Common main features of all examined applications were control of the whole process from one place, the ability to remotely store large data files of project documentation, transparent course of the entire construction process, time control of the whole process - including mutual control of officials and guaranteed continuity of decision-making and traceability the course of construction proceedings, "said MP Martin Kupka. At Engineering Day 2021, he presented how digitization in the United States has helped to simplify construction procedures, despite the demanding legal framework there, which requires a range of expert opinions and an assessment of the public interest.

Author: ČKAIT