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Organization and digitization of the building process – new publication

The article coedited by Ing. Stefano Savoia of Contec Ingegneria, entitled “Organization and digitization of the building process. Possible tools for innovation in the construction sector “, was published in the latest issue of Formamente International Research Journal on Digital Future (Gangemi Editore).

The technical contribution was written with the collaboration of prof. arch. Pier Luigi Carci and prof. arch. Cinzia Barbara Bellone of the University of Rome “Guglielmo Marconi”. The text is taken from the thesis of the University Master in “Management of the Building Process” achieved by Ing. Stefano Savoia.

Formamente year XIII, number 3-4 2018 of Gangemi Publisher (



The digitalization of processes in the retarded construction sector is a fundamental strategic step that now seems unavoidable. There is no doubt that this is a true revolution involving every actor in the building process: clients, builders, professionals, managers and users of real estate, credit system, insurance system, …

However, the great extension and impact of this cultural leap will not be able to pervade the building process stakeholders in a complete and uniform way, in a limited time. This difficulty seems to emerge from the first difficult attempts in the field of public works, where the process of change, which should start from a full awareness of the public administration, only takes the first steps now.


However, the recent introduction of the “BIM Decree” (as provided at article 23, paragraph 13 of the Legislative Decree No. 50/2016) confirms at least the obligatory launch of this approach over the coming years for public works.

A gradual change from the current structures appears to be necessary, although these are settled at low and approximate levels compared to the effective use of available technologies, because of the continuing crisis in the construction industry,

In fact, no authoritative voice seems to question how digitalization can revolutionize the construction sector and how BIM can present itself as an “influential epiphenomenon of digitization” (A. Ciribini).


However, the whole phenomenon should perhaps be evaluated and treated with numerous widespread reform actions and not with individual emblematic episodes, “revolutionary” compared to the present.

In this sense, the most interesting applications in the field represent significant experiences from the viewpoint of digitization, although apparently still far from the integral and totalizing BIM approach as defined by the most recent scientific literature on the subject.

In other words, an approach aimed at “providing for a partial diffusion of innovative elements, isolated in themselves, and brought back within a resilient framework” (A. Ciribini) appears more compliant and realistic, referring to the Italian context.

The reasoning around the building, as an expression of an articulated and complex process, should have a strong and convinced push to innovation by the design structures in the centrality of the project phase.

However even the design phase, as conventionally defined, does not yet seem to treat in an innovative way. The micro design structures have the same critical aspects of the entire process, attributable to the fragmentation of the single operators, who intervene with their specialty in a timely manner and, usually, not integrated into the whole.

The basic concepts of management system (with reference, for example, to the UNI EN ISO 9001 quality management systems), project management (with reference for example to the UNI ISO 21500 project management), risk management (with reference for example to the UNI ISO 3100 risk management – Principles and guidelines) are not widespread in the professional culture.

Instead these references are largely evident in international design contexts.

The way to digitization should therefore pass through the organization, as an essential element to its useful use in the processes related to the construction sector, where digitalization should increasingly take on a decisive role.

The same awareness would also allow the approach of designers and small project organizations to individual punctual issues, which could be addressed with innovative logic, constituting a necessary distribution of experiences addressed in a more current key.

In conclusion, the Italian way to digitalization could pass from the organized juxtaposition of individual experiences, inducing the transition in the future from the particular to the general.

It is therefore a question of identifying possible operating practices, renouncing to improbable (little viable in the Italian reality, as said) and abstract theoretical complex models, probably today premature.

The operating practices will naturally have to be framed and refer to a broader scenario in which university research and the world of standardization constitute a certain point of reference.

The research describes and analyzes some of these practices, which seem to confirm the practicability of this pragmatic approach, as said perhaps only possible in the particular Italian scenario, based on the organization and incremental digitization of the process or, as mentioned, of specific parts of this.

Keywords: BIM, digitization, builgind process, organization, innovation