Alternative text

Digital construction, planning and facility management – networked into the future

30 January 2020

Digitalization is gaining momentum. Modern technologies today naturally shape our way of life and optimize our everyday life. For future-oriented companies, the most important thing is not only to accompany the digital change, but also to actively help shape it. Whether Smart Home, digital building or Smart Grid – this requirement also applies to the energy and building sector. "Our commitment is to develop sustainable solutions for the energy world of tomorrow. To this end, we have combined the know-how and digital competence in building and plant technology, facility services, innovative energy services and intelligent energy procurement under one roof," explains Manfred Schmitz, CEO of ENGIE Deutschland.

Digital planning and construction with BIM

The development of tailor-made solutions for buildings and plants that sustainably increase their efficiency in terms of energy consumption and management, begins before construction. As one of the largest technical building equipment manufacturers in the Federal Republic, ENGIE Deutschland is driving forward digital approaches that optimize the complete life cycle of buildings. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the most important instrument for digital planning and construction. As a cooperative working method in the construction industry, BIM represents the entire life cycle of a building, from planning and construction to management and demolition.

BIM: Digitalization creates transparency

Building Information Modeling allows all project participants to access digital plans, databases and building models. Digital construction thus creates transparency and enables realistic simulations – from the three-dimensional computer model to the later life-cycle management – even before the start of construction. "BIM offers considerable potential not only for major projects, but also for companies of all sizes and industries. As a competent partner, we want to accompany our customers in the future in implementing BIM strategies," says Christian Fraedrich, Head of Technology &Quality at ENGIE Deutschland. There are many advantages to this:

  • greater planning accuracy
  • higher cost security
  • optimization of management costs
  • increasing energy efficiency


Know-how and innovation for digital construction

In order to develop future-oriented solutions for buildings and plants, ENGIE Deutschland also relies on the "Digital Factory", which as an internal software development company works together with various start-ups from the areas of digital planning and digital construction. These include, for example, Heliatek as a pioneer in the development of organic photovoltaic films and SIRADEL as a leading provider for the development of 3D models for smart cities and smart grids.

Facility management: Digitalization offers enormous potential

A stake in Sigfox, the world's leading communications service provider for the Internet of Things, also enables ENGIE Deutschland to promote Digitalization in facility management. The basis for this is the Low Power Wide Area Network based on Sigfox technology. This enables low-energy and low-cost networking of devices with the Internet in over 20 countries. "The technology offers enormous potential for facility management: With the extremely long-life, battery-operated sensor components we use, a large number of technical and spatial data can be recorded in buildings and at technical plants," explains Stefan Schwan, Head of Facility Services at ENGIE Deutschland. The application possibilities of the components are correspondingly broad, for example as:

  • contamination sensors
  • thermographic and acoustic sensors
  • vibration and temperature sensors
  • oil and moisture sensors
  • current sensing devices

The sensors transmit their data to a special server application via the Sigfox radio network, which uses 200 to 600 times less energy than traditional networks. There, the information is analyzed and, in the event of need or defects, service and maintenance calls as well as procurement processes are triggered independently. With the innovative platform "ENGIE direct", customers also have an all-round solution for their facility management at their disposal, on which all different systems and processes are combined.

3D trolley supports digital construction and facility management

The development of further new technologies and applications in the areas of digital construction and facility management is made possible by a strategic partnership between ENGIE Deutschland and the multi-award-winning Munich start-up NavVis. This is based on an indoor navigation system developed by NavVis, combined with a platform for digitizing and visualizing interiors. To do this, a 3D trolley scans the entire interior of a building using optical and electronic sensors, collects location data accurate to the centimeter, and takes high-resolution 720-degree photographs. The data and images are then available in a browser-based indoor viewer.

Already today, the technology serves as an orientation aid in complex areas such as airports and shopping centers or is used to map warehouses. Digital construction is also usefully supported, for example by documenting construction progress. There is further great potential in the area of facility management in terms of efficiency gains and cost savings. For example, in the event of an urgent repair, the system navigates the requested technician to the location of use in a targeted manner and transmits important information for the work directly to the smartphone or tablet.

In order to further advance digital planning and construction as well as digitalization in facility management, the future-oriented technologies of Sigfox and NavVis are to be combined even more strongly. Closer coupling creates space for further innovative customer solutions that make the construction and management of buildings and plants even more cost-efficient, energy-saving and reliable.

Would you like to learn more about this topic or get advice?

Write us!

Our Expert

Stefan Schwan
Stefan Schwan is Head of Business Unit Energy & Facility Solutions at ENGIE. As an expert, he deals with trends and innovations in the fields of FM and energy services.

Articles you might also be interested in