EU framework for digital building logbooks

A digital building logbook is a common repository for relevant building data. It facilitates transparency, trust, informed decision making and information sharing within the construction sector, among building owners and occupants, financial institutions and public authorities.

Information obtained from construction products is only part of the data expected to be archived in the building logbook and be interoperable with other sources of information. Unfortunately, the number of different national and regional initiatives is a clear obstacle to align them according to a similar approach.

Information “Golden thread” starts with the information
delivered by manufacturers and ends in the building logbook

The EC launched a study on policy recommendations for the development of a European framework for digital building logbooks and the final report concluded that it should follow a standardised approach and be consistent with the applicable regulations.

Building logbooks are referred in other initiative such as the Renovation wave but on the contrary to other instruments such as the energy performance certificates, its harmonisation at European level is a challenge. CEN/TC 350 subcommittee 1 – Circular economy may develop a standardised approach but the key of their work is keep consistency with the existing digitalisation initiatives and with the applicable regulations.

Some principles to be used as guidance for the development of building logbooks are:

  • They need to be technology neutral to avoid market distortions and outdated results.
  • Information from construction products should be aligned to the CPR and should not create barriers to trade.
  • Digitalisation must be implemented according to a harmonised approach but shall not steer the development but the opposite.
  • In addition to the developments in the field of circular economy (demolition and waste) building logbooks should include REACH/CLP information.
  • Implementation by Member States need to keep basic principles of interoperability and the possibility to deliver aggregated European data.
  • Sustainability should be one of the key topics to be addressed under a construction specific approach compatible with the delivery of information by manufacturers (EPD information), but focused on building assessment according to the reference European methodology Level(s).
  • Data ownership needs to be properly addressed together with the responsibility of the relevant stakeholder e.g. manufacturers responsible of the declared performance in their DoP but once the product is delivered information is owned by the following stakeholders in the construction chain.
  • Consistency with legislative frameworks need to be addressed and updated in case of regulatory changes.
  • Information should be kept by a dedicated body and bear the responsibility of store, keep and allow access to the information when needed.