Working hand-in-hand to tackle the challenges of the construction industry

The building sector is changing rapidly. In addition to new technologies, there is an increasingly complex legal and regulatory framework, the challenges posed by digitalisation as well as the expectations of the main contractor - all these factors must be taken into account and dealt with. That is why the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI) has implemented the 'Maîtrise d'oeuvre OAI' (MOAI.LU) methodology. It offers an innovative and holistic approach: from the initial stages of a building project, it brings together the whole team which designs and manages the project until its final delivery. Its objective is to lay the foundations to ensure satisfied contractors and allow the industry to showcase its expertise: to reconcile the interests of the main contractors with those of the users and our shared living environment while ensuring a smooth operational process with the public authorities and the companies on site. transforming the way we build

Launching a construction project, irrespective of it size, can require up to 1,300 administrative procedures, depending on the complexity of the project and the number of stakeholders – a daunting number! Added to this are the sheer complexity of construction projects and the increase in the number of stakeholders and parties involved in these projects, especially with regard to the complexity and the legal, regulatory and technical framework in force.

As such, the requirements in terms of energy efficiency, accessibility, building biology, health and well-being, the circular economy and digitalisation, among others, must be respected by the main contractor.

In view of these challenges, the OAI has launched the 'Maîtrise d’oeuvre OAI' (MOAI) methodology; a tool based on a consultative approach that relies on the cooperation of all stakeholders in the construction industry in order to overcome, from the start, any obstacles that may arise during project.

To achieve this goal, the OAI can take advantage of the close ties amongst these actors in Luxembourg, as well as easy access to political decision makers, who are also key stakeholders in a construction project. The purpose of the approach is to create a genuine coordinated service culture in the industry in order to increase efficiency, productivity and reliability.

A holistic approach based on transparency and the exchange of information

The MOAI method aims to be holistic in its approach. It is therefore applied from the initial stages of a project's design phase and remains in play through to completion. It also intends to bring together all project stakeholders and ensure they are involved in its procedures, in order to confront the challenges - at an early stage and as a team - that may affect the overall success of the project. As such, is a communication tool as well as a source of innovation aimed at accelerating the transition to sustainable construction and the circular economy.

Its true strength lies in its versatility: the MOAI is equally attuned to building developments per se, whatever the size of the project, as well as to urban planning and landscaping projects.

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© Marc Baldauff

Basically, the MOAI of a construction project brings together the main contractor, the architect and consulting engineers to better coordinate the planning and execution of a project. Other stakeholders may also be part of this team, depending on its scope and the type of project.

Effective communication is vital to the success of building project. To achieve this goal, the OAI has created the necessary tools to ensure constant exchanges between the stakeholders. The fact sheets which summarise the best practices and regulations in force are used as a basis for the MOAI meetings and ensure that the project progresses in a fully transparent manner thus aiding the main contractor. Furthermore, an online forum ensures that these tools are constantly evolving and remain adapted to on-site realities.

Digital planning creates opportunities

The Building Information Modeling (BIM) is another vital component of this approach. Software allows the stakeholders to plan and follow the construction in real time. Set up by the Centre de ressources des technologies et de l’innovation pour le bâtiment (CRTI-B), this tool allows 3D digital models to be exchanged, thus facilitating the transfer of information, communication and allowing for potential problems to be identified and resolved. It is therefore both a digital planning tool and a communication platform for stakeholders.

This is the path chosen by the OAI to render construction projects more transparent and efficient and to tackle the challenges linked to digitalisation and technological progress. The principle of consultation, which enjoys a long-standing tradition in Luxembourg, makes the MOAI a key planning tool as well as a platform for the collaborative development of an entire sector of the Luxembourg economy.

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