Focus on knowledge: In dialog with digitization specialists in the construction industry

  • Three specialist forums, three days of trade fair, more than 40 speakers
  • Specifically for architects, planners and engineers: The “Digital Knowledge and Practical Solutions” Forum
  • Cooperation in interdisciplinary planning and construction processes: An interview with digitalBAU speaker Boris Peter, Knippers Helbig

digitalBAU, a new trade fair format of BAU in Munich, will open its doors in Cologne from February 11 to 13, 2020. So far, more than 140 companies have registered for the first leading trade fair for digital solutions in the construction industry. Thereby, Messe München is responding to the demand of manufacturers and trade visitors to continue to attend to digital developments, trends and services in the interim years of BAU. In addition to the exhibition, a comprehensive supporting program which will inspire architects and engineers alike will strengthen the event.

The three days in hall 7 of Koelnmesse will be accompanied by a highly informative specialist program. 40 speakers will speak at a total of three specialist forums; almost 90 power and specialist presentations, panel discussions as well as a start-up award are planned. digitalBAU Project Manager Matthias Strauss sees this as an important added value for visitors and an opportunity for the young trade fair to position itself as a dialog platform: “Specialist planners as well as architects, public and private property developers, real estate operators, craftspeople, students and apprentices of the handicraft trades are invited to take part in the free forums. Our visitors have the opportunity to switch between the forums in order to learn as much as possible about the digital ‘status quo’ of the other construction partners and to exchange ideas.”

Experienced partners and supporters for the supporting program

The forums are organized by digitalBAU in cooperation with the architectural trade journal Bauwelt, the network initiatives Planen Bauen 4.0 and Mittelstand 4.0 and the specialist portal Heinze. The individual focuses of the forums will address current topics and challenges of the various target groups. Exhibition Director Matthias Strauss: “As a dialog platform, digitalBAU enables a unique exchange and thus enables the various participants to establish new contacts. This should be possible both at the exhibition stands and at our specialist forums, for which we have found experienced partners and supporters.”

The program: As diverse as the target groups

Top-class speakers and innovative solution providers will be represented at the forums. The whole industry was taken into consideration. During these three days, architects, engineers and planners, for example, will gain an insight into the entire spectrum—from highly topical industry topics such as BIM and HOAI to digital planning and manufacturing methods, digital twin and smart building, to practical workshops on the topics of planning, development, construction, crafts and operation. Industry expert Thomas Kirmayr, Managing Director of the Fraunhofer Building Innovation Alliance and head of the Center of Competence for Planning and Building Mittelstand 4.0, will get to speak about the digital twin. Florian Kraft, Partner at Stefan Forster Architekten in Frankfurt, BIM Manager and Managing Director of Compendium BIM + Kybernetik, will talk about the correct strategic positioning of architecture firms in times of digitization. The program is complemented by the expertise of specialists such as Boris Peter—architect, engineer and partner at the engineering firm Knippers Helbig. He will speak about digitization in interdisciplinary planning processes and the associated paradigm shift.

The complete forum program as well as important information about the speakers and partners will be available shortly at


Cooperation in interdisciplinary planning and construction processes. An interview with digitalBAU speaker Boris Peter.

Boris Peter, Partner and Managing Associate at Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, Stuttgart

Boris Peter is Partner and Managing Associate at Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering, Stuttgart. He designs and plans in a multidisciplinary team of structural and facade engineers with offices in Stuttgart, New York and Berlin.

digitalBAU: Mr. Peter, your presentation will focus on the cross-disciplinary cooperation in the digital planning and construction process. Why is there a need for information here?

Boris Peter: In the construction industry, digitization is leading to a paradigm shift. The traditional planning phases are no longer consistent with the digital work processes. BIM is used to challenge the German planning culture of “separating planning and construction”. We planners should ask ourselves how we want to cooperate in interdisciplinary planning and construction processes in the future. And we should not leave that to others. With the help of digital models, planning solutions for increasingly complex planning requirements can be developed at high quality in a continuous value chain. This is based on the prerequisite, however, that the disciplines involved have an equally good command of the tools and develop a common understanding of the work processes.

digitalBAU: Which additional topics would you like to address in your presentation?

Boris Peter: In the presentation, I will examine the changes in the construction industry on the basis of concrete project examples from my own planning office. For me, this is not so much a question of handling, but rather of the impact on collaboration and of redefining our approaches to the planning process.

digitalBAU: What are the major challenges for architects, engineers and specialist planners in the coming years?

Boris Peter: There will be large investments to improve the digital infrastructure, fundamental changes in office structures due to changes in work processes and a seemingly sustained shortage of skilled workers.

digitalBAU: digitalBAU will take place for the first time in February 2020. Where do you see the particular added value of this new trade fair for digital topics in the construction industry?

Boris Peter: Since it is taking place for the first time, this is hard to say. But I would like it to be a place of open exchange between industry and planning practitioners. I am also interested in the solutions presented by the exhibitors for Open BIM processes.

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