A game changer for the construction industry

Digitalization is key for the construction industry to become a more sustainable and attractive industry with higher productivity and lower emissions.  Finally, our vision to create a platform for applications and data to be shared seamlessly among projects and partners is becoming a reality.

Backe’s digital journey began in 2017 with an idea to create a digital platform to connect all suppliers and professional disciplines along the value chain. Building on 70 years of corporate responsibility, our vision was to create something that could benefit the entire construction industry in Norway.

Supported by the Norwegian Research Council, Backe kicked off an innovation project in collaboration with SINTEF Digital, Handelshøyskolen BI and Lean Communications. Our ambition was to define a digital construction process, and to develop and implement a supporting digital data platform.  During the first years, our aim was to define key elements in a digital construction process. We looked to other countries and industries for inspiration and learning.

In parallel, we piloted several applications and software solutions to improve current internal processes, including 4D, 5D, laser scanning, drones and robots. Apps can help improve the productivity and quality of one or a few processes, but as stand-alone solutions they generally do not connect with other data sources or solutions.  As a result, apps offer limited opportunities to share, reuse and learn from data across projects and companies.

While developing a platform prototype, we came into contact with IBM and OpenBuilt. The timing was perfect.  We shared a lot of ideas and ambitions with IBM, whose scope and impact could ensure global reach and scalability. The decision to join OpenBuilt as a Founding Partner was a “no brainer”.

OpenBuilt has the potential of becoming an industry data platform that connects data, processes and systems among partners - globally.

Through Red Hat, IBM has unprecedented experience with open-source development. Their expertise safeguards a stable and secure platform that still is flexible and allows for innovation. To maintain consistent technical language, OpenBuilt will use Cobuilder’s Data Templates to structure all data in a way that allows for machine-readability and interoperability with existing and future systems.

At Backe, we are now preparing our internal applications and IT landscape, making them ready to communicate through OpenBuilt with our customers, partners, sub-contractors, and suppliers. As an investor and actor user, we see OpenBuilt as a catalyst for a needed transformation of the entire construction industry in the years ahead. We will be able to learn, not only from other Norwegian companies and projects, but also across geographies.  

We believe that IBM’s approach, establishing OpenBuilt as an open-source industry data platform, will connect a fragmented project-based industry in need of increased productivity and sustainability.

OpenBuilt is well positioned to change the game of the entire construction industry.



Mårten Skällenäs

Director of Strategy and Innovation

Backe Entreprenør AS



Learn more about OpenBuilt here: https://openbuilt.io/