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May 21, 2019

BASF partners with European Union’s BIM project “SPHERE” for sustainable construction

May 21, 2019

BASF is a partner of the European Union’s SPHERE project. The project aims at developing a digital-twin software platform to enable the virtual replication of buildings in order to increase their energy efficiency, optimize their life cycle, and reduce costs. 


The "virtual twin" will incorporate a wide range of data on construction method, design, production of construction materials, structural elements, as well as the construction process. The project has been allocated €7.4 million of EU funding; its total volume is €12.8 million.

The new digital-twin platform is based on Building Information Modeling (BIM) – a technology where the construction experts from Master Builders Solutions®, BASF’s global brand for construction chemicals solutions, have extensive expertise: At the beginning of this year, Master Builders Solutions launched its “Virtual Design and Construction Resource Center”, comprising a range of digital resources with regard to BIM as well as the selection of suitable products, specification, and the various applications of its construction products. “For us, virtual building models represent a key technology for the future conception and design of built structures”, said Philipp Kley, Senior Vice President Construction Chemicals Europe at BASF. “We want to leverage innovative software technologies to play a leading role with regard to Industry 4.0 in the construction industry.”

Master Builders Solutions’ BIM portfolio is the largest in the construction chemicals industry – comprising, as of today, more than 200 BIM objects, and soon to include more than 400 Revit models from 13 different industry segments. This is the expertise that BASF can bring to the SPHERE project: “We are very happy to support this EU project with our know-how and, with partners from ten different countries, work on the development and refinement of virtual building models”, says Olivier Bayard, Regional Business Segment Manager Admixture Systems Europe at BASF. “In this way, we want to contribute to an increased energy efficiency in buildings and to lowering the costs involved in construction projects. Designers and owners benefit from a digital-twin model across all project stages: from planning and design to construction and maintenance to demolition.”

The Building Information Modeling offers new possibilities for the building of the future.

EU framework program Horizon 2020 for research and innovation

Next to BASF, the SPHERE consortium includes software specialists, architects, engineers, as well as research and development centers. The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 820805. As EU support program, Horizon 2020 aims at fostering a knowledge- and innovation-based society and competitive economy across the EU as well as contributing to sustainable development.

SPHERE is a four-year Horizon 2020 project, set to run until autumn 2022. On the basis of four new-construction and renovation projects in Italy, Finland, Austria and the Netherlands, the digital-twin platform and its range of new software tools are to be tested and developed toward marketability. 

Birgit Hellmann
Global Sustainability Communications
Last Update May 21, 2019