Photo: E Co.

Digital technologies have become part of a large number of investments in infrastructure and energy projects in developing countries. Their extensive application in cities to increase efficiency, optimization, and improvement of health, comfort, and social circumstances leads to achieving a high level of sustainability. Recognizing the need to follow the current moment, the EBRD teams are increasingly incorporating digitalization into assessing their investment justifications. The project to which the following paragraphs are dedicated brings a paradigm shift in dealing with digitalization as it shows how to apply digital technologies in all types of buildings. The EBRD team that worked on this project included the bank’s experts in energy and district heating. At the same time, the external consulting team of E Co. from the United Kingdom and the German Dornier Group consisted of over 10 experts from the USA, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Italy, and Argentina. From July 2022 to June 2023, this multidisciplinary team created a quality basis for a step forward in the digital transition of all 38 countries in which it operates.

Many sectors have made significant progress in digitalization in recent years. They are rapidly being joined by the building and construction sector, which is increasingly benefiting from improved energy efficiency and resilience and reduced costs. In addition, there are increasing global demands to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and harmful gases, and the demands of building users for safer and healthier living and working conditions. In earlier years, digitalization was characterized by high initial investments, mitigated in recent years, leading to greater attractiveness and profitability of numerous digital solutions.

Digital services and solutions are characterized by adaptability to the specific needs and requirements of users. Through the intelligent analysis of data from different domains, users and building owners are enabled to have the right information in a real environment as a basis for making quality decisions.


Buildings become smart by implementing smart digital solutions, i.e. by various devices and sensors that provide and process information and perform actions based on the received information. Smart buildings are equipped with intelligent systems that can be classified into management services and support services. The application of various smart environment applications has spread to complex buildings such as hospitals, office buildings, and educational and sports buildings, where sensors provide information to management, staff, and users.

The goal of applying digital solutions in buildings is the digital transformation of cities and the creation of smart cities that connect the environment, economy and mobility. This goal is achieved by combining and interacting the following aspects:

॰ Optimization of natural resources through environmental protection, energy efficiency and waste management,

॰ Mobility through public transport efficiency, traffic management and parking spaces management,

॰ Informing citizens, inclusive society, citizens making decisions, e-learning, and

॰ Quality of life of citizens, safety, and management of natural disasters.

Some leading international financial institutions recognize digitalization as one of the main directions of investment in the next medium-term strategies, considering the interaction of digitalization with all other investment areas to achieve social, ecological, and economic sustainability. The EBRD has particularly made progress in this regard, placing digitalization as one of the three main topics for the current period.

Source: E Co.

Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine  CIRCULAR ECONOMY