Digitalization in road construction



Jonathan Matthei

Research Assistant


+49 241 80 20079



Project start for a common database in German road construction

Logo CDE.BStB Copyright: © Yumi Furuno

A Common Data Environment (CDE) is a modular digital platform for the central data organization of digital building models and the key to a structured application of the BIM method in construction projects.

On behalf of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), the recently launched research project CDE.BStB aims to develop a specific concept for a nationwide, inter-organizational CDE. This standardizes information management and communication in German road construction. The establishment of a nationwide CDE for public administrative bodies involved in infrastructure construction is intended to create a consistent and structured database for public administrative bodies. This is in line with the defined goals in the master plan BIM federal trunk roads.

The platform makes it possible to bundle information from the various participants in a project and make it available as a central communication medium. By ensuring that the construction planning is up-to-date, it facilitates communication between those involved in the project and thus saves time and money. CDE systems are currently used primarily in building construction projects, while there are still no uniform requirements and bases for this common data environment in the infrastructure areas.

The research project contributes to further advancing the efforts of the Federal Government to digitize the public administrations of the federal, state and local governments. A road construction-specific CDE model is being developed through interdisciplinary cooperation with the Institute for Road Science (ISAC). This defines uniform requirements with a special focus on road construction. By means of a market and inventory analysis, an investigation of various CDE providers and the responsible parties in road construction is carried out. In addition to data management, important research points for a successful use of the CDE concept are the distribution of roles and responsibilities at strategic and operational level. Investment requirements and benefits for the introduction of the information system along the life cycle are also considered. Finally, recommendations for action and technical recommendations for the implementation of a common database in road construction are provided.


Facts about the project

  1. Project: CDE.BStB
  2. Topic: Development of a common database in German road construction (Bundes-CDE)
  3. Project duration: 12/01/2021 – 04/30/2023 (17 Months)
  4. Funder: BASt - Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen
  5. Project partner: 
    ​ICoM - Institute for Construction Management, Digital Engineering and Robotics in Construction of RWTH-Aachen
    ​ISAC - Institute for Roads  of RWTH-Aachen
  6. Project leader: Jonathan Matthei
  7. Contact person ICoM:  Jonathan Matthei