Sharing and learning is becoming the driver of radical innovation

We go ahead and share ideas, develop projects together and inspire the construction industry. Join us and walk the path into the new world of open source tools and open data.
Open Source in AEC

Open source in the construction industry

The construction industry is characterized by numerous small and medium-sized companies that operate locally, adhere to existing standards, and have limited or no budget for research and development – certainly not for the development of digital solutions. Consequently, each company attempts to independently invent and implement solutions with constrained resources and only within their silo. As a result, it becomes challenging to effectively address the upcoming challenges related to ambitious cost and sustainability goals.

However, this situation can serve as an exciting starting point for developing user-oriented tools that transcend individual companies, adopting an open-source mindset.


77% of code used in software projects around the world originated from open source

Issues like low efficiency and duplication of efforts in transformation processes are well known in other domains as well. By facilitating open collaboration across companies, the open source movement has proven to be a powerful approach to enable continuous improvement also with limited resources.

The movement has changed the way modern software is created. Rather than re-implementing basic features again and again, the limited number of developers within an organisation can focus on features that are differentiating for the company in the market. 

The key arguments to leverage open source are:

👉 do more with the same budget

👉 reduce maintenance efforts

👉 improve continuously  

👉 attract (and keep) talents 

👉 innovate faster

Collaboration as an unfair advantage

By institutionalising open collaboration across companies with concrete output (code), open source has evolved into a movement that extends beyond software development. The open source approach doesn’t imply that everyone in the construction industry must learn programming and become a geek. Quite the opposite, collaborative development allows individuals to contribute their unique strengths in the most effective manner possible. For some, this may involve providing feedback on content while others may contribute in project organization, software development or financial support to specific projects.


The exciting thing about the open source movement is the diversity of possible projects.
From small, local projects to large, transnational projects, from simple database solutions to complex software projects. As long as the mindset is right, there is something for everyone – from analogue dinosaurs to average users to absolute experts.

At, we host and support projects in different ways.

Sandbox Projects are experimental projects that are not yet widely tested in production.
Incubating Projects are already used successfully in production by a small number of users.
Graduated Projects considered stable, widely adopted and production ready, attracting hundreds of users and contributors

Click on the projects to get more details about the projects, the authors and their communication channels.


Talk. Share. Do.
Knowing what works and exchanging ideas with others is often the starting point for exciting projects. Therefore, organises its own events to facilitate this exchange – find them here + further events that we attend as well.

No pending events

Past events

COMPAS Developer Day


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Open Source in AEC – Copenhagen Event


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AEC Hackathon – Zurich Edition

02.02.2024 - 04.02.2024

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Future of Construction 2023 Symposium

13.09.2023 - 15.09.2023

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Workshoptage CH Open

05.09.2023 - 07.09.2023

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Open Source in der Architektur (german)


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Open Innovation Workshop «Construction & Data Science»


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Open Source for Architects Conference


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AEC Hackathon Copenhagen

03.03.2023 - 05.03.2023

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Kick-Off Event


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Together for an open, innovative construction industry.

Open innovation has given rise to many of the software innovations that are transforming the real estate and construction industry—from the cloud, to big data, to simulation technologies.  But all of these came from outside. To spur this kind of innovation within our industry, we first have to create the right environment for it. Our goal is to break down barriers to collaboration—between stakeholders along the value chain and even within individual firms—to enable the cross-pollination of ideas necessary to spark transformative solutions to shared problems.

As a non-profit organisation, our Members’ contributions are the fuel that help us garner contributions, promote adoption of our projects and enable faster innovation in the industry through collaborative resolution of AECO-wide challenges.

Accordingly, the initiative’s activities revolve around the following initiatives:

Making the potential of open source tangible

The concept of open source has many facets. The initiative organises events and communicates via website and social media with the aim of making the potential behind open source code, tools and mindset tangible for all stakeholders in the construction industry.

Connecting people

People with ideas are looking for people to help them implement them. Because they lack technical know-how. Because they lack the finishing touches for the idea. Because they lack resources and know that it is easier to do it together than alone.

For this reason, facilitates networking among its members, other interested parties, experts, sponsors, private companies, public institutions, other initiatives, and political figures.

Enabling open projects

An open source solution is only a good solution if it is used. The main goal of the initiative is to turn ideas into concrete solutions.

To this end, the initiative provides the technical and organisational infrastructure that is needed to set up a project that often spans several companies. Another important aid: access to funding that facilitates implementation.

Who is behind the initiative? is a non-profit organisation based in Zurich, Switzerland, with active members across the globe.

Architects, urban developers, investors, engineers and planners as well as computational designers, software engineers and tech geeks are behind the initiative. Together, they have the goal of advancing the topic of open source in the construction industry and developing collaborative projects in participatory processes. The community meets regularly digitally and physically to discuss and further develop concrete approaches.


Our current core team

Are you interested in the role of open-source in the building industry? Get in touch with us today!