Last edited 28 Jan 2021

Designing Buildings Wiki and ECA forge a new alliance powered by AI

[edit] Press release - 2 January 2019

DBW ECA machine learning 600.jpg

Leading engineering services trade association, ECA, has become the latest sponsor of Designing Buildings Wiki (DBW), the construction industry knowledge base.

The new relationship will generate free-to-access articles leveraging ECA’s expertise and thought leadership across a wide range of topics, including data communications, renewables and energy storage, smart buildings, commercial and industrial electrical installations, fire and security systems, and more.

In an industry first, artificial intelligence will be used to target subject areas for new articles, using bespoke software developed for DBW by the Open University, which uses natural language programming and machine learning to identify subjects that practitioners most want to know about.

The announcement comes as DBW records a landmark increase in visits of more than 50% compared to 2017, making it one of the most popular construction industry websites. DBW now has an annual readership of more than 5 million people.

DBW Director Dr Gregor Harvie said:

“The creation and dissemination of useful knowledge is crucial to the construction industry, helping practitioners understand new concepts, stay up-to-date, adopt innovations and avoid mistakes. This relationship with ECA will introduce a whole new area of technical knowledge to Designing Buildings Wiki, enhancing the 7,500 articles already on the site for the benefit of all. The new analytical techniques developed with the Open University will help us create the kind of targeted content that practitioners need to help them work with, and understand, the electrotechnical and engineering services sector.”

ECA Head of Communications Mike Giles said:

“ECA is pleased to be working with Designing Buildings Wiki to enable the spread of useful knowledge to stakeholders across construction and maintenance. Designing Buildings Wiki is an innovative portal for knowledge, and this partnership underlines ECA’s role as an industry thought leader.”

ECA is the UK’s largest trade association supporting and representing electrotechnical and engineering services organisations across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It has been a driving force in the industry since its formation in 1901 and has been pivotal in improving industry standards.

You can find out more about DBW's work with the Open University at:

[edit] Notes

About Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Wiki ( is the construction industry knowledge base. It is used by 5 million people a year to find, create and share articles about the planning, design, construction and operation of built assets.

Designing Buildings Wiki is supported by: The Institution of Civil Engineers, The Chartered Institute of Building, BRE, BSRIA, The Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and now ECA. It was founded in 2012 by project manager David Trench CBE FCIOB, architect Dr Gregor Harvie, construction law solicitor Richard Winward LLB FCIArb FCInst CES and chartered banker and finance director Martin Cantor.

About ECA

ECA ( is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrotechnical and engineering services organisations, at regional, national and European level. ECA member-companies are rigorously assessed before membership is approved.

Member firms have a combined turnover in excess of £6 billion annually. Member firms carry out design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring activity across the domestic, commercial, industrial and public sectors. This ranges from power and lighting to data communications, to energy efficiency and renewables, as well as the design and installation of cutting-edge building control technologies.

ECA’s near 3,000 members range from SME electrotechnical businesses to nationwide engineering services organisations that employ thousands of professionals on major UK projects.


Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again