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Productivity Boosts Needed in Construction

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According to the World Economic Forum’s publication Shaping the Future of Construction–A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology there is a great need for greater productivity in construction. The last half century saw other business sectors experience surges in productivity, while the advances in construction have been meager at best.

This publication sets out how “digitization, innovative technologies and new construction techniques” will allow for improvement in the construction field. One of the problems is that construction “has been far slower than many… to adopt new technology and is only now beginning to undergo a modern transformation.”

The report states that some of this is due to a lack of continuity between projects and an over reliance on the expertise of individual managers. To remedy these inefficiencies the Forum recommends an increase in the use of lean construction methods, an increase in standardization and prefabrication, as well as use of digital technologies and processes.

In a study cited by the report digitalization in non-residential construction could cut capital costs by 13-21% and achieve 10-17% operational savings.

The construction industry is expected to grow rapidly as the urban population of the world continues to rise. As the largest global consumer of raw materials and accounting for 6% of worldwide GDP cutting construction costs by as little as 1% would save $100 billion/year.

For more information on this report please check out Peter Reina’s excellent article in Engineering News-Record, or you can download the full report here.