Shaping the Future of Construction A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology

Industry Agenda

Shaping the Future of Construction A Breakthrough in Mindset and Technology

Prepared in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group

May 2016

Foreword from the World Economic Forum

The world is changing faster than ever before. Consider just one of the global megatrends shaking up the construction industry: the population of the world’s urban areas is increasing by 200,000 people per day, all of whom need affordable housing as well as social, transportation and utility infrastructure. In the face of such challenges, the industry is almost under a moral obligation to transform. Its transformation will have transformative effects elsewhere: on the wider society, by reducing construction costs; on the environment, by improving the use of scarce materials or by making buildings more eco-efficient over time; and on the economy, by narrowing the global infrastructure gap and boosting economic development in general.

While most other industries have undergone tremendous changes over the last few decades, and have reaped the benefits of process and product innovations, the Engineering & Construction sector has been hesitant about fully embracing the latest technological opportunities, and its labour productivity has stagnated accordingly. This unimpressive track record can be attributed to various internal and external challenges: the persistent fragmentation of the industry, inadequate collaboration with suppliers and contractors, the difficulties in recruiting a talented workforce, and insufficient knowledge transfer from project to project, to name just a few.  

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Source: World Economic Forum © 2016 –
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