Challenges Driving the Industrialization of Construction

This post is an excerpt from the paper, “Industrialization of the Construction Industry,” by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and  Dr. Heather Moore of  MCA Inc.

A monumental and historical study conducted by the National Research Council of the National Academies on behalf of NIST outlined the challenges and obstacles facing the construction industry.


Fragmentation of the Industry

“The sheer number of construction firms (760,000 in 2004) and their size—only 2 percent had 100 or more workers, while 80 percent had 10 or fewer workers—make it difficult to effectively deploy new technologies, best practices, or other innovations across a critical mass of owners, contractors, and subcontractors.

Tweet: Construction is fragmented: only 2% have 100+ workers while 80% have 10 or fewer. @Dassault3DS @3DSAEC #AEC to tweet: “Construction is fragmented: only 2% have 100+ workers while 80% have 10 or fewer.”

The industry is also segmented into least four distinct sectors—residential, commercial, industrial, and heavy construction.

Interconnectivity and Interoperability

  • Its diverse and fragmented set of stakeholders: owners, users, designers, constructors, suppliers, manufacturers, operators, regulators, manual laborers, and specialty trade contractors including plumbers, electricians, masons, carpenters, and roofers.
  • Its segmented processes: planning and financing, design, engineering, procurement, construction, operations, and maintenance. Each process involves different groups of stakeholders, and shifting levels of financial risk.
  • The image of the industry—work that is cyclical, low tech, physically exhausting, and unsafe—which makes it difficult to attract skilled workers.
  • The one-of-a-kind, built-on-site nature of most construction projects.
  • Variation in the standards, processes, materials, skills, and technologies required by different types of construction projects.
  • Variation in building codes, permitting processes, and construction-related regulations by states and localities.
  • Lack of an industry-wide strategy to improve construction efficiency.
  • Lack of effective performance measures for construction-related tasks, projects, or the industry as a whole.
  • Lack of an industry-wide research agenda and inadequate levels of funding for research.

The industry is moving to address these challenges.

To learn how, download the white paper “Industrialization of the Construction Industry,” by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Heather Moore.

Tweet: How does the history of industrialization inform #AEC industry? @Dassault3DS @3DSAEC @AgileConst to tweet: “How does the history of
industrialization inform #AEC industry?”

This post is an excerpt from the white paper, “Industrialization of the Construction Industry,” by Dr. Perry Daneshgari and Dr. Heather Moore. Commissioned by Dassault Systemes and prepared by MCA Inc., this whitepaper focuses on industrialization of construction industry.

It maps out the construction industry challenges, relates the history of industrialization in the manufacturing industry, and summarizes five critical aspects and approaches.


Tweet: Challenges Driving the Industrialization of #Construction | @Dassault3DS @3DSAEC #AEC #BIM to tweet this article


Related resources:

Lean Construction Industry Solution Experience

Download Lean Construction Solution Brief

White Paper: Industrialization of the Construction Industry

MCA® Website



As head of global marketing for the AEC Industry at Dassault Systèmes, Mr. Moriwaki launches and promotes groundbreaking Industry Solution Experiences including "Optimized Construction," "Façade Design for Fabrication," and "Civil Design for Fabrication." He is a member of buildingSMART.