Construction Process Improvement

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Construction Process Improvement

Modernising the construction sector is a declared aim of many governments and agencies. Long seen as ineffi cient and uncompetitive, the construction process – taken in its broadest sense – has become the target for research projects and programmes in many countries. One such programme is Sweden’s national R&D programme in construction, Competitive Building. Most research activity has been aimed at the products of construction or the science and technology that helps create and maintain them. Despite the considerable investments in building research, many problems remain, costs continue to rise and customers – building owners and occupants – complain of a sector that serves them badly. This is a familiar theme and one that has led to a partnership between universities and industry aimed at improving the effi ciency of the construction process.


The mandate for Competitive Building was clear: improve the process and
raise construction’s competitiveness. The implementation was less straightforward.
Construction process is one branch of building research that has
been neglected for decades. Placing the case for process-related research high
on the agenda was a task that fell to the leading companies and fi rms in the
sector, supported by a group of senior researchers from the main science and
technology universities. That case was made and accepted in 1997 against a
detailed programme proposal for collaborative R&D that would address the
construction process. The programme began in earnest the following year.

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