It is no secret that the design and construction industry is one of the most inefficient on the planet. A number of books have identified and documented the declining productivity of every hour and dollar invested in the building process. Architects, engineers, contractors and developers have been struggling for years in an environment so fragmented, no single player can have significant influence or initiate meaningful change. Architects are marginalized and commoditized, and contractors struggle with the same labor and process risk they have carried for centuries. Critical design information is withheld until the submittal process. No viable and practical risk management instrument has been developed. Buildings are still created one brick, one nail and one shim at a time, and the value proposition to owners continues to decline.
Frankly, the inefficiency of the industry— whether in product delivery, construction technology or design factors—is inexcusable and amounts to billions of dollars of unnecessary waste that is paid for by public and private owners. This situation, in turn, discourages viable business plans, eats away at institutional endowments, reduces the aspirations of school districts and raises taxes for communities wishing to fix roads and build community centers. In a $1- trillion industry, that amounts to $300 billion or more of wasted investment a year.