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Driving innovation in construction product manufacturing

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Chris Ashworth, of BIM4M2 and Competitive Advantage Consultancy explores research into the future of innovation in construction product manufacturing

Traditionally, product innovation in the construction sector has been driven by changes in regulations, requiring manufacturers to add new performance characteristics to their products. Today we are at a critical point requiring significant changes in behaviour, driven by reduced skills availability, increasing costs, a greater focus on building outcomes and digital technology as an enabler.

Competitive Advantage wanted to understand how new technology and innovation is being adopted by members of the construction decision-making unit. So we conducted impartial research, seeking to provide indicators on what specifiers are looking for from manufacturers of construction products, offering up ideas on quick wins, as well as long-term innovation requirements.

How will the construction industry prioritise and adopt innovative construction methods?

Construction is now seeing innovations and initiatives to drive change in the areas of pre-manufacture, information & technology, the circular economy and new construction methods. To understand this, we talked to key decision makers; architects, engineers, main contractors, specialist contractors and housebuilders.

Competitive Advantage Consultancy’s research, New Technology and Innovation in Construction, shows that all see opportunities in these innovations, and there is some parallel thinking. While it is also clear that there is divergence in priorities as well as a reluctance to adopt new concepts in some sectors.

For construction, Industry 4.0 means using digital connectivity

Digital connectivity and cloud computing can link user, process and factory via disruptive technologies. All of this can associate with BIM and the circular economy. Industry 4.0 concepts, supported by product identification and reporting can provide designers, contractors, facilities managers and building occupants with greater information….

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