How Do You Innovate In Construction?
Trying to understand the evolution of innovation in the construction sector, assimilating it with the industrial area, where changes are consolidated at high speed, would be a big mistake since the construction has a series of peculiarities that make it much more complicated than great innovations are produced and that they are applied and standardized.
The primary objectives of innovation in construction are rarely the discovery of new materials (such as reinforced concrete or stainless steel); since products based on ancient technologies are used, the objectives of innovation are focused on the improvement of production or commissioning processes, whose growth over time requires more extended operations than in other sectors.
And although it cannot be said that there is no innovation in construction, the truth is that the sector has innovated very little compared to other industrial areas (such as the automobile, or the aerospace). The one responsible for this is the extraordinary fragmentation of the sector. The construction sector is made up of an immense majority of tiny companies, with few employees: compared to the industry, construction is made up of a large number of developers, builders, designers, product manufacturers, etc. Today almost all manufacturers, or market their products around the world, or are small companies that manufacture products for local use, but all competing globally.
Unlike the industry, whose products are sold and purchased for direct use, materials and construction components are acquired to be subsequently integrated into the works through a process that requires a project and careful implementation and execution. They are the two phases of the innovation process: Creation or manufacture of the product and its introduction into the market, which, under construction, ends with the incorporation into the work.
The construction product, compared to the industrial product:
– It is designed for a particular use and in a specific work
– It requires the putting in work so that it can be considered a finished product.
– The agents (technicians, builders) frequently change in the works.
– It must have a very long lifespan, thinking that it is part of constructions that are expensive and from which, in general, a long lifespan is expected
– It has a considerable impact on the environment,
– It has very high connotations of responsibility (civil and criminal).