The U.S. building industry is under increasing pressure to deliver high-performance buildings to meet the needs of owners, occupants and the government. Owners and contractors are looking for opportunities to improve certainty in schedule, performance and cost while managing risks. At the same time, there is an increasing concern from multiple segments of the industry on the availability of a skilled workforce, as well as the productivity of the buildings workforce today and into the future. Efforts are underway on a variety of fronts to address productivity challenges, including the expansion of off-site construction techniques; development of enhanced tools and processes such as building information modeling (BIM); enhancing mid- to long-term forecasts of workforce needs; and attracting new, technology-savvy entrants to the workforce through development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.
This past fall, the National Institute of Building Sciences held a Representative Hearing on Productivity and the Workforce. Based on oral and written testimony provided by 18 representatives from a broad group of industry organizations during the hearing, the Institute developed an infographic to identify the major themes that will help the industry address the productivity challenges.
The infographic, titled “Tackling Productivity in the Building Industry,” identifies the recommendations and includes: collaboration; contracts/risk allocation; technology/BIM; metrics & knowledge sharing; safety & quality; life-cycle focus; workforce; and off-site construction.
A panel consisting of Dorothy Robyn, Past Commissioner of the Public Buildings Service at the U.S. General Services Administration; Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA; and Charles L. Greco, President of the Associated General Contractors of America and Chairman of Linbeck, presided over the hearing. Sue Klawans, Past Institute Board Member and Director of Operational Excellence and Planning at Gilbane Building Company, served as an industry advisor for the hearing and resultant outputs. The hearing was sponsored by Autodesk and supported by the International Code Council.
Additional outputs based on the Hearing will be available later this year.
National Institute of Building Sciences brings together labor and consumer interests, government representatives, regulatory agencies, and members of the building industry to identify and resolve problems and potential problems around the construction of housing and commercial buildings. NIBS is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization. It was established by Congress in 1974. For more information, visit nibs.org or follow @bldgsciences on Twitter and Facebook.
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