The construction industry encompasses buildings and infrastructure that supply shelter, water and power. More than 11 million people, or about 8 percent of the total U.S. workforce, were employed in construction in 2007 and the buildings they constructed were worth $1.16 trillion, according to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau report.
Experts measure construction productivity by how quickly and at what cost buildings and infrastructure can be constructed. It directly affects prices for homes, consumer goods and the national economy's robustness.
Construction leaders and researchers have observed that this sector is experiencing a decline in productivity at the industry level, which led NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory to study construction productivity challenges and potential solutions, according to NIST economist and report co-author Robert E. Chapman.
The NIST blueprint for industry change is called Metrics and Tools for Measuring Construction Productivity: Technical and Empirical Considerations (Special Publication 1101). The report identifies the metrics, tools and data that can help construction-industry stakeholders make more cost-effective investments in productivity-enhancing technologies. A sample metric is the volume of concrete put in place per crew per day. Tools include Web-accessible databases containing task-level and project-level metrics based on actual construction projects.
The report also identifies the knowledge gaps that are seen as the biggest barriers to the measurement of construction productivity, for example, there are currently no industry level productivity metrics for the construction industry. The gaps, the co-authors say, suggest opportunities for innovations in measurement science to create new metrics and tools. "If we can measure construction productivity as we have done with safety, we can use productivity measures to drive competitiveness," Chapman explains.
The report lays the foundation for future research and for establishing key industry collaborations that will enable more meaningful measures of construction productivity. It is designed to assist construction researchers and professional societies, government statisticians and managers in the construction industry.
Metrics and Tools for Measuring Construction Productivity: Technical and Empirical Considerations, Special Publication 1101, can be found at http://www.bfrl.nist.gov/oae/publications/nistsp/NISTSP1101.pdf.
Evelyn Brown | Newswise Science News
Rock solid: Carbon-reinforced concrete from Augsburg
11.10.2016 | Universität Augsburg
Heating and cooling with environmental energy
22.09.2016 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences