Actually, it would be more accurate to say that it is ready for revolution. Construction alone, seemingly, as opposed to nearly any other industry that one could think of it the industrialized and digitized West, has been able to operate in a manner much less than conducive for contemporary business. It is remarkable to consider how unlike other industries construction really is in its current operations. Whether one considers any major industry today, they will all be unlike the construction industry in a very important way. For example, consider general or specified retail, the development and manufacturing of computer hardware or software, the service industries of law or medicine, or any other major industry, and one readily sees that they all frequently engage in innovation as it is proper to the irrespective industries and they certainly employ the important business tactic known benchmarking. However, with regard to construction, the voices are unanimous in their consent that for some reason or another this particular industry has been slow to innovate and aggressively improve itself in a world where every other company or industry seems to do this very thing.
It would seem that it is widely acknowledged these days that innovation in construction is long overdue. For a number of years Purdue University has maintained a website concerned with presenting concepts of Emerging Construction Technologies. The Division of Construction Engineering and Management of Purdue University, specifically, has been the collaborative to spearhead this project. Additionally, there is a Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering at Loughborough University, which maintains a website for discussing issues pertinent to the construction industry in the U.K. specifically and also just generally. The University recently launched a project to extend from April, 2004 to March, 2007, which would explore the reasons why there is not a strong culture of Research, Innovation and Development (RID) within the constructions industry. There is also a Construction Innovation Forum (CIF), which annually tries to award various individuals for excellent long-range achievements in innovation in construction. It remains to be explored in the remainder of this essay just which are the most important ways in which the industry of construction, and the related industries of surveying and property, have not yet innovated, though perhaps they should have. It is now appropriate to explore some concepts with which we will be working throughout the essay, and these are the concepts of innovation and benchmarking.
In2003 Kristian Widén wrote an important article addressing the general issue of innovation within the construction industry and explored why the industry had done so poorly in enacting innovation. It was necessary for Widén, as it is here, to begin by discussing the nature of innovation.
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