Transforming the building industry: State of Nation knowledge report

14 December 2017

The research team from SRA6: Transforming the Building Industry has just released a State of Nation working paper. This combined report, addressing the key themes of: Innovation; People; Technology; and Process, represents the first deliverable of a multi-year project for guiding and supporting the transformation of the New Zealand building construction industry. The report presents the findings from a comprehensive literature review and a series of focus groups and elite interviews conducted in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. Then, based on the findings, the future research questions and recommendations.

The building construction industry plays a major role in New Zealand's economy. It remodels, grows and enhances our environment, as well as affecting lives of all current and future generations of kiwis. Nevertheless, compared to other industries in New Zealand, the building construction industry has long been criticised for its conservatism and lack of innovation. This in turn radically impedes its productivity in the construction process, as well as the performance of the infrastructure during its anticipated service life.

Currently, in-spite of nearly a decade of substantial economic growth in the country, we are building around half the homes that we need in Auckland and the wider quality issues with housing and communities throughout New Zealand are increasingly seen as a critical social problem. In short, we need as a society to produce more housing and societal infrastructure to support our communities more rapidly and sustainably.

The current condition indicates an urgent need for transforming the New Zealand building construction industry to be more innovative and productive. Such transformation not only produces direct benefits to the industry but could also boost the national economy and improve the liveability of our built environment. To create this transformation, we need to consistently increase productivity at a local level, improve innovation, upskill the workforce to both generate and embrace new technologies and techniques, streamline construction and related processes and improve the quality of construction products. All these require developing a healthy, coherent, well-functioning building construction industry in terms of its level of innovation, people, processes and technologies.

To read the report, please download the PDF: Transforming the building industry: State of Nation knowledge report.

For all queries, please contact Casimir MacGregor,  BRANZ