Industry Studies 2002: Construction
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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The construction industry grew at a moderate pace during the last twelve months, in spite of a weakening economy and chronic shortages of skilled and semi-skilled labor. The economic stimulus package adopted in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks - notably a series of interest rate reductions - resulted in a sharp increase in housing construction and renovation, offsetting a downward trend in commercial construction. The terrorist attacks also stimulated a renewed interest in applied research and development aimed at improving materials and construction techniques to mitigate the potential damage of future terrorist attacks on American infrastructure. Industry data show evidence of a continuing trend towards consolidation through acquisitions and mergers, forcing smaller construction-related companies to increase their productivity to remain competitive. This trend is driving an accelerated use of information technology tools, particularly at the interface between construction design and scheduling, in an industry-wide effort to improve the efficiency and predictability of project delivery. Finally, as State and local governments find it increasingly difficult to raise revenues to build and maintain needed infrastructure, alternative financing mechanisms involving the private provision of traditionally public services are becoming more widespread.
- Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems