Construction Productivity: Flat or Declining


More than half of the companies responding to a recent survey about construction productivity say that their output has been flat or even decreasing over the past five years. Furthermore, according to FMI's 2004-2005 Contractor Productivity Survey, 81% of those surveyed feel that they could save more than 5% of their annual field labor costs if productivity management were improved.

Respondents included general contractors and subcontractors ranging in annual revenues from $15 million to more than $100 million. The report acknowledges that there is no industry-accepted formula for productivity, but trends were revealed through the opinions and experience of industry executives. "It seems that the industry has a belief that they can save their way to prosperity," said FMI director Scott Kimpland, also the author of the report. "That particular mindset might explain why our industry has not been able to change overall performance significantly."

The report did reveal some positive results, such as a notable increase in pre-job planning. This year's report indicated that 47% of respondents used a formal pre-job planning process, an improvement of more than 33% from FMI's 2003 survey.

Overall, the importance of leadership and planning at all organizational levels stood out. In fact, the companies that reported significant improvements in productivity over the past five years gave credit to good project management. Of those companies, 64% said their product managers were doing a great job compared with only 26% for all respondents.

For a copy of the 2004-2005 survey results, e-mail FMI marketing coordinator Phil Warner .

Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
October 2018
Approaches to building engineering, 2018 Commissioning Giants, integrated project delivery, improving construction efficiency, an IPD primer, collaborative projects, NFPA 13 sprinkler systems.
September 2018
Power boiler control, Product of the Year, power generation,and integration and interoperability
August 2018
MEP Giants, lighting designs, circuit protection, ventilation systems, and more
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Data Center Design
Data centers, data closets, edge and cloud computing, co-location facilities, and similar topics are among the fastest-changing in the industry.
click me