Labor Productivity Declines in the Construction Industry: Causes and Remedies

AECbytes Viewpoint (April 14, 2004)

The productivity of the construction industry, as measured by constant contract dollars of new construction work per hourly work hour, has gradually declined (with some modest exceptions) over the past 40 years at an average compound rate of -0.59%/year. In this article, Dr. Paul Teicholz analyzes the major causes for this lack of progress in field productivity in the construction industry.

About the Author

Dr. Paul Teicholz was the Founding Director of the Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) at Stanford University from 1988 to 1998. He is currently Professor (Research) Emeritus at the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, and also works as an independent consultant to the AEC industry and related service providers. Before his academic tenure at Stanford, Paul worked for over 25 years as a consultant and director of IT in the construction industry. He has won several academic and professional awards, including the Construction Management "Man of the Year" awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1985, and one of the most significant Innovators to "Technology and Materials" in the construction industry over the past 125 years, awarded by Engineering News Record magazine in 1999.