A manufacturing revolution is finally hitting the construction industry making much-needed houses more environment-friendly as well as faster and cheaper to build. It support, such as CAD- and BIM-systems, is already making construction more efficient, bringing down cost by 10-20 %. Automation is coming for on-site construction with drones, bots, and new 3D-printing techniques. Construction is also starting to move into factories. High-quality modules are industrially produced and then assembled into adaptable buildings.
These new principles how promise to deal with the big challenges of construction. Today, 900 mn people lack decent shelter globally. It is expected to get worse as the number is projected to grow to 1.6 bn by 2025, with cost as the main obstacle to housing access. Furthermore, the construction sector has a big environmental footprint, being responsible for over 30 % of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Maintenance and operations are responsible for 20-30 % of housing costs as well as 80 % of greenhouse gas emissions from the sector. Thus improvements in this area are ideal for bringing down both costs and environmental impact. Savings could for example arise from functional materials like self-cleaning paint and more efficient insulation.
1 bn homes have to be constructed until 2025 to meet worldwide need of housing in urban areas alone.