We are used to rapid technological innovation, the introduction of better manufacturing and artificial intelligence across almost all industries, yet the building industry is lagging way behind.
If you compare the progression in how cars have been manufactured since the 1900s, with how our building methods have changed, you will see a stark comparison. Not much has really changed since the Eiffel Tower was built in 1889 and the way our modern buildings are being constructed today. The materials and designs may have changed, but the method remains pretty much the same.
Over this time in the automotive industry there has been huge evolution, from the first assembly line for cars in 1908 (T Ford), to the implementation of robotic manufacturing in 1950 (Toyota) and the move to futuristic electric and self-driving cars. In this industry, the innovation is constant and fast, coming down from Formula 1 and into mainstream cars in a very short time. But what about our construction industry?
Unfortunately, the story here is very different and the lack of innovation and evolution is putting the industry under threat. The 2016 Farmer Review identified a number of critical symptoms of failure and poor performance in the building industry –
- Low productivity
- Low Predictability
- Structural and Leadership Fragmentation
- A dysfunctional training, funding and delivery model
- Low margins and financial fragility
- Lack of R&D and Investment in Innovation
According to the report, “The real ticking ‘time bomb’ is that of the industry’s workforce size and demographic”, which is predicted to reduce by up to 25% within a decade. If this happens, they believe that the industry would not be able to “deliver critical social and physical infrastructure, homes and built assets required by other industries to perform their core functions.”
It stated that there was a “deep-seated cultural resistance to change” within the industry and this was causing problems for both construction companies and clients. This report concluded that we must “modernise or die” and we wholeheartedly agree!
At Rooftop City, we want to be disruptors and innovators and show partners and clients that there is another way to do things.
We are committed to promoting the myriad of uses for off-site, indoor building systems. This technology has been around for a long time, has been proven to provide improved quality, shorter delivery times (3 or 4 times quicker than the standard build) and lower impact on the community and environment.
This can be applied to lofts, apartment complexes, houses, warehouses, factories and much more, yet it has not been widely adopted.
We believe this is because 99% of construction companies lack the capability to build in this way. Most building contractors operate on very tight margins and can’t make the capital investment required to set up these industrialised systems, with the robotics and skilled labour required to run it. This means they will never promote it to their clients, as they would lose the job. It is also because Architects and Engineers are not being educated on these systems as part of their training. If that wasn’t bad enough, the customers themselves are also reluctant to try it, as they feel more confident in the traditional way, despite its many obvious shortcomings.
However, something must change! The industry doesn’t have the workforce it needs for the construction needed to respond to our growing population. Our customers are getting tired of projects taking longer than expected and costing more, while also being poor quality. They deserve better and can have it by trusting in off-site, indoor building.
Our Rooftop City Building System is better, cleaner, greener and cheaper and strikes the perfect balance between efficiency and customer choice. We want to make people see that there is another way and encourage clients, architects and construction companies to partner with us on this building revolution!