Construction workers Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In afwachting van de bouwrevolutie

LONDEN – Al twintig jaar groeit de productiviteit in de mondiale bouwsector jaarlijks met slechts 1%. Nu moet de sector eindelijk de 21e eeuw binnentreden, zodat zij tegemoet kan komen aan de toenemende vraag naar nieuwe structuren, en de steeds groter wordende mondiale problemen op het gebied van de woningbouw en de infrastructuur kan aanpakken.

Het zeer geleidelijke tempo van verandering in de bouwsector verschilt van dat in andere sectoren, zoals de landbouw en de industrie, die hun productiviteitsprestaties in de loop der tijd hebben aangepast. Tussen 1947 en 2010 verwezenlijkte de Amerikaanse industrie 760% cumulatieve reële (inflatie-gecorrigeerde) productiviteitsgroei, tegen slechts 6% voor de bouwsector.

Hoewel de bouwsector reeds lang zijn zwakheden onderkent, moet hij nog steeds de wilskracht zien op te brengen om er daadwerkelijk iets aan te doen. Maar tegen de achtergrond van de dringende problemen op het gebied van de woningbouw en de infrastructuur in de wereld, is dit niet langer vol te houden. De verstedelijking in veel geavanceerde economieën mag dan aan het afnemen zijn, in de opkomende economieën zal zij blijven aanhouden. De twintig grootste steden ter wereld, waarvan zich 75% in Azië bevindt, zullen in 2025 naar schatting behoefte hebben aan 36 miljoen nieuwe wooneenheden.

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