Clients driving construction innovation: benefiting from innovation

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Brown, KA, Hampson, KD, Brandon, P & Pillay, J (eds) 2008, Clients driving construction innovation: benefiting from innovation, Icon.Net Pty Ltd, Brisbane, Qld. ISBN: 9781741071566


The property and construction industry is highly volatile, responding to shifts in financial markets and economic futures as well as changing demographics, typically in a ‘boom and bust’ cycle. However, the construction industry has made significant change in adopting innovative technology and practices. A stark reminder of the speed of change within the construction industry is the emergent shift from paper-based drawings and records to sophisticated electronic systems such as 4D CAD in a few short years. Alinaitwee, Widen, Mwakali and Hanssen (2006) in their research examining innovation in construction suggest that efforts to promote innovation are at the core of current research in building as it is a critical mechanism to achieve greater productivity and competitiveness. With increasing expectations of the industry, especially regarding sustainable practices – environmental, social and economic – more work is needed. The research in this edited volume demonstrates how applied research can make a difference in delivering environmental, social and economic benefits to property, design, construction and facility management firms, the industry and the community. Increasingly, the sector is faced with demanding clients and these clients are shaping the principles, policies, practices and processes of the construction industry (Barlow 2000). However, it is recognised that while clients have a critical place in the construction sector, the extent and specification of their role is not well understood. It is timely then, to examine the benefits of innovation from a client point of view. Clients Driving Construction Innovation: Benefiting from Innovation outlines the results of leading-edge research and makes it accessible to the broader construction sector. Benefiting from Innovation brings research featuring clients, designers, constructors and facility managers to bear on delivering cutting-edge solutions to issues and problems in constructed facilities. It showcases applied and theoretical research that has particular relevance to the construction sector. Mitropolous and Tatum (2000) in their study of information and communication technologies (ICT) adoption and innovation in the construction sector identified four forces that drive innovation: capturing of competitive advantage, process problems, technological opportunity and institutional requirements. Innovative capacity can thus be sourced from conditions of both adversity and advantage. The research in this edited volume examines innovation in a range of settings and through a variety of methodological approaches and concurs with the findings of Mitropolous and Tatum (2000). These authors suggest that innovation forces emanate from changes in policy and legislative mandate in the institutional arena such as occupational health and safety requirements from large-scale industry leaders seeking greater advantage through technology such as eBusiness and increased market share, and by solving practical issues in organisational and supply chain arrangements