The average productivity of manufacturing companies has risen steadily from 1990´s whereas the productivity of construction companies has stayed flat or even declined. Faster building projects lead to faster revenue, thus saving money and time are the main drivers for increased usage of prefabricated elements.
Compared to manufacturing industries, the construction sector is still suffering from poor economic performance. It has been reported that the productivity gap between the two industries is currently 1.7-fold. The next 15 years will be crucial, since urban land area is estimated to triple between 2000 to 2030, and by 2050 almost 70 % of humankind will live in urban areas.
"Construction companies are typically operating with thin profit margins, thus relatively small reductions in costs can produce significant positive impacts. Utilizing prefabricated elements could be a solution for reducing construction costs without compromising quality. Depending on the size of the investment, different degrees of prefabrication may pay off even if their prices would be higher than those of building on site", says Matti Kuittinen, architect and researcher from Aalto University.