I wanted to share a quote from the book I'm currently reading, "Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America's Trillion Dollar Construction Industry" by Barry LePatner.
In speaking about how increased productivity in Construction would benefit the whole country he writes:
"Higher construction productivity would mean lower construction costs and hence more construction projects. Improving construction would lead to safer buildings and better infrastructure - bridges, highways, railroads and tunnels. Similarly, lower housing construction costs would allow an even higher percentage of Americans to purchase their own homes and enjoy a true ownership stake in their country. Higher productivity rates would also mean more terrorism-resistant structures and the erection of more sustainable quality buildings. Perhaps most enticingly of all, lower construction costs would spell lower taxes."
Construction is a pretty risk averse industry. Few want to do things in a new way, few want to change. I believe that many think increased efficiencies means reduction of jobs (which there may be some of), but I think LePatner is right above in that when you increase efficiency, you'll increase the total amount of building in the US. He makes the point that if construction costs were lower, users would much rather choose to build new structures than stay in their old ones.
I really recommend this book as well as "Commercial Real Estate Revolution" to get a real insight into what's going on in the Construction industry today and where the opportunities lie.