Construction needs to evolve as a matter of urgency if it is to meet modern infrastructure needs, global building materials giant CRH has said.
In its 2016 sustainability report, CRH said construction was far behind other global industries in embracing digital technology.
“While other sectors have transformed themselves through digitisation and automation, the construction sector is one of the least digitised sectors in the world. Integrating digital technology and advanced automation into buildings and infrastructure could transform the industry and its productivity — both during construction and throughout the lifetime of buildings and structures,” it said.
CRH said that productivity in construction had slowed considerably even though it remained one of the world’s biggest industries.
“Every year, almost €10tn is spent on the buildings, infrastructure, and industrial installations that are the backbone of the global economy, and demand is rising. Construction-related spending accounts for 13% of the world’s GDP.
“However, construction industry productivity has trailed that of other sectors for decades, increasing only 1% in the last 20 years. The industry urgently needs to evolve and become more productive if it is to meet the growing need for sustainable cities and infrastructure,” the report said.
CRH said its global footprint spans 31 countries and close to 3,800 operating locations, serving customers across the entire building materials spectrum on five continents. Last year it reported revenues of over €27.1bn and profits of €1.3bn.
CEO Albert Manifold said: “Our success to date has been underpinned by a strong commitment to principles of sustainability, with the fundamentals of our business carefully managed within an established sustainability framework.
“By embedding sustainability within our strategy, we are helping to ensure that the group continues to prosper and grow in the years ahead while also making sure that our actions have a positive impact on the world around us.”
The company is set to benefit from US president Donald Trump’s ambition to pass a €1tn infrastructure agenda. As the leading producer in the US of asphalt for motorway construction, CRH is viewed as ideally placed if Trump’s spending plans come to fruition.
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