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Research will raise efficiency of construction industry

The Norwegian construction industry is seeking to become more research-based and thus more profitable, productive, sustainable and professional. The Research Council of Norway and a number of relevant R&D institutions are among those that have contributed to developing the industry’s new Bygg21 strategy document.

Critics of the construction industry say it is unprofessional, not productive enough, and devotes too little attention to implementing innovation and research. “The Bygg21 strategy is our way of addressing these challenges head-on,” says Petter Eiken, chair of board for the broad-based Bygg21 forum that has drawn up the strategy.

The strategy document indicates that Norway’s construction industry could increase its productivity by 20 per cent.


“The construction industry up to now has not been nearly innovative enough – and this strategy is meant to change all that,” says Eirik Normann, Director of the Research Council’s Department for Innovation in Industry and a member of the Bygg21 board.

Now begins the work of motivating the industry to incorporate research results actively into its own development efforts, with the aim of promoting renewal and enhancing competitiveness.

“If the stakeholders manage to cooperate successfully on reaching the objectives of this strategy,” says Mr Normann, “it will result in productivity gains for the industry and better buildings for everyone and society as a whole. Bygg21 efforts will benefit society, the construction industry and consumers alike.”

Clear objectives, quantifiable ambitions

The Bygg21 forum seeks to strengthen the industrial competitiveness of the construction sector while reducing its energy consumption and overall environmental footprint.

The strategy sets out objectives and measures for areas such as innovation, knowledge transfer, recruitment, sustainability and competitiveness. According to the strategy document, research-based activity can among other things help to achieve:

  • potential cost reductions of 20 per cent on planning and construction;
  • potential value added of up to 10 per cent for commercial buildings through sustainable quality development;
  • increased productivity among users of buildings, up to 15 per cent in some cases.

Read the Bygg21 strategy report here (PDF-665.7 KB) (available in Norwegian only).

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