An Overview of Emerging Construction Technologies

By: Andrew McCoy, Ph.D. and Armin Yeganeh, Ph.D.

Release Date: March 2021

The construction industry has historically been slow to develop or adopt new technologies, resulting in productivity growth that has lagged other sectors. However, protracted labor shortages have increased demand for labor and time-saving technologies, and recent advances have given rise to a new generation of more efficient, flexible and adaptive construction technologies. Successfully adopting these new technologies will require that firms evaluate their costs, benefits and risks and update construction practices as needed.

The NAIOP Research Foundation commissioned this report to explore emerging construction technologies and their implications for the construction and real estate development industries. The authors draw from interviews with researchers and industry practitioners to evaluate the current benefits and limitations of new technologies. This report:

  • Profiles technologies that are rapidly being deployed in construction projects and those that are likely to be adopted by the industry in the coming years.
  • Examines how technologies have the potential to transform construction practices and disrupt traditional business models.
  • Outlines best practices for firms to prepare for and adapt to new technologies.