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chi-katerra-aim-revolutionize-construction-architecture-news_dezeen_hero-a Multifamily houses designed by Katerra, which utilizes off-site building components to shorten assembly time and help offset the industry’s labor shortage.

CHICAGO—A booming economy is always good news for builders, but subsequent increases in construction materials costs and a skilled labor shortage have presented challenges, and in response, Silicon Valley investors are funneling unprecedented levels of cash into construction technology startups’ that can improve efficiency. But the industry also suffers from an overall lack of productivity improvements, and although new start-ups can help, a more profound change in industry culture may be necessary.

“In the construction industry, for whatever reason, we haven’t moved toward consistency,” either in design or components used, Carlos Serra, Chicago-based JLL’s managing director of the Southwest region for project and development services, tells GlobeSt.com. As a consequence, each new project uses different materials, which exacerbates the increases in materials costs. “It’s always going to create inefficiencies.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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