Bridging the Gap

R.M. Ryan, B. Stein
Twining, Inc.,
United States

Keywords: construction, building


There are many exciting research initiatives in the built environment with respect to materials, methods of construction, and operation of structures. And yet the overwhelming majority of structures are built using methods and materials that have been around for decades and even centuries. This is especially true in the United States. What are the primary causes of this gap? In our estimation, the primary factors are: 1) conservatism in the codes and standards that govern construction; and 2) investor reluctance. The latter barrier can be subdivided into two categories: 1) investors in built structures who are seeking to profit in one way or another from a finished structure and are reluctant to spend money on what they regard as undemonstrated technologies; and 2) venture and equity investors who look at the built environment as not providing returns on a sufficiently short time scale. We provide our understanding of these barriers and some suggestions for overcoming them along with some examples of the success of such initiatives.