The Industrial and Digital Revolution in Building and Construction

January 13, 2017 | Research Report

The industrial revolution has mechanized the construction industry, but did not have the profound influence it had on most other industries. The digital revolution does have the potential to completely disrupt construction and replace current practices by digital and automated construction. This will, however, only happen when a number of developments converge. This report outlines what needs to happen and why. We analyzed the disruptive potential of eleven emerging technologies for the construction sector that are enabled by the digital revolution. Our analysis shows that there is growth potential for all actors in the construction value chain, but not for the value chain as a whole. Any actor in the industry that manages to create one coherent workflow using all of these developments together will seriously disrupt the construction industry and may well become the world’s first truly dominant construction multinational. Note: Lux analysts have reviewed this content in the last six months and deemed it still current and relevant. We will continue to periodically review content for recency and relevance, and will either archive or refresh this content as the situation requires. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager if you have any further questions.


  • Chemicals
  • CPG
  • Government & Non-Profit
  • Industrials
  • Utilities

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • The Building Automation Paradox
    In spite of compelling and real advantages, the industrialized production of buildings has had a limited impact on the construction sector so far.
  • Recipes for Disruption
    The building and construction sector has developed a very efficient and successful way to execute projects. Disruption comes from project development rather than execution.
  • Selecting the Most Disruptive Emerging Technologies
    Digital technology applied to construction by itself can greatly enhance the current practice of prefabrication; integrating this with equipment can make it disruptive.
  • Outlook
  • Appendix 1: Assessing Prefabrication Market Share
    We estimated the market share for prefabricated construction in 28 countries. This appendix explains the methodology used.
  • Appendix 2: Why Prefabricated Buildings Have the Image of Poor Quality
    Prefabricated buildings provide a better quality than on-site construction, yet often still have the image of poor build quality. The reason is not lack of quality, but the predominant market.
  • Appendix 3: Description and Metrics of the Technologies
    We analyzed 11 different technologies that are enabled by the digitization of the construction industry.

Lead Analyst

Senior Vice President, Group Director


Jerrold Wang, MBA

About Lux Research

Lux Research is a leading provider of tech-enabled research and advisory solutions, helping clients drive growth through technology innovation. A pioneer in the research industry, Lux uniquely combines technical expertise and business insights with a proprietary intelligence platform, using advanced analytics and data science to surface true leading indicators. With quality data derived from primary research, fact-based analysis, and opinions that challenge traditional thinking, Lux clients are empowered to make more informed decisions today to ensure future success.

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