About NCS 3.0

It has been stated that the construction industry is broken. The good news is that out of chaos comes opportunity. The key to recognizing and taking advantage of those opportunities is understanding how we got to the current situation.

Today's construction industry is a complex system that is built upon six pillars: control, complexity, competency, change, competition, and collaboration. These pillars have been applied differently throughout the history of the construction industry. As the changes have occurred they have had a profound impact on the industry's operation and performance.

So how did we get to where we are today?

Early History of Construction

The civil engineering profession goes back over 5,000 years, yet for thousands of those years there was little change in the way construction was performed. For centuries most large structures were built of stone and stonemasons dominated the industry. Some examples of these stone projects include the great cathedrals of Europe, the Taj Mahal, the Egyptian pyramids, the pyramids at Tenochtitlan, and the Greek Parthenon. The work was physically demanding requiring the brute strength of the work force to move the heavy stones:



Construction 1.0

During the early modern construction era the complexity of construction projects was increasing, but the prime contractor still self-performed the majority of the work except for true specialty trades such as electrical and mechanical. The conventional wisdom was that the best way for the prime contractor to control the project was to do the majority of the work. This meant that the prime contractor needed a large qualified labor force:



Construction 2.0

Starting around 1970 several significant interrelated changes began to emerge that would drastically alter the construction industry landscape. A key impact was the customer’s need and desires to control their construction expenditures. Customers generally believed that the best way to control prices was to select the low bidder from several highly competitive bidders. Aggravating this situation for the contractor was the explosion of new contractors:



Construction 3.0

The disappointing results during the Construction 2.0 era have led various groups and individuals on a quest for new approaches to improve the construction process. The resulting changes that are emerging are creating a new industry—one based on innovation and collaboration with the goal toward maximizing performance and benefits for all stakeholders:


New Construction Strategies 3.0 is about taking a 360 degree look around the industry and asking the brightest, most experienced thought leaders we can find two simple questions: What's coming next? What do we need to do to be prepared for it?

On NCSradio we interview leaders from every sector of the construction industry and related business and academic communities. We ask the tough questions about the future of our industry, relentlessly pursuing smart, accurate, insightful answers. Each week we add a new segment, so tune in - listen, learn, advance!