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USA - Characteristics, Impacts, and Future Directions



Sarah Slaughter, Douglas S. Thomas, Robert E. Chapman


Investments in the built environment provide the basis for civil society and commerce, and construction is an engine of growth for the U.S. economy, equaling approximately 3 % to 5 % of GDP. Current U.S. annual expenditures for construction-related R&D are approximately $2 billion, with the U.S. federal government providing $500 million to $700 million. Funded research is equally balanced between basic/applied research compared to development/ demonstration research expenditures, with industry focusing on the latter stages, academia focusing on the former, and federal agencies balanced between the two. Recent studies have analyzed the challenges for the construction industry, including an underinvestment in R&D, which currently equals 0.2 % of the value of construction put in place, and reductions in productivity of the construction workforce. Other efforts have identified opportunities for significant and rapid improvement. Selected case studies demonstrate the impact that construction-related R&D have had – and will have – on the nation, and provide the basis for developing a vision for future endeavors.
R&D Investment and Impact
Publisher Info
Taylor and Francis , New York, NY


construction, development, infrastructure, investment, research
Created June 11, 2014, Updated February 19, 2017