Researchers investigate the housing and construction sector’s key role in net-zero challenges


MIOIR Researchers have begun working on an important project ’Addressing the net-zero and productivity challenges: How could the housing and construction sector play a key role’, funded by The Productivity Institute.

A research team from the Alliance Manchester Business School and Manchester Institute of Innovation Research (MIOIR) has officially begun working on an important project for The Productivity Institute: ’Addressing the net-zero and productivity challenges: How could the housing and construction sector play a key role?’. Jonatan Pinkse , Graham Winch and Suzanne Peters are looking to develop a more precise understanding of the productivity challenges in the construction sector and their hope is to uncover ways in which more sustainable practices can deliver productivity improvements - a virtuous circle of sustainability and productivity.

MIOIR analyses how scientific knowledge, technology and innovation are generated and how these contribute to the economy and human well-being, through a unique, holistic research portfolio. This portfolio combines four inter-linked perspectives: Science, technology and innovation policy; innovation management, business models and ecosystems; emerging technologies; and sustainable innovation and system transitions. We strive to contribute to a better understanding of the dynamics and impacts of science, technology and innovation and the role of management, policy and societal behaviour more generally.

The research project will focus on solutions for the UK market and will involve extensive collaboration with industry. Early efforts are focused specifically on the building of new homes. The team hopes to document and develop business model innovations, process improvements and other opportunities that can benefit the many stakeholders in the industry. Importantly, the ultimate aim is to help advance the UK’s net zero and productivity growth targets.

The construction sector is a significant part of the UK economy, and its productivity growth lags far behind the economy overall. It is a challenge in nations around the world and the UK is unfortunately not immune. Productivity growth in construction - increasing the value of industry outputs relative to inputs - will help us to improve delivery of important societal benefits such as affordable, sustainable housing. Given the immense size of the sector, productivity growth in construction will help our economy overall by increasing value and decreasing costs.

Productivity gains could benefit society broadly, including helping to drive down inflationary pressures that are hurting not only the most vulnerable in our society, but also the many individuals and families in lowerand middle-income brackets. Ultimately, improvements to productivity will benefit all of us.