Welcome to Construction Physics, a newsletter about the forces shaping the construction industry. With a few exceptions, this newsletter has focused mostly on building construction in the US. It’s what I’m most familiar with, and what I’m most confident in my ability to accurately contextualize. And if construction were a globalized marketplace, we might expect conclusions drawn about the US market to generalize around the world. But of course construction is NOT a globalized marketplace, it’s a hyper-local one. So different regions will have different construction traditions, use different materials, make different capital/labor tradeoffs, and so on. Once in place, building technology tends to be difficult to dislodge, and extremely efficient methods might not diffuse through the market. So it’s useful to take a look at construction costs around the world, and see if there’s any obvious improvements the US could adopt.
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