SOUTHFIELD — In 2007 the construction industry accounted for $611 billion or 4.4 percent of the United State’s gross domestic product. It’s also responsible for the livelihood of 11 million people or 8 percent of the country’s workforce. But, is this industry functioning at an optimum level?

With productivity results in question and lack of focus on efficiency, The Engineering Society of Detroit and its ESD Institute will convene a two-day Construction Productivity symposium on Tuesday, Sept. 13 and Wednesday, Sept. 14 to examine “How can Michigan create consensus for a model comprehensive construction implementation standard that will serve the needs of the 21st Century?”

Industry leaders from throughout the United States and Canada will assemble at ESD’s headquarters to present the issues facing the construction industry and brainstorm a new model for improving the industry’s efficiency and competitiveness, as well as identifying new opportunities for growth and employment.

Some of these leaders include:
* Theodore C. Kennedy, Co-founder, BE&K, Inc.; Chair, National Academy of Engineering
* Parviz Daneshgari, President and DEO, MCA, Inc.
* Carl T. Haas, P.E., Ph.D., Professor, University of Waterloo, Department of Civil Engineering; Canada Research Chair in Construction & Management of Sustainable Infrastructure; Director of the Centre for Pavement and Transportation Technology (CPATT)
* Robert Mauck, AIA, PE, Vice President of Virtual Design and Construction, Ghafari Associates
* Patrick Devlin, CEO, Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council
* David Ciuffoletti, Vice President, Durr Systems
* William Terrasi, Director of Enterprise Project Management, Construction and Engineering Major Enterprise Projects, DTE Energy
* William J. O’Brien, PE, PhD, Associate Professor of Construction Engineering and Management, University of Texas at Austin

“While the issue of whether construction productivity is improving or declining is up for debate, what remains clear is that significant room for improvement exists and is essential to the continued success and competitiveness of the construction industry,” said Christopher J. Webb, ESDI’s co-director. “While previous groups have looked at policy issues, they have not reached actionable consensus.”

For more information about the Construction Productivity Symposium or to download a copy of the abstract, please visit or call (248) 353-0735.


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