- Hardcover: 229 pages
- Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (October 15, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226472671
- ISBN-13: 978-0226472676
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,768,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America's Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry Hardcover – October 15, 2007
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I'm seeing a growing division between what happens in the field and what happens in the office. Technology has made the office more efficient and also more dependent. My fellow arm-chair managers are constantly at our desks, buried in e-mail, and married to our computers. We've invested time to learning mountains of software applications, but we've sacrificed our hands-on knowledge.
The traditional career path for project managers has also changed, the old days of putting your time in the field has changed to putting your time in college, then starting to manage projects. From my personal college experience, I didn't spend much time bolting things together. We are transferring more of the coordination process from the office and moving it into the field.
As things move to the field we're starting to deal with a lethal combination: rising labor costs and dropping productivity. Simply put, things are arriving in the field, but their not ready to be installed: now every minute is burning money.
LePatner offers advice, which is dead on: an owner needs a qualified person to decipher the mountains of information and technical complexities, but I think it's time for the industry to start getting back to the basics: good projects come from great builders.
The author dissects the major issues facing construction, using good examples, and states his case for a more professional and disciplined approach to the building industry.
Unfortunately, this book will most likely never make it into the hands of those who need it most, the smaller residential, and commercial contractors.
He comes at the subject from the point of view of someone who sues construction firms on behalf of owners all the time. It is a legitimate perspective for someone who is looking for more work, but it neglects to address the role of the owner in the flaws of the industry -- which is equally huge. If the owner suffers from imperfect information then it behooves him/her to find that information and understand the entirety of their construction needs. Caveat emptor.
Many of his points are laudable though but in the end he misses the biggest problem that exists today within the segment of our economy that creates our built environment. That problem is the lack of leadership on the part of either the architect, the builder or the owner the result of which is that we continue to develop an incredibly inefficient infrastructure that is driving us down the road of resource depletion and environmental ruin (in a car).