Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The U.S. construction industry continues to recover from the global economic recession of 2007-2009 but is but is hampered by regional craft labor shortages and unsteady building material manufacturing output. The availability and efficient use of construction supply chain labor and material resources is critical at the regional level, since smaller geographic scales are more susceptible to labor shortages and inadequate material supply. A lack of regional labor and material availability – the regional construction capacity – often results in project schedule delays and inflated material prices. This dissertation introduces the concept of construction capacity, defined for the first time here as the maximum building volume a construction industry can supply due to regional supply chain availability of labor and materials.
To explore how regional supply chain labor and material availability affect construction industry supply and demand mechanisms, this research quantitatively analyzed construction capacity across 179 regions covering the entire U.S. The overarching dissertation research questions asks: How does regional construction capacity affect the construction industry’s ability to respond to unanticipated disruptions of supply and demand? The methods elaborated in this research contribute to the body of knowledge by: (1) introduces a novel quantitative method for identifying and measuring regional construction capacity, based on unit labor costs and capacity utilization metrics, (2) analyzes how regional construction industry market conditions and socio-economic conditions determine regional construction capacity, and (3) introduces a novel quantitative model to predict regional post-disaster residential housing reconstruction, based on regional pre-disaster construction capacity. The main theoretical contribution of this work fills the gap in existing literature regarding quantitative, industry-level, and regional construction supply chain performance. This research also adds to the literature regarding the economic performance of regional construction industries, building upon concepts from supply chain theory, economic geography theory, and the economic theory of market-driven resource supply.
Arneson, Erin, "Construction Capacity: How Regional Construction Supply Chains Respond to Disruptions" (2018). Civil Engineering Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 351.