The concrete industry already has the technology necessary for success. Concrete has the added advantage of being well suited to programmed high speed construction using some type of modular forming system, a method that has commonly been called industrialized construction. If all this is true, why then don't we build more concrete houses? Robert J. Long, Executive Vice President of International Housing Limited, sees seven factors that impede the adoption of cast-in-place concrete housing in the United States.
- The home building industry is highly fragmented, consisting of many small producers. Given all of the risks inherent in the business, most are unwilling to add nontraditional construction as another one.
- It is more difficult to match the construction rate to the sales rate with industrialized methods.
- There is a shortage of smaller concrete subcontractors who can build complete houses.
- Almost all home builders can estimate the cost of traditional construction, be it wood or concrete block. Almost none can estimate poured concrete construction.
- Financial institutions take a very conservative approach to construction lending and are reluctant to lend for a project involving nontraditional construction.
- Consumer acceptance lags too. The average American home buyer has never seen a poured concrete house or an advertisement about one and do not know that houses can be built of solid concrete.
- The concrete industry has done a terrible job of marketing to the housing industry.