The Long Tail and Innovation of New Construction Practices: Learning Points from Two Case Studies

Christian Langhoff Thuesen, Christina Claeson Jonsson

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


    This chapter juxtaposes two initiatives that tried to rethink the construction business within NCC – the NCC Komplett™ and the German platform for house building. It is found that both initiatives, more or less articulated, have applied a mass customization strategy – in line with the fundamental ideas of ManuBuild. However, their point of departure has been different. While the NCC Komplett™ worked with a high degree of manufacturing off-site (90%), the German platform is all in-situ based. The official results of the initiatives have been completely different. The German platform has created a unique competitive position for NCC in Germany – resulting in dramatically improved revenues and an offset for organic growth. In contrast, the NCC Komplett™ was discontinued due to uncontrollable costs. The paper concludes that “manufacturing” not by default is the only solution to the improvement of the construction industry. The German case shows how a very committed implementation of a platform – which optimises customer value and production cost – can give substantial benefits. Furthermore, it is found that radical innovation initiatives poses a high risk of failure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOpen Building Manufacturing : Key Technologies, Applications, and Industrial Cases
    Number of pages172
    Publication date2009
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7144-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Mass Customization
    • The long tail
    • Innovation
    • flexible and configurable buildings
    • building manufacturing technologies

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