Sensors and sensibility: Examining the role of technological features in servitizing construction towards greater sustainability

William Robinson, Paul Chan, Thomas Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The role played by the technological development of products in shaping more sustainable ways of working in the built environment is examined through a case study of a systems integrator of mechanical and electrical systems in the UK construction industry. The organisation is exploring ways in which they can improve the through-life performance of their systems through greater servitization. We sought to understand how and why emergent technological features, stimulated by the integration of new sensors within their systems, were affording different user-groups within the organisation’s value chain to act in more servitized ways. Our case analysis found that new energy-metering sensors were integral to the development of greater transparency between “ConstructCo” and their clients. Equally evident were the various ways in which equipment-condition monitoring sensors were shaping a collective motive across “ConstructCo’s” supply chain towards exploring the technical and financial justification for implementing predictive maintenance. The critical role played by new sensor technology in shaping “ConstructCo’s” pursuit of servitization highlights the need for research to pay greater attention towards material agency when explaining how organisational practices accommodate the implementation and use of technological developments in construction. Furthermore, by using servitization as our research context, we offer fresh insights into the conditions and consequences of transitioning towards greater servitization in construction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-20
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Technological Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Servitization
  • Technological Features

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