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Utilizing platforms in industrialized construction: A case study of a precast manufacturer

Martin Bonev (Department of Operations Management, DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark)
Michael Wörösch (Department of DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby,)
Lars Hvam (Department of Operations Management, DTU Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby,)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of a platform-based project execution in the industrialised construction sector, with a focus on systematically balancing cost and value. Offering custom-tailored buildings at reasonable costs has been a growing concern for many construction companies. A promising approach adapted by operations management and design theory regards individual building projects as the adjustment and recombination of components and processes from a set of predefined platforms, while configuration systems assure feasible building solutions.

Design/methodology/approach

After adapting some of the underlying assertions of platform design to the engineer-to-order (ETO) situation in construction, the practical implications are evaluated on a case study of a precast manufacturer using high performance concrete.

Findings

Based on empirical findings from three distinct platform strategies, this research highlights key aspects of adapting platform-based developed theory to industrialised construction. Building projects use different layers of product, process and logistics platforms to form the right cost – value ratio for the target market application, while modelling methods map structural platform characteristics so as to balance commonality and distinctiveness.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a general theory of platform-based development and execution in the industrialised construction sector, which goes beyond concurrent approaches of standardising and systemising buildings projects. It adapts and extends established frameworks for platform development to the ETO situation in construction and empirically validates their cost and value effects.

Keywords

Citation

Bonev, M., Wörösch, M. and Hvam, L. (2015), "Utilizing platforms in industrialized construction: A case study of a precast manufacturer", Construction Innovation, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 84-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-04-2014-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited