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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Li-zi Luo, Chao Mao, Li-yin Shen and Zheng-dao Li

An industrialized building system (IBS) is regarded as an effective residential building system that provides several benefits, including high quality, low cost, short…

Abstract

Purpose

An industrialized building system (IBS) is regarded as an effective residential building system that provides several benefits, including high quality, low cost, short time, good flexibility, reduced waste, and strong environmental performance. This system is considered to be valuable in promoting sustainable practices in China, where plans for urbanization have been established. However, the adoption of IBS in China is extremely limited. Potential risks exist and affect the attitudes of practitioners toward the use of this system. The purpose of this paper is to prioritize and analyze these risks and to develop corresponding strategies for mitigating these risks in China.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 24 risks that inhibit the implementation of IBS in China are identified through literature review and examined through interviews for consistency. A questionnaire survey is conducted to quantify the significance of these risks. Cronbach’s coefficient α is employed to measure the internal consistency among the risk factors. The survey results are further analyzed using three case studies.

Findings

The top five risks identified are “poor cooperation between multi-interface,” “inappropriate design codes and standards for industrialized buildings,” “lack of management practices and experiences,” “enormous difficulty in achieving return on high initial investment,” and “lack of a quality monitoring mechanism for the production process.” The findings emphasize the government’s leading role in promoting the new building system in its introduction and enforcement of adequate policies and regulations. Practitioners are also instrumental in establishing proper understanding and knowledge of IBS and its application.

Originality/value

This study bridges the knowledge gaps on risk identification for implementing IBS in China. The findings provide practitioners and decision makers with valuable references for adopting adequate risk management methods and policies to promote IBS in China.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Martin Bonev, Michael Wörösch and Lars Hvam

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…

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.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

M.R. Abdul Kadir, W.P. Lee, M.S. Jaafar, S.M. Sapuan and A.A.A. Ali

Labour usage represents one of the critical elements in the Malaysia construction industry due to severe shortage of local workers. This paper aims to present a…

Abstract

Purpose

Labour usage represents one of the critical elements in the Malaysia construction industry due to severe shortage of local workers. This paper aims to present a construction performance comparison between conventional building systems and industrialised building systems (IBS).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from 100 residential projects through a questionnaire survey in 2005. A total of 100 respondents participated in this study.

Findings

Analysis of variance (ANOVA) results indicated that the actual labour productivity comparison between conventional building system and IBS was significantly different. Further, the comparison of crew size indicated that the conventional building system of 22 workers was significantly different from the IBS of 18 workers. Similarly, the cycle time of 17 days per house for conventional building system was found to be significantly different from the IBS of four days. However, the conventional building system was found to be insignificantly different from the IBS in term of structural construction cost.

Originality/value

The results acquired from this study could be used by project planners for estimating labour input, control costs and project scheduling. Additionally, they could be used to determine the most appropriate structural building system for executing a construction project at the conceptual stage.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Jone Belausteguigoitia, Jon Laurenz and Alberto Gómez

Constant change in current market and social conditions has triggered the demand for a more adaptable building stock. The capacity to assume and accommodate change has…

Abstract

Constant change in current market and social conditions has triggered the demand for a more adaptable building stock. The capacity to assume and accommodate change has thus become a new requirement for buildings. At the same time, there is a growing demand for more environmentally conscious buildings. New protocols, building codes, and certification systems are becoming stricter regarding buildings’ CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, and other environmental aspects. The current building industry fails to satisfy these two demands; conventional buildings rarely enable change, unless undergoing complex renovations, and rarely consider environmental features beyond mandatory legislation. In this context, this paper proposes Modular Ecotechnological Architecture as a response to both demands. The basis is an integrated design that looks at energy, water, and materials’ efficiency altogether, combined with a modular industrialized building system. The system allows buildings to grow or reduce in size according to their needs, with little impact for their inhabitants, enabling versatility for a variety of uses within the same space and over time. This paper presents the concept of this new building system together with the technical, building code-related, and economic challenges encountered throughout recent experimental projects.

Details

Open House International, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Jerker Lessing, Lars Stehn and Anders Ekholm

– This article aims to describe the development of industrialised house-building (IHB) to increase the understanding of the field.

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to describe the development of industrialised house-building (IHB) to increase the understanding of the field.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an extensive literature study and a case study with three companies, studied between 2005 and 2013 which enabled an in-depth knowledge about the companies’ development within IHB. Interviews, observations and document studies are the main sources of information in the case studies.

Findings

IHB is a complex field, consisting of several constructs that need to be integrated and continuously developed. Development of structured technical building systems has been central to the development of IHB along with developed production methods and processes. The interest in organisational fit or adaptation to industrialisation and strategy concerning business, production and products is increasing. This implies that IHB needs to be managed strategically and not on a building project level.

Practical implications

The article gives an orientation on how leading companies have structured and organised their work within industrialisation, giving valuable advice to practitioners with interest in the field.

Originality/value

This article describes the development of IHB based on studies of literature and three Swedish IHB companies’ development. This provides an aggregated view of the field’s emergence and unique information about the studied companies’ development.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Mary Lundberg, Susanne Engström and Helena Lidelöw

In the construction industry, it has proven difficult to implement and realize innovation efforts, for example in the development of industrialized construction and use of…

Abstract

Purpose

In the construction industry, it has proven difficult to implement and realize innovation efforts, for example in the development of industrialized construction and use of platform concepts. Thus, the purpose of this study is to characterize the innovation diffusion process in the social system of a large Swedish contractor company. Specifically, the diffusion of three innovative industrialized house-building (IHB) platforms and factors affecting their adoption and implementation (particularly effects of their perceived radicality in relation to the company’s decentralized characteristics) are identified and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was applied, using empirical material including semi-structured interviews and archival records (research reports from earlier studies at different points in time related to each innovation and annual corporate reports). The material was analyzed using Rogers’ (2003) five-stage innovation process model, acknowledging the importance of social systems’ structures.

Findings

Structural characteristics of the social system strongly affect innovation diffusion. In subsystems that had not been involved in initiation of the innovations, they were regarded as radical, which hindered their adoption and implementation.

Research limitations/implications

This study builds upon the recent findings that successful innovation implementation depends on a range of contingencies in the construction context. Although the diffusion of the innovations per se has been traced over a ten-year period, generalizability is limited because the results come from one construction company.

Practical implications

Contractors have invested substantially in the development of industrialized construction and use of platform concepts, but less in their implementation, so they have obtained little gain. How innovations are perceived and implemented in different subsystems affects the success of their implementation in the overarching social system.

Originality/value

This study adheres to previous calls for more research on firm level in the complex social system of construction companies by adopting a ten-year perspective on the diffusion of innovation at a large contractor addressing in particular the impact of the innovations perceived radicality in relation to the decentralized characteristics of the company.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Tariq Abdelhamid

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to systematically analyse and synthesise the existing research published on offsite manufacturing/construction. The study aims to highlight and associate the core elements for adopting the offsite concept in different construction contexts. This ultimately facilitates the enhancement of the offsite uptake.

Design/methodology/approach

The research study was carried out through a systematic literature review (SLR). The SLR was conducted to identify and understand the existing themes in the offsite research landscape, evaluate contributions and compile knowledge, thereby identifying potential directions of future research. The grand electronic databases were explored to gather literature on the offsite concept, lean and agile principles and simulation. A total of 62 related articles published between 1992 and 2015 have been included in this study. The relevant literature was systematically analysed and synthesised to present the emerging offsite themes.

Findings

The descriptive and thematic analyses presented in this paper have identified related offsite research studies that have contributed to setting a firm foundation of the offsite concept in different construction contexts. Each of the 62 articles was examined for achieving the aim and objectives of this study, the method of data collection and coverage of offsite themes. The results of the analyses revealed that the articles mostly provide information on the offsite concept and its definitions (53 per cent) and offsite barriers and/or drivers (27 per cent). However, limited attention has been paid to the integration of lean and agile principles (13 per cent) and simulation (7 per cent) within the offsite concept, which are therefore more open to research within the offsite concept.

Research limitations/implications

The literature review highlights the main themes and components of the offsite construction concept. This forms a solid basis and motivation for researchers and practitioners to build on to enhance the uptake of the offsite concept in different contexts. This study also presents a research roadmap within the offsite concept, along with a recommendation for further research to be conducted using the research framework proposed in this study. The framework could lead to validation of using simulation to integrate lean and agile principles within the offsite concept.

Originality/value

This paper presents a systematic review of the literature related to offsite construction in different contexts. The emerging components, that is, offsite definitions, drivers and/or barriers, lean and agile principles and simulation have been highlighted and discussed thematically. A research framework that enables pursuit of the integration of lean and agile principles offsite through the lens of simulation has been proposed. The framework is expected to open up new opportunities on the effectiveness of offsite development in different contexts.

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Uttam Kumar Roy and Madhumita Roy

This paper aims to develop a set of affordable space and dimensional standards for market-driven low-income housing in Indian context for the purpose of mass production…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a set of affordable space and dimensional standards for market-driven low-income housing in Indian context for the purpose of mass production using industrialised building system.

Design/methodology/approach

For this, the paper first explains the significance of standardisation from the literature and revisits the codes and contemporary practices in industrialised building system (IBS) in India. Next, it undertakes a market survey of ongoing/completed housing projects to study the space/dimensions reflected in the market demand by the people. After considering conditions like modular grid suitability and provisions of code, it identifies a set of dimensional standards of activity spaces, emerging from the market study. It also suggests a framework of modular units showing the incremental attachment possibility for component-based construction using IBS. These standards and design frameworks will make the path for developing various products and components towards an open system in India.

Findings

The paper gives an insight of the market trends of low-income housing, focusing on unit designs and spatial elements.

Research limitations/implications

Local contextualisation during the unit designs will be required and that is not addressed in this paper.

Practical implications

This will benefit developers, manufacturers, designers as well as policymakers towards a market-driven housing delivery using IBS.

Social implications

As a result of this standardisation, housing delivery will be faster and there will be more numbers of market-driven affordable housing in masses for low-income people, thus solving housing shortage.

Originality/value

A developing country like India is a diversified country having many geographical and social variations. Such standardisation for a space and design framework has never been attempted before and will make a contribution for the public housing sector.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 September 2018

Abbas Elmualim, Sherif Mostafa, Nicholas Chileshe and Raufdeen Rameezdeen

This chapter discusses the profound and influential impact the construction industry has on the national economy, together with the huge negative effect it has on the…

Abstract

This chapter discusses the profound and influential impact the construction industry has on the national economy, together with the huge negative effect it has on the environment. It argues that by adopting smart and industrialised prefabrication (SAIP), the Australian construction industry, and the construction industry globally, is well positioned to leverage the circular economy to advance future industries with less impact on our natural environment. It discusses aspects of the application of digital technologies, specifically building information modelling, virtualisation, augmented and virtual reality and 3D printing, coupled with reverse logistics as a proponent for advancing the circular economy through smart, digitally enabled, industrialised prefabrication. It further postulates a framework for SAIP for the circular economy.

Details

Unmaking Waste in Production and Consumption: Towards the Circular Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-620-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1985

G. Roland Hill

Much has been written in criticism of the social, planning and constructional aspects of many industrial buildings of the 1960s. Government departments have been accused…

Abstract

Much has been written in criticism of the social, planning and constructional aspects of many industrial buildings of the 1960s. Government departments have been accused of promoting buildings systems and forms of contract that were bound to lead to problems. However, high rise industrialised building systems have been with us since the last century. Why have so many relatively recent examples gone wrong; what can be done with them; and how do we avoid the pitfalls in the future, while taking advantage of industrialised techniques?

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

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