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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…

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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

Article
Publication date: 15 October 2021

Ibrahim Yahaya Wuni, Geoffrey Qiping Shen, Adedayo Johnson Ogungbile and Jonathan Zinzi Ayitey

Industrialized construction (IC) is promoted to address some of the ills associated with the processes and products of the traditional construction approach. With several…

Abstract

Purpose

Industrialized construction (IC) is promoted to address some of the ills associated with the processes and products of the traditional construction approach. With several successful projects, IC is progressively becoming a preferred alternative construction approach and spurred the interest of contractors, developers and housing authorities in the technology. Increasingly, these stakeholders are keen to ascertain the compatibility and feasibility of using IC in their projects. This paper aims to develop a knowledge-based decision support framework for implementing industrialized construction projects (ICPs) that can facilitate better and informed decision-making when deciding to implement ICPs.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review was implemented to recruit 40 decision support factors (DSFs) and grouped into project requirements, location and site attribute, labour considerations and organizational factors. A 3-member expert panel validated the relevance of 35 DSFs, which became candidates for a structured questionnaire survey of experts in 18 countries. Statistical techniques are used to evaluate and prioritize the DSFs, leading to the development of a conceptual framework.

Findings

Statistical analysis revealed 33 significant DSFs. The top five most significant factors that could influence the decision to implement IC in a project include a stringent requirement for project quality control, suitability of the design for IC, organizational readiness and competencies in ICPs, client receptivity to IC and the need to minimize field construction time. A framework of project requirements, location and site attributes, labour considerations and organizational factors was proposed as decision support.

Practical implications

The proposed framework may help to inform decision-making regarding the implementation of IC in a project. It has wider applicability because it includes technical, managerial and operational aspects of and the required competencies for IC, which are shared between project types and territories. The prioritized DSFs could be used as a guide when implementing IC, especially in countries where bespoke decision support systems cannot be developed.

Originality/value

The paper delineated the most important DSFs that are shared between IC project types and territories and can be used to investigate the compatibility of using IC in a proposed project. This research constitutes the first exclusive attempt at delineating, quantifying and ranking the sets of decision-making factors, drawing on international data set and contributes to the empirical checklist of DSFs for ICPs.

Article
Publication date: 18 August 2021

Ibrahim Yahaya Wuni, Geoffrey Qiping Shen and Amos Darko

Industrialized construction (IC) leverages manufacturing principles and innovative processes to improve the performance of construction projects. Though IC is gaining…

Abstract

Purpose

Industrialized construction (IC) leverages manufacturing principles and innovative processes to improve the performance of construction projects. Though IC is gaining popularity in the global construction industry, studies that establish the best practices for implementing IC projects are scarce. This study aims to benchmark practical lifecycle-based best practices for implementing IC projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative research design where nine IC cases from Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong were analysed to identify best practices. The methodological framework of the study followed well-established case study research cycle and guidelines, including planning, data collection, data analysis and reflection on findings.

Findings

The study identified and allocated key considerations, relevant stakeholders, best practices, typical deliverables and best indicators to the different construction lifecycle phases of IC projects. It also developed a lifecycle-based framework of the best practices for IC projects.

Practical implications

The study provides practitioners with practical insight into how best to effectively implement, manage and evaluate the performance of the IC project lifecycle phases. The proposed framework can serve as a practical diagnostic tool that enables project partners to evaluate the performance upfront progressively and objectively in each project lifecycle phase, which may inform timely corrective actions.

Originality/value

The study’s novelty lies in developing a framework that identifies and demonstrates the dynamic linkages among different sets of best practices, typical outputs and best practice indicators across the IC project lifecycle phases.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Ibrahim Yahaya Wuni and Geoffrey Qiping Shen

Prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) projects are industrialized building systems that are co-created. Thus, effective management of the involved…

Abstract

Purpose

Prefabricated prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC) projects are industrialized building systems that are co-created. Thus, effective management of the involved stakeholders is required to ensure project success. However, knowledge of how best to manage the diverse stakeholders in PPVC projects is limited. This research identified and prioritized the success factors or key result areas (KRAs) for the effective stakeholder management (SM) in PPVC projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research design was implemented involving a literature review and structured questionnaire survey with international PPVC experts. The research identified and statistically analysed 12 KRAs for SM in PPVC projects.

Findings

Analysis showed that the top three KRAs for SM in PPVC projects include: effective working collaboration, communication and information sharing among participants; effective coordination of the PPVC supply chain segments; and early involvement of relevant stakeholders in the PPVC project. A factor analysis clustered the 12 KRAs into stakeholder analysis and early involvement, effective communication and information sharing and stakeholder interest integration and conflict management.

Practical implications

The paper identified and prioritized the KRAs required for the effective SM in PPVC projects. To practitioners, the results may serve as decision support on the key areas to focus to ensure effective SM in PPVC projects and may guide the efficient allocation of limited resources.

Originality/value

This research constitutes the first exclusive attempt at identifying and benchmarking the generic KRAs required for effective SM in PPVC projects and contributes to the SM body of knowledge in industrialized construction.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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…

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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.

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

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 February 2022

Duncan Maxwell and Rachel Couper

Construction suffers from “peculiarities” that concern the temporary natures of the construction site, project teams and unique product design. Considering the digital…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction suffers from “peculiarities” that concern the temporary natures of the construction site, project teams and unique product design. Considering the digital transformation of construction, new solutions are being investigated that can provide consistent data between changing projects. One such source of data manifests in the tracking of logistics activities across the supply chain. Construction logistics is traditionally considered a site management activity focused solely on the “back end” of projects, but an expanded logistics focus can unlock new avenues of improvement. This study aims to understand the requirements and benefits of such a consistent thread of data.

Design/methodology/approach

From a research project with one of Australia’s largest contracting companies, this paper details a series of construction tracking tests as an empirical case study in using Bluetooth low energy aware tracking technology to capture data across the manufacture, delivery and assembly of a cross-laminated timber structural prototyping project.

Findings

The findings affirm the tracking of expanded logistics data can improve back-end performance in subsequent projects while also demonstrating the opportunity to inform a project’s unique front-end design phase. The case study demonstrates that as the reliability, range and battery life of tracking technologies improve, their incorporation into a broader range of construction activities provides invaluable data for improvement across projects.

Originality/value

As a live case study, this research offers unique insights into the potential of construction tracking to close the data loop from final site assembly back to the early project design phase, thus driving continual improvement from a holistic perspective.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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.

1972

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 August 2021

E.M.A.C. Ekanayake, Geoffrey Shen, Mohan Kumaraswamy, Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu and Jin Xue

Given the heightened imperatives for boosting supply chain resilience (SCR) in industrialized construction (IC), it is essential to explore the correlational impacts of…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the heightened imperatives for boosting supply chain resilience (SCR) in industrialized construction (IC), it is essential to explore the correlational impacts of supply chain vulnerabilities (SCV) and supply chain capabilities (SCC) which are the measures of SCR, specifically in Hong Kong where policymakers actively promote IC. Therefore, this study aims to develop a model to explore the correlational impacts of vulnerabilities and capabilities targeting SCR in IC.

Design/methodology/approach

After drawing on the general literature on SCR, empirical research using an expert opinion survey was conducted following the methodological framework of this study. The gathered data were then subjected to the partial least squares structural equation modeling process. Thereby, four hypotheses were formulated and tested for 20 capability–vulnerability relationships.

Findings

Seven of the 20 statistical relationships tested were identified to be significant. Accordingly, production-based SCV were identified as the most critical disruptions. “Resourcefulness” could substantially withstand production-based SCV, receiving the highest path significance. An “enablers-results framework” for achieving SCR of IC was also developed based on these findings to help industry practitioners with SCR implementation.

Originality/value

To the authors' knowledge, this is the first structured evaluation model that measures the correlational impacts of SCC and SCV targeting SCR in the construction domain. Further, this study adds substantially to the existing SCR and construction “body of knowledge” by proposing a model explaining how various SCV and SCC influence SCR in IC. These findings also inform the industry where and how to deploy critical SCC at appropriate levels, targeting critical SCV, to contain or extirpate them.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 December 2020

E.M.A.C. Ekanayake, Geoffrey Shen and Mohan M. Kumaraswamy

Industrialized construction (IC) has accelerated the technological advancements of construction supply chains (SCs) in Hong Kong (HK). However, the usually fragmented IC…

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Abstract

Purpose

Industrialized construction (IC) has accelerated the technological advancements of construction supply chains (SCs) in Hong Kong (HK). However, the usually fragmented IC SCs often lead to friction and turbulence that retard their performance. Streamlining these workflows call for resilient SCs that can proactively overcome various vulnerabilities and avoid disruptions. Having identified supply chain capabilities (SCC) as essential precursors to supply chain resilience (SCR), this paper reports on a vital segment of a study on SCC for IC in HK that focused here on critical SCC (CSCC). Specifically, this paper aims at identifying and probing the CSCC for improving SCR in IC in HK.

Design/methodology/approach

After drawing on the plentiful relevant literature, an empirical study using a questionnaire survey and interviews was conducted following the multi-stage methodological framework of this study. Relevant significance analysis of the collected data enabled the selection of CSCC. Next, factor analysis facilitated grouping them under nine underlying components.

Findings

The results reveal 41 CSCC pertinent to achieve resilient SCs in IC in HK under critical capability components of resourcefulness, flexibility, capacity, adaptability, efficiency, financial strength, visibility, anticipation and dispersion.

Originality/value

It is expected that industry practitioners would benefit from prior knowledge of CSCC and their levels of criticalities, so as to prioritize integrating them suitably into SC processes, to develop value-enhanced-resilient SCs. Further, these findings lay the foundations for developing a powerful evaluation model to assess, then improve, SCR in IC in HK by mapping the identified CSCC with relevant critical vulnerabilities, based on study outcomes.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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