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Article
Publication date: 19 May 2020

John Killingsworth, Mohammed Hashem Mehany and Hana Ladhari

This paper aims to examine general contractors’ experiences of using off-site manufactured structural framing systems. This engaged a single-case study using a qualitative…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine general contractors’ experiences of using off-site manufactured structural framing systems. This engaged a single-case study using a qualitative methodology to identify expected benefits, actual benefits and challenges of such systems.

Design/methodology/approach

A single-case study approach evaluated general contractors’ experience of using a manufactured structural framing system. Qualitative data were collated and analyzed from industry domain experts to determine commonalities and thematic thinking.

Findings

The study revealed that the reasons behind considering off-site building systems were: accelerating the project schedule, overcoming site constraints and having a better end-product. The top expected benefits were: saving time (schedule), saving cost and improving quality. The top actual observed benefits were: saving erection time, reducing waste generation, reducing project costs, reducing safety risks and improving construction site logistics. The main challenges encountered were: unfamiliarity of different project parties with the off-site framing system, difficulty with reducing the overall project schedule, heavy site logistics and complicated off-site system design and standards requirements. The findings include solutions to overcome the challenges associated with using a manufactured structural system.

Research limitations/implications

This paper was a case study and therefore inherently limited in its generalizability. The study was conducted with general contractors in the mountain-west region of the USA. However, the implications of the study may have a broad application, as contractors across the globe seek to find similar solutions to using off-site or manufactured construction methods.

Practical implications

Construction labor shortages around the world are forcing the construction industry to find creative solutions to meet the demand for their services. Manufactured or off-site construction methods provide a possible solution to that labor shortage. However, builders need to be aware of the immediate challenges and actual benefits of using a manufactured structural framing system.

Social implications

Manufactured structural framing systems have the potential to impact lean and sustainable practices in construction. Reduced waste, reduced on-site man-power requirements, reduced construction schedules and reduced injuries each improve the lives of construction workers and the communities around these buildings.

Originality/value

An extensive literature review was performed to guide the design of this case study. Much has been written about off-site construction practices, but there is a significant research gap on the topic of structural framing systems. This study contributes to expanding the knowledge of off-site construction and specifically helps researchers and practitioners understand the challenges and benefits of this systematic approach to construction.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2012

John Meiling, Fredrik Backlund and Helena Johnsson

Several off‐site manufacturing companies in Sweden have attempted to apply lean management to improve process effectiveness and efficiency. A state of continuous…

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5387

Abstract

Purpose

Several off‐site manufacturing companies in Sweden have attempted to apply lean management to improve process effectiveness and efficiency. A state of continuous improvement is a key goal of lean management, as described in, e.g. Likers 4P model. The aim of this study is to test a method to measure the degree to which lean management principles have been adopted by companies that base their production on off‐site manufacturing, as a prerequisite for a sustainable approach to continuous improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey is applied as research method, using a questionnaire based on the authors' perceptions of best practices corresponding to each lean management principle. Two questionnaires were distributed to both management and factory production personnel in two off‐site manufacturing firms in Sweden.

Findings

The Likert scores regarding the degree to which lean principles have been applied in the two studied companies showed similar patterns (and similar differences between the management and production personnel's responses), indicating that the results can be generalised within an off‐site construction context. The study shows that continuous improvements must emerge and evolve simultaneously with a focus on processes, people and long‐term thinking.

Research limitations/implications

In order to obtain more generalised and detailed results a more extensive survey covering several companies, as well as more detailed case studies and more questions regarding each principle, are needed. A multivariate analysis will also scan the material for further dependences.

Originality/value

The paper highlights several aspects that are important for management to be aware of when aiming for continuous improvements in off‐site manufacturing.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2021

Sadith Chinthaka Vithanage, Michael Sing, Peter Davis and Manikam Pillay

Off-site manufacturing (OSM) has emerged as a method of modern construction that provides several benefits including achieving lower costs, a quicker schedule and…

Abstract

Purpose

Off-site manufacturing (OSM) has emerged as a method of modern construction that provides several benefits including achieving lower costs, a quicker schedule and environmentally friendly solutions. Although numerous researches are available that advocate the adoption of OSM, the devotion towards OSM safety is somewhat limited. However, OSM invariably generates safety risks, including dynamics and uncertainty in safety management. There is a unique call to have an investigation on the identification of OSM safety risks.

Design/methodology/approach

To provide a full picture on the OSM safety, a systematic literature review was adopted based on interpretivist philosophical stance. The literature search was conducted in key electronic databases to identify OSM safety-focused publications. Bibliometric analysis was adopted to identify co-occurrences of keywords and collaboration among authors in OSM safety-related research publications. Content analysis was conducted to provide a taxonomy of OSM safety risks. The identified studies were critically analysed to determine the focus of OSM safety research and provide future research directions.

Findings

The results demonstrated frequently appeared OSM safety aspects while highlighting the limitedness of collaborative research outputs in common authorships. Content analysis subsequently unveiled safety risks in OSM under human, organisational and work environmental factors. A critical analysis of extant literature revealed seven research classifications of OSM safety. Directions were offered to enhance OSM safety by applying principles of targeted safety management concepts, technology-driven safety measures and bespoke training programs.

Originality/value

This study provides a comprehensive review on the identification of safety risks throughout OSM while presenting the avenues useful for the development of OSM safety management strategies.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2010

Mohammed Arif and Charles Egbu

The purpose of this paper is to establish manufactured construction as a good potential alternative to meet the growing housing needs of China.

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5030

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish manufactured construction as a good potential alternative to meet the growing housing needs of China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses literature review and case study as research methodologies. Literature review is used to identify the need for housing and establish the manufacturing prowess of China. The case study is used to look at how a similar problem has been tackled in the UK and then the case study findings are used to identify future direction for China.

Findings

Findings suggest that there is an acute shortage of housing in China, and at the same time the manufacturing sector in China is very strong. Therefore, in order to meet the housing demand for the population, manufactured construction offers a very attractive and cost‐efficient alternative.

Practical implications

Manufactured construction is an attractive alternative for China and therefore the government needs to encourage this sector through subsidies and tax benefits. Given that currently China is regarded as a manufacturing powerhouse, it will be relatively easy to establish manufactured construction as an organised and supported sector by the government.

Originality/value

The paper presents manufactured construction as an attractive alternative and strategic direction that China should adopt to meet the growing housing needs of the citizens. This also would appear to be an obvious alternative, given the manufacturing capabilities of China.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2021

Jianing Luo, Hong Zhang and William Sher

The purpose of this research is to measure incompatibilities between the manufacturing approaches (MA) used by the manufacturing industries, and those used for the off-site

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to measure incompatibilities between the manufacturing approaches (MA) used by the manufacturing industries, and those used for the off-site construction (OSC) of buildings. The aim is to explore which of these approaches could be integrated into OSC in a precise manner as viewed by architects as well as how this might occur.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical research and empirical cycle (EC) was adopted as a methodological framework to measure incompatibilities. A combination of quantitative and qualitative mixed methods was explored through a literature-based case study of prefabricated houses and cars, nine real-life projects built by the second author's research team and the first-named author's practical experiences of leading these projects, based on a logic framework derived from the authors’ reflections of their architectural practices.

Findings

The findings quantitatively present the incompatibilities between cars (automobile bodies) and prefabricated houses. Design-related aspects have the most potential for integration (42.3% increment). The key lessons were identified as specific design philosophies and related guidelines for architects.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to single types of products (cars) and buildings (prefabricated houses) in particular regions. The key lessons just present a preliminary evaluation of the application of the design philosophies and related guidelines in nine real-life projects to comply with word limit constraints.

Practical implications

This study could help architects and other practitioners to locate and target and alleviated incompatibilities between MA and OSC. It could also precisely identify integration shortcomings to optimize decision-making as well as technical pathways for possible and effective breakthroughs.

Social implications

This study provides fundamental research as a starting point for further discussion and development. A series of additional in-depth investigations combined with case studies are planned for the future. These could provide alternative study approaches to develop more appropriate architectural design methodologies and more streamlined processes.

Originality/value

The research contributes an alternative architectural perspective when measuring incompatibilities between MA and OSC. The results highlight the implications of precise measurement and provide guidance for architects. These facilitate the effective and successful integration of MA into OSC of buildings and promote the uptake of lean construction (LC) in OSC.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 17 December 2019

Xin Hu and Heap-Yih Chong

Off-site manufacturing (OSM) is a modern method of construction that brings various environmental sustainability benefits for stakeholders. The increasing take-up of OSM…

Abstract

Purpose

Off-site manufacturing (OSM) is a modern method of construction that brings various environmental sustainability benefits for stakeholders. The increasing take-up of OSM in practice has attracted much research interest in its environmental sustainability. However, a holistic understanding of these previous research studies is still lacking. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to critically review the existing body of knowledge regarding the environmental sustainability of OSM.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative content analysis was adopted to systematically and objectively review 55 related historical studies.

Findings

Three research themes were identified, including environmental sustainability assessment and performance, environmental sustainability strategies and critical environmental sustainability factors. A detailed discussion of the three themes was conducted to depict a whole picture of the current explorations in the research field. Additionally, a research framework was developed to articulate the interrelationship between the research themes and their specific research topics. Scientific research gaps were identified together with the future research directions in terms of sustainability strategies, performance impacting factors, sustainability indicators and drawbacks resulted from OSM application.

Originality/value

The literature review promotes construction stakeholders’ in-depth understanding about the environmental sustainability of OSM, which offers valuable implications for green industry practice. Additionally, it highlights the future research trends, which facilitates further explorations in the research area.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 6 April 2021

Bao Ngoc Nguyen, Kerry London and Peng Zhang

This paper aims to report a comprehensive analysis of literature on stakeholder relationships towards identifying patterns of relationships within the off-site

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report a comprehensive analysis of literature on stakeholder relationships towards identifying patterns of relationships within the off-site construction context.

Design/methodology/approach

Key scholarly databases were accessed and after a filtering process, 74 relevant papers were retrieved for analysis. The papers were analysed using qualitative content analysis and scientometric techniques through the application of software Leximancer and VOSviewer.

Findings

Research synthesis methods used in the present study generate compatible results. Through text mining analysis, the key themes identified in the off-site construction stakeholder relationships literature included “collaboration”, “building information modelling”, “social network analysis”, supply chain. As a finding by scientometric analysis, collaboration, BIM, supply chain management, housing and social network analysis were the most frequently entered keywords context of off-site construction. Regarding authorship pattern, the whole network of collaboration was fragmented into multiple isolated clusters, implying that the authors had tendency to cooperate in small groups.

Practical implications

The paper can bring together an important area of research not previously studied in detail. It will primarily assist academics in the first instance; however, the research leads to important findings that will ultimately assist policymakers and practitioners better understand factors affecting stakeholder relationships and in particular network thinking and collaborative mind-sets.

Originality/value

The review contributes a needed systematic and theoretical foundation for future stakeholder relationship studies and practices in off-site construction sector. It provides the basis for future studies and is a seminal analysis of stakeholder management and off-site construction. The scientometric methodology offers scholars a different approach to analysing and visualising literature reviews.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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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…

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3100

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: 10 July 2007

Keith Jones and Yamuna Kaluarachchi

This paper seeks to report the findings of a research project that observed and monitored the performance of a four‐year strategic partnering agreement between a…

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1471

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to report the findings of a research project that observed and monitored the performance of a four‐year strategic partnering agreement between a consortium of Registered Social Landlords (AMPHION) and their contracting partner as they procured approximately 800 new houses, across 33 separate development projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The research project used a combination of in‐depth case studies (of individual housing projects and the relationship between the client group and their main contractor) supplemented by quantitative measures of project performance (Key Performance Indicators) and integrated workshops to study the operational factors that affected the success of the partnering initiative.

Findings

The paper concludes that failures to manage expectations within and between partners undermined confidence and trust in the partnering process.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst strategic partnering within the UK social housing sector was immature at the time of the study, the lessons learned have implications for other organisations considering strategic partnering relationships.

Originality/value

Evidence is provided from a long‐term study of strategic partnering which explores the dynamic nature of strategic partnering and its impact on success. Very few studies have addressed this issue.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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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

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