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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2021

Joseph Kwame Ofori-Kuragu and Robert Osei-Kyei

The purpose of this paper is to explore the current state of popular modern methods of construction (MMC) and pre-manufactured construction in the construction industry…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the current state of popular modern methods of construction (MMC) and pre-manufactured construction in the construction industry and propose a framework for future implications for practice and future research.

Design/methodology/approach

This technical paper is based on a narrative review of the extant literature on the subject. First, the Scopus search engine was used to retrieve relevant papers on MMC, offsite and pre-manufactured construction. Second, institutional literature such as reports by industry professional and trade bodies, literature from leading technology firms and contractors with experience of MMC were extracted. These two strands of literature were synthesised and a comprehensive discussion on the topic was provided.

Findings

Results show that journal publications on MMC and pre-manufactured construction have increased in the past decade. The paper found significant advances in the development of premanufactured and offsite construction approaches with many benefits. Offsite and pre-manufactured construction are viable and sustainable systems currently suitable for wider adoption as the mainstream construction method.

Research limitations/implications

This technical paper based on an integrative review of relevant literature could have benefitted from interviews of professionals with experience of offsite and pre-manufacture techniques and from wider availability of current academic publications on the subject. Validation of the framework has not been undertaken.

Originality/value

Not much-published work has been undertaken on the current state of development globally and the viability of these construction approaches. This paper evaluates evidence from academic and industry sources to address this gap. A framework has been developed which can help the industry’s industrialisation drive.

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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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3094

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: 19 December 2018

Monty Sutrisna, Barry Cooper-Cooke, Jack Goulding and Volkan Ezcan

Offsite construction approaches and methodologies have been proffered a potential solution for controlling “traditional” projects, especially where high levels of…

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1617

Abstract

Purpose

Offsite construction approaches and methodologies have been proffered a potential solution for controlling “traditional” projects, especially where high levels of complexity and uncertainty exist. Given this, locations such as Western Australia (WA), where there are unique housing provision challenges, offsite construction method was considered a potential solution for not only addressing the complexity/uncertainty challenges but also alleviating the housing shortage. However, whilst acknowledging the benefits of offsite construction, recognition was also noted on perceived barriers to its implementation, primarily relating to cost uncertainty. This recognition is exacerbated by very limited offsite construction cost data and information available in the public domain. In response to this, this paper sims to provide detailed cost analysis of three offsite construction projects in WA.

Design/methodology/approach

To hold parameters constant and facilitate cross-case comparative analysis, data were collected from three embedded case studies from three residential housing projects in WA. These projects represent the most contemporary implementation of offsite in WA; where two were completed in 2016/2017 and the third project was still ongoing during the data collection of this research. The research methodological approach and accompanying data analysis component engaged a variety of techniques, which was supported by archival study of project data and evidence gathered from the offsite construction provider.

Findings

Core findings revealed three emerging themes from residential offsite construction projects pertinent to cost. Specifically, the overall cost of delivering residential housing project with offsite construction techniques, the cost variability of offsite construction residential housing projects as impacted by uncertainties and the cash flow of residential offsite construction projects based on the payment term. These three major cost drivers are elucidated in this paper.

Originality/value

This research presents new cost insights to complement the wider adoption of offsite construction techniques. It presents additional information to address the limited cost data and information of offsite construction projects available in the public domain particularly for residential housing projects (within the bounded context of WA). It also highlights the further stages needed to enhance data validity, cognisant of universal generalisability and repeatability, market maturity and stakeholder supply chains.

Details

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8270

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Article
Publication date: 28 February 2019

Monty Sutrisna and Jack Goulding

Following the increasing need for faster construction, improved quality and evidence value propositions, offsite construction is increasingly being proffered as a viable…

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1449

Abstract

Purpose

Following the increasing need for faster construction, improved quality and evidence value propositions, offsite construction is increasingly being proffered as a viable contender to “traditional” construction approaches. However, whilst evidence supports the move towards offsite, its uptake has been lower than expected. Whilst the precise reasons for this seem to be influenced by a number of issues, including contextual drivers and market maturity; some project stakeholders also view offsite as carrying greater risks. The purpose of this paper is to report on the quality of information flow, in particular, the impact and influence of this on design risks in offsite construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

An existing design risk framework is used as the point of departure for this research. This is further expanded into a specific model for evaluating offsite construction projects design risks, the rubrics of which were informed by two case studies of offsite construction projects in Australia and the UK analysed with a process-tracing technique. Whilst these cases were geographically separated, the constructs were aligned to uncover fundamental design information requirements and concomitant risks associated with offsite.

Findings

The findings of the research reported in this paper include the crucial information feeding into the design process emanating from the lifecycle of offsite construction projects, namely, design, offsite (manufacturing), handling and transporting, site works and installation and also occupancy. These are contextualised within the four categories, namely, client requirements, project requirements, regulation aspects and social aspects and the final outcomes were summarised into a holistic diagram.

Originality/value

Given that the offsite construction has shifted the working paradigm into assigning a significant level of efforts and emphasis at the front end of the construction projects, the importance of its design process and hence design risks management has gone up significantly in construction projects delivered using this technique. This research and paper contributes significantly to the built environment domain by identifying the crucial aspects along the project lifecycle to be considered to minimise the potential occurrence of design risks and hence increasing the confidence of project stakeholders in adopting offsite construction techniques in their projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Beda Barkokebas, Salam Khalife, Mohamed Al-Hussein and Farook Hamzeh

The research introduces means for improving premanufacturing processes (design, procurement and bidding) by leveraging digitalisation in offsite construction

Abstract

Purpose

The research introduces means for improving premanufacturing processes (design, procurement and bidding) by leveraging digitalisation in offsite construction. Specifically, this paper proposes a framework that provides measures for the planning and implementation of digitalisation in offsite construction by positioning building information modelling (BIM) as the key technology and lean principles to add value and reduce waste.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows the design science research approach to develop the proposed framework and attain the aforementioned objective. The developed framework includes data collection, value-stream mapping and simulation to assess current processes, develop and propose improvements. An empirical implementation is employed to demonstrate the applicability of both the framework and the measures used to evaluate the outcomes.

Findings

The application of the proposed three-stage framework resulted in 9.45%–23.33%-time reduction per year for the various improvement categories in premanufacturing phases. Employing simulation and applying the developed measures provide incentive for upper management to adopt the suggested improvements. Additionally, while the empirical implementation was tested on a modular construction company, the methods used indicate that the framework, with its generic guidelines, could be applied and customized to any offsite company.

Originality/value

While several studies propose that BIM-Lean integration offers an advantage in the context of production systems, this paper focuses on the initial design and planning phases, which are mostly overlooked in the literature. Moreover, the present study provides quantitative evidence of the benefits of data integration through BIM technology.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Kudirat Olabisi Ayinla, Franco Cheung and Abdel-Rahman Tawil

This study aims to develop a more inclusive working definition and a formalised classification system for offsite construction to enable common basis of evaluation and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop a more inclusive working definition and a formalised classification system for offsite construction to enable common basis of evaluation and communication. Offsite manufacturing (OSM) is continuously getting recognised as a way to increase efficiency and boost productivity of the construction industry in many countries. However, the knowledge of OSM varies across different countries, construction practices and individual experts thus resulting into major misconceptions. The lack of consensus of what OSM is and what constitutes its methods creates a lot of misunderstanding across Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry professionals, therefore, inhibiting a global view and understanding for multicultural collaboration. Therefore, there is a need to revisit these issues with the aim to develop a deep understanding of the concepts and ascertain what is deemed inclusive or exclusive.

Design/methodology/approach

A state-of-the-art review and analysis of literature on OSM was conducted to observe trends in OSM definitions and classifications. The paper identifies gaps in existing methods and proposes a future direction.

Findings

Findings suggest that classifications are mostly aimed towards a particular purpose and existing classification system are not robust enough to cover all aspects. Therefore, there is need to extend these classification systems to be fit for various purposes.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the body of literature on offsite concepts, definition and classification, and provides knowledge on the broader context on the fundamentals of OSM.

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2021

Jennifer Charlson and Nenpin Dimka

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into procurement routes and forms of contract used for volumetric offsite manufacturing (VOSM) in the housing sector of the UK…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to gain insight into procurement routes and forms of contract used for volumetric offsite manufacturing (VOSM) in the housing sector of the UK West Midlands. Seminal literature and government reports have established the potential of offsite technologies to improve the supply of quality housing in the UK. However, the lack of a structured procurement route, common to manufacturing approaches in construction, has significantly contributed to delays in large scale adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the research intention, an exploratory study was undertaken. A literature review of seminal literature and government papers was conducted to establish and benchmark current trends in context. Data was collected using focus groups and interviews with a housing association and housing VOSMs. Grounded theory was used to analyse data and inductively generate themes leading to an original procurement model. The issues identified in the delivery of volumetric housing were categorised into three themes.

Findings

The findings suggest a limited familiarity with offsite manufacturing (OSM) by housing providers. Albeit, a willingness to adopt these technologies to deliver housing were demonstrated by trial attempts. However, due to limited knowledge, the approach to procurement is by adapting existing procurement models, which are not ideal and obstruct the potential benefits of using offsite technologies primarily because of the significant difference in processes. Also, geographical location influenced procurement decisions when comparing cost with conventional procurement and the dearth of specific government incentives to deliver housing using offsite technologies. This study proposes a procurement model for VOSM.

Practical implications

The results have implications for decisions about procurement routes and contractual terms used by housing providers delivering volumetric offsite manufactured housing at scale. Although this study focussed on the West Midlands region, most of the issues identified were not geographically unique.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge on potential barriers to the adoption of OSM in the housing sector of the UK. The findings will be of value to stakeholders involved in delivering housing and offers a useful contextual basis for future research.

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Tarek Salama, Ahmad Salah and Osama Moselhi

The purpose of this paper is to present a new method for project tracking and control of integrated offsite and onsite activities in modular construction considering…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a new method for project tracking and control of integrated offsite and onsite activities in modular construction considering practical characteristics associated with this type of construction.

Design/methodology/approach

The design embraces building information modelling and integrates last planner system (LPS), linear scheduling method (LSM) and critical chain project management (CCPM) to develop tracking and control procedures for modular construction projects. The developed method accounts for constraints of resources continuity and uncertainties associated with activity duration. Features of proposed method are illustrated in a case example for tracking and control of modular projects.

Findings

Comparison between developed schedule and Monte Carlo simulation showed that baseline duration generated from simulation exceeds that produced by developed method by 12% and 10% for schedules with 50% and 90% confidence level, respectively. These percentages decrease based on interventions of members of project team in the LPS sessions. The case example results indicate that project is delayed 5% and experienced cost overrun of 2.5%.

Originality/value

Developed method integrated LPS, LSM and CCPM while using metrics for reliability assessment of linear schedules, namely, critical percent plan complete (PPCcr) and buffer index (BI). PPCcr and BI measure percentage of plan completion for critical activities and buffer consumption, respectively. The developed method provides a systematic procedure for forecasting look-ahead schedules using forecasting correction factor Δt and a newly developed tracking and control procedure that uses PPCcr and BI. Quantitative cost analysis is also provided to forecast and monitor project costs to prove the robustness of proposed framework.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2021

Buddhini Ginigaddara, Srinath Perera, Yingbin Feng and Payam Rahnamayiezekavat

This paper aims to evaluate the existing and emerging Offsite Construction (OSC) skills. Construction industry is inherently labour oriented, fashioning poor labour…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to evaluate the existing and emerging Offsite Construction (OSC) skills. Construction industry is inherently labour oriented, fashioning poor labour productivity, low sustainability, slow and costly processes. These shortcomings promote OSC alongside driving forces such as industrialisation, automation and digitalisation. However, the traditional construction skills are not on par with the complexity, where robots, co-bots and digital-driven automated systems create the need for novel OSC skills.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection is executed through a Roundtable activity hosting Construction Management academics form Australian universities specialising in construction technology. They engaged in ranking of skills along with creating a word cloud for the question, “what are the future construction skills that will be more beneficial in an OSC platform?” Word cloud is reviewed in a discussion approach while skills ranking data is analysed using descriptive statistics.

Findings

The most prominent OSC skills are logistics manager, project manager and digital producer. Attributes of skills that come under construction trades workers, design, engineering and specialist professionals will vary based on onsite-offsite percentage combination in a construction project. Study reviews the required construction skills at two ends of a continuum featuring the trade-based skills; bricklayer, concreter and carpenter at one end (traditional build) and the heavily digitalised and automated skills at the other end (OSC). The noticeable transition towards OSC urges industry practitioners, policy-makers and education providers to focus on understanding and cultivating key OSC skills.

Originality/value

This study describes the transition of skills from onsite to OSC. It is presented as one of the earliest attempts to evaluate OSC skill profiles.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Genevieve Darlow, James O.B. Rotimi and Wajiha Mohsin Shahzad

Automation facilitates production activities within offsite construction (OSC) projects through computer-controlled and mechanised systems that can be programmed to…

Abstract

Purpose

Automation facilitates production activities within offsite construction (OSC) projects through computer-controlled and mechanised systems that can be programmed to deliver various products in a self-regulating sequence. Despite known benefits of automation to offsite production, the level of automation adoption in New Zealand is low. This study is an effort to understand the current status of automation within the New Zealand construction industry and to identify the barriers and enablers to its uptake.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilises the qualitative approach of semi-structured interviews (open-ended questions). Using a referral sampling strategy (snowballing), fifteen New Zealand industry experts were interviewed, and the data collected were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

Findings

The study found that there is a weak business case for full automation. Four main categories of barriers to the uptake of automated OSC were identified, including requirement of high capital cost, lack of education about automation and OSC and non-existence of regulations to support OSC. It was noted that financial supports to the OSC sub-sector in form of subsidies, tax waivers, and enhanced leasing model could enhance the uptake of automation. Further to this more awareness about OSC's automation and regulations suitable for OSC could enhance the confidence of business owners to invest in this area.

Originality/value

Originality of this paper stems from the fact that, not much attention has been paid to investigating the uptake of automation for OSC sub-sector of construction industry in New Zealand context.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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