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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: 26 January 2021

Zelinna Pablo, Kerry London, Peter S.P. Wong and Malik Khalfan

Current understandings of innovation in construction portray it as linear, deterministic phenomena centered around novel objects and technologies deployed in…

Abstract

Purpose

Current understandings of innovation in construction portray it as linear, deterministic phenomena centered around novel objects and technologies deployed in sequentially-organized supply chains. This study aims to develop an enriched understanding of construction innovation as non-linear, socio-material and dynamic phenomena in complex networks by formulating a novel conceptual apparatus of complex adaptive supply networks (CASNs) expanded through actor-network theory (ANT) concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

This combined CASN/ANT apparatus is mobilized in the context of a qualitative case study involving a housing construction supply network in Australia making use of offsite manufacturing (OSM) techniques.

Findings

The study shows that innovative technologies such as novel OSM products can play an important though not necessarily deterministic role in the evolution of CASNs. The study also explicates the process by which the enrollment of non-human agents and the resulting CASN evolution are linked: innovative technologies shape human and non-human interactions in ways that redefine task delegation, role definition and schemas that are fundamental to the shape of CASNs.

Originality/value

Findings provide a compelling empirical basis for arguing that CASNs must be conceptualized as heterogeneous systems and that innovation in construction must be understood as non-linear, socio-material and dynamic, rather than linear and driven by technological determinism. The study also interrogates limiting notions of supply chains and supports the notion of alternative inter-organizational forms to understand construction project work.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2021

Buddhini Ginigaddara, Srinath Perera, Yingbin Feng and Payam Rahnamayiezekavat

The construction industry is currently responding to pressures of industrialisation happening across all sectors. Consequently, offsite construction (OSC) has become a…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry is currently responding to pressures of industrialisation happening across all sectors. Consequently, offsite construction (OSC) has become a vehicle to achieve industrialisation. This requires changes in traditional construction processes resulting in possible changes in construction skill requirements. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to identify and review prevailing OSC practices and skills in the Australian construction industry. This study aims to critically analyse the existing skill profile classifications through a single case study and identify the need for an OSC specific skill classification.

Design/methodology/approach

This study follows a case study design, with an in-depth analysis of a single construction project. Only one case study was studied because scientifically, one example was enough to prove that the prevailing skill classifications do not represent OSC skills in a modern context. Data was retrospectively collected through semi-structured interviews of project stakeholders representing design, manufacture and assembly. Content analysis was conducted to analyse the collected data and produce findings.

Findings

This study identifies the inadequacy of the existing classification system, unavailability and the need of OSC specific skill categorisation. It highlights new skills that enter OSC; building information modelling engineer, three-dimensional draftsperson, OSC project manager and project coordinator, which are not identified in the available Australian skill classifications. These, together with existing skills need to be carved in to create a new skill classification.

Originality/value

This study is the first of its kind where a comprehensive OSC project is evaluated as a case study to determine OSC skill classification requirements in Australia.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

Deepthi Bendi, Muhammad Qasim Rana, Mohammed Arif, Jack Steven Goulding and Anil Sawhney

This paper aims to present an off-site construction (OSC) readiness maturity model for assessing the readiness of offsite construction companies in the Indian construction sector.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an off-site construction (OSC) readiness maturity model for assessing the readiness of offsite construction companies in the Indian construction sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted in three stages. The first stage consisted of a detailed literature review to document 17 different variables affecting the OSC adoption in India. In Stage 2, 15 semi-structured interviews were carried out where the participants were asked to refine those variables for the Indian context and define what would be different levels of attainment. In the third stage, another set of 5 semi-structure interviews was performed to validate the maturity levels and definitions.

Findings

A three-level OSC readiness maturity model is presented for discussion. This describes 17 variables at different levels of maturity.

Practical Implications

The proposed OSC readiness maturity model guides construction practitioners in India through a structured process to enable them to assess their OSC readiness in the market. This assessment enables them to evaluate and benchmark their processes through the strategic and operational phases. The maturity model also identifies the areas of concern and the scope for further development or change to secure the optimal advantage of OSC methods.

Originality/value

The research produced a model to assess the readiness of OSC adoption in the Indian construction sector. Although the model has been applied to the Indian construction sector, it can easily be modified to accommodate other OSM contexts.

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Henric Jonsson and Martin Rudberg

This paper aims to define key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring performance of production systems for residential building from a production strategy perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to define key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring performance of production systems for residential building from a production strategy perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review is done to identify suitable competitive priorities and to provide grounds for developing KPIs to measure them. The KPIs are evaluated and validated through interviews with industry experts from five case companies producing multifamily residences. Furthermore, two of the case companies are used to illustrate how the KPIs can be employed for analysing different production systems from a manufacturing strategy perspective.

Findings

Defined, and empirically validated, KPIs for measuring the competitive priorities quality, cost (level and dependability), delivery (speed and dependability) and flexibility (volume and mix) of different production systems.

Research limitations/implications

To further validate the KPIs, more empirical tests need to be done and further research also needs to address mix flexibility, which better needs to account for product range to provide a trustworthy KPI.

Practical implications

The defined KPIs can be used to evaluate and monitor the performance of different production systems’ ability to meet market demands, hence focusing on the link between the market and the firm’s production function. The KPIs can also be used to track a production systems’ ability to perform over time.

Originality/value

Most research that evaluate and compare production systems for residential building is based on qualitative estimations of manufacturing outputs. There is a lack of quantitative KPIs to measure performance at a strategic level. This research does this, identifying what to measure, but also how to measure four competitive priorities through 14 defined KPIs.

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Article
Publication date: 25 April 2019

Guiwen Liu, Juma Hamisi Nzige and Kaijian Li

The purpose of this study is to discover the distribution and trends of existing Offsite construction (OSC) literature with an intention to highlight research niches and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to discover the distribution and trends of existing Offsite construction (OSC) literature with an intention to highlight research niches and propose the future outline.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopted literature reviews methodology involving 1,057 relevant documents published in 2008-2017 from 15 journals. The selected documents were empirically analyzed through a topic-modeling technique. A latent Dirichlet allocation model was applied to each document to infer 50 key topics. A machine learning for language toolkit was used to get topic posterior word distribution and word composition.

Findings

This is an exploratory study, which identifies the distribution of topics and themes; the trend of topics and themes; journal distribution trends; and comparative topic, themes and journal distribution trend. The distribution and trends show an increase in researcher’s interest and the journal’s priority on OSC research. Nevertheless, OSC existing literature is faced with; under-researched topics such as building information modeling, smart construction and marketing. The under-researched themes include organizational management, supply chain and context. The authors also found an overload of similar information in prefabrication and concrete topics. Furthermore, the innovative methods and constraints themes were found to be overloaded with similar information.

Research limitations/implications

The naming of the themes was based on our own interpretation; hence, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, a comparative study using different data processing is proposed. The study also provides future research outline as follows: studying OSC topics from dynamic evolution perspective and identifying the new emerging topics; searching for effective strategies to enhance OSC research; identifying the contribution of countries, affiliation and funding agency; and studying the impact of these themes to the adoption of OSC.

Practical implications

This study is of values to the scholars, as it could stimulate research to under-researched areas.

Originality/value

This paper justifies a need to have a broad understanding of the nature and structure of existing OSC literature.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 19 no. 3
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: 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.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Wei Pan and Alistair G.F. Gibb

Offsite is one of the main innovative techniques employed in the contemporary UK construction sector. Building maintenance accounts for over 5 percent of the UK's gross…

Abstract

Purpose

Offsite is one of the main innovative techniques employed in the contemporary UK construction sector. Building maintenance accounts for over 5 percent of the UK's gross domestic product of which bathrooms are regarded as a critical area, with potential high risks and defects. However, the importance of its maintenance has been largely underestimated and research into this area appears to be limited. This paper aims to address this knowledge gap by investigating the maintenance performance of offsite and in situ bathrooms for student accommodation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines 732 maintenance records over three years of 216 precast concrete modules, 84 Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP) modules and 96 traditionally‐built in situ bathrooms.

Findings

The research found that offsite modules outperformed in situ bathrooms in terms of maintenance. GRP modules created the least maintenance problems, compared to precast modules and in situ bathrooms. The maintenance of in situ bathrooms was more complex than offsite modules, and involved more diverse problematic areas. The main causes of the problems included inappropriate design; poor build workmanship, lack of quality of component materials and improper usage by occupants. This supports a parallel study that found that the costs associated with maintenance were significantly higher for in situ bathrooms than for the equivalent offsite solutions.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to understanding the problems of offsite bathroom modules requiring maintenance in comparison with in situ bathrooms and their possible causes. Key aspects of offsite bathrooms including drainage, toilets, vents and sinks should be improved. Quality of component materials used for in situ bathrooms should be ensured. These improvements can only be achieved through better design for maintenance with clients' aspiration embodied. The findings should assist in design decision making of selecting bathrooms for residential buildings. However, a balanced approach, taking into account other factors for such selection, is open for future investigation.

Originality/value

The framework of strategies developed should improve the innovative design of bathrooms manufactured offsite and help maintain them for better lifecycle performance.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 18 August 2020

Oluyomi A. Osobajo, Adekunle Oke, Temitope Omotayo and Lovelin Ifeoma Obi

While circular economy (CE) is fast becoming a political and economic agenda for global urban development, there are still substantial knowledge gaps in possible…

Abstract

Purpose

While circular economy (CE) is fast becoming a political and economic agenda for global urban development, there are still substantial knowledge gaps in possible strategies to speed up such transition, especially in the construction industry. This study analyses literature surrounding CE to unpack current trends possible future research directions to foster CE implementation in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The study undertakes a systematic review of CE literature published between 1990 and 2019. It adopts a five-stage procedure as a methodological approach for the review: formulation of the research question(s), locating and identifying relevant studies, selection and evaluation of studies, analysis or synthesis and results reporting.

Findings

The findings on CE research in the construction industry show extensive focus on resource use and waste management. There are limited investigations in other areas of construction such as supply chain integration, building designs, policy, energy efficiency, land use, offsite manufacturing, whole life costing, and risk, cost reduction, cost management, health and safety management. The study findings provide evidence that current CE practice fails to incorporate other areas that would facilitate the network of true circular construction industry.

Originality/value

This research provides a comprehensive overview of research efforts on CE in the construction context, identifying areas of extensive and limited coverage over three decades. Besides, it identifies possible pathways for future research directions on CE implementation, towards the accelerated transition to a true circular construction industry for the benefit of funding bodies and researchers.

Details

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

Keywords

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