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Industrialisation as tool for reducing uncertainty in construction
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
2006 (English)In: Twenty-second annual conference 2006, September 4-6, UCE, Birmingham / [ed] David Boyd, Reading: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2006, 229-238 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Construction projects are complex and have become more so during the late 20th century. This complexity is due to the failure of planning mechanisms and the apparent inability of plans to represent the reality of on-site construction. The occurrence of unpredictable events disrupts site processes and site conditions sometimes approach that of chaos. One strategy to deal with chaotic site conditions is to increase industrialisation, i.e. a controlled construction process following a predicted plan. The Swedish government suggests that increased competition could be obtained by an augmented use of timber in housing construction through developed building systems for multi-storey houses, and by using the knowledge of single family house manufacturers as catalysts for increased industrialisation in housing. Timber is a relatively 'new' frame material in Swedish multi-storey housing. Hence, the knowledge, techniques and business relations needed for timber housing are lacking in many aspects. The increased competition and the absence of knowledge, techniques and business relations, together with a focus on industrialisation, gives the construction sector a great opportunity to develop general construction activities by engaging in timber frame projects. The case study results presented in this paper provide a broad view of the use of different prefabrication strategies used in the Swedish timber housing market and how these strategies decrease the uncertainty experienced by many stakeholders when choosing a 'new' material such as timber for their facilities. The aim was to examine the possibility to use industrialisation as a tool for reducing uncertainty in construction. To manage this, three Swedish, multi-storey timber projects that have adopted a high degree of industrialised production were studied. The conclusion is that the novelty, and uncertainty, of Swedish, high-rise timber housing do not lie in the material, but in the new products, new techniques and new actors. Introducing prefabricated system components with a high degree of built-in knowledge concerning design and assembly may reduce uncertainties. If these components can be industrially produced, e.g. controlled and standardised, the uncertainty can be reduced even further.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Reading: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2006. 229-238 p.
Research subject
Construction Engineering and Management; Timber Structures
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-38351Local ID: cb700f10-9861-11db-8975-000ea68e967bISBN: 0-9552390-0-1OAI: diva2:1011851
Annual ARCOM Conference : 04/09/2006 - 06/09/2006
Godkänd; 2006; 20061231 (ysko)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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