Industrialized Construction

Industrialized Construction Initiative

Status: Launched in Fall 2022 and open to new participants.

Scarcity of traditionally skilled construction labor, increasing project complexity, development of innovative materials and greater ambitions for more sustainable construction, and advances in construction digitalization and automation (in technical capabilities and affordability) are driving the industry towards increased industrialized and off-site construction. These allow for new innovative methods of construction that come with challenges and opportunities.

Industrialized construction (IC) is the fabrication of building components and systems by employing digital tools in a factory setting. By producing building components in a factory—a more controlled environment compared to a construction site—and when implementing an appropriate strategy, companies can achieve higher precision, better quality, increased efficiency and predictability, reduced cycle times, and lower cost. However, companies cannot simply start producing products in a fabrication shop the same way they would build these on site. A change is needed in how projects are conceived, from design to manufacturing to assembly (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly aka. DfMA) to final delivery, operations, and maintenance (generally speaking Design for X aka. DfX, with X to be filled in by you), for companies to realize and maximize the benefits of IC.

The construction industry is steadily embracing IC, but what are all the aspects that companies have to consider in order to ensure that they will seamlessly transition from traditional construction to IC? How can they position themselves in the market to communicate the value of IC to their clients so that projects are collaboratively developed with an IC mindset? What is the ROI of moving from on-site to off-site construction?

Areas to Investigate

  1. What do people understand by Industrialized Construction? What does IC entail?
  2. What is a company’s process for deciding whether or not to engage in IC on their own or with industry partners?
  3. What assessment tools are in use or to be developed, using criteria aimed at evaluating the feasibility of using IC components and systems on construction projects? How do these criteria interact with one another?
  4. How can companies calculate their return on investment (ROI) in IC?
  5. How to decide on and coordinate the integrated system of offsite and onsite work for best performance?
  6. What are the operations performed offsite? How to optimize the offsite factory based on takt, built-in quality, etc. to achieve the best throughput?