An Integrated Product Planning and Design Platform in the Context of Housebuilding Industry

American Society of Civil Engineers
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Construction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020, 2020, pp. 802-811
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© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers. The purpose of mass-customization strategies is to achieve product variety to satisfy different customer tastes while increasing the standardization of products to gain economic benefits through industrial mass-production strategies. Prefabricated construction has been adopted as a valuable construction methodology to help achieve mass-customization goals. The concept of product platforms represents a manifestation of mass customization that is a well-known terminology in the manufacturing industry, which is yet to be strongly integrated with the building sector due to various market features surrounding customer demands and product types. The literature suggests that the design work, as a bridge between the customer requirements and the final product, plays a significant role in achieving the market benefits of variety, as well as economic benefits of mass production. However, both customization and standardization of buildings are currently subjective with little consideration to their interactions. These results in suboptimal adoption of mass-customized solutions in building construction. In this research, an integrated framework for a product planning and design platform is introduced which accounts for costs and benefits of various stakeholders over the supply-chain of prefabricated housebuilding projects, i.e., manufacturers, suppliers, logistics parties, designers, construction companies, and customers. The framework utilizes building codes and modular product planning techniques to determine preliminary product architecture. The resulting product architecture is then used as a basis for parametric design optimization with a set of constraints and objective functions specified by different stakeholders along the supply-chain. The stakeholders rely on a common building information modelling platform through which presents terminologies that are utilized in the determination of constraints and objectives. This framework can be used by designers as a decision-support system, as well as manufacturers and construction companies to optimize their own processes.
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