Factors Influencing the Construction Industry’s Shift to Modular Construction
Current practices in the construction industry emphasize on increasing productivity through several approaches. Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology is one of the approaches to improving work productivity. It opens up a channel to the increased use of prefabrication and modularization. Model-driven prefabrication becomes a way to design and construct prefabricated modular buildings. Furthermore, current influential construction trends such as Lean Construction and Green Building have caused many construction professionals to bring prefabrication and modularization back into the spotlight. Modular prefabricated construction can reduce onsite activities, site disturbance, and waste or pollution through more efficient processes. Consequently, modular prefabricated construction has become more prominent in the construction industry. The primary benefit of modular construction is increased productivity, especially when schedule is tight, there is a weather concern, and skilled labor is not available. The main objective of this study is to identify factors influencing the construction industry’s shift to modular construction and make some suggestions for its application to future vertical-extension projects. To achieve this objective, this paper reviews modular construction processes and building codes and permit requirements for modular prefabricated buildings. Also, the paper investigates current methods of modular construction through an industry survey and discusses possible benefits from modular construction methods and potential barriers in using them.
Conceptual Framework for a Lean Construction Capability Model
The Lean Construction capability model can be a beneficial tool for owners to assess contractors’ competence concerning the Lean construction process. The benefit of Lean is to focus on the true needs of the customer and prevent any waste from occurring during production. There is very little information available for creating a framework for a Lean Construction capability model that will assist the owners in assessing contractors’ Lean capability. This paper has examined the use of capability models in various industries and reviewed their methodological approaches and applications. Based on the commonality of the existing capability models, a conceptual framework for a Lean Construction capability model was developed. Key informants in Lean Construction were interviewed and their feedback was incorporated in the development of the framework. Subsequently, the conceptual framework was reviewed by owners. Overall, this study found that it is possible to create a framework for a capability model in the construction industry using lessons learned from other industries while valuing the foundational philosophies of Lean Construction. The framework used for Lean Construction needs to be flexible to fit the needs of a variety of contractors.