The Challenges of Standardization of Products and Processes in Construction

Aki Aapaoja1 & Harri Haapasalo2

1Doctoral student, Industrial Engineering and Management, Univ. of Oulu; Finland. aki.aapaoja@oulu.f
2Professor, Industrial Engineering and Management, Univ. of Oulu; Finland. harri.haapasalo@oulu.fi

Abstract

Construction has been blamed for its low performance and productivity, and high amount of waste, for years, especially when compared with the manufacturing industry, which is mainly based on well-managed and standardized processes. This ongoing discussion about problems, such as low profitability and high construction costs, results in demands for higher value, cost savings, better quality, and longer guarantees in construction. However, construction is not manufacturing, but it does provide elements that can be exploited to improve processes and reduce waste. Moving towards better quality and more homogenous construction can be achieved by standardized processes and by using standardized products in those processes. Thus, this study aims to analyze what the major challenges for the standardization of processes and products in the construction industry are and how the challenges can be beaten. The results indicate that the challenges of standardizing the processes are that the importance of accurate planning and front-end activities are not completely understood and the projects are still considered as unique entities. Additionally, the standardization of products has the following challenges: construction projects and solutions are still perceived as unique handwork, designers do not understand the benefits of standardized products, and planning processes do not support using standardized products.

Keywords

Standardization, prefabrication, standardized products, standardized processes, Lean, construction

Files

Reference

Aapaoja, A. & Haapasalo, H. 2014, 'The Challenges of Standardization of Products and Processes in Construction ' In:, Kalsaas, B.T., Koskela, L. & Saurin, T.A., 22nd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Oslo, Norway, 25-27 Jun 2014. pp 938-993

Download: BibTeX | RIS Format