Formwork Standardization and Production Flow: Lessons From an Affordable Housing Project in Ecuador

Eder H. Martinez1, Ariana M. Alvear2, Iris D. Tommelein3 & Glenn Ballard4

1PhD Student, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Dept., Engrg, and Project Mgmt. Program, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, +1 510 926-7210, edermartinezv@gmail.com
2MS, Engrg, and Project Mgmt., Project Manager, VillaHermosa Project, Duran, Ecuador, +593 98-998-8324, ariana.alvear@villahermosa.ec
3Professor, Civil and Envir. Engrg. Dept., Director of the Project Production Systems Lab., Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, +1 510 643-8678, tommelein@ce.berkeley.edu
4Research Director of the Project Production Systems Lab., Civil and Envir. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712, USA, +1 415 710-5531, ballard@ce.berkeley.edu

Abstract

Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing a severe housing shortage. The construction industry plays a pivotal role in housing provision and must find means to increase output and productivity in housing construction. However, inefficient production techniques, commonly associated with the building industry, exacerbate the problem. Adopting standardization and industrialization practices is seen as an option in scaling up production. Nevertheless, the complex nature of the industry (e.g., the uniqueness of projects and uncertainty) poses challenges when implementing standardization approaches in housing construction. Particularly, formwork standardization requires advanced planning and coordination across project delivery stages. Such synchronization is fundamental to balancing the production flow and optimizing the standardization process. This paper presents the case study of VillaHermosa, an Ecuadorian affordable housing developer exploring formwork standardization in the construction of reinforced concrete housing units. The authors describe their standardization process, the challenges faced by the company, the results and the lessons learned from the experience, as well as a topic for future study

Keywords

Lean construction, formwork standardization, production flow, production balancing, affordable housing, collaborative design.

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Reference

Martinez, E.H. , Alvear, A.M. , Tommelein, I.D. & Ballard, G. 2015, 'Formwork Standardization and Production Flow: Lessons From an Affordable Housing Project in Ecuador' In:, Seppänen, O., González, V.A. & Arroyo, P., 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Perth, Australia, 29-31 Jul 2015. pp 53-59

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