Theory & Practice of Modular Coordination

Alan J. Brookess1

1Prof. Dr., Technical University Delft, P.O. Box 5043 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands, T +31 (0) 15 27 84297, F +31 (0) 15 27 84178,


In this paper Professor Brookes will review the programme of introduction of dimensional coordination and modular coordination in UK starting from the Hertfordshire Schools of 1955. He will describe the various attempts by government and other bodies to force the mandatory use of dimensional coordination and his own involvement with the PSA Method of Building programme in 1970’s and the building of a full size test mock-up using five different types of structural frames at Building Research Establishment, Garston. He will describe his own PhD thesis on tolerances and jointing and mainly the general conclusion that 5% of building costs arise from remedial work caused by inaccuracy of construction lying outside the tolerances allowed for in design. He concludes that in recent years the situation has not necessarily improved. As a cladding consultant he is often called to advise on jointing failure arising from gaskets and sealants being outside their permissible joint sizes due to inaccuracy in the structural framework. In his own work at Singapore Arts Centre and Federation Square Melbourne, he was well aware that allowance for 3-dimensional tolerances must be provided at all critical interfaces and that all members of the building team including subcontractors must be aware of and agree the tolerances in construction related to critical dimensions and grid lines before starting manufacture and assembly.


Modular, Claddings, Tolerance



Brookess, A.J. 2005, 'Theory & Practice of Modular Coordination' In:, 13th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Sydney, Australia, 19-21 Jul 2005. pp 327-332

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