Lean Modular Design: Value-Based Progress of Industrialised Housing

Martin Lennartsson1, Anders Bjornfot2 & Lars Stehn3

1M.Sc., Div. of Structural Engineering - Timber Structures, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden, Phone +46 920 492967, FAX +46 920 491091, martin.lennartsson@ltu.se
2Tech., Dr., Div. of Structural Engineering - Timber Structures, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden, Phone +46 920 492067, FAX +46 920 491091, anders.bjornfot@ltu.se
3Prof., Div. of Structural Engineering - Timber Structures, Luleå University of Technology, 97187 Luleå, Sweden, Phone +46 920 491976, FAX +46 920 491091, lars.stehn@ltu.se

Abstract

One of the core ideas of Lean Construction is that the process of designing and producing a construction product should progress continuously and create value for both the customer and the delivery team. The hypothesis in this paper is that modularisation has potential as a method for value management. The aim is to describe how modularisation, in a lean context, can be used as a tool to facilitate the management of internal and external values in industrialised housing. The paper will explore the theory of modularisation and its drivers and examine how the method can promote value management. Modularisation is then explored in practice, using empirical knowledge from the building service systems (HVAC, electricity, etc.) development process at five Swedish multi-storey timber housing producers. The analysis point out the importance of decomposing the modularisation process into a jointly performed industry phase where modules are designed, followed by a company internal product development process that complies to the modules. This paper concludes that it is not the product decomposition into modules that is of importance, rather the process that strives to balance internal and external values.

Keywords

modular drivers, industrialised housing, building service systems, value management

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Reference

Lennartsson, M. , Bjornfot, A. & Stehn, L. 2008, 'Lean Modular Design: Value-Based Progress of Industrialised Housing' In:, Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M., 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Manchester, UK, 16-18 Jul 2008. pp 541-552

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