Experience Feedback at Industrialised House Builders

John Meiling1 & Helena Johnsson2

1M.Sc. John Meiling, Division of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden, johnmeiling@ltu.se, +46 920 491818
2Ph.D. Helena Johnsson, Div. of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, helena.johnsson@ltu.se.

Abstract

In lean theories as in quality management, the notion of continuous improvement is strong. Experience from an earlier production cycle should be fed into the next cycle. The framework of lean production offers a structure for experience feedback to take place. The industrialised house builders would benefit more from experience feedback than traditional construction firms would, since the degree of repetitiveness of their work is higher. The degree of prefabrication in industrialised housing ranges from manufacturing open walls and floors up to producing entire volume modules with complete interior cladding. The higher the degree of prefabrication, the stronger is the clash between construction and manufacturing, since the traditional construction process does not cater for the need for early design decisions that are rigid throughout the building process. This paper aims at exploring the production process at three industrialised housing companies seeking feedback opportunities and implications. An explorative research method is used where interviews with the participating companies show that initiatives and opportunities exist, but not in a consistent way. The transformation of information and knowledge into useful design input could be seen as a bottleneck in production process.

Keywords

experience feedback, industrialised housing, multi storey building, timber volume element prefabrication

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Reference

Meiling, J. & Johnsson, H. 2008, 'Experience Feedback at Industrialised House Builders' In:, Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M., 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Manchester, UK, 16-18 Jul 2008. pp 553-564

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