Prefabrication & Modularization as a Part of Lean Construction – Status Quo in Germany

Michael Hermes1

1Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing., Scientific Assistant, Institute of Construction Management, Univ. of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 7, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany, +49 711 685 66665, [email protected]


A possible innovative approach to unify construction processes and align it with the industrial mass production, is the integration of industrial prefabrication and modularization in construction.2 The higher the numbers of identical components, the lower are production costs, which can be a significant competitive advantage. When applying that approach a building gets assembled on site using prefabricated parts and modules are assembled. Especially the use of prefabricated components in the field of technical building equipment still has great potential. For example plumbing units can be delivered and installed on the site already fully equipped. An application in the construction industry, for example, pre-installed ceiling modules (ventilation ducts, cables, pipes, etc.) takes place in Germany but still marginal. Connecting the individual modules is often a problem, but solutions already exist using simple connections. With this innovative production strategy waste during construction process can be reduced. By the associated reduction of individual production steps on site quality can be improved, costs can be reduced and safety for the workers can be increased. The current state of implementing prefabrication and modularization in Germany will be illustrated using examples.


Continuous improvement, manufacturing, customization, logistics, standardization



Hermes, M. 2015. Prefabrication & Modularization as a Part of Lean Construction – Status Quo in Germany, 23rd Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 235-245.

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