Modularization in the construction industry using a top-down approach

Anders Kudsk, Lars Hvam, Christian Thuesen, Martin O'Brien Grønvold, Magnus Holo Olsen

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    Throughout the last centuries, the manufacturing industry has experienced great improvements in efficiency and cost reductions, but the same improvements have not taken place in the construction industry. Based on the principles of mass customization that are known from the manufacturing industry, a case study of one of the largest construction companies in Northern Europe was carried out according to the principles of action research. This approach was used to clarify whether potential exists for using the principles of mass customization to improve efficiency and minimize costs connected with the construction of buildings; and if so, what they are. The main technical solutions used for residential and office buildings were analyzed using a top-down approach. These solutions were identified and their relations mapped using a Product Variant Master (PVM). When a satisfactory overview was achieved of the major technical solutions, a configuration system was made. Such a system is often used to communicate findings from the PVM to the user. Through the work of constructing the PVM and the configuration system, it was found that a great potential exists for implementation. Based on the findings and experiences gathered throughout the process, the conclusion is that the principles of mass customization are best used in the construction industry if used with a top-down perspective. © Kudsk et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalOpen Construction & Building Technology Journal
    Pages (from-to)88-98
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Computer aided manufacturing
    • Construction
    • Modular construction
    • Office buildings
    • Construction industry


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