Industrialization of Construction

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Søren Ditlev Bødker Blond Andersen
  • Matthias Ragnar Ragnarsson
This master thesis with the title: ”Is it possible to achieve higher productivity through modularization?” is the final report on the program Management in the Building Industry, performed at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Aalborg University.
The starting point of the report is the continuously critique of the productivity in the Danish building sector compared to other sectors, especially the production industry. Though, it is not only the productivity that has been criticized, as the quality and the efficiency has faced criticism as well.
Through the problem analysis, a report written by The Danish Socitety of Engineers (IDA) play a central role because of its conclusion. The report concludes that the productivity can be better with the use of modularization. While completing this report, the Danish Apartment of Defence (FES) is developing a pilot project at the military barracks of Aalborg called “Grønne Etablissementer”. The idea is that this project should function as a “showroom” for new products, and methods in the building industry. Through this project, modularization is one of the initiatives, which will be developed and designed. The IDA report and knowledge of the project at the military barracks of Aalborg led to the formulation of the report’s main problem:
Does modularization contribute to the industrialization of the building industry in terms of increased efficiency and improved productivity, and if so – how?
The main part can be described as two separate halves. In the first part, modularization and “Grønne Etablissementer” is being described on information from literature and interviews. In the second part the conclusion of the report will be completed. The interviews concerning modularization are made with project managers at the Danish modular production companies Scandi Byg A/S and BM Byggeindustri A/S. The primary knowledge gained from the interviews, and the secondary knowledge gained in the literature, are combined to form a picture of what the building industry is able to produce with modularization, and how the firms are controlling their building projects. Afterwards the project “Grønne Etablissementer” is being described from interviews with two project managers from FES and a representative from the advising consortium, with focus on the modularization aspects of the project.
The second half of the report’s main part, the analysis concerns how the modularization can be used, and respected production philosophies as Lean, Supply Chain Management, Just in Time and Total Quality Management to enhance the productivity, quality and efficiency. Furthermore, the framework of the project “Grønne Etablissementer” will be analysed. This is done to understand whether these where right for the building industry in order to show the capabilities of modularization.
The analysis results in a solution, which contributes to answering the main problem of this report. This solution retains a description of “The optimal modularization project”. This means that if a building project is made in accordance with the suggested solution, it can properly increase the productivity, quality, and efficiency. “The optimal modularization project” is a project that is carried out as a Turnkey contracted project where the modular production company is able to form a project that fits their production, and the regulations concerning construction in wooden structures. Furthermore, the project has to be designed in a way where it is possible to “break down” the building down into modules which can be transported on the roads. Finally, the report points out building projects that benefit if constructed in a modularized manner like schools, apartments, family homes, and offices.
Publication date1 Jun 2016
Number of pages91
External collaboratorForsvarsministeriets Ejendomsstyrelse
Civilingeniør Henrik Sørensen
ID: 234539366