What is this whitepaper about?
The construction industry still thinks of buildings as unique and bespoke objects rather than as products that can be manufactured and assembled instead of being constructed. The fact that productivity, innovation and profitability in the construction industry is still far behind the manufacturing industry can easily be explained by looking at the way the manufacturing industry is organized.
Nearly all construction companies act like an Engineer to Order company (each building is unique). But they are unable to spend enough money and time in engineering to make sure that they get it right the first time. As a consequence, almost every construction project overspends or under-delivers. On the other hand, most customers demand a unique building but are unwilling to pay for the costs involved. The construction market wants Space Shuttles for the price of a Mini.Read more
If we start thinking about buildings as products that are made out of other products, we need to think about the basics of modular design and live with design constraints that are associated with it.
This whitepaper elaborates on the discussion regarding the development and improvement of modules for the construction industry.
Configure to Order
When we succeed in approaching a building as an assembly of parts, and when we succeed in approaching those parts as modules, we can make the transition from an ‘engineering to order’ process to a ‘configure to order’ process.
Construction companies should behave more like a Configure to Order company and assemble unique buildings onsite using highly modular components that are pre-fabricated offsite. Only then will they be able to predict costs, mitigate risks and deliver a high-quality product on time. This whitepaper gives our take on this transformation of the construction industry.