Integrated Design and Manufacturing [IDM] Framework for the Modular Construction Industry
Alkahlan, Bandar Suliman
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If we look at the construction industry, particularly the modular single-family construction industry, we often see that the design stage is distinctly separate from the construction and fabrication stages. This separation has been occurring for some time now, however, there is often a noticeable lack of understanding of the constraints in linking architectural design to modular construction for single-family housing. In addition, no framework exists which seeks to support overcoming these constraints for the architectural design process while simultaneously bringing knowledge of fabrication, materials selection, and modular construction to the early stage of design. Also, there is a lack of knowledge of fabrication and modular construction constraints by many architects. This research intended to focus upon mapping the design and manufacturing processes for a specific scale of projects: residential single-family units. The research also aimed to understand the relationships among design, the role of emerging technologies, and manufacturing within the modular home construction industry in order to develop a design process that is based upon mass customization, rather than mass production. Thus, qualitative research methods based upon a grounded theory approach were used for evaluating, capturing, and structuring knowledge. To achieve the greatest possible amount of useful information, case studies of on-site visits to manufactured housing production facilities and structured, in-depth, open-ended interviews of architects, engineers, production managers, business managers, and other knowledge-holders within the manufactured modular housing industry were performed. The aim of this research was to map the design and modular homes manufacturing processes in an effort to better understand the relationships between these two domains. The Integration Definition (IDEF0) for Function Modeling was used as a graphical presentation technique. The goal of using such a graphical technique was, first, to understand and analyze the functions of the existing "As-is" design-manufacture communication process; and second, to enhance and improve the communication and productivity performances among people working in the design, manufacturing, and production sectors. Using this graphical modeling method assisted with mapping the design and modular manufacturing processes, including organizations, teams, decisions, actions, and activities. Through this mapping process, strategies to improve the emergent relationships were proposed as a new "To-be" design and manufacturing framework for modular single-family housing projects.
- Doctoral Dissertations