ITcon Vol. 14, pg. 110-122, http://www.itcon.org/2009/11

Information management in industrial housing design and manufacture

submitted:June 2008
revised:June 2009
published:June 2009
editor(s):Björk B-C
authors:Stefan Persson, Tech. Lic.
Div. of Structural Engineering, Lund University, Sweden
mailto:stefan.persson@tyrens.se

Linus Malmgren, M. Sc.
Div. of Structural Engineering, Lund University, Sweden
mailto:malmgren.linus@gmail.com

Helena Johnsson, Ph. D.
Div. of Structural Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
mailto:helena.johnsson@ltu.se
summary:Industrialized production of building components, or entire houses, reduces activities at the construction site to the assembly of parts and has the potential to increase productivity and reduce the design effort invested in every project. However, in order to realize all of the potential efficiency gains that use of predefined components could deliver effective, interoperable information management systems are required. This article presents a multiple case study investigating the processes, products and ICT environment involved in industrialized house construction from an information management perspective, focusing on six Swedish companies that manufacture timber frame elements and one that makes precast concrete elements. The aim of the study was to identify critical aspects of information management related to industrialization in the sector. The findings show that companies aiming to enhance control and productivity by improving information management need a better understanding of the requisites for efficient industrialized construction in terms of ICT support. Changes in the perspectives of the construction companies appear to be needed in terms of not only the manufacturing processes, but also information management. Three main areas are identified that should be prioritized before any investments in ICT can be implemented effectively: formal description of the relevant processes, detailed description of the product range and its full variety, and creation of an appropriate information systems strategy.
keywords:Timber frame houses, precast concrete elements, industrialized construction, information management, building product model
full text: (PDF file, 1.889 MB)
citation:Persson S, Malmgren L, Johnsson H (2009). Information management in industrial housing design and manufacture, ITcon Vol. 14, pg. 110-122, http://www.itcon.org/2009/11