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PARTLY DIGITAL (ONLY FOR INVITEES) : PhD Defence Wim Verburg | The development of a design -for-assembly method for construction and infrastructure projects

The development of a design -for-assembly method for construction and infrastructure projects

Due to the COVID-19 crisis the PhD defence of Wim Verburg will take place (partly) online.

The PhD defence can be followed by a live stream.

Wim Verburg is a PhD student in the research group Construction Management and Engineering (CME). His supervisors are prof.dr.ir. J.I.M. Halman and dr. J.T. Voordijk from the Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET).

Our built environment is no longer realised by processing materials at construction sites, but mostly by putting together elements on site that are produced elsewhere. When designing an object whose realisation is based on the use of construction parts that are produced off site, it is important to also consider the design for the assembly of the construction parts at the building location. The design of this assembly and its connections with other construction parts have a major impact on the efficiency with which it can be realised.
Unfortunately, insufficient attention has been paid so far to the design of assemblies. This gap between construction designs and their realisation inhibits the full potential of using assembly processes. It manifests itself through issues such as deviations in dimensions between the original design and the assembled system, disappointing aesthetic results and construction times that are far longer than necessary. As a consequence, the potential increase in efficiency is not fully realised. The inability to fully achieve an increased efficiency also means that the use of construction parts produced off site continues to have to compete with onsite production in the construction sector.

The above made considerations have led to the general conclusion that the design and realisation phases of construction processes are insufficiently aligned. The main goal of this PhD thesis therefore has been to contribute to the closing of the gap between the design and realisation phase of objects in the built environment which are realised through an assembly process. This has been realised by developing a design-for-assembly method for construction and infrastructure projects. Besides presenting the main findings of this PhD study, it also includes a discussion of the main scientific and managerial implications of the conducted study and it provides several recommendations that merit further study and action.