Our built-up environment is increasingly created by the on-site assembly of building components manufactured and assembled off-site. Our built environment is no longer realised by processing materials at construction sites, but mostly by assembling elements on site that are produced elsewhere. Assembly in an industrial sense means fitting parts together to create a finished product. For efficient assembly, the design should preferably allow for regular dimensional deviations. In practice, due to the gap between the design and realisation phases in construction, this is hardly ever the case. As a result, many assembly processes do not proceed as assumed. UT researcher Wim Verburg has come up with a design-for-assembly method for construction and infrastructure projects.
Our built environment is no longer realised by processing materials on construction sites. This now often involves the on-site assembly of elements produced elsewhere. It is important to think about the design in terms of the assembly of the building components on the construction site.
Using the design-for-assembly method, the designers can realise the assembly. With the 'system of systems' design, an entire project is designed. This method ensures that the design is based on size deviations in dimensions that can be realised in practice. On this basis, the parties that implement the various assembly processes can optimise their processes using the classic design for assembly rules.
Accidents in construction are often a result of design decisions. Designers make assumptions that do not match on-site reality. However, in the developed design-for-assembly method, the design of the assembly is based on documented assembly processes. A construction system template is available for each assembly process. Based on this, the health and safety plan can be correctly described. This allows for ensuring the safety of the people involved.
The design of the assembly and the connections with other building components have a major influence on construction efficiency. Unfortunately, this aspect is routinely underrated. The gap between construction design and its realisation inhibits the full potential of using assembly processes. The design-for-assembly method allows the potential of off-site manufacturing and on-site assembly to be fully leveraged. This creates a method to work towards the structural improvement of labour productivity in the sector.
Moreover, by applying the developed design-for-assembly method, the construction waste flow is eliminated. In a well-prepared assembly process, waste does not arise. An additional effect is the reduction of construction-related transport.
Wim Verburg (ir.) / email@example.com/ +31 (0)6 - 20 58 76 55
Promoters: J.I.M. Halman (Prof. dr. ir.) & J.T. Voordijk (Dr. Dr.) - Engineering Technology