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An integrated approach to enhance sustainability in industrialised building systems

By Riduan Yunus and Jay Yang


Building prefabrication is known as Industrialised Building Systems (IBS) in Malaysia. This construction method possesses unique characteristics that are central to sustainable construction. For example, offsite construction enables efficient management of construction wastage by identifying major causes of waste arising during both the design and construction stages. These causes may then be eliminated by the improvement process in IBS component's manufacturing. However, current decisions on using IBS are typically financial driven and hinder the wider ranged adoption. In addition, current IBS misconceptions and the failure of rating schemes in evaluating the sustainability of IBS affect its implementation. A new approach is required to provide better understanding on the sustainability potential of IBS among stakeholders. Such approach should also help project the outcomes of each levels of decision-making to respond to social, economy and environmental challenges. This paper presents interim findings of research aimed at developing a framework for sustainable IBS development and suggests a more holistic approach to achieve sustainability. A framework of embedding sustainability factors is considered in three main phases of IBS construction; 1) Pre-construction, 2) Construction and 3) Post-construction phase. SWOT analysis was used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats involved in the IBS implementations. The action plans are formulated from the analysis of sustainable objectives. This approach will show where and how sustainability should be integrated to improve IBS construction. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methodology was used in this research to explore the potential of IBS in integrating sustainability. The tools used in the study are questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Outcomes from these tools lead to the identification of viable approaches involving 18 critical factors to improve sustainability in IBS constructions. Finally, guidelines for decision-making are being developed to provide a useful source of information and support to mutual benefit of the stakeholders in integrating sustainability issues and concepts into IBS applications

Topics: 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning, sustainability, industrialised building system
Year: 2012
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