Industrialization for sustainable construction?

E.L.C. Egmond - de Wilde De Ligny, van

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Sustainable construction (SuCo), which genesis dates in the early 1990’s, advocates the creation and operation of a quality and healthy built environment based on resource efficiency, life cycle economics and ecological principles. (Kibert, 2003). Currently the Construction Industry does not meet all these principles. This implies the need for change, thus innovation for SuCo. The purpose of our study is to explore the opportunities and constraints of a paradigm innovation such as towards industrialised construction to achieve SuCo. The particular issue that is dealt is whether the stakeholders in the CI are indeed willing and ready for a paradigm shift, i.e. a change in the underlying metal models. Have of will they put it into practice by developing and applying industrialised standardized construction technologies. Are there in one way or the other incentives – such as government policies and regulations- that further stimulate such SuCo practices? After all industrialised production in manufacturing sectors has proven to contribute to enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of the processes, thereby minimizing the use of labour and material resources and waste. Thus in the same line of thinking a paradigm shift towards innovative industrialised construction is assumed to contribute to achieve the SuCo objectives. To find answers to the questions the sustainability practices in the construction industry in the Netherlands and Chile were investigated. Methodologically the research drew on a merge of concepts of the Production Management and Innovation Theories. The findings have underpinned that -although the major driving factor for the stakeholders to change the construction processes was cost reduction- the measures to minimize losses in primary materials and material use by industrialised construction which takes into account the environmental aspects contributes to the achievement of the SuCo objectives. The conclusion is that SuCo in the CI requires the implementation of innovative solutions and project execution that goes beyond the traditional and generally accepted way of building. This calls for a paradigm shift amongst construction stakeholders which cannot be accomplished without a stimulating, supporting and regulating framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Industrialisation in Construction, 10-13 May 2010, Salford, United Kingdom
EditorsP Barrett, D. Amaratunga, R Haigh, K. Keraminiyage, C Pathirage
Place of PublicationRotterdam
PublisherInternational Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB)
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event18th CIB World Building Congress, May 10-13, 2010, Salford, UK - Salford, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 May 201013 May 2010

Publication series

NameCIB Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0254-4083


Conference18th CIB World Building Congress, May 10-13, 2010, Salford, UK
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Other"Building a Better World"


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