20.10.08

BARRIERS TO IBS 1 (GENARAL)

Driver to IBS Implementation

Pan et al. (2008) has highlighted drivers of using IBS among UK housebuilders. The drivers are to achieve high construction quality, minimising on-site duration, ensuring time certainty and addressing skill shortage in manual jobs. Blismas (2007) observed that the drivers in IBS implementation are to reduce construction time, to simplify construction processes, to provide higher quality, better control and more consistency in construction, reducing costs when resources are scarce or in remote areas, alleviating skills shortages in manual jobs, reduce waste on and off site and improve housekeeping on site. Warszawski (1999) suggested the drivers to IBS adoption are to achieve some saving in manual labour on-site, to speed up construction process and providing higher construction quality. Thanoon et al (2003) also underlined cost saving, faster construction time and improvement of overall construction quality as drivers for IBS take up. It can be concluded that, the driver to use IBS either it is the requirement from designers or in other way to cope with basic goal of construction; time, resources and scope

Barriers to IBS Implementation

Despite the plausible advantages, the majority of contractors are sceptical to use IBS method. In fact, the majority of contactors are not ready to bid IBS construction tender. Warszawski (1999) highlighted implementation risk of using IBS compared to conventional labour intensive method and later observed that adaptation of standardization requires a tremendous education and training effort. Pan et al. (2008) has highlighted the barriers of using IBS construction in a survey conducted for UK housebuilders. The most mention barriers according to UK housebuilders are higher in capital cost, complex interfacing between systems and the nature of UK planning system which is not favourable to IBS. Goodier & Gibb (2006) highlighted barriers hindering the use of IBS that include an increase in overall cost, client resistance, lack of guidance and information, increased in risk and insufficient workers skill. In a report on off-site manufacturing in Australia, Blismas (2007) observed that very low IT integration in the construction industry, high fragmentation in the industry, cost related issues, a lack of codes and standards, difficulties in financing, limited capacity of suppliers as the barriers contribute to limited take up on IBS. It also observed that transportation of panels and modules is much more difficult in IBS construction (Rahman & Omar, 2006). More serious is the problem of making joints, locking, gluing, welding, hammering or snapping components together which need time and experience for perfection and reduced wastage. Moreover, the method itself involving mechanized system and skilled worker to coordinate and assembly introduces demand of precision not needed in other method. IBS also appear to be slightly an expensive choice over the traditional method and not appealing option which need extensive training and apprenticeship (Thanoon et al. 2003) (Rahman & Omar, 2006).

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