CIRAIC 2009 - Abstract 1

The Fundamental Issues on Industrialised Building Systems (IBS): definition, terminology and classification

To date there has been no one commonly accepted or agreed definition of Industrialised Building System (IBS). Whilst IBS is not new and many have published on the subject, the fundamental issues on definition and classification have not been adequately covered. IBS was commonly assumed by fellow researchers to be on the similar characteristics and definition with off-site construction, preassembly, prefabrication, modularization and other terms in common use at various times but the ‘semantic connotation’ is not necessarily true in practice. Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia has published IBS definition which has widely used as common understanding by researchers and practitioners in Malaysia. However, trough time, research and observation in other countries, IBS need to be evolved from just being a ‘technique in which components are manufactured, transported, positioned and assembled at site’ to more holistic perspective of construction value chain beginning from the conceptual stage to building commissioning and maintenance. On the other words, IBS is should be defined as the industrialisation construction process. This paper presents the results of thorough literature review and analysis of definitions, classifications, limitation and boundaries of Industrialised Construction (IC) and Modern Method of Construction (MMC) and look where IBS can fit in. This paper discusses the difference between pre-cast and IBS and their stand in the degree of industrialisation. IBS may be well understood by manufacturers, contractors and even some designers, but unless the definition, classification, limitation and boundaries of IBS is well documented and understood in common ground, then their misunderstandings and prejudices will continue to be a barrier to further development.

Keywords: boundary, classification, definition, degree of industrialisation, Industrialised Building System (IBS)

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