4.6.09

Revisiting IBS issues on definition, classification and degree of industrialisation

(This article is a part of acedemic proceding, will be published in conjuction of 2nd CIRAIC (International Conference in Kuala Lumpur), Novemeber 2009

1. Industrialised Building System (IBS) is the term to represent the prefabrication concept in Malaysia. The term is invented to move away from the typical paradigm of prefabricated systems

2. Definition: “IBS is an innovative process of building construction using concept of mass-production of industrialised systems, produced at the factory or onsite within controlled environments, it includes the logistic and assembly aspect of it, done in proper coordination with thorough planning and integration”

3. IBS definition should incorporate all six (6) characteristics from existing definitions which are industrialised production, transportation & assembly technique, onsite fabrication, mass production, structured planning and standardisation and integration

4. IBS should be seen as innovation in construction. The innovation agenda has been promoted in the UK under the MMC and offsite construction’s umbrella. It is imperative that IBS is seen as an evolution of construction using new and innovative techniques

5. IBS Classification: (1)Frame System (pre-cast or steel) (2) Panellised System (3) Onsite fabrication (4) Sub-assembly and components (5) Block work system (6) Hybrid System (7) Volumetric and Modular System

6. The classification of IBS should be expanded to cater the scope of volumetric (modular) and hybrid construction. IBS is not to be seen as a threat to traditional methods. Both methods should be able to work in tandem and improve their processes collectively. The sharing of best practice between the two approaches is essential for the continued successful development of both construction sectors.

7. IBS should move up the degree of industrialisation from prefabrication to reproduction through innovation. The mass-customisation concept which is vital to open building system agenda can only be achieved through the adoption of automation in the level of industrialisation. See Richard (2005)

8. The more advanced IBS is in the level of industrialisation, the more roles IBS has to be involved in project life cycle. The reproduction level of industrialisation will involve the whole project life cycle from planning to maintenance. IBS can be seen as a solution to the whole project life cycle if only it can achieve reproduction level of industrialisation (Richard, 2005)

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