Drawing on the existing body of knowledge analysis on definitions from previous scholars, a working definition for IBS has been developed. IBS is defined as, “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”.
It literally means that those parts of building that are repetitive but difficult, time consuming, labour intense to cost at site are design and detailed as standardised components at factory. The definition also emphasised on coordination between design, manufacturing and construction. It is important to note that in this research, IBS involves onsite casting using innovative and clean mould technologies (steel, aluminium and plastic).
The term IBS is invented to move away from the typical paradigm of prefabricated systems.
IBS should be seen as innovation in construction. The innovation agenda has been promoted worldwide as in industrialised construction. It is imperative that IBS is seen as an evolution of construction using new and innovative techniques rather than a revolution.
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.
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
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
The workable definition proposed above aims to engage positive debate into it and to obtain constructive reaction from practitioners and researchers. It is also hoped that the definition will enhance our understanding of IBS.