University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Engineering Design Centre Seminars  > Integrated Design for Manufacture and Assembly (IDfMA)- Modular building design process

Integrated Design for Manufacture and Assembly (IDfMA)- Modular building design process

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Modular, element, and flat-pack building delivery are the various practices of traditional off-site construction. Whole building modular delivery by means of IDfMA approach is the contemporary construction technology, and the focus of construction industry nowadays as its supposed added-value to construction project delivery. IDfMA approach is the evolution of the conventional prefabricated building design, where the focus was more on tweaking the delivered building design in a way that help prefabrication of the building components. DfMA is approaching the building design from inception with an off-site modular perspective aiming to enhance the delivery of the whole building by means of finished modular delivery.

Building design is considered a multi disciplinary process where to integrate and design all building systems (Architectural System, Structural System, Civil System, MEP System, Electrical System) by means of building facility. However, each building site is unique even for one client and each project is unique even for the same client. In this sense, DfMA requires a well integrated design process, and a new design thinking business model (unlike current construction design practice). Design needs to be performed in two levels; Level (1) modular product design where the focus on module/ product development. The module design would be informed by several test building design scenarios, and the developed design options would be controlled by the business case (the ultimate outcome is module family, together with a design rule book). In contrast, level (2) is the building design and configuration; using from those developed module options. The building design and configuration would be informed by client/customer requirements and building regulations, and the developed building design solution would be controlled by the module family base, design rule book, and site planning policies (the ultimate outcome is a building as product).

The talk will highlight the design process research work package that is undertaking by Cambridge- EDC team as one of the IDfMA research work packages (AMSCI: AMHBI project). The research work package aims to; explore modular building design process, and identify the key process decisions and its related success parameters. ASM tool of CAM toolbox is used as research tool to develop modular building design process simulation model for residential buildings (E5+ buildings), and to investigate the impact of different design decisions on the design delivery process. It is hoped that, the research outcome will contribute a theoretical understanding of IDfMA- modular building design process in the context of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) body of knowledge. It is further hoped that the research will support the delivery of E5+ design process practice rule book, and device a tool to back support the making of those identified key decisions in the context of E5+ building (i.e. practical contribution to the research industry partner).

This talk is part of the Engineering Design Centre Seminars series.

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