Offsite timber systems multi-factor productivity index

  • Tsvetomila Duncheva

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The construction industry in the UK has been characterised in recent years by stagnating productivity. Offsite methods of construction which involve building in a factory environment, have been suggested as part of the solution to this issue. Within the current economic context, this thesis focussed on timber systems and examined the existing literature relating to their Multi-Factor Productivity (MFP) measurements, identifying a gap in knowledge relating to comparative MFP index for different offsite timber systems. A subsequent market perception survey amongst built environment professionals highlighted an opportunity for offsite timber systems to increase efficiency. However the responses indicated the importance of examining advanced offsite timber systems such as Volumetric Timber Construction (VTC) in comparison to established in the UK market panelised timber systems. A manufacturing survey was then undertaken which compared the productivity ofVTC manufacturers in the UK and mainland Europe with open and closed timber panel manufacturing techniques in the UK.The main findings from the survey were that the European VTC and UK panelised manufacturers had similarly high productivity and the UKVTC manufacturers had potential for growth. The MFP of four timber construction projects was then analysed: two low-rise residential projects (using open timber panel and VTC), and two mid-rise residential developments (one using closed timber panels and one using cross laminated timber). The results revealed that increased offsite completion in the factory could result in increased construction productivity however external and internal works were still a major challenge to efficiency. The overall analysis was used to outline a theoretical framework for an innovative MFP index with five key quantified variables and five secondary qualitative variables. This index facilitates the measurement and comparison of construction productivity between a variety of different structural systems and is one of the unique contributions to knowledge generated in this thesis.
Date of Award11 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SponsorsUniversity of Strathclyde
SupervisorFiona Bradley (Supervisor) & Andrew Agapiou (Supervisor)

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