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Introduction To Industrialised Building System Construction Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Construction
Wordcount: 5297 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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In this chapter, the detail of explanation and relevant literature review of Industrialised Building System in Malaysia high rise project will be presented. Generally, the contents of this chapter are covered by definitions, classification, essential characteristic, critical success factors and barriers of the IBS implementation of the high rise buildings in our local construction industry.

The IBS is not a common term in Malaysia Construction industry now. Until now, it still has no one common accepted or agreed definition of IBS by any researchers. However, there are few researchers define the IBS on the characteristics and definition with different way. IBS is often referred to as off-site construction of the literature (Pan et al. 2008), remote (Blismas, 2006) the production, industrialization and automation of construction (Warszawski 1999), the off-site manufacturing, prefabricated buildings, pre-assemblies building (Gibb & Isack, 2003), the prefabricated building, prefabricated building, non-traditional architecture and modern method of construction (MMC) said by Kamar, 2009.

The following is the definition of the IBS from different authors:

Warszawski (1999) described the process of industrialization, investment in equipment, facilities and technology to maximize production, reduce labour resources, and improve the quality. These elements are interconnected and joint together to make or improve performances of the building.

Rahman and Omar (2006) said that the IBS as a construction system by using prefabricated building systems. The manufacturing of the components are done with machines, templates, and other forms of machinery and equipment. Components manufactured off-site, once completed, will be delivered to the General Assembly and erection of the construction site. IBS is defined as an integrated manufacturing and construction process, carefully planned organization, and efficient management, preparation and control of resources, activities and results from the highly developed components (Lessing, et al., 2005).

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The most comprehensive definition of IBS was perhaps clarified by Junid (1986). He said that in the process of industrialization in the construction industry, including IBS, building component, vision, planning, fabrication, transportation and site erection. The system includes a combination of software and hardware components of the balance between. Software includes system design; this is a complex process, learning the end-user requirements, market analysis, development of standardized components, manufacturing and assembly layout and process of the establishment, allocation of resources and material, a definition of the concept of architect framework. The software element provides a prerequisite for creating an enabling environment for industrialization and expansion.

Chung & Kadir (2007) defined as a large-scale production of building components IBS both in the factory or on-site according to standard shapes and sizes and transportation to the construction site, re-arrange some standard form construction and specifications Construction Industry Development Board (2003) defined as a construction method in which components are produced in a controlled environment (or off) IBS, transportation, location and assembled into a minimal additional site works with the structure.

The definition of Industrial building systems (IBS) is varies. It depends on the author’s position and philosophy in the ontology and epistemology. Some authors may be defined as a process or technology IBS. Table 2.1 is to highlight the definition of IBS category. On the other hand, there is an ontological position, either as a method, idea, product, innovation, improvement, modernization and new methods of provision. This problem has been discussed in the construction industry, since the industrial revolution, to change the human way of life and economic activity. Since the concept of quality improvement and in industry, invention and innovation, has become an important industry to deal with. This production and services, as the construction industry continues to progress and development, the latest and modern instrument factors. Then, every industry stakeholder can define with themselves on their practices and methods. Table 2.2 shows, only the author describes the process of defining a list of IBS and technology.

Table 2.1: The Ontology of Building system (Sources: Adopted from Abdullah, 2009)



Factory Base(Off-site) Production Techniques

Mass Production

Site Erection and Preassemblies

Modular Component Elements


Labour Reduction

Modem Method

Automation Manufacturing

Parid, W., 1997


Trikha, D.N., 1999





Gibb, A,. 1999




Warszawski, 1999





Ingemar, L. and Gylltoft.K 2000




Kadir, M.R.A., et al., 2005





Marsono, A.K. et al,. 2006




Table 2.2: The Characteristics of Building system (Sources: Adopted from Abdullah, 2009)






Dietz (1971)



Dickerman (1973)



Junid (1986)



Parid (1997)



Esa & Nurrudin (1998)



Badir & Razali (1998)



Trikha (1999)



Warszawski (1999)



CIDB Malaysia (1999)



CIDB Malaysia (2003)



Lessing (2005)



Marsono. (2006)



Rahman & Omar (2006)



MD Rahim (2006)



Chung L.P. (2006)



Henry M.A. (2006)



(CIB) TG57



(CIB W24)


2.2 Classification of IBS

MMC is a long-term off-site infrastructure as technology and technological innovation of the collective description of the scene. The latter includes techniques such as thin-joint block work and tunnel in the form of construction (Goodier and Gibb, 2006). MMC also includes the floor or roof cassettes, pre-cast concrete foundation components, pre-formed wiring looms, mechanical engineering composite materials and modern construction methods. They can also include such as a tunnel or in combination with thin pieces of work (NAO, 2005; Gibb and Pendlebury, 2006) innovation (which is the essential characteristic). As the above quote, IBS is a component in which manufacturing, positioning and assembled into a structure with minimal extra site works off and on-site (CIDB, ​​2003; Chung, 2006). Although outside the technology will be discussed below, on-site prefabricated IBS can be used in place of steel formwork system (CIDB, ​​2003) in the form.

Production and construction site prior to installation, they found a remote location off-site construction of the assembly or part of the description of the spectrum. All off-site may be a general decline in IBS and MMC title, not all of the IBS and MMC can be considered as off-site (Gibb and Pendleton, 2006). Off-site construction (OSC), off-site manufacturing (OSM) and off-site production (OSP) is basically interchangeable terms refers to the construction process, to carry out the construction site, such as in factories, away from the part of or sometimes in a specially established near the construction site (or field factories) (Goodier and Gibb, 2006) of temporary production facilities.

Pre-fabrication is usually in a dedicated facility where a variety of materials joined to form the final part of the installation components (Tatum et al, 1986). While, the components maybe assemble on and offsite,

Pre-assembly carried on a definition as in which a variety of materials, prefabricated components and equipment to join up as a sub-unit of the installation process in a remote location. It is generally concentrated in the system (ibid). Therefore, a general classification of IBS-MMC term is promoted in this paper based on the following hypothesis compiled by the previous researchers. Figure 2.1 below is show that a generic classification of IBS in MMC.

Modern Method of Construction (MMC)

Industrialised Building System

Non – Industrialised System

Off-site Manufacturing (OSM), Prefabrication, Offsite Fabrication (OSF), Offsite Production (OSP)

On-Site Fabrication

Pre-assembly at Factory

Assembly on site

Figure 2.1: A generic classification of IBS in MMC

(Sources: adopted from Kamarul Anuar Mohd Kamar, 2009)

As defined, IBS-MMC has a various classifications, materials, processes and systems basis. Table 2.3 describes the classification of IBS, system construction, MMC and OSM’s. It compares the different views and classification terms.

Table 2.3: Comparison of IBS-MMC Classification

(Sources: Adopted from Kamarul Anuar Mohd Kamar, 2009)

Industrialised system classification (Badir et. Al 1998)

Majzub (1977) system classification

MMC classification (Gibb & Pendlebury, 2006). Ross and Richards on (2005) and (NOA, 2005)

Gibb & Issac (2003) pre-assembly and pre-fabrication classification

Abosad et. Al (2009) classification on OSM

IBS Classification (CIDB, 2003)

-Conventional building system

-Cast in situ formwork system – table or tunnel formwork

-Prefabricated system

-Composite system

-Panel System

-Box System

-Frame System




-Subassemblies and components

-Non-off-sites-Modem Methods of Construction

-Component manufacture and sub-assembly

-Non-volumetric sub-assembly

-Volumetric pre-assembly

-Modular Housing

-Volumetric System

-Panelised System

-Hybrid System

-Sub-assemblies and component system

-Modular system

-Pre-cast concrete-framed building

-Pre-cast concrete wall system

-Reinforced concrete Building with Pre-cast concrete slab

-Steel Formwork System

-Steel-framed building and Roof Trusses

Majzub (1977) described the construction of classification should be based on the proposed use of components in Table 2.4 the relative weights. Weight factors have a significant impact on the portability of components, but also on the production of components and field methods of installation method. By weight category, there are components used in the production of basic material itself to determine the characteristics of the system being studied to distinguish between the advantages. However, Majzub classification is found to have inadequate construction of the recently incorporated into other systems to flourish. One striking example is the interlocking load-bearing blocks; this is a group of researchers at the University Putra Malaysia brainchild. This new system construction cannot be according to the framework, panels, and even box system. On the other hand, complex system that combines two or more of the construction methods cannot be classified under the classification of Majzub. Therefore, the classification needs to be updated to imitate current technological progress.

Table 2.4: Building system classification according to relative weight of component

(Source: Adopted from Majzub, 1977)


General System


Production Material


Frame system

Light weight frame

Wood, light gage metals

Medium light weight frame

Metal, reinforced plastics, laminated wood

Heavy weight frame

Heavy steel, concrete


Panel system

Light and medium weight panel

Wood frame, metal frame, and composite materials

Heavy weight panel (factory produced)


Heavy weight panel (tilt up- produced on site)



Box system (module)

Medium weight box (mobile)

Wood frame, light gage metal, composite

Medium weight box (sectional)

Wood frame, light gage metal, composite

Heavy weight box (factory produced)


Heavy weight box (tunnel produced on site)


C:UsersAndyNGAppDataLocalMicrosoftWindowsTemporary Internet FilesContent.WordNew Picture (2).png

Figure 2.2 Type of Building System in Malaysia

(Source: Adopted from Thanoon et al, 2003)

In general, there are currently four types of building systems in Malaysia, Razali building system classification according to Badir et al. 1998, there are traditional, cast in situ, precast composite building system is shown in Figure 2.2. Each building system is on behalf of their construction method, which is further through its construction technology, features and geometry features. It is reported that there are at least 22 companies in Malaysia to provide institution building (Badir et al, 2002).

From the point of structural classification, IBS can be categorized into five major groups, which are:

prefabricated timber frame system

Components under this group are the columns, beams, floor slabs, prefabricated roof truss system and similar as made ​​from wood.

Formwork system

Mould for concrete component moulds to cast there as pillars, beams, floor slabs and wall panels that can be used repeatedly. These moulds are usually made of plastic, fibreglass, steel, aluminium and other metal materials.

Steel frame system

Components of this category are column, beam, portal frame and roof truss systems are made ​​of steel.

framing systems, panel and pre-cast concrete box

Components of this category are column, beam, portal frame and pre-cast wall panels. It also including in three-dimensional pre-fabricated components such as stairs, balusters and toilets.

System block

This system refers to the use of concrete block (precision block works), including lightweight concrete blocks; the blocks are locked (interlocking block) and so on.

It is hoping that IBS classification can be standardized in order for IBS-MMC to be acknowledged by practitioners as a primer construction method.

2.3 Essential Characteristics of IBS

This is a reasonable review of the conditions, they emphasized that the successful implementation of industrialized building systems. Each of them briefly discussed below.

2.3.1 Modular Coordination

Modular coordination or MC is a dimensional system. Coordination of a modular space size harmonized system, parts, accessories, etc., so that all elements fit not to cut or extend the components and accessories, even from different vendors (Trikha, 1999) made together. It is a concept of dimension and space, including construction and components on the basis of their name is called “1M”, equal to 100 mm in the basic module units or coordination. The use of MC in IBS is effective application of the important factors, because it completed the industry through quality control and productivity answered by a staff of CIDB.

The objectives of the modular coordination are:

Create a variety of types and sizes of building components, can minimize foundation. Through the rationalization of the construction method, each component of the design and other similar exchange, therefore, designers’ freedom and choice provides the greatest degree. This can take a relatively large basic unit of measurement (basic module) and by limiting the dimensions of building components to recommended preferred sizes said by Warszawski (1999).

Allow easy by any prefabricated building’s layout and exchange capacity. This is to achieve a common, rather than references to other components (Warszawski 1999) definition of modular grid construction and placement of each component.

To reduce waste in the production of the installation process, by increasing productivity, to improve the quality of the construction industry and to encourage an open system. With open systems approach, building components can be combined in a variety of individual projects, while ensuring that their design architects of freedom.

Modular building component of the length of the coordinated application of the basic units or M = 100cm module. This allows designers to apply this size or in the production of building components, it’s multiple. While the concept seems easy to pass, its application in the manufacturing process involves a large degree of harmonization and alignment and component interfaces (Kamar et al. 2009).

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2.3.2 Closed system

A closed system can be divided into two categories, namely design and production according to customer design and production based on pre-casters. The first category is designed to meet customer space requirements, that is, the specific building design and construction of various features of the space required. In this case, the customer needs is critical, pre-caster always forced to a specific part of the building. On the other hand, the fabrication on the basis of pre-casters design, including design and production of a single building type or alternative of a group of buildings, can generate common component assortments of. Such building includes school, parking garage, gas station, low cost housing, etc. Nevertheless these types of building arrangement can be justified economically only when the following circumstances are observed (Warszawski, 1999):

Commitment because of specific design and project large enough to allow for the additional cost of each component in design and production costs of distribution.

Openerved a large number of architectural design elements of repetition and standardization. In this regard, a new kind of prefabricated systems can automated the design and production process to overcome a number of standardized elements of the requirements.

There is sufficient demand, is a typical types such as school construction, so that mass production can be.

There is a pre-caster intensive marketing strategy to inspire customers and designers in the economic and non-economic aspects of long-term potential benefits of the system.

2.3.3 Open system

In closed system the limitations inherent to an open system, which allows greater design flexibility to maximize coordination with designers and pre-caster have been proposed. The system is feasible, because it allows pre-caster products in a predetermined range and architectural aesthetic value while maintaining a limited number of elements.

Kamarul Anuar Mohamad Kamar (2009) defined that open system concept is encouraged by the irritable bowel syndrome, to ensure that the architects in their design freedom. Open systems approach building components, a variety of individual projects can be combined in different products and technologies as part of interchange ability. A partition between the structure and the filling system may give different solutions, customized and pre-level standards. Separation according to building components, could lead to new forms of organization of production, use of standardized elements.

Open System was first promoted during the rebuilding years of post-war Netherlands. Size, location and components of the interface rules of the open system is an important part. Kamarul Anuar Mohamad Kamar (2009) defined open system with the following characteristics:

Open system is an innovative design and construction.

It allows interchange ability of various components and subsystems manufacturers and suppliers.

An open architecture components together the advantages of market needs, a variety of geometric and functional building types.

It will encourage participation in manufacturing and assembly to enter the market, thereby reducing the price of IBS components.

It advocates a modular concept and the separation of different levels of decision-making.

Use standard welding system to resolve two or more systems in a building.

It allows customers to participate in the design. Customers can choose to use the components provided by the developer of any building components directory.

Open system will encourage pre-assembled by a higher level of industrialization and automation.

2.3.4 Standardisation and Tolerances

To achieve the requirements of modular coordination, all components need to be standardized production. This standardization of the elements of space and the need to provide at various stages of construction, such as manufacturing tolerances, the tolerances and erection tolerances, so that combined statistical considerations on acquired tolerance to the extent permitted (Trikha, 1999).

If the output is standardised, then the production resources can be used in most efficient manner. Then the production process, machinery and training of workers, can best absorb the specific characteristics of the product.

2.3.5 Specialisation

Large precast production and standardization of production process, the height of the division of labour. This process can be subdivided into a lot of small standardized tasks. In such working conditions, workers’ exposures to their work repetitiously have a high level of productivity (Warszawski, 1999).

2.3.6 Production facility

The initial capital investment to establish a permanent factor is the relative experience. Plant, equipment, skilled workers, management of resources needed to produce pre-acquisition can begin. Such a huge investment can only break even, if there is sufficient demand for the product. On the other hand, the establishment of a temporary casting yard or plant in the project site to minimize transportation costs (Peng, 1986).

2.3.7 Transportation

It is found that the casting slab system can reduce the cost of labour up to 30%. However, these cost savings partially offset by transportation costs. Traffic has also been a large board in the country’s road sector requirements. When adopting prefabrication system, those limitations must be taken into consideration (Peng, 1986).

2.4 Barriers of implementation of IBS in Malaysia

Clearly, the benefits offered by IBS are immense and plausible. It has been six years since the launching of the IBS Roadmap 2003 and is about the end of the mission of industrialising construction. The construction industry’s stakeholders are little bit sceptical on using IBS product. It is pertinent to examine the progress and how close to the completion of the mission to date. More importantly, it is imperative to evaluate whether the implementation of the roadmap has met the market response to the IBS programme so far. Most policy issues have been resolved and implemented, while all relevant documents required to support the programme have been developed. In particular activities under the charge of CIDB are all meeting their datelines. Notwithstanding these achievements a number of implementation snags were identified as being potential hurdles to the implementation of the roadmap.

Warszawski (1999) pointed out some of the barriers in implementing industrialisation in construction industry. There are decline in demand and volatile of building market make an investment in IBS more risky compared to conventional labour intensive method. Prefabrication elements are considered inflexible with respect to changes with may required over its life span. At university level student are less exposed to technology, organization and design of industrialised building system. An adaptation of standardization requires a tremendous education and training effort. Standardization of building elements face resistance from construction industry due to aesthetics reservation and economic reasons (Kampempool et al, 1986).

Trikha (1999) cited the hindrance to the use of IBS due to lack of assessment criteria set by the approving authorities to urge the developers to use IBS. Poor response from the construction players to modular coordination despite heavy promotions and incentives from the government is also a hindrance to the successive implementation of IBS in Malaysia. As a result, partial introduction of IBS such as lintels and staircase has not been successful compare to the traditional cast in situ design.

Kamar et al. (2009) said that a clear need for the construction industry in Malaysia IBS is a huge and credible strongly encourage the government and the system implementation plan. In fact, most of the contractors are not prepared to bid for IBS construction tender.

Thanoon et. al. (2003) also highlighted cheap labour cost is the main barriers to the expedition of IBS. There are wide swing in house demands, whereas mainly caused by the high interest rate and low performance in economical factor. He also pointed out lack of skilled construction workforce which severe the situation. The nature characteristics of construction project which are fragmented, diverse and involve many parties. There lack of local R&D and novel building system that use local material, which makes IBS often relies to imported technology from other countries. There are also insufficient incentive and promotion from the government to use IBS.

The main reasons for the low adoption of IBS in Malaysia as stated in Construction Industry Master Plan (CIMP 2006-2015) are lack of integration in design stage and poor knowledge. IBS manufacturers are currently involved only after design stage. This lack of integration among relevant players in design stage has resultant in need for plan redesign and additional cost to be incurred if IBS is adopted. Client and approving authorities have poor knowledge of IBS compared to architects and engineers. Familiarity with IBS concept and its benefits is vital to its success because IBS requires different approach in construction.

Despite this advances, some of the barriers were identified as potential barriers are being implemented:

2.4.1 Awareness and Knowledge

According to the IBS Roadmap Review Report (2007), in Malaysia IBS is through a client-driven. Benefit of IBS has a good knowledge and awareness of the customer is bound to encourage the appointment of architect to design building to the IBS. However, the lack of awareness programs, to understand customer needs, and give correct information on IBS lack of interest from clients and policymakers (Rahman and Omar, 2006). Therefore, IBS is often misunderstood as high-risk process, rather than any interests of the owner of the building to contribute the lack of knowledge between the designer project lead to take the extra time delay to produce the details of the drawing.

Client – IBS roadmap (2007) based on client review, by Malaysia IBS is no longer such as customer-oriented Jusco, Tesco and other customers have insisted fast track construction. In housing development, with good knowledge and awareness of IBS clients will thus benefit from the appointment of designers to encourage the construction of IBS. However, the lack of awareness programs, leading to misunderstanding led to a lack of interest from clients and decision makers (Rahman and Omar, 2006). IBS is from the client’s point of view, unless it is necessary to fast track projects, such as Tesco, Jusco projects, often misinterpreted as high-risk and expensive solutions.

Local Authority – Lack of knowledge among the approving authority, IBS, and the relationship between the current building codes misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Familiar with IBS will speed up the design approval, to ensure the success of IBS projects (construction of the master plan, 2007) is essential. But most of local authorities do not know the design of IBS often need more time than usual to deal with design approval.

Policy Makers – Chung and Kadir (2007) observed that most local authorities in Malaysia is unlikely to change local building regulations, to meet the adjustment, will consume a lot of time and cost of IBS. IBS’s mid-term review (2007) stated that through a unified architecture from low amendment (MC) of modular coordination of law enforcement (UBBL) has not been implemented due to lack of knowledge and decision-makers between the concept of understanding.

Workers – Government hopes the IBS will help reduce dependence on foreign workers, 30% by 2015. But most people in the industry do not think IBS will greatly decrease the number of workers in the industry. IBS is a plant from the job site environment, environmental issues, said: “A senior industry source said.

2.4.2 Planning and Implementation

At presents, the pre-casters and contracting companies in Malaysia involved in the construction bidding phase the value chain. However, the observation of the design of IBS, and plans need to be addressed in the form at the design stage, to be successful through the slot before casting machine, designers and contractors (IBS roadmap review, 2007) integration. As a result, many projects in Malaysia IBS are not cost-effective, because it is intended to replace the traditional methods of design. IBS application has been included in the design stage. Changes in design, requires a lot of further adjustment, the rise of the initial time and cost.

In addition, IBS demands a more coherent process, from initial planning and control structure, the end of the project, in order to achieve the target, and decrease defects and errors (Gibb, 2001 and Warszawski 1999). The overall project should be considered in such way that as soon as the components are manufactured, it is probable to bring it to the construction site and assemble it. Any delay, either in workshop or construction site has been phased requirements and production plans, from the part of several construction projects, as scheduled at the same time a serious impact on production.

Although you can create any type of pre-architectural design, but if the possibility of production and construction, taking into account at the design stage itself can solve several problems related to manufacturing, transportation, and assembly of complex interfaces (Pan et al. 2008 and Hamid et al. 2008). The most common problems usually involve beams, columns and column bases in connection with the improper assembly of the components. These problems arise due to the fact that the parties involved in the construction of a main underestimating the accuracy of the base line and levelling. Basically, the precise formation and alignment of the two bases is the most important aspects of the rapid success of precast concrete erection (Rahman and Omar, 2006).

2.4.3 Costs

Kamar et al. (2009) mentioned that many small contractors are unwilling to use the IBS system, and want to continue using traditional construction methods. This is due to the fact that small contractors are already common with the technology and suitable for small scale projects, so do not want to switch t


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