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Pre-fabrication Technology and Conventional Construction

1.1 Introduction

Construction industry plays an important role in Malaysia’s economy. Therefore, it is important to introduce more advance or new technologies from overseas to our country in order to growth the economy. Pre-fabrication technology is a new construction method in construction industry. This technology has been widely used in many countries due to many pros it has over the traditional construction methods, which is cast in-situ method.

Pre-fabrication is the assembling components making in a factory or manufacturing before deliver those components to the construction site. After completed the selected components on factory or manufacturing, those components will transport to the construction site where the structure is to be located. On the other hand, for conventional construction method, which is cast in-situ, is transporting those selected materials like cement, sand, aggregate, brick, etc from factory or manufacturing to the construction site. Then the assembly only will carry out on site after those materials have delivered to site.

Industrialised Building System (hereinafter referred to as ‘IBS’) is a technique of construction, which introduced by Construction Industry Development Board (hereinafter referred to as ‘CIDB’) was succeed and applied the pre-fabricated technology into the construction industry in Malaysia. IBS is define as a construction system in which components are manufactured in a factory, on or off site, positioned and assembled into structure with minimal additional site work (CIDB, 2003).

The first IBS project was a 7 blocks of 17 storeys flats, which involved 3000 units of low-cost flat and 40 units of shop lot along Jalan Pekeliling in the late 1960s. In addition, there have some of the projects been satisfied completed by used of IBS components such as campus building, apartment, residential, office, hospital, etc.

1.2 Problem Statement

Pre-fabrication technology has become more and more famous and popular in Malaysia’s construction industry recently. This is due to the technology has many benefits over the traditional construction methods which is cast in-situ technology. However, it also contains some weaknesses for pre-fabrication technology. For example, the transportation costs may be very expensive to deliver the complete components to the construction site. Not only that, the maintenance cost and repairing cost is higher depend to the cast in-situ method. Therefore, for long term buildings are not suitable to construct by using pre-fabrication technology.

1.3 Aim

The aim of this research is to compare the construction speed for typical wall element between pre-fabrication technology and conventional construction method, which is cast in-situ.

1.4 Objectives

To define Industrialised Building System (IBS)

There have some of the projects been satisfied completed by IBS of using pre-fabricated components such as campus building, apartment, residential, office, hospital, etc.

To compare the advantages and disadvantages of using pre-fabrication technology and cast in-situ in construction industry

Although pre-fabrication can save more construction costs and decrease construction period, but the demand of using this technology are still very low in Malaysia.

To compare the construction speed by using pre-fabrication technology and cast in-situ in typical wall element

In practically, the construction period of a project can take few years to complete. By using pre-fabrication technology, the construction period can be decrease, which compare with traditional construction method.

1.5 Hypothesis

By using pre-fabrication technology is cheaper and efficiency than traditional method, which is cast in-situ technology.

1.6 Research Methodology

There have three different types of research studies relating to the pre-fabrication and cast in-situ technology have carried out to fulfill this dissertation. They are literature review, questionnaire and case study.

1.6.1 Literature Review

The study undertakes a comprehensive review of the relevant literature on the subject of pre-fabrication and cast in-situ technology. The resources for literature are from books, magazines, journal and articles, which available from library and internet research.

1.6.2 Questionnaire

This stage involved preparing and sending out the questionnaire to number of Construction Company in Malaysia. The questions are mainly asking about the actual construction speed by using pre-fabrication technology in Malaysia.

1.6.3 Case Study

Few case studies for pre-fabrication technology in Malaysia will be carrying out for this research, either in supplier and/or in construction. Through these case studies, the problems, benefits and cost for pre-fabrication technology in actual construction industry can defined.

1.7 Scope of Study

The scope of study for this research included to define the background of the IBS system as well as the previous projects done by IBS system with satisfied completed in Malaysia. Besides, research on the advantages and disadvantages of the pre-fabrication and cast in-situ methods. In addition, it will cover the construction speed for actual construction projects, mainly in Malaysia.

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