Design for Manufacture and Assembly and Innovation Event – Review

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By Laura Hainey, A&DS

On 24th February Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and the Offsite Management School hosted a lively day of talks, and interactive workshops focusing on how Design for Manufacture and Assembly and Innovation in construction can deliver housing and public buildings for Scotland.

Setting the scene Ian Heptonstall, Director of the Offsite Management School woke attendees up with a few polls on the participatory voting system, introduced the Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model while comparing the construction industry to manufacturing innovations and cost reductions that have driven the car industry over the last 25 years.

Building on this Tim Hall of Total Flow introduced Construction Industrialisation, taking inspiration from the venue of the emirate arena compared the construction delivery team to an Olympic rowing squad, noting that end to end alignments and value chain integration between all players is better than the chaos of self interest.

The implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) as a design tool across the construction industry will be key to the implementation of manufacture and assembly in the Scottish Construction Industry. David Phelp of the Scottish BIM task group explained the importance of BIM, the aim for public sector projects to adopt BIM by April 2017, before going on to introduce the Scottish Futures Trust BIM Guidance Portal which will be launched in April.

Callum Murray of City Legacy/ CCG Homes and Ian Harper of Stallan Brand were able to offer a local example where the principles of Design for Manufacture and Assembly had delivered homes for the Athletes Village for the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Reflecting on the delivery of “700 homes in 700 days” Callum noted that CCGs use of their offsite facility at Cambuslang enabled them to complete 236 homes in 14 days and that being a privately owned company with one key decision maker allowed them to be fleet of foot with regards to innovation. Ian went on to share a few design decisions with regards to the roof space which not only made offsite construction and assembly easier, but also increased the adaptability of the houses for potential buyers.

Key to implementing DFMA successfully in Scotland is through education, from capable and well informed graduates to site staff and contractors. Robert Hairstans of the Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovation Structures at Edinburgh Napier University through his presentation introduced Building Offsite An Introduction the RIBA accredited CPD on offsite construction before going on to discuss the merits of Napier Universities’ Built Environment Exchange which places students and interns with international partners.

Former participant in the Built Environment Exchange, Max Garcia along with his colleague Matt Stevenson of Carbon Dynamic argued that “Standardisation does Not Have a Shape” through highlighting a variety of their projects and introducing their upcoming Manufacture and Assembly Guide which highlights key principles of their mass timber systems in a simple and eye catching manner.

Working at a much larger scale Lawrence Shackman’s presentation focused on the use of design for manufacture and offsite construction in the deliver of the replacement Forth Crossing. Giving an engineers perspective he noted that good collaboration was key to the success of this large scale high – level project, but by splitting up the contract into smaller pieces of work had also enable smaller local contractors to take part.

Image: CCG OSM facility.

Huntly Crescent, Raploch

The first mixed-use retail/housing development of mass timber construction in Scotland.

BRE Visitors Centre

The Visitor Centre was the first building to be built on the BRE Innovation Park at Ravenscraig.

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