Title: Product configuration in construction

Authors: Patrik Jensen; Helena Lidelöw; Thomas Olofsson

Addresses: Tyréns AB, Peter Myndes backe 16, 118 86 Stockholm, Sweden ' Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden ' Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden

Abstract: Construction is traditionally a trade that produces unique, one-off products designed specifically for individual projects via an engineer-to-order process. However, recently developed flexible product platforms based on the theory of mass customisation offer product flexibility with affordable costs. The degree of commonality between products can also be increased by applying the products-in-products concept. This study aims to conceptualise and test theories of mass customisation through modularisation for applications in the construction industry. Three case studies on building and infrastructure construction projects using different specification processes (modify-to-order, configure-to-order and select-variant) are presented. The results show that the products-in-products concept is useful for enabling mass customisation in construction. While select-variant specification is compatible with relatively integral designs, the architecture must have a modular structure to enable modify-to-order or configure-to-order customisation.

Keywords: mass customisation; modular product architecture; flexible product platforms; product configuration; construction industry; product flexibility; modularisation; building projects; infrastructure construction projects; specification processes; modify-to-order; configure-to-order; select-variant; products-in-products.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2015.069601

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2015 Vol.5 No.1, pp.73 - 92

Received: 21 Sep 2013
Accepted: 19 Oct 2014

Published online: 28 May 2015 *

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