Advanced Studies in Prefabricated Buildings

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 July 2024 | Viewed by 7392

Special Issue Editors

School of Building Construction, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Interests: emerging technologies; prefabricated construction; industrialized construction; BIM; machine learning; risk analysis

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Guest Editor
M. E. Rinker, Sr. School of Construction Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Interests: building information modelling (BIM); design computing; construction safety and productivity; cyberphysical systems; interoperability; Internet of Things; smart cities
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, USA
Interests: modular design build; affordable housing; green and healthy building; AI in building design and construction; integrative design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of the journal Buildings concerns the advanced studies for the prefabricated construction. Prefabricated buildings have been shown to provide a new way of sustainable construction to reduce the amount of work on construction sites, reduce pollution, shorten construction time, and increase safety. However, many issues, such as low-efficient communication and information exchange, lack of efficient quality inspection system, lack of operation and maintenance system, may harm the performance of the prefabricated construction and hinder its further adoption in the construction industry. Therefore, it is necessay to advance the research in the prefabricated construction field.

This call for papers concerns the scientific work related to a wide of topics in prefabricated construction:

  • Digital twin in prefabricated construction
  • Artificial Intelligence in prefabricated construction
  • Review for existing technologies in prefabricated construction
  • Quality assurance system for the prefabricated construction
  • Prefabrication design optimization, automation, and integration
  • Risk assessment for prefabricated construction
  • Energy analysis for prefabricated construction

Dr. Bing Qi
Dr. Aaron Costin
Dr. Arezou Sadoughi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • prefabricated construction
  • industrialized construction
  • Internet of Things
  • smart buildings
  • emerging technologies

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 12092 KiB  
Article
Semiautomated Primary Layout Definition with a Point Cloud for Building-Envelope Renovation
by Kepa Iturralde, Ernesto Gambao and Thomas Bock
Buildings 2024, 14(2), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14020351 - 26 Jan 2024
Viewed by 867
Abstract
Prefabricated modules are being used to renovate the building envelope. However, compared to manual methods, the design and prefabricated module’s definition is time consuming. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the efficiency of the prefabricated layout definition processes by incorporating automation and computational [...] Read more.
Prefabricated modules are being used to renovate the building envelope. However, compared to manual methods, the design and prefabricated module’s definition is time consuming. Therefore, it is necessary to improve the efficiency of the prefabricated layout definition processes by incorporating automation and computational design. The purpose of this paper is to present a semi-automated definition of the layout of the prefabricated modules with the only input of the existing building facade being the Point Cloud. In this research, a novel step-by-step workflow was developed. More precisely, an algorithm was developed that processes the coordinates of each point of the cloud and generates the layout of the prefabricated modules. To validate the workflow and the algorithm, four facades were tested, considering two parameters: (a) working time and (b) output accuracy. According to the results, it was concluded that spending more time achieving an accurate laser data acquisition can be a good strategy to obtain the primary layout with sufficient precision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies in Prefabricated Buildings)
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20 pages, 3281 KiB  
Article
Towards Human–Robot Collaboration in Construction: Understanding Brickwork Production Rate Factors
by Ronald Ekyalimpa, Emmanuel Okello, Nasir Bedewi Siraj, Zhen Lei and Hexu Liu
Buildings 2023, 13(12), 3087; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13123087 - 12 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
This study explores the critical determinants impacting labor productivity in brickwork operations within the construction industry—a matter of academic and practical significance, particularly in the era of increasing human–robot collaboration. Through an extensive literature review on construction labor productivity, this study identifies factors [...] Read more.
This study explores the critical determinants impacting labor productivity in brickwork operations within the construction industry—a matter of academic and practical significance, particularly in the era of increasing human–robot collaboration. Through an extensive literature review on construction labor productivity, this study identifies factors affecting brickwork productivity. Data were collected from active construction sites during brick wall construction through on-site measurements and participatory observation, and the relative importance of these factors is determined using Principal Component Analysis (PCA)-factor analysis. The validity of the analysis is established through the Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) test and Bartlett’s test of sphericity, with a KMO value of 0.544 and significance at the 0.05 significance level. The analysis reveals four principal components explaining 75.96% of the total variance. Notably, this study identifies the Euclidean distances for the top factors: weather (0.980), number of helpers (0.965), mason competency (0.934), and number of masons (0.772). Additionally, correlation coefficients were observed: wall area had the highest correlation (0.998), followed by wall length (0.853) and height (0.776). Interestingly, high correlations did not necessarily translate to high factor importance. These identified factors can serve as a foundation for predictive modeling algorithms for estimating production rates and as a guideline for optimizing labor in construction planning and scheduling, particularly in the context of human–robot collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies in Prefabricated Buildings)
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11 pages, 4446 KiB  
Article
Development of Side Silicone Mold for Reducing Shape Error of Free-Form Concrete Panel
by Kyeongtae Jeong, Moonse Lee, Jisu Oh and Donghoon Lee
Buildings 2023, 13(2), 480; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13020480 - 10 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1312
Abstract
Errors that occur on the side shape of Free-form Concrete Panels (FCP) can cause errors in the FCP construction stage. Therefore, the error generated in FCPs must be reduced. Accordingly, side mold development and research are being carried out. However, in the case [...] Read more.
Errors that occur on the side shape of Free-form Concrete Panels (FCP) can cause errors in the FCP construction stage. Therefore, the error generated in FCPs must be reduced. Accordingly, side mold development and research are being carried out. However, in the case of studies using side silicone molds, there was no detailed information about the specifications and application methods of molds, and there was no support between molds. When producing FCPs with the method stated above, there is a high possibility for the mold to be pushed due to the side pressure of concrete, which can cause errors on the side shape of FCPs. Therefore, two new types of side silicone molds were developed in this study. In order to verify the performance difference between the newly developed mold and existing molds, FCP production tests and error analysis were performed. In result, the developed mold decreased the average error difference of the FCP side by 3–5 times compared to the existing mold. In addition, the significance of the average error difference with the produced FCP was verified, and results showed that the difference of the average error was significant at a 95% confidence level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies in Prefabricated Buildings)
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22 pages, 4584 KiB  
Article
BIM and Ontology-Based DfMA Framework for Prefabricated Component
by Bing Qi and Aaron Costin
Buildings 2023, 13(2), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13020394 - 1 Feb 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2307
Abstract
The integration of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) into the design process of industrialized construction has the potential to reduce errors and changes occurring after the design has been finalized, ultimately improving overall productivity. Based on DfMA, the designers would need to [...] Read more.
The integration of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) into the design process of industrialized construction has the potential to reduce errors and changes occurring after the design has been finalized, ultimately improving overall productivity. Based on DfMA, the designers would need to consider whether their designs meet the architectural and performance requirements, as well as the manufacturing and assembly requirements from assembly and manufacturing technicians. However, some limitations present challenges for DfMA-oriented prefabricated design, such as lack of information interoperability, lack of conflict detection and management, and inefficient data processing and requirement checking. Thus, this research presents a novel BIM and ontology-based framework for DfMA of prefabricated and modular components. Various types of algorithms, plugins, and programming are also integrated to support the operation of the framework. The primary functions of this framework include: (1) collection of various stakeholder requirements in a standardized data format; (2) conflict detection and resolution between the design, manufacturing, and assembly requirements; and (3) automated compliance checking of whether the designed BIM models meet DfMA requirements. This research applies the framework on a prefabricated hotel project as a case study to validate the feasibility of the framework. Based on the results of a user experience survey, the developed framework shows promise for improving the DfMA process and stakeholder communication. Although a few limitations were encountered, such as the low computer operating speed and the limited ontology, the framework has been validated and shows great potential in advancing prefabricated component design applications Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies in Prefabricated Buildings)
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Review

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25 pages, 4396 KiB  
Review
A Review of Life Cycle Construction Process and Cutting-Edge Technology in Prefabricated MEP Installation Engineering
by Gangwen Yan, Yinghui Yang, Huizhong Zhang, Zhenwei Li, Song Chen, Xuefeng Zhao, Zhe Sun, Xiongtao Fan, Meng Zhang, Lingli Huang and Liang Liu
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 630; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030630 - 27 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1094
Abstract
Prefabricated installation, a pivotal study in the realm of contemporary construction practices, delves into the utilization of prefabrication within mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. Despite its ascending prominence, the domain grapples with ambiguities in application pathways, uncertain developmental trajectories, and the absence [...] Read more.
Prefabricated installation, a pivotal study in the realm of contemporary construction practices, delves into the utilization of prefabrication within mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) systems. Despite its ascending prominence, the domain grapples with ambiguities in application pathways, uncertain developmental trajectories, and the absence of a holistic technical paradigm. This research endeavors to bridge these gaps by conducting a thorough and multidimensional investigation into the current landscape of prefabricated MEP installation initiatives. This study meticulously dissects the paradigm from five critical vantage points: historical evolution, standards and regulations, life cycle analysis, technological applications, and corporate implementation strategies. At present, there is still a lack of standards and specifications specifically for the field of assembled MEP installation. The analysis reveals a trend towards intelligent and sustainable installation practices in prefabricated MEP projects. The research predominantly focuses on the design, production, and installation stages. Notably, building information modeling (BIM) emerges as the most prominent technology, followed by the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D laser scanning, with extended reality (XR) technologies gaining traction. Large, state-owned construction firms are spearheading innovative applications in this realm. In summary, this paper provides an overview and outlook for the development direction and the application of cutting-edge technologies in prefabricated MEP installation projects, with the aim of supporting the industry’s advancement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Studies in Prefabricated Buildings)
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