Modular assembly with postponement to improve health, safety, and productivity in construction

This paper presents the outcome of an engineering study as part of the design and development of a lean and agile construction system and in particular its supply chain component. This combines modular assembly with a postponement function to be tested on a case study project (not reported here), the objective of which is to improve health, safety, and productivity for the company sponsoring the research. The contribution to research is the combination of countermeasures described in this paper that have been developed and incorporated into a wider construction system, in the same way that manufacturing has used this strategy with great success. A further output is the development and use of an innovative method for assembling, transporting, and installing mechanical and electrical modules, whereby modularization can be achieved with or without offsite manufacturing capability. The research forecasts a reduction of onsite labor of 35% compared to using traditional methods of construction, with less onsite operatives at risk of injury carrying out simpler assembly tasks within ergonomic mobile work cells. Further research is proposed to measure the benefits of the construction system following its implementation on a case study project.