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Prefabricated bed and bathroom modules in construction: the 1991 CIOB Research Award

conference contribution
posted on 31.01.2017, 09:49 authored by William D. Sher, R.H. Neale, Andrew Price
The use of prefabricated modules is an important and challenging feature of modem building technology. These modules, which form substantial parts of buildings, are finished in a factory to the point of being "ready-to-use", They are then transported to site and installed quickly with a minimum of on-site works. This paper describes research undertaken at Loughborough University of Technology, UK, into this method of construction. The research was funded by the 1991 Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Research Award. A summary of the research and its findings has recently been published. The report describes the design, manufacture, and installation of prefabricated modules in five UK projects. These include bathroom modules for a hotel and student accommodation, bed/bathrooms for a hotel and officers' accommodation, office washrooms, cladding units, and a mechanical services plantroom. This paper focuses on the bed/bathroom case studies and provides information additional to that previously published. It describes the building projects involved, the modules and their design, manufacture, transport, installation and commissioning, the important factors in decision-making and the management of the process. Other case studies are dealt with briefly. The paper also describes the conclusions of the research. These are that prefabricated modules are very effective, in terms of function, quality, time, cost, operative safety and the productive use of labour and other resources. However, this effectiveness requires a high level of technical and managerial competence and co-operation by all the parties involved in the design, co-ordination, planning and overall management of the project. Module-makers emphasise that for efficient production they need a constant level of demand, and that it is difficult for them to vary the timing or volume of their output once they have committed themselves to a production plan.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

The Third International Kerensky Conference Global Trends in Structural Engineering


575 - 581


SHER, W., NEALE, R. and PRICE, A., 1994. Prefabricated bed and bathroom modules in construction: the 1991 CIOB Research Award. IN: Proceedings of 1994 3rd international Oleg Kerensky memorial conference on global trends in structural engineering, Singapore, 20-22 July 1994, pp.575-581.


Institution of Engineers (Singapore) ; Institution of Structural Engineers


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The Mandarin Hotel, Singapore