טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentGrisi Alon
SubjectComparison of Labor Input in Industrialized versus
Conventional Methods for Selected Works in
Residential Construction
DepartmentDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Supervisor Professor Yehiel Rosenfeld
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Today's business reality features entrepreneurs, construction firms, and subcontractors operating in a competitive market, and a dynamic environment that requires innovation, comparative advantage, perpetual improvement and maximum efficiency. These necessitate progressive and more sophisticated management; increased awareness to monitoring and inspection systems; and precise estimation abilities - all of which serve to reduce the uncertainty inherent to construction projects.

  

The goals of this research are: To quantify the workforce needed for each type of work, as well as to generate knowledge on how to choose those central activities in residential construction that can be industrialized, while highlighting the advantages and limitations of the two construction methods (conventional and industrial), and their application in the specific tasks. Providing reliable guiding values for labor input, enables better examination of the worthwhileness of industrial residential construction and the worthwhileness of single tasks accessible to industrialization.


Data in this research is based on questionnaires; field interviews; and data from meetings with project managers, site engineers, superintendents, and contractors (including subcontractors) in the private residential construction sector. The construction projects were chosen using a process that considers the projects' complexity and other characteristics.


The research shows that the shift from conventional to industrial construction methods is necessary when viewed in terms of the labor requirements. Tasks industrialization reduces uncertainty and improves managerial quality, while indirectly improving workforce productivity and speeding construction timetables.


Labor, for the selected tasks, using conventional construction is quantified at 12 WH-per-sqm, compared to only 7 WH-per-sqm for industrialized construction. The labor savings potential for those tasks was estimated as 45%. The biggest savings potential (measured in WH-per-sqm) is in tasks related to the skeleton construction: 8 WH-per-sqm using conventional methods compared to 4.25 WH-per-sqm using industrial methods (a 46.8% saving). The biggest relative savings potential lay in tasks related to interior partitioning (48.5%).


The "Baranowitz" Method proved very effective in reducing labor requirements, even when compared to the method of constructing precast walls on site or in a permanent factory. This is due to the work needed to carry and connect the prefabricated walls to the existing structure.


In conclusion, adoption of industrial construction methods helps to reduce labor requirements and considerably diminish the effect of worker skill-level, as industrial tasks are simpler to perform and the working environment is cleaner and better organized.