Industrializing the Residential Construction Site Phase II: Information Mapping
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June 2001, 61 pages
The home building industry lags behind other industries in technological innovation and adoption--that is, in providing new homes more quickly and more efficiently while still keeping homes affordable and of a high quality. New techniques, materials, tools, and organizational methods are often limited to specific parts of the country among specific builders because of the obstacles in spreading those ideas nationally.
Two years ago, HUD began an ongoing research project to address this crisis. While, much of HUD's technological research work looks at the materials from which homes are built, we realized how important the processes for construction are for homes and home builders: or, how houses are built. Ways to automate home construction processes, to improve construction work flows, and to practically coordinate construction sites--known as
Industrializing the Residential Construction Site--became a new research focus. In the first year's effort, Phase I, researchers laid out five areas that best contained the possibility of transforming the construction site: production integration, operations integration, performance integration, information integration, and physical integration.
Of these five, HUD chose to first explore "information integration" in order to see how information exchanges, relationships, and mechanisms shaped construction operations. As the common denominator on all construction sites, information is a critical beginning for understanding integration, and one that HUD believes is central to this ongoing research. This document, Phase II: Information Mapping, is the product of that research. It includes a record and analysis of the information flows and breaks on construction sites, as well as recommendations for overcoming these breaks.
Content updated on 3/24/2006