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Write an essay on the following aspects:

(a)Differentiate the various types of industrialised building systems used in the Malaysian building industry

(b)Compare the advantages and disadvantages of IBS adoption in building construction works over in-situ construction

(c)Investigate the problems and challengesdfaced by Malaysian Contractors in adopting IBS

The Concept of IBS

“Industrial Building systems” is a term employed in Construction sector in general and in Malaysia in particular. IBS process typically will mean manufacturing in controlled environment either at the site or off site and using them to integrate in the main structure. The manufactured components will be assembled into construction works with more ease and the work can be completed with less labour and in less time.  Another name for the industrial building systems is Pre-fabricated or Pre-fab construction process. Sometimes the same technique of construction is also referred as Modern method of construction (MMC) and offsite construction process. CIDB Malaysia is the organization promoting the usage of IBS through IBS centre to increase productivity as well as the quality at the construction sites. The quality and the productivity enforcement in the construction process do happen through variety of ways and means and IBS will work to ensure the process is happening intact. The organization has promoted custom protocols and procedures to deploy IBS technology to ensure proper operations are happening.  The following part of the write-up will discuss comprehensively IBS, its concept, advantages and disadvantages of application of this process. Further key challenges faced by Malaysian contractors in adapting to IBS are presented here in the write-up.  Diverse categories of IBS and their classification are discussed in detail in the current write-up. Several advantages and disadvantages of IBS are also discussed in the report. As applicable key insight into the concept being presented is given with illustrations as applicable to the contemporary construction industry presented in the report.  

As such there is no single definition that is approved and comprehends the complete meaning of the Industrial building systems. However the concept of industrial building systems is presented through several concepts and the each of these concept works on to provide a profile of Industrial building systems in general. The most popular concept of IBS, as well the concept approved by CIDB, Malaysia (2001), Industrial Building systems is a construction technique and the process of the construction technique as employed in Industrial Building Systems describes the process of construction where in the components will get prestressed, transported to the construction site and finally will be made part of the structure. During the preparation either at the site or off the site, the fabrication will be done in a controlled environment or integration of the prefabricated structure in the main construction will happen with very minimum construction activities. The complete IBS process works on two elementary domains, one is prefabrication process and the second is mass production process. These two elements essentially will work to explain the concept of Industrial Building systems in-general. There are other definitions as well that explains the meaning of Industrial Building systems and available in the literature. According to the definition of warswaski (1999), IBS is defined as a construction activity where in the complete building which include walls, beams, slabs, slabs, columns, staircases etc are mass produced in the factory and finally they will be assembled in the factory using very minimum  wet-process. The complete pre-fabrication process is expected to get completed in the factory and with very strict quality control process. However the same construction technique can be employed at the site as well.  The underlying driver of change to perform the Industrial building system is the drive for the quality maintenance, the need to optimize the cost resources as well as the need to minimize the labour resources used in the construction process. As a whole the key objectives of IBS can be described as the enhancement of the ease in the construction process, improving the efficiency and the effectiveness of the construction process as well. IBS is also explained as a process of integrated manufacturing and construction where in well planned organization is performed for efficient management, preparation and control of the resources employed in the process. Further there is also provision for the usage of high technology components in the construction process (Lessing et al., 2005). According to Rahman et al (2005), Industrialized building systems is the technique of employing pre-fabricated components for construction process. The manufacturing of the components is systematically performed in the process using the machine and several other associated equipment for the support of the construction process. In most of the cases the components manufactured off-site are transferee to the site using an efficient transportation system and they will be integrated in the main construction structure(Badir,2002). 

Advantages and Disadvantages of IBS

Altogether there are about five different type of industrialized building systems (Matec, 2013) as popularly recognized. Precast systems include fabrication of the walls, slabs, beams, columns etc of the houses, Also the same system do include the fabrication of 3D systems as required in the houses. For example, the construction of the balconies, staircases, toilets, lift chambers, refuse chambers all fall in the same category of the precast concrete systems structure. Further light weight precast structure as well as the permanent form works fall in this category of the industrialized building systems. This process is labour intensive and unavoidably involves certain amount of labour and associated expenses in the construction process.

Steel form type of the IBS is one of the least prefabricated types of IBS and it generally involve very less concrete at the construction site and also involve very high quality control. The products from these systems will provide very high quality finish and also will provide very faster construction work. This is one of the several IBS processes that involve very least amount of the labour and the materials. Some of the process applications will include making of the components like tunnel forms, the lilt up beam systems as well as moulding form type of columns etc. Permanent steel mould also fall in this category of IBS. This process will not be requiring more amount of the labour like in the previous case and the process generally will provide the best quality outputs in very less time as well. Steel form work systems generally will provide high quality structures with very good finish and the durability of the final structures is much better than those made from the traditional form of the pre-cast construction process. 

This is a particular type of construction process where in a combination of the precast construction as well as the traditional construction processes will be employed for the sake of better construction work. The key requirements of the process will include betterment of the final finishing and the appearance of the construction work. Further other associated objectives like reducing the overall time required for the completion of the construction process as well as the total cost of the construction process will get reduced in this type of construction process. Most commonly this type of construction process will be employed for the sake of developing temporary facilities, making the frames of the buildings, making the finishes and the equipments of the buildings as  well.

Key Challenges Faced by Malaysian Contractors in Adapting to IBS

Depending on the type of framing employed IBS is again classified as steel framing system, timber framing system as well as block connecting systems,

Steel framing system of Industrialized Building systems include usage of the beams and the columns made of steel and they will be used to support the precast ceilings and other support systems of the buildings. Normally the applications of the steel framing systems include larger auditoriums, sky scrapers as well as wide exhibition halls(Trikha,2004).

Timber framing systems will include usage of timber trusses and the columns for the sake of construction of the timber houses. Normally this construction will be employed for the sake of wooden building frames and roof trusses making requirements. Applications of this type include attractive design and high aesthetic valued constructions. Typical constructions like chalets for resorts, high aesthetic construction buildings employed for the sake of tourism industry all fall in this category of pre-cast construction process or IBS(Kamar,2011).

Block systems of construction process include the technique of interlocking the masonry blocks as well as light weight blocks for the sake of construction process. The process is well designed as well will be employed for small to the moderately large constructions where the structure will not be loaded too heavily. In any case the block system also will not involve large equipments as well will not need large and skilled labour resources for the sake of construction process(Thanoon,2003).

  1. II) Advantages and Disadvantages of IBS adoption in building construction works over in-situ construction:

The advantages in offer by the IBS are many, IBS offer several advantages to the construction process and the construction procedures.

  • IBS construction process when compared with in-situ construction process will not require more complicated process at the site and does not include more complex procedures and the resources, and hence the process is more clean and neat. Further since the maximum pre-construction activities are transferred to the different site, the actual construction process at the final structure will be more safer and this is particular useful in the urban localities, as the general public and the traffic at the construction site will not be impacted by the construction process. The chief advantage of the process can be reduction of the timber propping, form working  and other related activities at the construction site, these inclusions in the process will speed up the IBS construction process and this inturn will enhance the smooth and steady operations at the construction site(Haron,2009).
  • Sustainability of the environment is always kept on better stage in this type of the construction technique(Mydin,2014). There will not be any type of impact on the construction site, as most of the construction activities will be outsourced (to the different location), the main construction site environment will not be disturbed, Further there will be very little wet process employed in the main stream construction site and hence the process can be considered to be very advantageous. Also as the rate of making the construction process in very rapid, the timelines of the construction processes will not get impacted and the due times of the project will be managed intact and so external factors of influence on the project performance can be minimized to the maximum. Also other operations at the construction site will not get impacted as the most of the activities of IBS will be performed at different locations(Begum,2010). Waste minimization is also evident(Mokhtar,2008).
  • Cost reduction can be materialized in more than one form in the IBS procedures. Firstly the cost of the labour will be reduced in the system, as the procedures will not include more labour resources and the entire process can be completed with less labour forces, Further IBS process will include less amount of the timber and other related propping works during the construction process and hence the overall costing of the systems will be reduced using this type of construction process. Also the time of construction as reduced will reduce the overall cost of the construction process. Another important advantage of the system is the applicability of the system more effectively for the sake of repetitive and smaller construction works. Such procedures will further reduce the overall costing of the construction works(Hamid,2008).
  • Labor force reduction is another important advantage of IBS and more contextual to the countries like Malaysia, where there is difficulty in getting labour. Typical labor resources like concreter, carpenters, bar benders, plasterers are more in demand in Malaysia and the improved process of IBS will contribute to the reduction of the labor force for these operations(Yahya,2012). Further it is also possible to reduce the budgets as the total construction site area required for IBS will get reduced. Companies and industries can operate well to reduce the quality deviations and the outcomes from these systems are highly Quality controlled and mass production with repetitiveness and high degree of accuracy possible with these systems(Haron,2009). 
  • Quality and better operational control is possible in IBS as maximum construction process will occur in the controlled environment(Academia). Further the construction process will eliminate the possibility of the problems like cracks in the construction structures and also problems in curing can be well eliminated in the process(Seow,2007). 
  • Flexibility in manufacturing will make this process more advantageous particularly in the case of operations where there is need for exhaustive survey for the location and requires massive foundation works(Matec). Pre-casting can be done concurrently and hence will reduce the overall project durations. Also it is insensitive to the weather problems(Hassim,2009).  

IBS is high capital intensive, requires skilled labour at the factories, components joining is a structural problem that need to be taken care of for the sake of better structural stability, the construction site need to be accessible for laying up the components prepared at off-site locations, further there will be need for larger working areas while using IBS for the sake of moving of the heavy equipment as well for the sake of storing the IBS components at the work locations(Zawawi,2009).

  • Challenges faced by Malaysian contractors in adopting IBS(Idrus,2008):

Supply chain elemental fragmentation and adversial relationship among different supply chain elements is one of the serious obstacles that hampered the development of the IBS network and structure for operations by Malaysian contractors. Behavioural issues, attitudes and relationships among different players of the supply chain operations also worked out to be challenges to the wide spread acceptance of IBS in Malaysian construction industry(Nasaruddin,2008). Inspite of the fact that the IBS is considered as strategic Thrust of Construction Industry Master plan, the said barriers hindering the wide scale acceptance of IBS. Technical expertise limitation and barriers in the adoption of the technology to the main scale operations of the construction process works out to be the cause of worry and challenge for the industry. Further the problems in the standardization of the processes and the components are limiting the reliance and the trust in the process. The price standardization is not done and in some occasions the excess price of IBS is limiting the wide spread acceptance of the process in Malaysian context (Kamar,2009). Lack of knowledge and high capital sensitiveness of the projects are making the small contractor to remain distant from adopting the IBS construction process and hence is limited and barriers are inhibiting the usage of the IBS process for the construction process(Nazech,2008). IBS comprehensive involvement in the construction process is not very much matured. IBS involvement is actually involved only after the completion of the design process at present and if there are any changes in the design aftermath the construction process will not be feasible and hence the cost effectiveness of the IBS process is not feasible as well(Kamar,2010). Also there are diverse view points like doubting the wide spread acceptance of the IBS based on observations like the assessment of the procedures are at present only based on the economic aspects and there is no much focus on other domains like energy consumption, life cycle emissions etc are challenges need to be answered. Also so far the convincing tools are mostly working on the macro scale evaluation of the process and there is lack of micro vision towards the process(Kamar,2011). There is need for more intense evaluation of the process and more exhaustive assessment tools need to get evolved to promote the technique further in Malaysia as well in several similar countries in the world (Rahman, 2006). 

Diverse Categories of IBS


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