BIM-enabled Sustainability Assessment of Design for Manufacture and Assembly


Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) is an emerging concept introduced from the manufacturing sector to transform the construction industry and accelerating “off-site” capabilities. Enhancing the sustainability of DfMA is challenging and requires accounting for various environmental and managerial impacts on the process of manufacture and assembly, especially for the parametric buildings with irregular shapes and unstandardised components. It is essential to compare and make decisions among design alternatives for the best-fit sustainability in the DfMA process. However, there is presently a gap in the DfMA field. This paper proposed a novel BIM-enabled Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) method for the sustainability assessment of parametric fa ade design. An under-construction parametric building was used to test and illustrate the method. A parametric fa ade was selected to demonstrate the application of DfMA to enable mass “off-site” customisation. This is a labour-intensive assembly process, which could significantly benefit from the implementation of such a method. Data collection involves archival data and semi-structured interviews. An integrated fuzzy AHP-TOPSIS was used to analysis the data. This research sheds new lights on DfMA sustainability and its decision support systems. Unlike the usual attention to the construction sustainability of on-site construction, the method involves consideration of both manufacture and assembly stages. It provides practitioners with a decision-making method to select the most sustainable fa ade alternative available for the parametric design. The findings carry implications for parametric fa ade design and show the deployment of mass customised unstandardised components. This research opens up new avenues for sustainable DfMA development.

In 38th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC) 2021 Annual Conference
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Associate Professor in Management of Engineering Projects

Researcher and consultant at the intersection of management and digital economy