DESIGN STANDARDISATION AND PRODUCT FAMILIES
Standardisation is critical to an effective industrialised housing approach. The automotive industry has shown how standardisation can be leveraged to derive significant business benefits, such as lowering costs, increasing productivity and improving quality.
Within WP5, led by the AIMCH developer partners, the team undertook studies of existing housing portfolios to better understand the level of current standardisation that exists and how best to design solutions that yield greater future standardisation by developing common components/sub-assemblies or design parameters.
An early part of the work delivered was to manage the differing developer attitudes, approaches, ideas, supply chains and brand characteristics relating to standardisation.
The work delivered a standardisation methodology and ranking system, leading to detailed studies of key areas of standardisation interest by each of the AIMCH developer partners. This included suggested standardised components or sub-assemblies, known as product families. These were completed for the following high impact areas:
- External apertures – windows & doors
- Staircases & landings – excluding handrails/newels
- Wet rooms – bathrooms, ensuites and WCs
- Service cupboards – electrical/utility areas and hot water storage spaces
- Storey heights – considered within the DFMA guide to panelised MMC systems
These product families will be developed further through collaborative engagement with supply chains and the creation of industrialised kits of parts suitable for use in future AIMCH housing designs and in the creation of Industrialised Housing Pattern Books.
Standardisation is a subject often discussed but difficult to realise. The down selection process provides a clear way to assess and select standardisation opportunities.
The detailed standardisation studies delivered in collaboration between the AIMCH developer partners is thought to the first of its kind, marking a step change in attitude towards industrialised thinking and working to solve the challenges of standardisation and deployment of product family solutions.
The standardisation recommendations form a robust basis from which to engage the supply chain and develop future industrialised housing ranges that drive further benefit. Technical and commercial challenges remain, but as the automotive sector has shown, embracing standardisation and developing platform designs can be game changing.
AIMCH partners are already seeing business opportunities where this work can be exploited within their businesses. Through the creation and exploitation of industrialised housing designs of the future, that embrace standardisation and MMC, AIMCH will deliver more high quality, appealing, cost effective homes.
These product families will be developed further through collaborative engagement with supply chains and the creation of an industrialised kit of parts suitable for use within future AIMCH housing designs and in the creation of industrialised housing pattern books.