Design and construction for traditional house building

  • Andrew M. Jones

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study is concerned with quality and productivity aspects of traditional house building. The research focuses on these issues by concentrating on the services and finishing stages of the building process. These are work stages which have not been fully investigated in previous productivity related studies. The primary objective of the research is to promote an integrated design and construction led approach to traditional house building based on an original concept of 'development cycles'. This process involves the following: site monitoring; the analysis of work operations; implementing design and construction changes founded on unique information collected during site monitoring; and subsequent re-monitoring to measure and assess Ihe effect of change. A volume house building firm has been involved in this applied research and has allowed access to its sites for production monitoring purposes. The firm also assisted in design detailing for a small group of 'experimental' production houses where various design and construction changes were implemented. Results from the collaborative research have shown certain quality and productivity improvements to be possible using this approach, albeit on a limited scale at this early experimental stage. The improvements have been possible because an improved activity sampling technique, developed for, and employed by the study, has been able to describe why many quality and productivity related problems occur during site building work. Experience derived from the research has shown the following attributes to be important: positive attitudes towards innovation; effective communication; careful planning and organisation; and good coordination and control at site level. These are all essential aspects of quality led management and determine to a large extent the overall success of this approach. Future work recommendations must include a more widespread use of innovative practices so that further design and construction modifications can be made. By doing this, productivity can be improved, cost savings made and better quality afforded.
Date of AwardOct 1990
Original languageEnglish


  • Design and construction
  • quality
  • productivity
  • house building
  • innovation

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