NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction

Kent Homes

Modular Off-Site Construction Production Line Improvement

MSc. Student: Youyi (Rita) Zhang

Partner Company: Kent Homes Ltd.

Kent Homes Logo

Time Period: Jan. 2014 onwards

Objective: To divide the work involved in manufacturing for wood-framed residential construction in a finite detailed work breakdown structure and standardized the work process, which will allow for accurate, reliable and predictable labor cost estimation, in addition to enabling correlation between variables such as house design complexity and man-hour requirements.

Summary: The demand for effective production methods is dramatically increasing as construction organizations seek new efficiencies by industrializing the building construction process. In this respect, offsite construction is widely utilized due to its high efficiency and low material process waste. With over 50 years of experience in modular construction, Kent Homes has grown to become the largest home builder in Atlantic Canada. Currently, the IRC research team is working with Kent Homes to design and implement production line efficiency improvements. A central goal of this project is to increase productivity while decreasing the physical strain on workers. So far, Kent Home has providing enormous support for the project including an onsite experiment of the proposed production line design. The test unit had successfully saved an overall of 10 working hour on the line, although more analysis regarding to the feasibility of the new design and the barriers comes with the new design are still needed at this stage.

The future research will address the following aspects of the off-site modular construction based on the case study of Kent Home Modular Manufacturer.

  • New work breakdown structure for off-site modular construction
  • Accurate reliable and predictable labor cost estimation
  • The importance of sub-assembly line in modular manufacturer production line
  • Correlation between variables such as house design complexity and man-hour requirements.
  • Factory space utilization

Current Practice Prototype

Proposed Flow Prototype

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