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Content archived on 2024-06-11

Socio-technological-commercial framework and decision support systems for building refurbishment


Refurbishment work currently accounts for more than one-third of the total construction output in the EC; this market is expected to grow stronger with progressive ageing of buildings and the environmental impetus to retain buildings; a further dimension being the need to adapt buildings for a greying population. Refurbishment work is uniquely different from new build work. The existing building constraints design solutions, refurbishmenttechnology and working methods which often involves demolition work; despite this, refurbishment projects are often started without the benefit of condition surveys to determine the 'as built' information. It is furthermore difficult to mechanise, plan and efficiently organise refurbishment work due to the small, labour intensive and, adhoc and dynamic nature of the work. The heterogeneous nature of each refurbishment project and the lack of projects of sufficient size and scope has prevented the refurbishment industry from attaining the economies of scale needed for lowering . the resource requirements per unit of refurbishment. Without the opportunity for standardisation and repetition, the opportunities for greater usage of prefabricated parts/industrialisation are limited. The problem is compounded by the fact that refurbishment contractors have hitherto in the main, been small and lowly capitalised; however larger-sized contractors are rapidly moving into this market in response to the shrinking new-build market and the higher technological demands of large scale refurbishment projects. The prevailing state-of-the-art has the consequence that refurbishment is generally performed inefficiently and at correspondingly higher costs. Other contributory causes are higher off-site regulatory bureaucracy costs and, inefficient procurement methods with regard to the equitable distribution of the inherent higher risks of the unknown nature of work in refurbishments. This research project will seek to develop a socio-technological-commercial framework and corresponding decision support systems for housing refurbishment to achieve: -refurbishments which are more focused on user requirements; -refurbishment designs which gives greater cognisance to the constraints of the existing structure, user requirements for internal layout and flexibility and, which facilitates incorporation of a higher extent of industrialised systems and components; -organizational procedures and production technologies which recognises the unique nature of refurbishment work; -regulatory procedures, procurement methods and bid management systems which provides a more efficient commercial framework to support development of the refurbishment industry.

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QD International BV
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3063 AN Rotterdam

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Participants (7)