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How May Modular Construction Transform the Built Environment Ecosystem?

Rana, V and Singh, V (2023) How May Modular Construction Transform the Built Environment Ecosystem? In: 19th IFIP WG 5.1 International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, PLM 2022, 10-13 July 2022, Grenoble, pp. 506-515.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-25182-5_49


This paper presents a novel viewpoint on modular construction, seeking to create new opportunities to transform the built environment ecosystem by taking a product lifecycle and systems perspective. Based on a review of the challenges with modular construction and the recent social trends, it is proposed that the modular construction approach and modular spaces can offer a means to address one of the fundamental limitations of the existing built environment solutions– the coupling of products (built spaces) and their location. The propositions are based on a literature review and abductive reasoning. It is argued that in the current approach to modular construction, the modularity is typically lost after construction, that is, once the building is constructed. In contrast, novel modular construction approaches could seek lifecycle modularity goals as a part of the systemic built environment solution with the vision to achieve the decoupling of products (built spaces) from the location. It is argued that the decoupling of product and location will create new business and societal opportunities for modular construction, in keeping with trends such as sharing economy, resource effectiveness, adaptability, and flexibility of offerings for the end customers. This paper is based on theoretical arguments. Further research is ongoing to develop a proof of concept and test the technical feasibility, market viability, and social desirability of the proposed approach.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publication: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH.
Keywords: Ecosystems; Life cycle; Location, Built environment; Built spaces; Construction approaches; Decouplings; Global trends; Product life cycles; Product systems; Real estate innovation; Real-estates; Technology, Modular construction
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Product Design & Manufacturing
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2023 10:19
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 10:19
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/81331

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