Publications / 2003 Proceedings of the 20th ISARC, Eindhoven, Holland

IFD Building in Europe

Geert-Jan van den Brand, Hans van Gurchom, Ton Damen
Pages 55-60 (2003 Proceedings of the 20th ISARC, Eindhoven, Holland, ISBN 978-90-6814-574-8, ISSN 2413-5844)
Abstract: This paper discusses the advanced concept of Industrial, Flexible and Demountable (IFD) building. The IFD concept aims to balance the interests of all construction industry stakeholders. The use of industrial building methods for offices, schools and factories has gained broad popularity in the practice. However, the building clients conventional view does not give high appreciation on uniformity in terms of modular and industrialised components of architecture. Besides, the fragmented nature of the construction sector, which concentrates mainly on cost-based competition, provides little incentive for innovations. The office of Damen Bouwcentrum in Delft can be considered as a breakthrough out of the traditional culture in the construction industry. The IFD based office building received the grant from the Dutch innovation programme. It has been presented as a response to the changing market, from supply-driven to demand-oriented. It is an example of projects where the construction industry is encouraged to cooperate in the search for better alternatives. Based on the experiences in the project and being inspired by the exploration of the IFD market potential, a European research project has been conducted. The project results in:
  • an IFD organisation model, based on comakership;
  • an IFD process protocol for the development, production and delivery of IFD buildings, and
  • a system morphology for IFD buildings: dwellings and offices.
The implementation of the IFD concept into the traditional construction industry is not simple. The Dutch IFD programm demonstrates the availability of innovative technology. The real bottleneck appears to be the organisation of the construction process. Implementing the concept of co-makership will bridge the gap and lead to a substantial breakthrough in the construction industry.
Keywords: building process innovation, industrial, flexible, demountable, customer satisfaction, collaborative engineering, comakership, product development