- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 13 Mar 2020
Buildability in construction
Buildability is a pre-construction exercise that assesses designs from the perspective of those that will manufacture, install components and carry out the construction works. It should not be confused with value engineering (which is used to solve problems and identify and eliminate unwanted costs) though some processes are common to both activities.
- Achieving the desired final quality;
- Meeting the programme requirements;
- De-risking perceived problems, and
- Achieving optimum value for money.
- The sequence of activities that will take place on- and off-site, taking into account the state of the building and its weatherproof environment at any time;
- Dimensional criteria, setting out and space allowances;
- Use of plant and equipment to save labour and time and prevent possible damage;
- Practicality, flexibility and tolerances;
- Standardisation of components and processes;
- Reduction in complexity to shorten learning curves;
- Identification of appropriate suppliers;
- Prefabrication opportunities;
- Packaging the works and allocation of scope in relation to trade and specialist contracts;
- Ease and order of interface connections and abutments;
- Installation and maintenance access arrangements including long-term replacement;
- Health and safety;
- Temporary works such as propping, facade retention, retaining facilities and trench support, crane supports, formwork, falsework and scaffolding, including gantries;
- Susceptibility to damage and protective procedures in-transit and in-situ;
- Weight and lifting requirements;
- Unloading operations;
- Spare parts, and
- Storage and waste management.
Advances in computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) as well as the introduction of building information modelling (BIM) are immensely helpful in visualising many aspects of buildability. However, the availability of technology does not remove the need for engaging practitioners who have hard-won experience and awareness of on-site practicalities and potential pitfalls.
The contractor is often best placed to advise on issues of buildability. And some procurement methods, such as construction management, management contracting and design and build allow early appointment of the contractor to offer advice and feedback on design proposals as they develop.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- CDM planning period.
- Construction manager.
- Construction phase plan.
- Construction strategy.
- Design and build.
- Management contractor.
- Method statements.
- Modular building.
- Offsite manufacturing.
- Pre-construction information.
- Samples and mock-ups.
- Site layout plan.
- Site Waste Management Plan.
- Structural systems for offices.
- Temporary works.
- Value management.
Featured articles and news
Discover the Winchester Mystery House.
Priorities for rail in the Midlands and the North.
Examining renovate-operate-transfer arrangements.
Proactive measures to secure property during extreme times.
Safety guidance from BSI released; comments requested.
Scour can make river currents structurally damaging.
Indoor environmental quality looks at air quality and other wellbeing factors.
A procurement method associated with Public Private Partnerships.
Infrastructure can use digital technology to encourage human growth.
Robotics and the construction industry.
ECA comments on CLC's three-phase recovery plan.
Their diplomatic and architectural history.
The origins of the six volume series.
Built to defend British waters, only to serve as pirate radio stations later.
Wellbeing to influence mix of home and office based working.
An introduction to cobotics.