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Last edited 28 Sep 2021
Standardisation in the construction industry
Standardisation involves: ‘The use of modules, assemblies, components, interfaces, methods or processes that are repeated through a project and from project to project. Standardisation benefits from the use of continuous improvement processes.’ Ref BIM Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work, published by the RIBA in 2012.
‘The process of agreeing on a standard specification for a specific product or line of products. Usually conducted to achieve economies of scale, compatibility with other products, facilitation of operation, maintenance, and repair of already purchased goods, etc. Standardisation could result in sole or limited source situations; this should be a consideration in the decision for standardisation.’
In the construction industry, the term 'standards' typically refers to published documents that are intended to define the common specifications, methods and procedures that are to be used. By establishing common standards, greater reliability and consistency is ensured in terms of the quality, compatibility and compliance of the particular product, service, material, and so on.
NB DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work, Mainstreaming Design for Manufacture and Assembly in Construction, 2nd Edition, published by the RIBA in 2021, states: ‘In the context of DfMA (design for manufacture and assembly), standardisation involves quality-assured systems and processes that govern design, manufacturing and assembly inputs with the objective of improving the reliability, speed, consistency and efficiency of digital and physical outputs, making it possible to achieve economies of scale. With CIP, the extent of the benefits is refined over time.’
Commercial Continuous Improvement Assessment Framework, published by HM Government in May 2021, defines standardisation as: ‘The process of setting generally uniform characteristics for a particular good or service to improve value and streamline procurement activity.’
 Related articles
- ASTM International.
- British Standards Institution.
- Continuous improvement.
- Hybrid building.
- Kit house.
- Modern methods of construction.
- Off-site construction.
- Platform approach.
- RIBA Plan of Work.
- Standardising structural elements: A platform for construction innovation.
- The Construction Playbook.
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