Last edited 20 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 UN Procurement Practitioner's Handbook, produced by the Interagency Procurement Working Group (IAPWG) in 2006 and updated in 2012 suggests that standardisation (or standardisation) is:

‘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.

For more information see: Standards

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.’

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Reference to the RIBA source should be 'RIBA Plan of Work 2013 Designing for Manufacture and Assembly'

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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