Precast modular construction of schools in South Africa

De Klerk, Dean (2013-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is a study in the use of precast modular construction as an alternative to current methods of school construction in South Africa. Precast Modular Construction is a concept which utilises the principles of prefabrication and precast concrete. Concrete components, be they beams, columns, slabs or full volumetric modules, are manufactured either off-site in factories or in on-site facilities. These components are then assembled on-site to form the structural envelope of a building. This approach contains many inherent advantages: Time is saved due to on-site and off-site work happening concurrently and hence earlier building occupancy results which directly translates to cost reparation; quality is improved due to most of the work being carried out in a controlled factory environment; and health and safety is heightened. However, when viewed from a South African perspective, the fact that less work is done on-site indirectly implicates job loss, a serious issue in the country. Furthermore, implementing a prefabricated approach in the construction of South African schools requires a complete restructuring of the Department of Public Works’ current procurement approach. Prefabrication requires maximum integration between all parties to a project so that design and constructability issues can be addressed at an early stage. The design-build contract strategy is found to be the most integrated approach and allows for optimal collaboration between all project members. However, to only change the procurement route would not suffice as a complete solution. A broader approach is required which addresses issues prevalent in South Africa. These issues include job creation and the establishment of a sustainable and knowledgeable industry. Concepts such as standardisation and strategic partnering, in response, satisfy the need of the manufacturer - for economies of scale, and the employee - for creation of secure working environments. Verification is obtained from all of the aforementioned to propose that the optimal solution to successfully implement Precast Modular Construction for schools in South Africa would be to implement a design-build procurement approach, whereby a single design-build contractor is awarded by the Department of Public Works a contract, via competitive tendering, for the construction of a predetermined number of schools, preferably exceeding 3, over a given contract period using a standardised design and utilising customisable standardised prefabricated precast construction systems, i.e. Precast Modular Construction. This proposal will theoretically result, amongst other things, in the following: - Precast manufacturers will have a confirmed number of orders for products, and can hence be assured of a constant flow of income. This translates directly to an increase in both employment and job security at the manufacturing plant. - The economies of scale principle is satisfied and prefabricated components can therefore be manufactured or ‘mass customised’ in the most feasible way possible. - The design-build contractor will be guaranteed employment for a given period, once again providing job security for its employees, of which the number can also potentially increase. - The design-build contractor carries with it experience and lessons learned from each successfully completed project on to the next, and so becomes more proficient, resulting in better, higher quality schools delivered in shorter periods and with increased efficiency. It is recognised that the proposal is untested in practise but in a socio-economic situation such as South Africa, where large numbers of schools are required quickly, the above proposal makes sense. To additionally develop this hypothesis, further research is required in the fields of design-build procurement and strategic partnering.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis is 'n studie in die gebruik van modulêre voorafvervaardigte beton konstruksie as 'n alternatief vir die huidige metodes van skool konstruksie in Suid-Afrika. Modulêre voorafvervaardigte beton konstruksie bevat baie inherente voordele. Tyd word bespaar as gevolg van werk wat gelyktydig op en van die terrein af gebeur. Dus word die gebou vroeër betrek wat direk lei tot kostebesparings. Kwaliteit verbeter as gevolg van meeste van die werk wat in 'n beheerde fabriek omgewing uitgevoer word en as sulks lei tot beter gesondheid en veiligheid van werkers. Egter, vanuit 'n Suid-Afrikaanse perspektief impliseer die feit dat daar minder werk op die terrein gedoen word indirek werksverlies, 'n ernstige probleem in die land. Die implementering van 'n voorafvervaardigde benadering tot die bou van skole in Suid-Afrika vereis verder 'n volledige herstrukturering van die huidige verskaffing model. Voorafvervaardiging vereis maksimum integrasie tussen alle partye sodat projek ontwerp en boubaarheid op 'n vroeë stadium aangespreek kan word. Die ontwerp-bou kontrak strategie is die mees geïntegreerde benadering en laat toe vir optimale samewerking tussen alle projek lede. Om egter net die verskaffing roete te verander, sou nie voldoen as 'n enkele oplossing nie. 'n Breër benadering word vereis wat kwessies algemeen in Suid-Afrika aanspreek. Hierdie kwessies sluit in werkskepping en die vestiging van 'n volhoubare en kundige industrie. Konsepte soos standaardisering en strategiese vennootskap, as oplossings, voldoen aan die behoeftes van die vervaardiger - vir 'n ekonomieë van skaal, en die werknemer - vir die skepping van 'n versekerde werksomgewing. Die voorafgaande bevestig dat die optimale oplossing vir suksesvolle implementering van Beton Modulêre Konstruksie vir skole in Suid-Afrika sou wees om 'n ontwerp-bou verskaffingsprosedure te volg. Hierdeur kan 'n kontrak aan 'n enkele ontwerp-bou kontrakteur deur die Departement van Openbare Werke toegeken word, deur middel van ‘n mededingende tender proses. Daar word voorgestel dat die projek, vir die konstruksie van 'n voorafbepaalde aantal skole behoort te wees, verkieslik meer as 3, oor 'n bepaalde kontrak tydperk met behulp van 'n gestandaardiseerde ontwerp. Voorts word daar voorgestel om gebruik te maak van aanpasbare gestandaardiseerde voorafvervaardigde beton konstruksie stelsels, dws Beton Modulêre Konstruksie. Hierdie voorstel sal teoreties, onder andere, die volgende gevolge hê: - Beton vervaardigers sal 'n bevestigde aantal bestellings vir produkte hê, en kan dus verseker wees van 'n konstante vloei van inkomste. Dit lei direk tot 'n toename in indiensneming en werksekerheid by die fabriek. - Die ekonomieë van skaal beginsel is bevredig en voorafvervaardigde komponente kan dus vervaardig word in die mees haalbare manier moontlik. - Die ontwerp-bou kontrakteur is gewaarborg van indiensneming vir 'n gegewe tydperk, as sulks ook die verskaffing van werksekerheid vir sy werknemers, waarvan die aantal moontlik ook kan vermeerder. - Die ontwerp-bou kontrakteur neem ondervinding en lesse wat geleer is uit elke suksesvolle voltooide projek saam na die volgende een, en raak dus meer bedrewe, wat lei tot beter, hoër gehalte skole gelewer in korter tydperke en met toenemende doeltreffendheid. Die voorstel is egter ongetoets in die praktyk, maar in 'n sosio-ekonomiese situasie soos die van Suid-Afrika, waar 'n groot aantal skole vinnig benodig word, maak die bogenoemde voorstel sin. Om hierdie hipotese te ontwikkel, is verdere navorsing nodig in die gebied van ontwerp-bou verskaffing en strategiese vennootskappe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80291
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