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Computer game technology can help wooden house builders

Published: 17 October 2018

Today, modular construction is used to create large-scale prefab buildings. The off-site building processes give the modern house manufacturers challenges to handle – like a large flow of information. New research from Luleå University of Technology offers solutions.

There are measures to be taken to ensure a smooth and efficient information management, including using technology from computer games.
– Off-site house-building based on volume modules are becoming more common, even if the current structures in the construction business are largely based on on-site construction. Industrialised timber house-building companies are at the forefront of digitization and they need to keep track of each component, says Gustav Jansson, researcher in Construction Management and Building Technology at Luleå University of Technology.

He leads two research projects, Information flow for production systems and Information flow in the value chain, both of which are part of Sweden’s strategic innovation programme BioInnovation’s prioritised area Construction & Design.

Collaboration with eight timber house builders

The research is carried out in close collaboration with eight timber house-building companies – Lindbäcks, BoKlok, Myresjöhus, A-Hus, Plusshus, Flexator, Anebyhus Group and Eksjöhus – and the results show that it is possible to save both time and money if it becomes easier to follow an object or a component of a modular building throughout the life cycle.

With technology from the computer game world, it is possible to clarify the process of how an apartment home is built, module by module. 
– Using game technology allows you to combine different models, data and information and visualize for different purposes. If you divide a building in a production sequence and then insert it into a factory environment with a number of stations, the process becomes very clear. When standardized processes and semi-standard products meet customer requirements and sustainable construction, it's good to be able to visualize interactively at an early stage. This is not possible with, for example, CAD systems, explains Gustav Jansson.
He says it’s been valuable for him and the other researchers to work close to the house builders. 
– The response from the participating companies has been very good and the projects have been met with great interest. This is a research area where Luleå University of Technology is world-leading. There are few who can connect digitization and industrialization like we can.

Watch the building process

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With technology from the computer game world, it is possible to clarify the process of how an apartment home is built, module by module.

Gustav Jansson

Gustav Jansson, Associate Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491835
Organisation: Construction Management and Building Technology , Industrialized and sustainable construction, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

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