University of Twente Student Theses


The Technical and Commercial Impact of Engineering Changes in the Conceptual Housebuilding Industry

Burghouts, K.T.J. (2023) The Technical and Commercial Impact of Engineering Changes in the Conceptual Housebuilding Industry.

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Abstract:The housebuilding industry in the Netherlands is stressed due to availability, affordability and sustainability. This leads to a shift towards industrialised housing construction (IHC). MorgenWonen is a company in the Netherlands that has chosen the path of IHC. The current designs are a proven concept for MorgenWonen, however when constructive or engineering changes are made to the designs the impact of such a change remains unclear. The high interdependence between elements, their suppliers, and the processes cause uncertain outcomes during concept development. Therefore, this research aims to identify the technical and commercial impact of engineering changes to the housing concepts of MorgenWonen. A Design Structure Matrix (DSM) and Domain Mapping Matrices (DMM) are used as supporting tools to analyse the impact of an engineering change. The DSM focusses on the dependencies between building elements, while the DMM’s focus on the dependencies between the building elements and other domains, in this case suppliers and processes. Impact analysis of specific design changes and general analyses are done based on these matrices. The specific impact analysis shows the technical and commercial impact of the proposed design changes, whereas the general analyses show how interdependent certain elements are, where clusters arise, and which elements act as multipliers or absorbers of change. The results show that the small and internal engineering change does not have great impact on the whole housing concept. The lead time is approximately two weeks and the amount of engineering hours does not exceed two hours. The impact becomes high, when the engineering changes are bigger and cross the boundaries of an element, especially when concrete elements are involved in the redesign. The lead times can go up to half a year or longer and the amount of engineering hours are between 60 and 150 hours, causing serious costs for the engineering change (new materials, processes, etc. excluded). Furthermore, the results show that the cluster analysis clusters the housing concept in three main clusters; the ground floor and first floor on the front of the house, the ground floor and the first floor at the back of the house, and the second floor and roof. Lastly, the change propagation analysis shows that the interior walls and doors absorb change propagation, whereas the stairs units, ‘wet rooms’, and meter-box are possibly change multipliers. Going back to the main research question, it can be stated that the model (DSM and DMM’s) is able to give an indication of the impact of proposed engineering changes. It can be concluded that, the concrete elements mainly drive the lead times of the engineering changes. Once a concrete element is involved in the engineering change the lead times go up to the maximum. Furthermore, it should be noted that the DSM does not capture all dependencies. Only three types of dependencies are used in this analyses, whereas more dependencies exist in real life. Following these conclusions and findings during the research it can be recommended that MorgenWonen should focus on modularisation. Even when the DSM does not capture all dependencies it is already filled with a lot of dependencies, modularisation can minimize this. Furthermore, it is recommended to standardise process for engineering among the supply base to prevent unforeseen dependencies between elements, suppliers and processes and to give a better indication of lead times and engineering hours. Lastly it is recommended that MorgenWonen acts as a system’s architect for future engineering changes, giving the concept development team the possibility to be the project manager of the engineering change.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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