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Developing a design framework for the mass customisation of housing in Saudi Arabia: a critical review

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This paper explores the suitability of mass customisation (MC) technologies and techniques in order to provide affordable housing solutions for Saudi Arabia. In particular, the paper analyses ten articles filtered through 1.165 publications searched by using the keywords ‘mass customisation housing or off-site construction’ in the databases Scopus, CumlnCAD, ScienceDirect, and Engineer village and categorised them based on their suitability for the Saudi Arabian context. Our findings include a comparative analysis chart evaluating workflows, tools and technologies on their suitability for the MC design as well as an MC workflow proposal for including parametric design and digital fabrication tools and techniques
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DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS
CUSTOMISATION OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA: A CRITICAL
REVIEW
Abstract. This paper explores the suitability of mass customisation
(MC) technologies and techniques in order to provide affordable
housing solutions for Saudi Arabia. In particular, the paper analyses
ten articles filtered through 1.165 publications searched by using the
keywords ‘mass customisation housing or off-site construction’ in the
databases Scopus, CumlnCAD, ScienceDirect, and Engineer village
and categorised them based on their suitability for the Saudi Arabian
context. Our findings include a comparative analysis chart evaluating
workflows, tools and technologies on their suitability for the MC design
as well as an MC workflow proposal for including parametric design
and digital fabrication tools and techniques.
Keywords: Mass customisation; housing; off-site manufacturing; client involvement
ﺺﺨﻠﻤﻟا. ﻒﺸﻜﺘﺴﺗ هﺬھ ﺔﻗرﻮﻟا ىﺪﻣ ﺔﻣءﻼﻣ تﺎﯿﻨﻘﺗ تﺎﯿﻨﻘﺗو ﺺﯿﺼﺨﺘﻟا ﻞﻣﺎﺸﻟا ﻦﻣ ﻞﺟأ
ﺮﯿﻓﻮﺗ لﻮﻠﺣ نﺎﻜﺳإ ةرﻮﺴﯿﻣ ﺔﻔﻠﻜﺘﻟا ﺔﻜﻠﻤﻤﻠﻟ ﺔﯿﺑﺮﻌﻟا ﺔﯾدﻮﻌﺴﻟا. ﻰﻠﻋ ﮫﺟو صﻮﺼﺨﻟا ، ﻞﻠﺤﺗ
ﺔﻗرﻮﻟا ةﺮﺸﻋ تﻻﺎﻘﻣ ﺖﻤﺗ ﺎﮭﺘﯿﻔﺼﺗ ﻦﻣ لﻼﺧ تارﻮﺸﻨﻣ 1.165 ﻲﺘﻟا ﻢﺗ ﺚﺤﺒﻟا ﺎﮭﻨﻋ
ماﺪﺨﺘﺳﺎﺑ تﺎﻤﻠﻜﻟا ﺔﯿﺴﯿﺋﺮﻟا "نﺎﻜﺳﻹا ﺺﯿﺼﺨﺘﻟا ﻞﻣﺎﺸﻟا وأ ءﺎﻨﺒﻟا جرﺎﺧ ﻊﻗﻮﻤﻟا" ﻲﻓ ﺪﻋاﻮﻗ
تﺎﻧﺎﯿﺒﻟا Scopus و CumlnCAD و ScienceDirect و Engineer Village
ﺎﮭﻔﯿﻨﺼﺗو
ًءﺎﻨﺑ ﻰﻠﻋ ىﺪﻣ ﺎﮭﺘﻣءﻼﻣ ﺔﻜﻠﻤﻤﻠﻟ ﺔﯿﺑﺮﻌﻟا ﺔﯾدﻮﻌﺴﻟا قﺎﯿﺳ مﻼﻜﻟا. ﻦﻤﻀﺘﺗ ﺋﺎﺘﻨﻟا
ﻲﺘﻟا ﺎﻨﻠﺻﻮﺗ ﺎﮭﯿﻟإ ﻂﻄﺨﻣ ﻞﯿﻠﺤﺗ نرﺎﻘﻣ ّ ِ ﯿ تﺎﻘﻓﺪﺗ ﻞﻤﻌﻟا تاودﻷاو تﺎﯿﻨﻘﺘﻟاو ﻤﻟاﺔﻘﻠﻌﺘ ىﺪﻤﺑ
ﺎﮭﺘﻣءﻼﻣ ﻢﯿﻤﺼﺘﻟ ﺺﯿﺼﺨﺘﻟا ﻞﻣﺎﺸﻟا ﺔﻓﺎﺿﻹﺎﺑ ﻰﻟإ حاﺮﺘﻗا ﺮﯿﺳ ﻞﻤﻋ ﺺﯿﺼﺨﺘﻟا ﻞﻣﺎﺸﻟا
.ﻦﯿﻤﻀﺘﻟ تاودأ تﺎﯿﻨﻘﺗو ﻢﯿﻤﺼﺘﻟا يرﺎﯿﻌﻤﻟا ﻊﯿﻨﺼﺘﻟاو ﻲﻤﻗﺮﻟا
:ﺔﯿﺣﺎﺘﻔﻤﻟا تﺎﻤﻠﻜﻟا
نﺎﻜﺳﻹا، ﻞﻣﺎﺸﻟا ﺺﯿﺼﺨﺘﻟا، ﻊﻗﻮﻤﻟا جرﺎﺧ ءﺎﻨﺒﻟا، .ﻞﯿﻤﻌﻟا ﺔﻛرﺎﺸﻣ
1. Introduction
Mass customisation (MC) is a design and manufacturing approach that
focuses on providing customised goods at a low cost (Ganji et al, 2018).
Seeking to exploit mass customisation concepts such as modular
2
standardisation, configuration, and flexible manufacturing requires the use of
several tools to assemble and generate customised items for
commercialisation under comparable conditions as serially produced standard
products. MC can be applied in various industries, such as product design,
vehicle design and architecture. It progresses throughout the stages of
principle design, planning, manufacturing, and assembly. However, the
architectural project's fabrication stage takes place largely on-site rather than
in the manufacturer's location (Winch, 2003). MC gives more durability,
improved quality, shorter time, and decreased cost. In contrast, mass
production commonly results in identical, monotonous homes that no longer
satisfy market desires for individualised design (Noguchi and Friedman,
2019). On the other hand, personalised design is a vital characteristic in
satisfying the individual needs of homeowners; yet, customisation increases
design costs (Smith, 1998). It is creating modular components that are mass-
produced yet can be constructed into a broad range of final products. That is
one of the most thriving standards of MC, and it reduces costs while increasing
personalisation (Noguchi and Friedman, 2019). MC integrates mass
production through mass design to achieve qualities of customised design at
an affordable cost. Mass housing production consists of three primary notions.
First, it is built utilising standardised design and factory building processes
(Altan et al. 2016). Secondly, it is based on state leaders’ belief in equal living
circumstances as a societal ideal (Urban, 2012).
Finally, it is used to reduce costs in a short period of time.
Consequently, this study explores the state-of-the-art of MC in housing
construction looking at three different aspects: 1) the amount of client
engagement in MC, 2) the types of MC, and 3) the manner of MC
implementation. It is found that there is considerable potential for MC in the
housing construction sector. Despite the number of benefits promised by MC,
its application in the home construction sector remains limited and building
solutions, space and choice navigation tools are very deficient. As a reaction
to the Fordian paradigm of mass production and standardisation, many
researchers see the possibility of delivering diversity and personalisation with
efficiency and economies of scale. Discussions on parametric design and
fabrication are usually related to ‘Mass Customisation’, as defined by (Davis,
1987). The latter term, as stated and described by (Pine, 1993), refers to the
mass manufacturing of individually personalised goods and services, which
combines the idea of personalisation with the economic cost involved with
standardisation.
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 3
2. A Brief History of Housing in Saudi Arabia
Over time, dwellings in Saudi Arabia have been modified according to the
changing needs of society, technological developments in construction and the
available materials. Formerly, Saudi Arabia’s traditional buildings were made
of bricks comprised of mud mixed with dried hay and water baked under the
sun’s rays (Al-Hathloul, 2003). Even though there were differences in
socioeconomic status, all houses were generally constructed using the same
building materials and designs (Chapman et al., 1999). This construction
method continued until the introduction of the reinforced concrete structural
framework during the late 19th century. Since then, buildings and construction
in Saudi Arabia have changed drastically. New materials and new systems
introduced by foreign companies and construction workers gave way to
drastic architectural changes. Consequently, due to its durability, reinforced
concrete has become the primary structural system solution, replacing load-
bearing masonry walls, which allowed the construction of more homes to
support the country’s massive population growth (Chapman et al., 1999).
Even though the idea of using reinforced concrete buildings came from
western countries, the local community has used it differently due to its culture
and specific religious and privacy regulations (Bahammam, 1987). The
changes in the Saudi Arabian lifestyle have also had an impact on the typical
dwelling floor plan (Bahammam, 1998). Overall, Saudi Arabian dwellings
have been through three stages of building construction types throughout
different periods: the traditional, transitional, and contemporary stages
(Bahamam, 2018).
The early traditional buildings were constructed in accordance with
Islamic rules and regulations and had certain advantages. For instance,
building materials such as mud remain cool for long hours inside the wall
(Tarrad, 2020). However, some issues emerged in traditional houses, such as
maintaining the roof yearly due to rain conditions when clay on the rooftop
absorbed the rainwater. Transitional buildings used mixed materials,
including traditional materials such as wood, mud and cement blocks, which
were more recent. This method was used to produce a better-quality home in
terms of quality and less maintenance, especially on rainy existences. At the
4
time, building regulations focused on specific rules such as setback building
construction from land barriers and the height of the building.
Contemporary buildings have gone through three periods, early, late,
and current. Due to social media and western influences, the Saudi Arabian
public has had to change the traditional house styles in a bid to ‘move with the
times’. More recently, building regulations have become more robust
following the addition of new building codes such as fire code, construction
code, and interior code. By investigating all three stages, every generation has
shown different needs in terms of accommodation design according to societal
lifestyle changes, the impact of globalisation and technology. Furthermore,
Western builders, contractors, and architects have influenced building
techniques and ideas by incorporating and sharing their own skills and
knowledge in the Saudi Arabian context. When foreigners were hired to build
large-scale projects rapidly, they erected prefabricated cubic, concrete
buildings, without aesthetic, contextual or environmental considerations.
Governmental regulations in urban planning affected Saudi Arabian society,
thus the subsequent urban form conflict has augmented the gap between
members of the public and their urban environment (Al-Naim, 1993).
Furthermore, there is a shortage of housing in Saudi Arabia due to a
rapidly growing population. Further causes of the housing shortage are
construction delays and labour deficits (Alhajri and Alshibani, 2018). In
addition, the majority of the market is still implementing conventional
building techniques based on reinforced concrete structures, which makes
housing construction highly inefficient and time-demanding. Still, none of the
housing providers has applied client involvement.
Finally, the Saudi housing ministry has the ambition to establish an
initiative to facilitate novel construction technologies and made agreements as
part of its contribution to the national transformation plan 2030aiming to
increase citizens’ homeownership from 24% to 52% by 2030 (Overview,
2022).
To solve these issues, mass customisation could be used aiming for
affordable, sustainable, context-friendly and user-friendly housing solutions.
Therefore, this paper investigates, classifies and compares case studies of MC
in constructions which could be applied in the Saudi Arabian context. In
particular, we will look into the questions:
Which methods, techniques and technologies are currently being applied
globally for mass customisation of housing?
How can we develop a design framework which can provide mass
customised, affordable housing solutions for Saudi Arabia?
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 5
3. Methodology
To answer our questions, we will proceed with a systematic review of relevant
literature and then analyse and categorise the related research according to the
design and construction customisation methods as well as the tools and
techniques used. In particular, our research method consists of four phases as
can be seen in Figure 1, including 1) searching papers through databases
(Scopus, IEEE, Engineering Village, CumlnCAD, and ScienceDirect), 2)
screening the selected papers, 3) comparatively analysing and categorising of
the papers and 4) evaluating the research in charts and tables. In the first stage,
our initial search concentrated on Scopus (Elsevier's abstract and citation
database), Engineer Village, CumlnCAD (Cumulative Index about
publications in Computer Aided Architectural Design), and ScienceDirect,
due to their reliability, and comprehensiveness. Since the off-site building is
a precondition for bringing industrialisation to the market (Gann, 1996),
which is a necessity for being able to mass customise, the keywords utilised
for the search includemass customisationand ‘off-site construction’.
The majority of the publications appeared in the database
CumlnCAD, which is sponsored by the respective associations ACADIA,
CAADRIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, ASCAAD, and CAAD futures; nonetheless,
Scopus and ScienceDirect provide journal articles and book parts connected
to our research. Our search has screened 1.165 academic publications
consisting of 1,067 conference papers in CumlnCAD, 88 articles and books in
ScienceDirect, 20 papers and articles in Scopus, and 10 articles in Engineering
village. The articles were screened in the second step by deleting duplicated
papers, review publications, and low-relevance articles. The initial filtering
was done with the databases' filtering tools, and 85 items were deleted.
Reading the abstracts of the remaining 1,080 papers were used to review them.
The publications on news, brief messages, and reviews were deleted
in the second filtering. Likewise, items that did not deal with mass
customisation housing (for example, walls, shells, and interior fittings) were
eliminated. An extra 1,070 items were deleted in total, resulting in the
remaining 10 articles that we present here. In the third step, the remaining ten
papers were methodically classified and analysed into three parts: 1) levels of
client involvement, 2) mass customisation categories, and 3) mass
customisation method. The final article selection includes book chapters,
journal articles, and conference papers. Lastly, in phase four, the categorised
articles are analysed and compared in order to answer our research questions.
6
Figure 1. Flowchart of the systematic review process.
4. MASS CUSTOMISATION METHODS, TOOLS AND
TECHNIQUES
Kolarevic and Duarte (2019) noted that one of the crucial points of MC is the
neglected social aspect which highlights the lack of cultural characteristics
considered in MC. Their MC method enables parametric design and digital
fabrication of a table by using an interactive website which allows clients to
determine their own desirable individual house designs. They suggested the
use of local materials to reduce construction costs. Structure, enclosure, and
partition components may be produced to varying degrees of automation
utilising digital fabrication and robotic assembly, depending on the MC
processes employed.
Figure 2. Various m Table designs created by customers using a mobile phone app.
Yuan et al. (2018) developed an adaptive strategy for prefabricated
buildings by using Building Information Modelling (BIM). The article
explains in detail how to solve the problems of manufacturability and
assembly of planned systems. Their methodology merges prefabricated
dwellings with BIM-enabled parametric design. According to them, Design
for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA)-oriented parametric design needs to
be improved regularly to be implemented. Through DFMA-oriented
parametric design, the researchers concluded that incorporating domain
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 7
experience from the manufacturing and assembly stages can increase the
success rate of the design.
Figure 3. DFMA-oriented parametric design development for prefabricated buildings.
Gazel et al. (2018) designed a partial model using MC for large-scale
housing focusing on principles such as variability, flexibility, and
prefabrication. Their methodology includes a modular, parametric system set
up in a BIM modelling environment. It allows different spatial arrangements
and simulates environmental comfort and construction costs (Figure 3). Their
proposed platform also allows client-designer interaction. The software used
in their study is Rhinoceros/Grasshopper.
Figure 3. Adaptable layout of a parametric modular system.
8
Marchesi et al. (2017) suggested adopting a mass customisation
method for prefabricated timber frame panel housing which focuses on
robustness and flexibility. Their methodology is employing the development
of a so-called Axiomatic Design tool (AD) to examine concepts and deliver
efficiently customisable solutions (Figure 4). The sublayers of walls,
windows, floors, and roofs are made of standardised modular panels that are
built into spatial modules based on standard board sizes. These panels can
generate a variety of spatial arrangements and can be simply dismantled and
replaced without affecting nearby components. The software used in their
study is AD.
Figure 4. Variation of configuration space moulding by using Axiomatic Design.
Ma and Ameijde (2022) described the criteria for an adaptive modular
building system and a multi-objective optimisation process for high-rise
constructions. They encourage combining spatial and structural systems,
otherwise, workflow conflicts may occur. Their research suggests full
customisation. They utilised the Rhino/Grasshopper plugin Wallacei to
develop different apartment configurations based on diverse lifestyle
preferences. Figure 5 presents assemblies of their 'kit-of-parts' system that is
used for all buildings, which can be altered and customised to meet the needs
of various occupants. Prefabricated components are assembled onto in-situ
concrete cast core elements, which serve as the primary load-bearing structure.
Figure 5. Varied spatial modular shows the flexibility in arranging the sizes
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 9
Formoso et al. (2022) attempted to standardise a product that provides
affordable accommodation for developing nations (Figure 6). Their
methodology is based on an assemblable modular system. Their research
focused on small businesses and the MC approach they applied. They found
out that the interchangeability of parts of an assembly can lead to a variety of
end products implementing MC in affordable house-building projects.
Moreover, additional customisation choices were offered in the earlier stage
of design for the consumer involvement in the design. Consequently, the
construction firm defined customer order decoupling points, in accordance
with design phases and client engagement.
Figure 6. A mixed MC strategy to support customisation
Anane et al. (2022) suggested a modular building framework for
design and production. They suggested discrete design (DD) as a strategy for
MC and show how a BIM-driven discrete design method may be used in
conjunction with computational design to create modular structures. Their
methodology is based on off-site fabrication construction supported by BIM
(Figure 7). They suggested a modular system which includes plumbing.
Furthermore, off-site manufacturing will make use of robotic arm cells that
can perform cutting and assembly tasks.
10
Figure 7. A framework of the DD for modular construction driven by BIM design
Alwisy et al. (2018) presented a systematic methodology for
automating the design and fabrication of modular, wood-framed residential
buildings based on the platform framing construction method. Building
information modelling (BIM) was implemented to facilitate design
automation and drafts for manufacturing. They developed the tool Modular
Construction Manufacturing Pro (MCMPro), which generates sets of shop
drawings and material take-off lists needed for framing module walls, floors
and ceilings ready to be used for the production line (Figure 8).
Figure 8. A methodology of the design process
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 11
Bakhshi et al. (2022) developed a BIM-related algorithm that allows
assembly and customisation in high quality (Figure 9) as well as the
participation of the client in the building configuration process based on
assembly limitations. They claim that compared to the current strategies
offered to implement prefabricated construction, their Prefabricated
Information Modelprovides marketing experts with a product and building-
oriented understanding.
Figure 9. The notion of housing configuration algorithm and choice limitations
Wang et al. (2022) proposed a 'skeletal' parametric scheme for
generating building layout variations to optimize a performance-based design
(Figure 10). Their skeletal parametric scheme tool was used to generate
building layout configurations. It can create plan/construction variations using
a collection of skeletal lines based on numerous architectural features and
aligned with parameters like sidewalks, space, and setback regulations. They
claim that using parametric models will optimise the design and will increase
the overall construction quality providing designers with various design
possibilities. The software used in their study is Rhinoceros/Grasshopper.
Figure 10. Variety building layout 'skeletal' parametric scheme
12
5. Findings
Our findings are collectively illustrated in Table 1. Consequently, we can
observe that MC interactive products should not be fully customised, and the
level of customisation could be between customised standardisation and
tailored customisation (Kolarevic and Duarte, 2019) and (Rocha et al, 2016).
The three primary deciding factors—time, cost, and building quality—are also
viewed as advantages of adopting modular construction. The modular
building technique is a key breakthrough that promises to provide the
construction industry with contemporary ways to build dwellings quickly and
effectively to satisfy demand. Due to the higher initial costs needed during the
planning and design phases, which were out of the reach of conventional
builders, the cost was frequently perceived as a barrier to off-site activity
(Young et al., 2020). Similarly, the majority of recent studies have shown that
parametric tools may help the MC process by reducing the design process time
and data storage (Kolarevic, 2015). (Kolarevic and Duarte, 2019); (Rocha et
al., 2016); (Gazel et al., 2018) noticed the simplicity of design for MC is
important. Visualisation and simulation appear to be of great importance in
the majority of studies because it increases clients’ satisfaction. MC helps to
reduce construction time due to efficient workflows and doesn’t rely on
weather conditions, (Kolarevic and Duarte, 2019), (Rocha, 2016). OSM
housing approach mainly facilitates the construction process to occur
concurrently, reducing the amount of time necessary for the construction, cost
and quality (Seidu et al., 2021).
Overall, we have identified two types of MC: full customisation and
segment customisation (Figure 11). Full customisation allows the client to be
involved in the entire design process, while part customisation tolerates the
client to be involved in the segment design process customisation is limited.
Manufactures can provide a degree of flexibility for users in the design from
simple to complex based on client preferences. Client involvement can take
place in different ways and starts from pure standardisation, segment
standardisation, customised standardisation, tailored customisation and pure
customisation as shown in Figure 12.
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 13
TABLE 1. The ten articles are analysed on the side of MC design and optimisation.
Mass
Customisation
design
Type of MC
MC tools
MC
method
Material
Software
Level of
client
involvement
Type of
article
Reference
Building a modular
model in ma ss hous ing
scale with principles in
terms of variability,
flexibility, and
prefabrication
Part
Customis atio n
Parametric
Modelling
Prefabrication
Modular
Model
Steel Fra me
Grasshopper
Choice O ptions
Conference
Gazel et al.
(2018)
Adopting the mass
custo misation of
prefabricated panels
housing
Full
Custo misat ion
Syste matic
Approach.
Prefabricated
Housing
Timber
Axioma tic
Design (AD)
Full
Involve ment
Journal
Marchesi et al.
(2017)
Parametric provides a
viable method to
produce building layout
configurations.
Part
Custo misat ion
Parametric
Modelling
Analys is of
Two Cases
Design
Optimization
Grasshopper
Layout
Variat ions
Conference
Wang et al.
(2022)
An off-site robotic
prefabrication proposal
for a modu lar home
using discrete
architectural ideas
Full
Custo misat ion
Discrete
Design.
Discrete
Aggregatio n
Tools
Composed of
Wooden
Parts
Interlocked
BIM
Full
Involve ment
Conference
Anane et al.
(2022)
Using interchangeable
elements of a fully
prefabricated system of
modular building
Full
Custo misat ion
Kit-of-part’
Syste ms
Genetic
Algorithm
Panel
Syste ms
Compos ition
of in-situ cast
concrete and
precast
elemen ts
Wallacei
Plugin
Full
Involve ment
Journal
Ma and
Ameijde
(2022)
Practical integrated
methodologies for
implementat ion in t he
OSC ind ustry,
combined with a design
framework
Part
Custo misat ion
Parametric
Modelling
Prefabrication
BIM
Choice O ptions
Journal
Bakhshi et al.
(2022)
Desig n for
Manufacture and
Assembly (DFMA)
into the design of
prefabricated buildings
Full
Custo misat ion
DFMA-
Oriented
Parametric
Design
Prefabrication
and Assembly
Method
Compos ition
of off-site
cast concrete
and precast
elemen ts
BIM
Journal
Yuan et a l.
(2018)
Standardise a product
of affordable
accommodation
projects in developing
nations has bee n
challenged
Part
Customis atio n
Analys is of
cust ome r
demand for
custo misati
on
Mixed
Customis atio
n Levels
Tradit ional
Building
Technologies
Custom Choice
Journal
Formoso et al.
(2022)
Design parametric
goods with increased
functional pe rfor mance
and cust omer
satisfaction
Part
Custo misat ion
Parame tric
Design
Prefabricated
Housing
Dialogue
Options
Book
Kolarevic and
Duarte (2019)
A BIM-based
automat ion of de sign
and drafting for
manufacturing panels
for modular buildings
Full
Custo misat ion
Modularity
Approach
Panel systems
Wood Panel
BIM
Journal
Alwisy e t al.
(2018)
The tailored customisation could provide design selection, layout choices,
finishing, materials selection, and catalogues. Tailored customisation could be
applied conventionally by a face-to-face meeting with the client or online by
14
giving options to the client, such as an open design involving, design selection,
layout choices, dialogue, finishing, materials selection, and catalogues.
Figure 11. Categories of Mass Customisation.
Figure 12. Client’s integration level of Mass Customisation.
6. Conclusion
Looking at our findings one can see that MC was difficult to achieve up to
recent years, as it was implemented by conventional methods which are
inefficient due to the required time for data processing and labour. However,
emerging tools and techniques such as data clouds, smartphones, parametric
design and digital fabrication have enabled new possibilities. Client
involvement may occur even in preliminary design stages via internet
browsers or phone applications. Furthermore, there is a plethora of websites
and design communities where designers exchange their knowledge, designs,
DEVELOPING A DESIGN FRAMEWORK FOR THE MASS CUSTOMISATION
OF HOUSING IN SAUDI ARABIA 15
and scripts. In this regard, Hippel (2005) argues that clients who design can
develop precisely what they desire, instead of depending on producers to
function as their (sometimes very inadequate) agents. Furthermore, among the
most effective ways of achieving MC is the use of parametric tools. Kolarevic
(2015) suggests that a mass customisable house should be parametrically
specified, interactively planned (through a website or an app), and digitally
built, employing file-to-factory procedures in order to achieve real
personalisation. Another factor for the success of MC is that decision-makers
such as government policymakers and stakeholders need to be included in the
process (Gazel et al., 2018).
Figure 13. A proposed methodology for MC.
Combining the structural system with the spatial system of a house
through parametrisation is an efficient way to obtain and optimise MC
production. There were numerous implementations of MC in the last decade,
which did not engage with layout and structural systems but only allowed
client involvement on exterior applications and finishing materials. As a
consequence of our analysis, we identified the need for a novel file-to-
fabrication framework utilising parametric tools and responding to the
stakeholders' needs and allowing their involvement to participate creatively in
the design process. Consequently, we propose a novel, parametric MC method
as shown in Figure 13. It allows the involvement of both designer and client
via an interactive interface linked to floor plans, room sizes, elevations and
courtyards. All data will become available to the designer via a data cloud,
thus he can start the design process. The interaction will continue in all design
and construction phases.
16
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