Unit Layout Plan
How might we use design simulation to rapidly explore permutations of residential unit layout plans for PPVC projects and reduce the number of moulds required?
Challenge Statement Owner
Background and Current Practice
During the design stage of Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) projects, permutations of unit layout plans are explored manually. Besides fulfilling the architectural vision and requirements, residential unit layout plans seek to maximise the gross floor area and minimise the number of volumetric moulds required.
Volumetric moulds are used to produce the concrete finish of constructed modules. The moulds could cost S$70,000-100,000 and take up to three months to fabricate. If the unit layout plan is optimised to allow for more repeated use of volumetric moulds, significant cost savings can be achieved.
The design stage takes up to six months to complete due to the need to manually explore possible permutations of unit layout plans and iterate the plan between the consultant and contractor.
The following are the steps taken for the design stage of each PPVC project:
The consultant prepares the unit layout plan and passes it to the PPVC specialist contractor for a design study.
The PPVC specialist contractor prepares the building information modelling (BIM) drawings, checks the design, determines mould groupings, and submits a study on the mould requirements, which includes details on how the moulds could be used repeatedly.
The consultant evaluates the mould requirements and revises the unit layout plan to reduce the number of moulds required. The consultant passes the revised plan back to the PPVC specialist contractor to study the mould requirements.
The following video provide more details regarding the design stage of PPVC projects:
Opportunities and Key Challenges
The current methods could be replaced with design simulation tools that can automatically generate permutations of the unit layout plans and support the design feasibility study.
The unit layout plans generated this way could reduce the number of moulds required while maximising the gross floor area.
Based on the plans, the solution would help determine the mould groupings, mould requirements, and the repetitions of each mould.
The proposed solution would create a shared environment for both the consultant and contractors to view, discuss and propose design updates.
The solution generates and evaluates the possible permutations of the unit layout plans to optimise the number of moulds and support the design feasibility study. The solution reduces the time and manpower required for the design stage of PPVC by at least 50%.