Maximizing construction of timber kit homes using telescopic crane to improve efficiency and safety: a case study

Kenneth Lawani*, Chioma Okoro*, Michael Tong, Billy Hare

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

The challenges of improving efficiency and safety is a daunting task as workers are squeezed with an ever-dwindling resource pool and yet expected to deliver construction projects at optimum capacity. Improving efficiency and safety using telescopic cranes for the construction of Off-Site Manufacturing (OSM) timber kit homes is a viable option for the speedy delivery of new homes. An action research evaluated the maximization of the build and process efficiency and safety using a crane to erect wall panels, floors, and roofs. Data collection through direct observation assessed the labor uptime and downtime, including crane usage. A balanced score card was used by management for strategic organizational decision-making regarding the crane erection. The use of the crane reduced workplace manual handling of OSM panels, minimized the exposure of operatives to work at height risks, and eliminated alterations to scaffolds. However, the manual loading of thermal-insulated plasterboards to floor decks impacted the process efficiency and speed of installing the fixtures and increased the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. High labor downtimes were associated with the adverse weather conditions, which slowed the efficiency of the workforce during construction. The management’s inability to adequately plan the work program further hindered aspects of lifting operations and the speed and number of houses built.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10238
JournalSustainability
Volume12
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • telescopic crane; timber kit; efficiency; worker safety

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