Product Architecture Model for Multistory Modular Buildings

Issa J. Ramaji, Ali M. Memari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The modular building construction method is the industry's effort for industrialization of building construction. Similar to other types of production, a product information model is required for lifecycle information management of modular buildings. In this research, the mutual hierarchy of typical multistory modular systems is identified and represented in a product architecture model (PAM). This provides the industry with an information model required for industrial design of this type of construction. Since modular construction is neither as heavily project-based as conventional construction methods nor as significantly mass-produced as manufactured products, none of the current information management frameworks in manufacturing and construction industries are necessarily capable of addressing the needs of such projects. In the research reported here, this need is addressed by development of a product PAM for the most conventional modular systems. The PAM represents the hierarchy of modular building components along with their interactions, functionality, and attributes. This paper initially reviews major types of modular systems, and then focuses on the development methodology, validation, architecture, and content of the PAM. This is followed by an explanation of its different uses, including extension of the current construction industry's information management frameworks and platforms such as building information modeling (BIM) to support modular construction and providing a basis for product-base design of such buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04016047
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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