Title page for ETD etd-151517659751561

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Obiso, Melissa Lynn
Author's Email Address robiso@mail.vt.edu
URN etd-151517659751561
Title Analysis of Means and Methods of Construction Improvement in Single Family Housing in Mid-Atlantic Rural University Towns
Degree Master of Science
Department Building Construction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Auchey, Flynn L.
Beliveau, Yvan J.
Mills, Thomas H. Committee Chair
  • residential construction
  • building systems
  • construction
  • prefabrication
  • manufacturing
  • housing
Date of Defense 1997-05-07
Availability unrestricted
The goal of this study was to determine if innovative building methods and materials have the potential to lead to better productivity. Furthermore, this study endeavored to establish the premise that builders who use pre-fabrication, pre-assembly, and modular materials and building methods will perform more productively than those builders who don't. These ideas were pursued by first reviewing the history of home building in the United States to determine trends and patterns in innovation. The experimental phase of the study was accomplished by interviewing local and regional builders about their actual methods of construction used for residential construction. These methods were then analyzed to determine the contribution of these methods to the builder's productivity. Not surprisingly, builders choose one specific type of construction to build a majority of their projects. They use these methods because they are comfortable with them and confident in them; they know they work, and they believe that they are an efficient means of producing a house. It was determined that residential builders in these rural university towns tend to use traditional wood framing construction methods above all of the other available methods. However, there are builders who do use less-conventional methods including: wall panels, pole construction, and modular unit construction. The actual building methods used by builders are somewhat determined by several factors, including: project type, company size and structure, and area of the country. Furthermore, the builders who choose to use non-traditional construction methods with regularity tend to have higher rates of productivity as well as the ability to take on more projects. Higher rates of productivity and the ability to take on more projects have the potential to give builders a competitive advantage over their competition.

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