Supply Chain School

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Design for Manufacture & Assembly (DfMA)

The construction industry is changing. The process of Construction Industrialisation challenges design professionals to embrace new techniques and processes. However this is not just a case of using digital engineering or the use of BIM on the design, but also the need to embrace concepts such as Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and consider the design of the construction process as well as the design of the assets and buildings themselves.

Thinking about design for assembly not construction

As designers, we need to consider changing the word "Construction" at Stage 5 of the RIBA Plan of Works to "Assembly". This subtle shift changes how we need to embrace offsite construction and "hardwire" offsite thinking at Stage 2 Concept Design. If we try to "retrofit" DfMA and offsite techniques later we will not fully realise the full benefits. 

The need to hardwire DfMA at Stage 2

As well as delivering projects faster, lowering costs and improving quality, the use of DfMA techniques will also result in better operational and in-use outcomes. There is no downside. By consistently embedding DfMA into your Concept Design at Stage 2, you will be able to drive the productivity gains necessary to deliver the UK Government’s Construction 2025 strategy and be part of a new, safer, more sustainable construction industry.

Key Learning

DfMA overlay to Plan of Work


DfMA: A designers perspective - client drivers

Benchmark your offsite knowledge


DfMA: A client's perspective - cost

DfMA e-learning - CPD Accredited

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