A methodology for the optimal modularization of building design

Shabtai Isaac, Thomas Bock, Yaniv Stoliar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The use of prefabricated modules has the potential to increase the efficiency of onsite construction activities, as well as the adaptability of buildings. However, such modules currently require a degree of repetitiveness to which many clients object. To resolve this conflict, a graph-based methodology is proposed that decomposes the design into non-repetitive modules that can be preassembled offsite, without restricting the design in advance. Such modules contain components that have similar future replacement rates, and a limited number of connections to other components. A clustering algorithm is applied on data from BIM tools for an optimal definition of the modules and their interfaces. A computer program is developed to allow the automated application of the methodology in large and complex projects. The research demonstrates that graph-based models can be useful for representing and analyzing construction projects. A graph-based approach has the potential to be successfully applied in additional areas, in order to provide project management tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-124
Number of pages9
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Automation
  • BIM
  • Construction management
  • Design management


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