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Social Network Analysis of DFAB House: A Demonstrator of Digital Fabrication in Construction
- Conference Paper
Digital fabrication technology such as robotic fabrication and 3D printing shows promise to provide customized building components at lower cost while also improving efficiency, reducing waste, and increasing on-site safety. However, the application of digital fabrication in construction is still in its early stages. Digital fabrication differs fundamentally from the conventional means of construction as it combines design and construction into an integrated process through programming languages. Past research suggests systemic innovations such as digital fabrication will require more integrated and collaborative project ecosystems to succeed. However, few digital fabrication projects have been completed, and little research has quantitatively assessed the emerging network structures of such collaborative project ecosystems for digital fabrication. Important questions remain about what type of project setting, team structure, and project organizational structures are effective when implementing digital fabrication. This paper looks at the case study of DFAB HOUSE, the first inhabited home planned and constructed predominantly using digital fabrication, to answer These questions. Using Social Network Analysis (SNA), we visualize the network of actors and quantify the network characteristics for the interactions, information exchange, trust and challenge between project participants. From this analysis, we suggest that implementation of digital fabrication benefits from 1) a dynamic, multi-polar organizational structure, 2) strong industry/researcher ties with bi-directional information exchange, and 3) has high levels of interdisciplinary challenge ties that do not correlate with low levels of trust ties. Furthermore, we discuss how a network perspective of project organization can help analyze and communicate the organizational structures at work when implementing novel digital fabrication technologies in an innovative and exploratory construction project. We conclude with suggestions to further study integrated, interdisciplinary project structures that could prove effective for the future adoption of new digital fabrication technologies or other systemic innovations in AEC. Show more
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Journal / seriesProceedings of EPOC 2019
Organisational unit09624 - Hall, Daniel M. / Hall, Daniel M.
02284 - NFS Digitale Fabrikation / NCCR Digital Fabrication
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