Design and construction of energy efficient housing using industrialized methods

School of Architecture La Salle, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain

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Dr. Núria Martí


Dr. Alexandra Paio, School of Technology and Architecture, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Dr. Ignacio Guillén, School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain


CASAIS, Braga, Portugal

School of Technology and Architecture, ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal

Research project

The delivery of energy efficient residential buildings is a holistic problem, which needs to be addressed with a systematic approach. The information generated throughout the design, construction and operation of housing needs to be integrated in a seamless manner in order to understand the impact of the decisions taken at each stage in the overall design and building lifecycle. In order to use this information to design and build affordable and sustainable housing, it is necessary 1) to take advantage of the interlinking of BIM with product catalogues and energy simulation tools, 2) to foster the application of industrialized processes to produce more energy efficient buildings and more sustainable living environments, and 3) to involve users in the decision making throughout the various stages of the whole building lifecycle.

Offsite modular construction of residential units can help to reduce the environmental impact and energy use in the construction phase: using dry construction methods, reducing transport and pollution, reducing waste of materials, using sustainable products and efficient assembly techniques. Likewise, the application of lean methods (i.e. Integrated Project Delivery, IPD) in the construction sector can contribute to improving the collaboration between contractors, clients and architects by facilitating the concurrence of the decisions from all stakeholders involved rather than separating their specific decision-making realms linearly throughout the building lifecycle.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the benefits that a combination of ICT technologies and industrialized methods bring to the delivery of affordable and sustainable housing; and to propose measures to increase their impact. The expected results are guidelines for actors involved in housing delivery using industrialized methods to optimize working processes using ICTs, and methodologies to assess the efficiency of the proposed methodologies.

->To conduct individual research project, interlinked to the other ESRs projects, focusing on:
  • Analysis of best practices in design and construction of housing with industrialized methods (lean construction, open systems) to deliver energy efficient buildings (green building)
  • Methodologies to analyse the impact of industrialized processes, materials throughout the overall building lifecycle (whole building approach)
  • Establishing indicators to assess the performance of sustainable and affordable housing during the whole building lifecycle (life cycle analysis)
  • Integration of BIM, component catalogues and energy simulation tools in the overall design, construction and operation phases.
  • Involvement of dwellers in the whole building lifecycle to reduce energy performance gap
->To participate in the network-wide activities (workshops, summer schools, conferences)
->To carry out the training required by the PhD programme of the host university.

As part of the individual research project, ESRs will carry out two secondments, each of 2 to 3 months, in partner organisations.

ESRs are expected to have completed a doctoral thesis that can be defended at the host institution within or shortly thereafter the project lifetime.

Host university

FUNITEC, a member institution of the Ramon Llull University, governs the La Salle Schools of Architecture, Engineering, Digital Arts and Business. Research in architecture is structured in three lines of work:1. The design and implementation of building and urban development tools, processes, and strategies to achieve a sustainable built environment 2. The rehabilitation of buildings and urban environments to adapt them to current demands, and 3. The improvement of the energy efficiency of buildings through passive design strategies and the application of ICT technologies.

The group ARC Engineering and Architecture La Salle has over 20 years’ experience in the fields of modular housing and building energy efficiency which have been carried out over national and international research projects. Some examples are the BARCODE HOUSING SYSTEM, the EECITIES platform developed in the FP7 SEMANCO project, the BAUKOM product catalogue compatible with BIM technologies and the ENERHAT and ENERPAT applications to assess the state of the residential building stock and implement rehabilitation measures.


Prof. Leandro Madrazo (

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