American Society of Civil Engineers

Management of Prefabrication for Complex Cladding: Case Study

by Alistair G. F. Gibb, (Lect., Dept. of Civ. and Build. Engrg., Loughborough Univ. of Technol., Loughborough, LE11 3TU, UK) and Richard H. Neale, (Prof. and Head of School, School of the Built Environment, Univ. of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, CF37 1DL, UK)

Journal of Architectural Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 2, June 1997, pp. 60-69, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: It is not inconceivable that everything except the basic structure of an office building could be prefabricated in the near future. Quality and schedule are nearly always improved with prefabrication due to the simple change from an uncontrolled work environment to a controlled one. One Ludgate Place, is a 14,745 m², £90,000,000 speculative commercial development in central London. This high quality office building has an exposed structural steel frame, within which are fitted prefabricated cladding panels. This paper combines the results from two research programs. The first in the area of prefabrication and the second in the management of high quality cladding construction. The writers describe the Ludgate Place project, incorporating the cladding design, testing, assembly, and installation. Factors that influenced the decision to use prefabrication are presented and evaluated, namely, cost; time; quality; past experience; design; weather joints; performance tests; site logistics; and safety. Construction interfaces and tolerances, particularly between cladding and structure, are discussed, and the future of prefabricated cladding is considered.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Case studies
Construction management
Performance characteristics