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Construction Management

Faculty of Engineering, LTH

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Tolerances in the construction industry

Different traditions have evolved in terms of the tolerances that are expected and achievable for various building materials. In any construction project, many different materials and components are combined to create the end-product. Understanding what tolerance levels should apply to which components is a continuing problem. Companies dealing with concrete, steel, timber and glass can each apply different practices and measurement techniques. The transition of one material to another, or the joining of materials, is a constant source of difficulty and manifests in practice in many quality failures. Understanding how to deal with these conflicts is a major challenge for the construction industry and its designers, constructors and material producers.

Precision, in a very broad sense, has to do with knowledge of the characteristics of components and systems and enables one to develop construction solutions that function as they should, in their entirety and in their individual parts and, not least, in terms of the use to which they are to be put. The challenge is to connect all the expertise to examine the chain of process elements that begins with structural design and continues through the construction and industrial production of the different components, units and interfaces, and ends in on-site production. Another important aspect of the research is the innovation process, starting with the aim of improving performance in a broad sense, and going on to develop individual process steps, identifying how improvement can be supported, hindered or opportunities to support it missed within the process as a whole and in relation to other steps. The goal is to reduce construction costs through adequate control over construction work as it proceeds, the level of performance attained, the geometry of the structures involved, the measures that apply to the different parts, the levels of tolerance accepted and the measurements made.

Funded by SBUF, Byggrådet, Strängbetong AB and A-betong

Contact: Monika Jingmond or Anne Landin

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