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Standardisation and Pre-assembly

Published 13th February 2006 by Constructing Excellence

Standardisation and pre-assembly are used in most industry sectors to improve customer satisfaction and increase profitability. The principles may be applied individually but maximum benefit will accrue where they are used together as part of an overall project strategy.


CIRIA (1997) defines standardisation as ‘the extensive use of components, methods or processes in which there is regularity, repetition and a background of successful practice. More generally, an agreed shared framework for project decisions, such as common interfaces or a dimensional grid’. There are several forms of standardisation.


CIRIA (1997) have defined pre-assembly for a given piece of work as ‘the organisation and completion of a substantial proportion of final assembly work before installation in its final position. It includes many forms of sub-assembly. It can take place on-site, but more usually off-site, and often involves standardisation’.

Many different terms are used to describe pre-assembly. These vary between different sectors and even within the same sector. However, for this Introduction we have identified three basic forms of pre-assembled units.

Related Issues

The following related issues should be given priority:

  • Clear understanding of client needs and project characteristics
  • Measurement of benefits
  • Application within a project-wide strategy
  • Process re-aligned from construction towards manufacturing
  • Optimisation rather than ‘unthinking’ maximisation
  • Early and effective involvement of suppliers and manufacturers
  • Integration of design and construction
  • Procurement methods which suit involvement and integration
  • Changed management approach
  • Changed supply chain logistics
  • Changed site logistic

Standardisation and Preassembly Factsheet

Filed in: Business Processes