Industrialization of Construction

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Industrialization of Construction


the development and improvement of construction work on the basis of mechanization and automation. The industrialization of construction has several purposes: increasing labor productivity, replacing manual labor with machines, accelerating the pace of construction, putting new projects into operation more quickly, reducing costs, and improving quality. Industrialization is the main trend of scientific and technical progress in construction. Industrialization includes the extensive use of prefabricated factory-finished large-sized elements and the conversion of production into a mechanized and continuously flowing process of assembly and installation of buildings and structures made of prefabricated assemblies and parts.

The importance of industrialized construction in ensuring high growth rates in the national economy is noted in the Program of the CPSU and in the decisions of several party congresses. The directives of the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU on the Five-Year Plan for Development of the National Economy of the USSR for 1971–75 emphasize the necessity of raising the level of industrialization in construction, increasing the degree of factory completion of assemblies and parts, and expanding the use of completely prefabricated construction (see Materialy XXIVs”ezda KPSS, 1971, p. 272). An important condition for industrializing construction is decreasing the weight of buildings and structures by extensive use of lightened designs and efficient materials (such as light concrete, keramzit [a glasslike, porous artificial building material], agloporit [an artificial material of clay or of coal waste products], pumice, plastics, high-strength steels, light metals, and glued wood products).

A considerable precast reinforced-concrete industry has been established in the USSR. The USSR is the world leader in the production of precast reinforced-concrete assemblies and parts at highly mechanized enterprises (90 million cu m of products in 1971). Precast reinforced concrete is used especially widely in housing and civil construction built using industrial methods. Production of prefabricated houses has been organized in the USSR, and house-building combines have been established, and prefabricated elements are manufactured and large-panel houses erected as an integrated process. In addition to large-panel residential construction, modular house-building is being developed and shows great promise.

The determination of the efficiency of use of precast reinforced-concrete and steel structures in building and structural projects is made for specific construction conditions on the basis of technical and economic calculations. In seismic areas, the southern parts of the country, inaccessible mountain areas, and places which are remote from the primary bases of construction, it is preferable to use load-bearing elements of high-strength grades of steel and efficient rolled sections together with lightweight enclosing elements (light concrete panels, shaped steel facing, corrugated and flat asbestos-cement sheets and panels, and light insulation).

Industrialization involves the construction industry and the building-materials industry equally. Establishing model design concepts is a prerequisite for industrializing construction. Established models make it possible to use standard construction assemblies and parts, which can be produced economically by mass production. In turn, standard models are based on standardized space-layout and design concepts for buildings and structures.

The industrialization of construction assumes a high level of organization, technology, and sophistication in construction and installation work and requires progressive organizational forms of construction management (including consolidation and specialization of construction and installation organizations, cooperation and combining, and multifunctional associations for construction and planning). Increased technological specialization involves an expansion of interregional and intersectorial links. The introduction of automated control systems using mathematical economic methods and computer technology, improved organizational technique, and progressive means of communication offer great opportunities for improving planning and management in construction and in the production of building materials, assemblies, and parts. Favorable conditions are being established for doing jobs on combined schedules and for putting up buildings immediately after receiving the prefabricated elements. In industrial construction, payment for a fully completed project or major stage of work is the basic form of settling accounts between customers and contracting organizations.

Industrialization of construction is based on systematic replacement and expansion of the productive capital of the construction industry and building-materials industry. The development of the electric power, chemical, metallurgical, and other industrial sectors makes it possible to produce new building materials and assemblies whose use increases the efficiency of capital investments.

State plans for introducing scientific and technological advances will raise the level of industrialization in construction. Industrialization of construction is the technical basis for successfully accomplishing the program of capital construction in the USSR.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.