Platform based strategies have proved to be a successful approach for achieving optimum balances between standardization and variation in many industries. However, application of this concept in the housebuilding industry is relatively new. This article describes a new methodology for developing product platform architectures in the specific setting of the housebuilding industry. This methodology comprises a reference framework describing the basic elements that constitutes a product platform, supported by a protocol for developing product platforms. The applicability of the proposed methodology has been tested at a Dutch housebuilding company. In this study, the methodology demonstrated its added value in determining which modules to standardize and defining a product platform. This article also describes a distinctive method of housing classification that is based on the spatial use of houses. Compared to the traditional classification system based on technical construction elements, the proposed new classification system facilitates a better translation of functional requirements into technical specifications.
- Product platform - Product architecture - Standardization - Modularization - Customization - Housebuilding industry