As the world is taking steps towards modernization teamed with sustainable development, the AEC industry is not that far behind. There have been numerous monumental advancements in the construction sector to support its attempts at adopting latest concepts and technology while minimizing carbon footprint. One such initiative that is now widely adopted by architectural firms all over the world due to its viability, convenience and potential of waste reduction is Prefabricated Architecture.
Although first named around the Industrial Revolution, the concept of Prefabricated Architecture was prevalent since centuries. It is one based around manufacturing components of the structure offsite and then simply transporting and putting them together in place on-site.
Prefabricated structures are similar to those built using traditional architecture in regards to structural integrity and utility and yet they offer a multitude of additional benefits for architects, manufacturers, contractors and end-users.
Most significant 5 of which are discussed below:
Decreased negative environmental impact
Prefabricated structures are environment friendly as the process of assembly and installation makes efficient utilization of reusable raw materials in a way that wastage is minimized.
Additionally, buildings built using traditional construction method are demolished after their intended use and the debris is discarded creating massive construction waste each year. Prefabricated buildings can make a huge impact by eliminating such demolishment waste entirely as the components of such structures can be reused and recycled over and over again.
Higher Quality and Consistency
The quality of conventionally built structures is highly dependent on the on-site personnel and contractors and solely relying on subjective skill levels of manpower often leads to inconsistent work. Though miniscule, when all these factors pile up, they contribute to inferior overall quality and craftsmanship.
The components consisting of prefabricated structures and manufactured by experienced crew in a highly mechanized and controlled environment, ensures strict adherence to specific standards. The sub-assemblies of structures also undergo multiple quality checks guarantee that they are produced with greater precision, uniformity and conformity to building code. Modern technologies such as Architectural BIM Services can be used to create digital 3D models of buildings and store information about the specifications (dimensions, materials, cost, scheduling, etc.) of components, which can then be used for manufacturing these components.
Improved Time and Cost Efficiency
Prefabricated architecture makes use of components that are mass manufactured on a production line with predetermined amount of materials, making the process quick and minimizing wastage. They are also made using efficient utilization of reusable raw materials, making them more economical as compared to making components from scratch in conventional construction method. It also requires lower manpower and less cost as elements are ordered and transported in bulk all of which allows for improved construction process.
With prefabrication, contractors do not need to waste time waiting for site cleaning, foundation construction and for concrete to dry so that they can begin constructing of next phases from scratch. Prefabrication, along with BIM Services, allows for simultaneous production and delivery of new components while on-site operations are taking place with the available components.
Bridging gap between labor demand and supply
As compared to traditional RCC construction that requires extensive on-site workforce with diverse skills, prefab Architecture requires minimal labor. This is because the on-site workers are not required to carry out any work other than assembling and linking the components in place as instructed by the contractor, thereby reducing construction costs by a significant proportion.
Better Control and Safety
Factors such as weather, material scheduling, equipment or machinery breakdown and other factors are prone to last minute changes which make them highly unpredictable. With prefabricated buildings, all contractors have to ensure is timely delivery of prefabricated components which are quickly assembled, eliminating the need to take risks of unforeseen events that cause unnecessary delays, thus ensuring greater control over the entire process.
Furthermore, laborers in traditional construction settings have to work in dangerous site conditions at steep heights and around heavy machinery, making them susceptible to minor as well as fatal injuries. Whereas, in prefabrication industry where different construction operations are separated, laborers work in various types of fabrication shops specially designed according to the component to be manufactured. These shops have controlled environment and appropriate safety measures in place.
Owing to its multitude of benefits like high quality, uniform consistency, cost-effectiveness, etc. investing in prefabricated architecture proves to be increasingly beneficial to construction firms. It also helps them capitalize on market opportunities like eco-friendliness and green sustainability. Fabrication shops allow dividing of activities on and off site, enabling greater flexibility on the project cost and scheduling. Prefabrication aids firms to incorporate modernization and stay ahead of competition by ensuring growth and survival.