Modern construction methods include both on-site and off-site ways of constructing buildings. Traditional construction happens on-site while prefab construction is off-site construction. While on-site traditional construction is a well known way of building, modular construction is still an emerging area.
Success in off-site construction depends on meticulous planning and designing of parts of a building. We present to you here the details of off-site manufacturing in the construction industry.
What is off-site manufacturing?
We use the term off-site manufacturing to describe a process of constructing structures using prefabricated material manufactured away from the construction site and is transported from manufacturing facilities to the site for assembling.
How off-site construction works
The prefab parts are manufactured in plants under controlled conditions according to pre-designed patterns. The units that come in the form of blocks and panels are joined into sections on-site. This assembly process is swift and produces a uniform finish. Buildings come up in very little time and show a better look than traditional construction.
Materials and methods of manufacture
Prefabs are manufactured using a wide range of durable yet lightweight materials and are available in various shapes, sizes, scales, and systems. Latest technology and dedicated software used in the manufacturing process add to the attraction of prefabs.
Off-site manufacture produces sections of buildings, panels, individual units, and modular components that can be utilized in structural construction as well as interiors and enclosures and entire structures.
Modular units are the almost complete units manufactured in factory. They come as 3D units that are joined at the construction site to create service or structural parts of buildings. They come in two varieties- the re-locatable and the permanent. While the re-locatable variety caters to temporary construction and space needs and can be dismantled and transported to new sites, the permanent variety are closer to traditional construction that are manufactured in chunks.
Need for modular construction
Traditional construction divides construction responsibilities to different agents for various construction activities such as masonry, electrical connections, plumbing etc. The agents work with little coordination among them. Modular construction has all agents working as one team to complete a project inside out. The workforce for prefab construction is kept intact for across various projects creating team cohesion and understanding and speeding up work. Construction goals sometimes lead to compromise on quality of material. This subsequently raises the risk factor in construction. Pre-planned modular construction reduces the tendency by creating a balance between competing requirements.
Projects that benefit from modular construction
Projects with strict time schedules and need for least disruption during construction benefit most from prefab construction methods. High tech and repetitive projects also use prefab construction.
Once you know the pros and cons of on-site and off-site manufacturing construction you can decide the one you need to use for optimal productivity. You may go for a combination of the two methods dedicating one part of the construction project to on-site work and completing the other parts with prefab building blocks.