Category Archives: Offsite Manufacturing

Off-site Manufacturing in the Construction Industry- Explained

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.

offsite manufacturing construction

Prefab range
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 prefabs
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.

KEF Infra – Infrastructure Development Company

Infrastructure development plays an integral role in the growth of any economy. We are currently experiencing a revolution in the infrastructure industry and economies need to channelize their efforts in order to become future ready and adapt to the changing trends. Traditional methods of building are no longer sustainable as they are impacted by a lot of project delays due to climate changes, labour availability, and accessibility of material or due to regulatory approvals. These methods are also subject to a number of external factors that impact the build quality and the delivery time. These delays in infrastructure can also impact other sectors such as education and healthcare and reflect on the overall economy at large. In order to bridge this gap, and provide better access to quality infrastructure, KEF Infra has set out to employ more evolved and innovative methods of building technologies.

We understand that technology is the answer when demands and expectations from the infrastructure industry is high. Urban growth and development requires time and cost reducing solutions that only technology and higher skilled workforce can provide. By developing a long term solution, with science, design and technology as the foundation, we are positive that the gap shall be bridged.

Technology, innovation and automation are the main driving forces for progress and at KEF Infra, we offer the most efficient and cost effective building solutions without sacrificing architectural design or site utilization. WE are the pioneers in Offsite Manufacturing and have a state of the art offsite manufacturing facility that ensures that quality is maintained at every stage.

Infrasturcture

Offsite Manufacturing – the building process is taken away from the physical site to a controlled factory environment. There is a great improvement in terms of cost savings, time to deliver and the quality of the final structure.

Precast – this is the process of creating a construction product (a pillar, column or a beam) by casting concrete in a reusable mould. This is then cured in a controlled environment and then transported to the physical site and lifted to place.

Modular Construction – this is based on the idea of ‘assemble rather than build’. It brings about a paradigm shift in terms of infrastructure development – especially in the units such as hospitals, hotels and homes.

Above all, these techniques allow for more control over the final product and provide greater efficiency and speed of delivery. It also ensures that the final product is of the highest quality.

These methods are more appealing to the modern age infrastructure because, they are extremely cost effective, agile and sustainable with absolutely no compromise on quality.

The focus is to revolutionize technology and address the real world problems and provide innovative solutions that are sustainable – even in the long run. We believe in being the trends setters, path breakers and change makers to redefine construction!

Offsite Manufacturing Construction – drawbacks and benefits

There are two established methods of construction. The traditional construction includes transporting all the raw material onsite where construction workers ‘build’ and put things together manually. A more recent advancement in this area of work is Offsite manufacturing construction where the most common parts of the construction are manufactured in a factory controlled environment and are then transported to the construction site and assembled to form a complete structure. The parts are manufactured in a factory and are hence very precisely built. They are subjected to stringent quality control procedures and the quality of the final product is assured. Well, this type of construction is gaining a lot of popularity. However, there are certain drawbacks and certain advantages that you should be aware of. Breaking the conventions, this kind of construction has made it possible to raise the quality bar for construction jobs and has made a huge difference in how the construction industry is perceived. Here are a few points that highlight the drawbacks and the

off-man

Are there any drawbacks in offsite construction?

We are all aware of the many benefits of offsite construction, but always wonder what the drawbacks of this kind of system could be. The first and the most important drawback is that although it is an emerging method in the construction industry, there are still very few who have the right kind of knowledge to follow through with the entire project. The design and construction industry conflicts could cause hindrance. There have always been concerns about distance and transportation between the jobsite and offsite. Above all the lack of knowledge supersedes all other drawbacks.

What are the benefits of offsite construction?

The benefits of offsite construction are manifold. Right from

  • The prefabricated components speed up the construction time. This results in lower labor costs.
  • It allows for year round construction and the process is not interrupted by known factors.
  • The progress of the construction is not affected by the weather conditions such as excessive rain, heat, snow etc.
  • The mechanization used in prefabricated construction ensures precision and uniformity.
  • There is adherence to building code standards and there is also greater quality assurance.
  • There is less wasted material than in an onsite construction.
  • The materials are protected from exposure to other elements during construction.
  • The comfort levels for workers in greater.
  • The safety standards are higher than that of onsite construction.
  • High degree of customization is possible.
  • Quality control ensures high energy efficiency too.
  • Cost savings are huge!

Once the modules are transported onsite, the building is installed into a permanent foundation and is fastened to the ground. These buildings usually meet all the applicable building codes and follow all the regulations as would be required by any other traditionally constructed building. After they are put together, the final result is a highly robust, building of better quality – yet affordable!

 

Advantages and barriers to using offsite manufacturing construction

Fundamentally, Offsite Manufacturing Construction is the manufacturing or preassembly of the various components of the buildings before they are transported to the construction site to be installed in their final locations. Offsite construction is based on the principles of efficiency and quality and they employ manufacturing philosophy which is conducive to an environment for innovation.

Prefabrication and modularization are two methods in which offsite construction can be achieved. Prefabrication covers the offsite materials, parts and subassemblies as well as volumetric units or modules. Modular construction greatly reduces the complexity and allows for customization. Three dimensional units are manufactured in a controlled factory setting and are transported onsite where they are finally assembled.

offsite manufacturing construction

Advantages
The factory is usually at a fixed location that has good transport links. It provides a controlled environment unaffected by climate or other such factors.

Value

  • Quality- consistency in the process following in a controlled factory environment directly corresponds to improved quality and therefore predictable product behavior.
  • Customer satisfaction – improved quality results in fewer defects and hence greater customer satisfaction.
  • Technical – Higher levels of thermal or acoustic performance are achieved due to the high level of quality assurance processes employed as well as the investment in research and development.

Efficiency

  • Time – Since all the ‘modules’ are prefabricated, the overall construction time is reduced.
  • Waste – the factory environment results in tighter control of materials and the material usage is optimized. The factory production of construction elements can have much lower resource inputs and reduced waste outputs.
  • Flexibility – a customized approach ensured a level of variations that can be done to suit customer requirements.

Sustainability

  • Improved work environment – The entire construction culture has been revolutionized because the factory environment greatly improves the working conditions for workers.
  • Environment – efficient use of raw materials directly corresponds to an environment friendly process as opposed to traditional construction where there is a lot of waste involved.

Offsite construction can offer significant financial benefits through higher speed of construction and early completion of the project. However there are a number of barriers too that need to be addressed before actually implementing such a construction method. Let’s explore a few of them.

Barriers in offsite construction
There are very few barriers or challenges in the implementation of offsite construction. Resistance to change is a very common phenomenon and offsite construction is a very different skillet that gives emphasis on holistic knowledge and an improved understanding of project planning and scheduling. The skill sets required are different. Higher capital investment is another key aspect to be considered. Offsite construction requires a strong business leadership combined with operational knowledge. Offsite construction also has a completely different business model too as it is more closely associated with manufacturing and draws its principles in quality and efficiency and reduction of wastes along with cost benefits.

Moving construction from an open site to a controlled factory environment is definitely the future of construction!