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

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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!

 

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Modular Construction- The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Conventional construction needs to be challenged and all the downsides of this type of construction need to be addressed. Today’s constructions demand a better way to manage quality, reduce construction time, and avoid the obstacles and hindrances of onsite construction. Modular construction is becoming increasingly popular as it very effectively addresses all the concerns of traditional construction methods.

However, when implementing such type of constructions, our minds are crowded with a number of questions regarding quality, reliability and sustainability. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about modular construction:

How is modular construction different from conventional construction?
A conventional building is constructed onsite – from scratch. A modular building is constructed in a factory – under a highly controlled environment. Pre-fabricated structures are delivered onsite where they are ultimately assembled to complete the construction. These prefabricated structures are called modules. Since the site prep and production can happen simultaneously, the overall construction is faster too.

What are the benefits of modular construction?
As opposed to conventional construction, the modular method is faster and cheaper too. Typically it is observed that the modular method is 50% faster than the traditional means of construction. There is basically no delay while waiting for the foundation to be poured and the framing to go up – and then begin the construction. The buildings are up and running in half the time – with a superior quality.

Modular Construction

Are modular construction materials of a lower quality?
This is a common misconception! In fact, modular constructions are of a superior quality even though the materials used are cheaper and lighter in weight. The materials used are just as sturdy as in any other construction and hence durable and reliable too. The structures are actually designed with a higher level of precision and consistency is maintained too – because the production happens in a highly controlled environment.

Is modular construction more expensive?
Again this is one more misconception. A modular construction project is 10% to 20% less expensive than a conventional construction project. Well, the good part is that it can fit various budgets too.

How long does it take to complete a modular construction?
Once the modules have been delivered to the site, it’s just about the time that is required to assemble them. This makes modular construction more and easier and hence quick too. Depending on the complexity of the design and the size of the project – this type of construction can be completed within months.

Is there a size limit for modular construction?
Well, the simple answer is – no. The only regulations that you could require to check are the government regulations in that area. You can otherwise design your building as large as you want. The rules are same as those that are applied to traditional construction.

This type of construction is becoming increasingly popular and more and more infrastructure projects prefer prefabricated parts that are assembled onsite. They prefer the quality, reliability and the flexibility along with the adaptability that this type of construction offers.

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!

Why should you use precast concrete for construction?

Rapid urban development requires the help of new technology to go beyond more the traditional building methods. Precast infrastructure is one such technology that provides the means to bring up structures easily, quickly, and conveniently.

Precast technology provides the solution to infrastructural demands. It prefabricates units used in infrastructure development in controlled factory areas situated off-site. Once transported to the construction sites, these units are easy to assemble and fit to complete a structure. Reusable moulds are used to cast concrete off-site.  The concrete is cured and made ready for transportation to sites. What are the advantages of using this prefabricated concrete? Look at some of the benefits of using this material for infrastructural needs.

Precast Infrastructure in India

Less cumbersome
Precast concrete does away with the need to move cumbersome machines and all other raw material needed for making concrete to the site. It reduces the work of mixing, and carrying the mixture manually to be poured into casts prepared manually. Factory made units of concrete are a convenient construction alternative.

Versatility
Precast concrete is used in all types of construction work- for building houses, commercial buildings, infrastructure development projects, and special projects. The units come in both standard shapes and sizes and can also be custom made and designed for a particular structural needs. The range of precast concrete units extends from wall sections, to concrete beams and panels to hollow blocks.

Quality
Concrete units are superior in quality. They are uniform in size, each has the same density and dimension. The standardized product ensures a better finish for the building.

Durability
Concrete produces a tough surface that withstands corrosion for long periods of time. Precast concrete has the added advantage of tighter tolerance levels. The concrete mix made in the factory uses optimum water and is adequately compacted. Problems of curing are avoided with the use of precast concrete. The units are given correct drying time and the process of drying is carried out in a controlled environment to give them maximum strength.

Benefit to the environment
Use of these concrete units benefits the environment by reducing pollution of concrete dust. Natural materials are used to manufacture this concrete to help in controlling environmental damage. The process of production absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide and cleans the air. During demolition of structures, these units cause less pollution and toxicity in the area. The units are reusable which further helps in environmental conservation.

Variety of finish
The end user gets to choose from a range of finishes according to requirement. There are non skid surfaces, patterned surfaces, and smooth surfaces available. All the surfaces can easily be treated chemically and polished for better appearance.

Using precast concrete for construction work is a smart decision. It is safe, profitable, and durable. Precast infrastructure has rapidly grown in popularity because of its versatility and high quality. Using the blocks and units simplifies the task of constructing buildings.

KEF Infra is a Pioneer of Offsite manufacturing, modular construction company & precast infrastructure in India.

Are precast concrete structures better? How?

It’s a known fact that precast concrete structures produce superior buildings than standard forms of concrete structures. So, what makes Precast Concrete Construction so different than other forms of constructions? After all, the concrete does not know whether it is statically reinforced or pre-tensioned (pre-stressed)! Precast concrete is prepared and cured at a location other than the construction site. But what really distinguishes precast from in-situ is it’s stress and strain response to external (load induced) and internal (autogenously volumetric changes) effects. Precast elements are of a finite size and need to be joined to the other elements of the construction to form a complete structure.

Basically, concrete is a mixture of sand, gravel and other aggregates that are usually bound together by a water based binder. Modifying agents and additives are introduced to improve the characteristics of the concrete.

Precast Concrete Construction

Precast concrete is cast under factory controlled conditions and not erected on site until it is fully hardened. Just like in-situ concrete, precast concrete can be plain, reinforced or pre-stressed concrete.

The process becomes more ‘buildable’
With precast structures, the entire process becomes easy and more ‘buildable’. This is because, the construction sequence becomes more sensible and each part is pre-built to exactly fit into place. The overall construction is safe and    there is a sense of stability too. Further, skilled labor is used for the construction of buildings using precast concrete and hence the overall quality of work is superior.

Simply more cost effective
With precast structures, the building component cost per – structural capacity is comparable to other materials and the overall cost of construction including transport, fixing finishing, maintenance and repair are competitive. There is lowest standard deviation and hence quality and final finish is assured. This method uses factory engineered concrete and hence destructive load testing and non-destructive load testing assurances are given.

Fast to erect
The precast concrete manufacturing takes some time – even several weeks. But, once ready, it greatly speeds up the on-site construction work. Clear heights, floor zones and other statistics are accurately built and it greatly speeds up the entire process.

Above all, the intrinsic qualities of an industrial product, manufactured in a controlled environment with accurate methods are bound to be superior to standard concrete mixed onsite. In a factory controlled environment, advanced quality control methods are used and hence the final finish is far better than standard concrete mix. Well, the dimensional accuracy, properties of the hardened concrete and reinforcement can all be checked before inclusion in the structure and hence the final product is more robust.

On a final note, factory made products are independent of the weather conditions on the site and are processed separately from the construction work on site. That’s why they have fewer external dependencies and external factors that negatively impact their quality.

In a world where the need for speed and quality is a never ending quest, precast concrete adds real value to a construction project and offers just the right solution for building sustainable – futuristic structures!

Modular Construction – the future of construction!

Building a home ground up – takes quite some time, even if it is an average home, it takes almost a year to complete – from conceptual design to when a home owner finally moves in.
Modular Construction goes far beyond the typical concept of construction and has created quite a revolution in the way buildings are developed. A building or home is constructed by assembling parts that are ‘manufactured’ in a highly controlled factory environment. Architectural designs are created and then repeated using the exact same materials and manufacturing standards.

With repeatable designs and construction methods, a home can be built within half the time taken for normal construction – that’s how revolutionizing this method is!

Modular Construction india

Here is why Modular Construction is going to be the future of construction!

Predictable outcome
In this type of construction, modules are created offsite and are then transported to the location of construction to be assembled into a complete structure. Since each module is built with precision and exactly the same dimensions, the outcome is predictable and you know beforehand what the final product looks like. The process is foolproof and highly repeatable and delivers the same quality every single time – removing all the guesswork of what the final product will look like!

Lower construction costs
It’s a known fact that the total cost of a new home is typically 60% of its selling price. The underlying principle is that when construction costs are high, the selling price will naturally be higher. Conversely when construction costs go down, the selling price also goes down. Modular Constructions have significantly reduced the construction costs and offers as much as 50% of savings to the end customer or buyer as opposed to homes built with traditional construction methods.

Heightened efficiency
Since Modular Construction takes place in a factory controlled environment, there is strict adherence to processes and procedure and hence the overall efficiency is high. Plus, there is no ‘environmental factors’ that create a hindrance in the processes. Workers can work 365 days of a year and round the clock and the entire process is seamless without external factors creating any glitches. Well, the repetition of the same process over and over again brings accuracy in the way people work and the overall efficiency of the entire process is heightened!

Increased onsite safety
When it comes down to safety, onsite construction requires you to take utmost precaution and ensure that your labor force is equipped with the right kind of safety gear and safety training. Further, just in case there are any accidents onsite, further construction is stalled until all the underlying issues are resolved. Since Modular Construction happens in a factory all these kinds of safety issues are significantly reduced. Bad weather, equipment malfunction and human errors could pose a greater danger onsite rather than in a highly controlled environment as in a factory.

As for the future of construction, modular buildings definitely will take over the traditional onsite construction methods!

One of the Modular Building Companies in India, name KEFInfra  provides Modular Building Construction Services in cost effective way.

Is modular the future of construction?

One of the most interesting developments in construction is – modular construction. The reason for its increasing popularity is its ability to shorten construction time and improve the quality and sustainability of the construction. It standardizes the construction and enables customization of the various elements too. Individual modules are constructed with great precision and are then combined to create larger structures.

Well, an Offsite Construction, whether modular or prefabricated, requires a highly detailed plan at an early stage of the project. It is however more sustainable and more efficient.

modular building construction India

Here’s why modular construction is seen as the future of construction:

Less material waste – Since all the elements are created in a factory, it makes things easier when it comes to recycling wastes. The materials can be reused and are not discarded as opposed to ‘on-site wastes’ in conventional construction.

Less site disturbance – The usual buzz created by the workers, transport vehicles and equipment onsite is reduced as majority of the actual ‘work’ happens at a factory far away from the construction site.

Flexibility of use – the modules can be reused and recycled as per requirement. They can also be relocated, remodeled and refurbished with minimal energy.

Reduction in construction schedule – The modules are produced at the same time the site is ‘prepared’ for construction. Meaning the lead time is reduced. In turn, the completion time for the entire project is reduced by 30 to 50%.

Delays due to bad weather are reduced – with conventional construction; there are a number of delays due to bad weather. This weather delays are reduced by at least 60% to almost 90% in some cases. This is mainly because the modules are produced in a closed factory environment.

Safer environment – The factory environment is highly controlled and is definitely safer for workers as opposed to an open construction site which is susceptible to a number of work related ‘accidents’.

Built to code with quality materials – Modular buildings follow the same code as the onsite construction buildings. The materials go through a thorough quality check before they are selected for use in the modules. Only the best quality material is used to construct these modules in a factory.

Challenges of traditional construction

Traditional construction is mainly linear and requires every step to be complete before the next one can begin. Weather damage can inconsistency in the availability of labor could be some of the limiting factors of this kind of construction. Further, the construction happens out in the open, and is highly dependent on weather conditions.

The construction and infrastructure market is highly competitive and in order to provide facilities at that are fully functional – quickly, it’s vital that constructions use modular methods rather than conventional. This enables them to deliver results faster and more efficiently. Well, the quality of construction is at par with the quality of construction seen in on site – traditional means!

KEF Infra, an Modular Off Site Construction Company specializing in Modular Building Construction in India and provide the cost effective services in a timely manner.