The construction business has existed as long as the mankind. For all these centuries, it has always been known as demanding, time consuming and extremely labor-intensive. However, trends in construction industry always tend to reduce cost and the time for building, increase productivity and improve quality. One of the methods to achieve all this is by using prefabrication.
What is prefabrication?
Prefabrication has been around for about a century, so it is not a completely new concept in the construction industry. It involves creating elements of a building off-site, which will later be installed and completed on the construction site of the project. This concept has changed the construction industry immensely. It has brought new methods of building, new ways of solving problems, many new opportunities, but also some new issues for the construction industry. It has plenty of benefits, but also some drawbacks, which we will mention in this article.
Pros of prefabrication
As mentioned above, prefabrication brought new concepts and new problems for the industry. We will start with its advantages and the positive changes it brought.
First of all, using prefabricated elements reduces the time spent on the building site, and thus increases productivity. This is especially important in the fast-developing areas, where it is important that the projects are completed quickly. Another benefit of using prefabricated elements is that the logistic on the site is much simpler. Once the elements are delivered, it is easier to organize the workers on site and complete the project within the schedule. The fact that these elements spend less time on the site brings another advantage – they are less exposed to weather conditions. This reduces the chance of any weather damage, since the elements are used shortly after they are delivered on the site.
What is very important and desirable in modern times is that the projects are green and the waste of the material is minimal. Prefabrication is useful in this case as well. Using this system decreases waste of the material and there is less damage to the environment.
The common concern of investors is that prefabricated buildings will not have the same level of quality as the buildings build the traditional way. However, since the trends in prefabrication are constantly improving, this is no longer the case.
Cons of prefabrication
While there are many benefits of prefabrication, there are also some drawbacks that are worth mentioning. First of all, prefabricated elements are mainly designed based on the predetermined standards and templates. Even though there are plenty of options, the level of creativity is still reduced when compared to traditionally built buildings. There is also very little space for any changes once the building is assembled. Another drawback is the cost of this building method, even though the trends move toward making it more affordable and available. The price of this building method depends on the distance between the factory and the construction site. If the factory is more than 500 miles away from the site, the costs increase immensely, because they involve transportation of the elements over long distances.