The Changing Face of Construction

Panelization is part of the move to pre-fabrication as a way of improving speed, value and quality in construction.

In this three-part blog series, we are going to explore how the evolution of design and construction processes have dramatically changed in the past decade, especially as they relate to prefabrication and modular construction.

We’re not talking about the prefabricated kit homes of the 20th century, but rather offsite construction that accounts for a wide range of projects today, from whole-building modular solutions, to prefabricated walls and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems that can help contractors accelerate production schedules while employing less labor on site. In today’s labor-constrained construction environment, the prefabrication solution is being increasingly adopted where reduced costs, resource efficiency and meeting tight schedules are priorities.

Several industry reports have shed light on these big-picture industry trends, including a study by FMI, a leading investment banking and consulting firm focused on the engineering and construction infrastructure and the built environment, and the BIM (Building Information Modeling) Forum. They surveyed 156 industry leaders most of whom work in the commercial sector and whose businesses, collectively, represent approximately $38 billion in annual revenue.

Some of the findings:

  • In 2010, only 26% of the survey respondents were using prefabricated assemblies on more than 20% of their projects. By late 2016, this number more than doubled: 55% of respondents were using prefab assemblies on more than 20% of their projects.
  • Project inefficiencies and improved technologies are driving prefabrication as a way to mitigate labor shortages and improve construction schedules.
  • Contractors who use prefab on more than 50% of their projects are more productive and efficient compared to those who do less prefab.
  • While many contractors struggle to make prefab pencil out, others plan to increase their investments in prefab over the next five years.

Just how much can prefabrication impact a project’s bottom line, and can it really be a competitive differentiator? Join us next week as we delve deeper into this topic and take a look at the relatively small, fast-growing cottage industry of prefabrication innovators who are driving change and shaping the future of the industry.


Prefab is expanding and growing in popularity

Prefab is expanding globally, with new types of residential and commercial projects appearing on several continents.

Prefab is expanding globally, with new types of residential and commercial projects appearing on several continents.

Prefab is growing not only in size and scope, but it is also expanding options for buyers and leaving an impact on different cultures across the world. The building community often uses prefabricated techniques due to cost effectiveness, but modular methods are also opening up new doors for design innovation. Here are some ways that modular architecture is changing the construction industry.

FMI Corporation, a management consulting organization, conducted a survey in 2013 where it interviewed contractors across the construction industry about prefab techniques. According to the survey, three out of five contractors expect the use of prefab methods to grow across the industry.


What can a prefab approach bring to your build?

The construction industry is always developing, but one trend that looks like it's here to stay is prefabrication. When you can handle exterior coatings and housewrap off-site, it opens up many options for your on-site build.

The construction industry is always developing, but one trend that looks like it's here to stay is prefabrication. When you can handle exterior coatings and housewrap off-site, it opens up many options for your on-site build.

The construction industry is always developing, but one trend that looks like it’s here to stay is prefabrication. When you can handle exterior coatings and housewrap off-site, it opens up many options for your on-site build.


The truth behind 4 prefab myths

What are some of myths surrounding prefab architecture and what's the truth of the matter?

What are some of myths surrounding prefab architecture and what's the truth of the matter?

What are some of myths surrounding prefab architecture and what’s the truth of the matter?