4 Best Practices for Managing Offsite Prefabrication

by | Nov 15, 2019 | All, Electrical, Mechanical


Prefabrication involves constructing chunks of a project in
a factory or other location separate from the main project site, then hauling
them to the jobsite at the right time in the erection schedule. Ideally, throughout
this process, the architect and general contractor collaborate with
construction teams using a BIM software tool, most often Autodesk Revit. If you haven’t already heard
about the benefits of prefabrication a hundred times, they include:




  • better working conditions (protected from
  • more precise materials delivery schedule,
  • easier staging for complex projects,
  • better labor coordination,
  • increased safety.




The September, 2019, Construction Productivity blog “Ultimate Guide to Manage Off-Site Prefabrication,”
includes a list of best practices for offsite prefabrication. These best
practices are based on firms using the building information modeling process to
develop the best version of the project model before construction begins.




  1. Address
    clashes early
    .  Plan for quality. Clashes
    need to be caught and remedied in the model stage – when they are easiest and
    least expensive to correct – not on the jobsite. One of the biggest budget
    busters on a job is rework to address interference and clashes in the built project.
    One way to “de-clash” a model is by using eVolve MEP. As an example, eVolve MEP will
    automatically reroute ductwork in the model if it’s going to clash with a beam.
    There is a version of eVolve MEP specifically for electrical contractors (eVolve Electrical) and another
    specifically for mechanical (eVolve







  • Automate.  Production of components should be automated
    as much as possible. Modular, repeatable components of the project, like
    restrooms, are conducive to offsite production, and roofs and walls also make
    sense. eVolve MEP works in concert with Revit and allows the detailing
    department to reduce the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks by 90 percent – the fastest workflow for
    detailing in Revit. Spooling sheets and hanger placement, for instance, take
    mere minutes instead of hours.
  • Manage
    the schedule
    .  Teams need to
    collaborate on the project schedule – who starts, who works next, which teams
    can work simultaneously? Firms need to avoid workflow traffic jams that end up
    costing money while one team waits around for another to finish. The workflow
    is particularly manageable with prefabrication, and there won’t be weather
    delays for the offsite portion of the job. Materials delivery is also more
    manageable. Each team can be accountable to begin and finish on time. Removing
    the weather factor alone, safety is improved with offsite prefab. With fewer
    people working on the jobsite at one time, there are fewer “working parts” –
    people and equipment – to be involved in workplace mishaps. Autodesk
    BIM 360 Build
    is well suited to helping firms improve construction
    quality, safety and performance.
  • Use
    mobile technology
    .  Despite every
    effort, issues will still come up on the jobsite. With mobile BIM 360 Build technology,
    teams on the jobsite can keep each other informed in real-time about issues and
    resolution of those issues. No running back to the job trailer or sending
    marked up drawings and waiting days for answers to RFIs. Teams at the prefab
    location can communicate and coordinate real-time with teams at the jobsite.




With better working conditions and labor coordination,
superior materials management, easier staging, and increased safety, it’s no
wonder offsite prefabrication is on the uptick. If you’re curious about the
benefits of offsite prefabrication for your firm, contact
eVolve MEP
for a discovery call or demonstration of how the number one MEP software offers a
seamless workflow in Revit.



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