The positive experiences Gilbane Building Company is realizing with prefabrication and building information modeling (BIM), as described in the Autodesk Redshift article “4 Ways Prefabrication and Modern Construction Methods Will Make Building Better,” is not isolated in the construction industry. More and more firms are taking advantage of the ways prefabrication and modular construction are making the industry better. The article points out four aspects of these modern processes that are propelling the industry forward:
- Accurate schedules – When you spend more time on quality planning, construction proceeds more smoothly. There are fewer problems to fix, shortening the overall schedule. Although BIM has been around for 20 years and has been proven to help bring projects in under budget and within schedule, it is by no means widely used – yet. It is still considered a “modern” process.
- Quality – Working in a controlled environment assures better quality control. Prefabrication of something repeatable, for instance a dozen bathroom modules, in a factory setting is far more efficient than creating them one by one onsite. Quality can be tracked more accurately.
- Safety – With prefabrication in a shop, there are fewer demands for working off the ground, in the wind or on wet or snowy surfaces. In addition, equipment and machinery can be scheduled and more closely monitored to avoid worker accidents. The prefab process is more ergonomic and safer, and may be the perfect solution to addressing the qualified labor shortage. In Australia, prefabricated construction is the boom that’s replacing the bust of the auto manufacturing industry as factory workers are retrained to meet construction demand.
- Sustainability – The prefabrication process results in better use of materials and less waste on a project. According to a University of Melbourne article in 2018, “The Future is Prefabricated,” modern prefab buildings can have lighter and stronger components. As a further benefit, leftover materials and scraps can be recycled when chunks of construction take place in the controlled environment of prefab, a sustainable option compared to to throwing away everything on a traditional building site.
Technology advances – and BIM in particular – are becoming critical to an efficient construction industry. The trend toward standardization of design and construction for the built environment is helping firms keep up with demand for high quality, sustainable buildings. Historically, intellectual property has been closely held in the AEC industry. But as other industries are seeing increased sharing of IP, the Redshift article points out that same trend is sure to take place in the building industry.
One of the leading technology solutions in the world of prefab is eVolve MEP, built by contractors for contractors. To explore how one company streamlined its inhouse design and fabrication process, see the eVolve MEP “Trautman & Shreve Case Study.” The eVolve Mechanical and eVolve Electrical products offer seamless workflows in Revit. If you’re ready to automate your firm’s detailing tasks and save time by create models using standardized content, contact eVolve MEP today to talk to an industry expert.