3. Availability of local prefab facilities and availability of a trained workforce to install prefab components.
Although design firms cited a lack of accessible facilities and skilled labor as major concerns, general contractors, contract managers and trades report they do not, in reality, experience obstacles from these situations.
The respondents from the skilled trades are the group that is least concerned with whether the owners want prefab. Many mechanical, plumbing and some electrical contractors use prefab, whether it is specified by the owner or not. The companies that recognize the inherent savings in prefabrication are using it as an internally-driven business practice whether they are encouraged to or not. Respondents that already use prefab indicated they continue to use the processes “regardless of owner permission or awareness.”
Survey participants identified the benefits they think will drive more prefab in the future. They included, in order of influence: improvement of schedule performance, decreased construction costs, improved project quality, help with labor shortages, and improved project safety.