Trades Double-dip Treat: Improve Schedule and Budget

by | May 1, 2020 | Uncategorized

Schedule and budget. No one in construction wants to hear those words, because they are usually preceded by “We’re over . . .” And that makes the project manager’s skin crawl. If only there were a way to make schedule and budget happy words. Well, it just so happens that there are options for reining in both the schedule and the budget – modular construction and prefabrication. You’ll see what I mean if you check out the most recent Dodge Data & Analytics 2020 SmartMarket Report on prefabrication and modular construction. Using survey responses from companies who currently use prefab and modular processes, the report presents some interesting news about their experiences. And that news is happy news.  

The survey respondents report seven main benefits of prefab and modular processes:

  1. Productivity
  2. Quality
  3. Schedule certainty
  4. Cost predictability
  5. Safety
  6. Reduced construction waste
  7. Client satisfaction

In terms of benefits, right after productivity and quality come the usually dreaded schedule and budget. The positive report, however, is that schedules and budgets are improved by prefab and modular construction. How much? Of the trades that have adopted modular and prefab processes, over 80% report they have achieved better schedule certainty and cost predictability.

The prefab and/or modular projects that over half of the responding companies have worked on include (from most to less frequent): healthcare facilities, hotels/motels, multifamily residential, college buildings, low-rise offices, schools, and commercial warehouses.  

 

Prefab

As the skilled labor on a project, and as some of the last teams to install work, trade contractors are often the ones who have to work around clashes and issues that have been kicked down the road, so to speak. Trade contractors often bear the brunt of cost overruns. So they embrace prefab processes because, as the report indicates, over 75% of trade contractors using prefab will benefit from those processes.

Schedule – About half of the trade contractors reported bringing their projects in 5% ahead of schedule, and another quarter of them reported better than 10% schedule compression.

Budget – Over a three year period, 82% of specialty trades reported improved cost performance; 55% achieved better than 5% savings on the budget, while 38% reported savings of 10% or more.   

Trade contractors look to eVolve MEP software to save time and increase productivity when working with HVAC, plumbing and electrical assemblies. Contact eVolve MEP and talk to an industry expert to learn more.

Modular

The projects where over half of the specialty trades expect to use modular construction in the next three years include healthcare facilities, college buildings and hotels/motels. Multi-family residential, in fact, seems to be the only type of modular construction which is expected to decline much. Every other type of use is anticipated to increase. Examples of factory-made turnkey modular products include bathroom pods, utility rooms and exam rooms.

Schedule

About a third of the trades reported finishing jobs from 5-10% earlier than schedule deadlines using modular processes, and nine out of ten reported improved schedules to some degree. Besides the turnkey products, modular production might include: wall modules, structural insulated panels, roof panels, floor panels, 3D modules, flat-packed systems, building units, relocatable structures, and permanent modulars.

Budget

81% of trade contractors reported that using modular construction enabled them to improve cost predictability, with close to half (43%) saying it had a high impact. The trades have a true awareness of  the positive impacts modular processes can make.

BIM

Building Information Modeling is the whipped cream on top of the double-dip treat of modular construction. 89% of all the survey respondents – architects, GMs and contract managers included – report they are using BIM on some portion of their workflow. The trades seem to be most committed to a BIM-driven workflow for now and plan to stay with it for the schedule improvements (52%) and better cost performance (35%). The trades are neck-in-neck with other project teams in BIM adoption, with the driving factors including remaining competitive and improving productivity.

The experts of eVolve MEP have worked in the construction trades, so they know the challenges you face and the innovations that can make a difference. Contact eVolve MEP today and learn how the industry-trained eVolve mechanical and electrical consultants can partner with you to keep your business relevant and competitive in the years to come.

The experts of eVolve MEP have worked in the construction trades, so they know the challenges you face and the innovations that can make a difference. Contact eVolve MEP today and learn how the industry-trained eVolve mechanical and electrical consultants can partner with you to keep your business relevant and competitive in the years to come.

You may also like…

A Powerful Software for Detailing in Revit

Learn how your organization can scale your detailing process in Revit