Prefabrication is the practice of assembling components of a structure in a production setting or other manufacturing facility, and transporting those sub-assemblies (or complete assemblies) to the construction site where the point of installation is located. The term distinguishes the process from a more conventional construction practice of transporting the basic, or raw, materials to the construction site where all assembly is carried out prior to installation. Prefabrication is a major contributor to Lean Construction project initiatives.
Holmes Electric Co. has experienced numerous successes with prefabrication. These case studies are systematically scrutinized as important data gathering practical examples that will be utilized in the preparation of future estimates and job productivity measures. The goal: Lowest Installed Cost.
Some advantages of prefabrication:
- Prefabrication can be located where skilled labor is more readily available and, conversely, where costs of labor, power, materials, space and overheads are lower
- Construction time is reduced and buildings are completed sooner, allowing an earlier return of the capital investment
- Disruption to on-site construction is impacted less, and congestion/trade-conflict is minimized
- Quality control is more easily maintained in an assembly line setting rather than a construction site setting
- Productivity is less affected by a reduction in the amount of time spent in bad weather, confined space, or hazardous environments at the construction site
- Less waste is generated and it is easier to recycle waste and/or reuse scrap material in other prefabrication endeavors
- Recycling, and the proper disposal of waste, are “green” initiatives supported by the United States Green Building Council
- Self-supporting ready-made components are often used, so the need for framework and scaffolding is greatly reduced
- Prefabrication saves engineering time on the construction site and keeps the field team focused on installation