Why Offsite and Prefabrication?

What are the advantages of prefabrication?

Speed – The off-site fabrication process can take place in the factory, in parallel to site preparation activities.  This can reduce the overall construction period of a project significantly.

Safety – Health and safety is easier to control in a factory, for example most of the work can be conducted at waist height, and workers know the machinery and systems of the factory.

Sustainability – Minimum site disturbance, tightly managed material flow and construction waste, and pre-planned assembly and disassembly can reduce the environmental impact of construction.

Quality – A predetermined quality can be achieved in a factory controlled process, and the indoor environment means buildings and components are protected from climate extremes and vandalism.

Clean – On-site wet trades can be minimised or eliminated as elements are pre-formed, pre-poured or pre-applied in the factory context.

Technology – The interface between emerging computer-aided design technologies and fabrication technologies is set to revolutionise construction

Value – Faster time to occupation can generate income for clients earlier and lead to lower site overheads due to less time on site.

Certainty – There is greater cost certainty due to minimal weather delays, plus there is an earlier design freeze due to requirements of the manufacturing process.

Skills – In communities with a shortage of skilled trade labour, the prefabricated building production line can be organised to employ less skilled labour, working under supervision.

Source: PrefabAus

Frequently Asked Questions

It refers to any part of a building that has been fabricated at a place other than its final location.  For this reason, it can be referred to by other names such as off-site fabrication, off-site construction or off-site manufacture.

Prefab is short for prefabrication.

Prefabrication is an ‘umbrella’ term and it covers a range of different systems and processes.  These will include structural, architectural and services elements.

Source: PrefabAus

‘Modern Methods of Construction’ is an output of the MHCLG Joint Industry Working Group from the UK. Spanning all types of pre-manufacturing, site based materials and process innovation, MMC enables a “full and future-proofed” framework of seven categories to better understand regularised terminology.

The categories include:

  • Pre-manufacturing (3D primary structural systems)
  • Pre-manufacturing (2D primary structural systems)
  • Pre-manufacturing components (non-systemised primary structure)
  • Additive manufacturing (structural and non-structural)
  • Pre-manufacturing (non structural assemblies and sub-assemblies)
  • Traditional building product led site labour reduction / productivity improvements
  • Site process led site labour reduction / productivity / assurance / improvements

Source: https://www.cast-consultancy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/MMC-I-Pad-base_GOVUK-FINAL_SECURE.pdf

Design for assembly (DFA) is a process by which products are designed with ease of assembly in mind. If a product contains fewer parts it will take less time to assemble, thereby reducing assembly costs. In addition, if the parts are provided with features which make it easier to grasp, move, orient and insert them, this will also reduce assembly time and assembly costs. The reduction of the number of parts in an assembly has the added benefit of generally reducing the total cost of parts in the assembly. This is usually where the major cost benefits of the application of design for assembly occur.

Source: Wikipedia

Design for manufacturability (also sometimes known as design for manufacturing or DFM) is the general engineering practice of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. The concept exists in almost all engineering disciplines, but the implementation differs widely depending on the manufacturing technology. DFM describes the process of designing or engineering a product in order to facilitate the manufacturing process in order to reduce its manufacturing costs. DFM will allow potential problems to be fixed in the design phase which is the least expensive place to address them. Other factors may affect the manufacturability such as the type of raw material, the form of the raw material, dimensional tolerances, and secondary processing such as finishing.

Depending on various types of manufacturing processes there are set guidelines for DFM practices. These DFM guidelines help to precisely define various tolerances, rules and common manufacturing checks related to DFM.

Source: Wikipedia

DFMA stands for Design for Manufacture and Assembly. DFMA is the combination of two methodologies; Design for Manufacture, which means the design for ease of manufacture of the parts that will form a product, and Design for Assembly, which means the design of the product for ease of assembly.

Source: Wikipedia

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