Is Prefabrication the Future of Construction?


Advancements in technology and construction have led to increased efficiencies and innovation when it comes to the construction of buildings. In North America and the United Kingdom, prefabrication has become an extremely popular method of building, as the industry continues to evolve and find new ways to reduce the risks posed to projects from the effects of weather, industrial disputes, and budget blowouts.

What is prefabrication?

Prefabrication involves the carrying out of parts of the building process in a controlled factory environment. Australia is expected to see an increase in the use of prefabrication over the next decade. An example of this would be modular bathroom pods, which are increasing in popularity and demand.

There are many benefits in the prefabrication of particular components and in the building of key foundations offsite. Anything from cost, time frame, and safety factors can be improved by the prefabrication process. It is these benefits that make experts believe that prefabrication will be the future of Australia’s building industry.

The benefits of prefabrication

The method of utilising a controlled process in a controlled environment helps improve and ensure quality and consistency in prefabrication. The risks posed to workers are also minimised, as high falls, inclement weather, and the handling or transportation of large or heavy materials is decreased in the prefabrication process.

With less of a reliance on weather patterns, and a more efficient process, prefabrication can result in a significant reduction in the time that it takes to complete a building project. In addition, the effects of construction and building on surrounding traffic and community residents is also reduced, potentially lessening the impact of large scale construction.

Predictions for the future of prefabrication

As sustainability and environmental considerations come to impact on trends in industrial sectors, building methods will only continue to evolve with time. The prefabrication approach can offer less overall waste and energy use, further showing its potential for the future.

With so many benefits to its use, it’s no surprise that prefabrication is on the rise, both globally and in Australia. While it’s likely to be awhile until we see this method become the norm in construction, its growing quickly and all signs point to it becoming the way of the future.

Cementing this trend is the launch of PrefabAUS, a peak body for the prefabrication industry. PrefabAUS aims to increase the use of prefabrication from 3% to 10% by the year 2020. As a demonstration of the potential uptake of prefabrication on a global scale, PrefabAUS reports that Sweden is leading the world with 74% of its construction utilising prefabrication.

As the Australian construction industry grows more collaborative, the prefabrication method of building will only become more common. As a result, the trades that are typically involved in large scale construction will also evolve, requiring new types of skills and a greater focus on using and understanding technology.

Also to this point, other manufacturing workers may find that they can join the building industry in a different capacity. Therefore, the future of all building and manufacturing has the potential to change considerably as a result of these practices. It is for this reason that many experts have touted prefabrication as the evolution of industrialisation.

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