The spectrum for prefab construction includes everything from smaller dwellings or structures, manufactured entirely in a factory before being driven to a site and set down on minimal foundation, to custom homes and multi-level buildings. In between, we find everything else: door systems, wall panels, stairs, roof trusses, modular room-sized units made to be stacked together, panelized wall systems, and even interior framing components.
Though off-site construction dates back thousands of years, the practice still comes with a fair share of negative connotations, including substandard quality and limited design options. These misconceptions are just that, though — misconceptions.
In reality, prefab construction boasts a number of advantages that people are recognizing more and more.
Prefab construction is often praised for its energy efficient and sustainable principles. Traditional building methods require tons of extra materials to be delivered to the construction site, which almost always results in increased waste and lost money. On the other hand, prefab buildings are constructed predominantly in a factory, so any leftover materials can be saved and recycled for other projects.
2. Shorter Construction Time
Thanks to better upfront planning, elimination of on-site weather factors and subcontractor scheduling delays, and quicker fabrication as multiple pieces can be constructed simultaneously, prefab construction typically takes less time than traditional construction.
Plus, with the recent increase in industry automation, competent workforces can be ready to build in much less time that it typically would take to train a full construction crew. This development eliminates user error and minimizes the need to pay for expensive labor.
3. Consistent Quality
In traditional building, the quality of construction often depends upon available local resources — varying skill levels of tradespeople and schedules of independent contractors. On the other hand, since prefabricated construction occurs in a controlled environment and follows a specified standard of building, the sub-assemblies of the structure will be built to a uniform, precise quality. Each sub-assembly is built by an experienced crew in a weather-resistant factory, with multiple quality checks throughout the entire process.