Unlike on the planet of human interactions, popularity is equated with quality on the planet of technology. The AEC industry is firmly supported by the technological advances of our age, and prefabricated housing is now increasingly popular. The emergence of prefabricated or modular construction in the housing industry is an inexpensive and reliable solution to the challenge of quality housing worldwide. Prefabricated housing, sometimes known as prefab homes, prefabs or modular homes, are designed off site in sections, from just bathrooms to entire floors, that can be transported, placed or assembled to create housing units. Prefabricated housing may be independent dwelling units for individual families (houses) or single units that have been stacked on top of one another to create multi-storey housing or apartment blocks. How useful prefabrication is in the housing sector office cabin, why it’s so and who is able to deliver services key to accurate prefabrication design are a few of the things we shall explore.
So, what’re prefabricated buildings?
Prefab buildings may be built from components (such as panels), modules (in the case of entire modular homes, houses on wheels) or sections (parts of manufactured homes) constructed off site and used in the site when they’re willing to be installed. A group of technical experts attach different services to the building layout. These could include double-storey homes and customised homes. Modular or prefabricated homes may be created in sections and then transported on site to be assembled as part of the construction process or installed. Whole rooms, such as bathroom pods or kitchens, may be created in a manufacturer setting as prefabricated units. Steel frames may be erected on site to’slot’in the prefabricated units or entire concrete foundations may be laid into the bottom in readiness for the newest home to arrive. Financing, construction and appraisals of these homes are carried out in the same way for regular homes. Prefabricated houses can be assembled on production assembly lines, which are transferred in complete sections or floors to the site, where these complete home units are connected floor by floor and then also attached to the location’s main water supply, sewage system and electrical lines.
How are they constructed?
They are usually constructed in factories which can be some distance from the specific housing site, indeed they may be in an alternative country. These purpose-designed factories effectively include assembly line environments, where different elements and trades get together at different stages of the assembly line to add the various components to the building. Starting with floors, walls and ceilings, the structure moves along for internal fixtures and MEP elements such as piping, plumbing, boilers, bathrooms and entire kitchen fittings, before being moved across to finishing areas such as glazing, doors, electrical fittings and even bathroom tiling. Once the house is assembled, it passes through final QA checks before being handed to logistics teams for transport to its permanent site.
Plumbing and electrical lines are attached to the city’s water and electrical connections and the prefabricated sections are sealed. Prefabricated homes can have a number of rooms and be of different designs. These homes may be set on a lasting foundation, blending in seamlessly with other regularly constructed homes. Repairs on the homes are conducted by the true estate company involved in its sale.
During the settling-in time frame, a prefabricated home’settles’in to the location, after which some cracking of the drywall could occur. Appliances that have been incorrectly installed may be repaired by changing the wiring or plumbing, and the ventilation, heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems may be properly installed by a set-up crew.
One of the driving forces behind a successfully assembled and reliably functioning prefabricated home is the effectiveness of its design. Increasingly, architects, engineers, contractors and trade contractors use BIM (Building Information Modelling) construction drawings at some point as part of DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly). DfMA is a design procedure that groups the look for manufacture, or the ease with which parts is likely to be made for an item, with the look for assembly, which refers to the ease with which parts is likely to be assembled. DfMA helps the look team reduce manufacturing and assembly costs by identifying, analysing and removing waste and inefficiency from the product’s design. DfMA modelling and drawing is fast becoming synonymous with design for prefabrication.
Construction drawings, or shop drawings, graphically illustrate the details, data and specifications of a prefabricated design, contain information about the MEP (M&E) systems and include the details of prefabricated components. BIM technology is part of the larger virtual design and construction (VDC) procedure that helps find methods to challenges faced by subcontractors and designers before building prefabricated components in the factory.
Advances in technology have made it possible and indeed preferable to outsource the delivery of BIM services such as modelling and drafting. Outsourced firms specialise in delivering drawings and models quickly, using the latest software, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and others, and by employing well-qualified experts. Modular construction drawings supplied by these CAD drafting firms are normally accurate and error-free.
Prefabricated construction has reportedly been used in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai and in the construction of the prestigious Sydney Opera House.
Benefits of Prefabrication
- Faster completion of projects, therefore reducing costs
- Diverse uses – can be used to produce high-rises, single-storey construction, villas, townships, along with to produce ceiling slabs, terrace blocks, wall panels, columns, staircases, bathrooms, light fixtures, etc.
- Customisation – unique property specifications may be accommodated easily, resulting in reduced expenses
- Durability – prefabrication in the structural part of construction bolsters structural strength, sometimes helping withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Concrete panels are made with elements of good quality in a controlled factory environment and therefore last longer.
- Suitable for certain sectors that have repetitive design elements, such as student housing, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, prisons, police stations and senior housing.
- Increased and more effective quality control in factory settings
- Safer and less stressful working environment for labourers in a manufacturer than on site, especially in crowded areas, as on-site dangers are eliminated for workers
- Less on-site space is needed to assembly components which may have been already assembled off site
- Less waste is generated during construction, since prefabricated component waste is removed at the factory and not transported to the site
- Competitive edge – allows flexibility in design decisions till the nth moment
- Saves space – housing may be integrated cramped spaces in tight schedules and occupy less space
Modular construction in the housing industry has expanded its scope for buyers and builders. Buyers have significantly more options to pick from and builders have significantly more build options for construction, changing the general construction landscape. Projects see MEP contractors use an increasing amount of modular construction plans during collaboration. Prefabricated construction is less expensive and more green, since such buildings are better sealed against drafts and there’s improved quality control systems in factories, thus leading to improved insulation and better energy efficiency. This can ultimately benefit neighbourhoods and residential and commercial projects.
The various benefits of using prefabricated housing can only just be enjoyed when the DfMA modelling and drawings are flawless. Since this demands considerable time and resources, an increasing amount of Western firms are looking overseas for their prefabrication design services.
Great things about Outsourcing Prefab Design Services
- Cost reduction, since skilled labour and expenditure on resources overseas is considerably less expensive
- Use of advanced tools and technologies, such as AutoCAD and Revit, by experienced and well-qualified human resources
- Standardisation of drawings across projects, to ensure that MEP installations and other services are manufactured easier
- 3D axonometric drawings of the entire construction project are generated, showing methods and means by which individual subcontractor components or systems may be put in the project
- Skilled draftsmen and other technical professionals work faster, maintain accuracy, provide complete audit trails with drawing references, approval records
- Faster turnaround time, since overseas firms employ ready and dedicated teams of trained personnel effective at working to constantly changing specifications, helping to complete projects on schedule
- Increased flexibility, as outsourcing allows Western firms to choose and choose services according to need. The flexibility thus generated helps expand the business.
Outsourcing prefabrication design services is thus an increasingly popular option, and this method will save you time, increase productivity, ensure higher safety levels and increase profits. Using Revit, AutoCAD and other software to produce modular construction drawings and models helps provide high-quality prefabricated design support for Western firms in the industry.