Even with the projected growth within the construction industry, there are plenty of issues blamed for keeping industry executives up at night. Project delays, safety issues, the rising cost of lumber and other materials, finding qualified workers, and the pace at which technology is advancing are just a few that top the list of headache-producing conversations. While some of these factors are harder to manage than others, there are ways to better control your commercial construction project to ensure effectiveness and efficiency from start to finish. One such example is using pre-fabricated framing components.
While still in the infancy of being accepted as the go-to process, the use of pre-fabricated components is growing in popularity as general contractors begin to embrace a more innovative way of building. Partnering with a commercial framing contractor skilled at prefab construction to provide a turnkey wood framing package, supplied-and-installed roof trusses, floor trusses, and wall panels – can be a game-changer when it comes to safety, schedule, and process.
Increased safety & quality
Unlike building on-site, pre-fabrication affords you a controlled environment unaffected by weather, daylight, city noise ordinances, and other on-site challenges that compromise safety. Because the pre-fabrication work is done off-site, the process naturally reduces the number of people needed on-site, which has a ripple down effect on the overall safety of the project. Fewer people = a cleaner job site = less risk for injury.
In addition to improving safety, prefab construction also improves the quality of the framing components. Relying on one framing contractor provides uniform quality based upon consistent training for the team working on the project, as well as a consistent process to ensure all components conform to exacting specifications. Likewise, assembling the frame components in a controlled environment allows the frame contractor to deliver a superior product in a shorter time span, which results in less supervision, less time on-site, and greater profits overall.
More efficient scheduling
Time is a major factor in cost. Whether it’s downtime due to weather or wasted time due to inefficiency, time will always equal money. Investing in prefab construction not only offers you more control over the process and quality, it also saves you time and money by reducing the duration of your project by up to 30%. Prefabrication takes less than half the time it takes to build on-site thanks in part to pre-planning and faster fabrication as multiple pieces can be constructed simultaneously. And, because many components of the building are created off-site, there is a reduced need for equipment and material suppliers on-site. Fewer people and less equipment limits work stoppage and distractions and increases productivity. Over the life of the project, the increased efficiencies add up.
Today, technology is being used to not only bring a project to life before the build begins, but to also increase collaboration between the various skilled trades on the project and identify challenges before construction starts.
Using 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) software such as MiTEK, commercial framers can create an optimized, buildable, and structural frame online, resulting in greater time- and cost-efficiencies throughout the life of the project. With innovative software, design teams can create the wall panel design with imagery that the entire company can read and interpret quickly. This process offers the shop floor a way to read prints with ease and maintains an organized flow from design to completion.
Given that the pre-fabrication process is still a relatively new concept, it’s natural to expect a bit of a learning curve. To better understand the process and start the conversation on how using prefab framing components can benefit your next construction project, contact Elmer Zook at Elmer@QualityBuildings.com