Unlike in the world of human interactions, popularity is equated with quality in the realm of technology. The development of prefabricated or modular structure in the housing industry is an affordable and reliable solution to the challenge of quality home worldwide. Prefabricated housing, sometimes known as prefab houses, prefabs or modular homes, are manufactured off site in sections, from just bathrooms to entire floors, that can be transported, placed or assembled to form housing units. Prefabricated housing can be independent dwelling units for individual families (houses) or single units which have been stacked on top of each other to form multi-storey home or apartment blocks. How useful prefabrication is from the home sector, why it’s so and who can provide services key to accurate prefabrication design are a few of the things we will explore.
So, what are prefabricated buildings?
Prefab buildings can be built from components (such as panels), modules (in the case of whole modular houses, houses on wheels) or sections (parts of manufactured homes) constructed off site and transferred to the site when they’re ready to be installed. A team of technical experts attach the different services to the building layout. These may include double-storey homes and foreclosed houses. Modular or prefabricated homes can be produced in sections and then hauled on site to be put together as part of the building process or installed. Entire rooms, such as toilet pods or kitchens, can be created in a factory setting as prefabricated units. Steel frames can be erected on site to’slot’ in the prefabricated units or whole concrete foundations can be laid into the floor in readiness for the new house to arrive. Funding, evaluations and construction of these homes are performed in precisely the same manner as for regular homes. Prefabricated houses may also be constructed on manufacturing assembly lines, which are moved in complete sections or floors to the website, where these comprehensive home units are connected floor by floor and then also connected to the location’s key water supply, sewage system and electrical lines.
They are normally constructed in factories which are some distance away from the actual housing site, indeed they could be in a different country. These purpose-designed factories effectively consist of assembly line environments, where different elements and transactions come together at various phases of the assembly line to add the various components to the building. Starting with floors, ceilings and walls, the structure moves along for internal fixtures and MEP components such as piping, plumbing, boilers, bathrooms and entire kitchen fittings, prior to being moved across to finishing areas like glazing, doors, electric fittings and even bathroom tiling. Once the house is assembled, it moves through final QA checks before being handed over to logistics teams for transport to its permanent site.
Plumbing and electrical lines are connected to the city’s water and electrical connections and the prefabricated sections are sealed. Prefabricated homes can have lots of rooms and be of different designs. These homes can be put on a permanent foundation, blending in seamlessly with other frequently constructed houses. Repairs on the houses are conducted by the real estate company involved with its sale.
During the settling-in period of time, a prefabricated home’settles’ in to the location, and some cracking of the drywall could occur. Appliances which were incorrectly installed can be repaired by changing the wiring or plumbing, and the ventilation, heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems can 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. DfMA helps the design team reduce production and assembly costs by identifying, analysing and eliminating waste and inefficiency from a product’s design. DfMA modelling and drawing is quickly becoming synonymous with design for prefabrication.
Building 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 which helps find solutions to challenges faced by subcontractors and designers before building prefabricated components in the mill.
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, utilizing the most recent applications, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and many others, and by employing well-qualified experts. Modular construction drawings provided by those CAD drafting companies are typically accurate and error-free.
Prefabricated construction has allegedly been used in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai and in the construction of the prestigious Sydney Opera House.
Advantages of Prefabrication
Quicker completion of projects, therefore reducing costs
Diverse uses – may be used to make high-rises, single-storey construction, villas, townships, and to make ceiling slabs, terrace blocks, wall panels, columns, staircases, bathrooms, light fixtures, etc..
Customisation – unique property specifications can be accommodated easily, resulting in reduced expenses
Durability – prefabrication from the structural aspect of construction bolsters structural strength, sometimes helping to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Concrete panels are created with components of high quality in a controlled factory environment and so last longer.
Increased and more efficient quality management in factory settings
Safer and less stressful working environment for labourers in a factory than on site, especially in crowded areas, as onsite dangers are eliminated for workers
Less on-site space is required to assembly components which have already been constructed off site
Less waste is generated during construction, since prefabricated component waste is disposed of in the factory and not transported to the site
Competitive edge – enables flexibility in design decisions till the nth moment
Saves space – housing can be built in cramped spaces in tight schedules and take up less space
Modular structure in the housing industry has expanded its scope for builders and buyers. Buyers have more options to choose from and builders have more build options for building, changing the overall construction landscape. Projects see MEP contractors use an increasing amount of modular construction plans during collaboration. Prefabricated construction is more affordable and more green, since such buildings are better sealed against drafts and there is improved quality management systems in factories, thus leading to improved insulation and better energy efficiency. This will ultimately benefit neighbourhoods and residential and industrial projects.
The various benefits of using prefabricated housing can only be appreciated when the DfMA modelling and drawings are perfect. Since this demands considerable resources and time, a growing number of Western firms are looking abroad for their prefabrication design solutions.
Benefits of Outsourcing Prefab Design Services
Cost reduction, since skilled labour and expenditure on resources overseas is significantly less expensive
Use of innovative tools and technologies, such as AutoCAD and Revit, by seasoned and well-qualified human resources
Standardisation of drawings across jobs, so that MEP installations and other services are made simpler
3D axonometric drawings of the whole construction project are generated, showing methods and means by which individual subcontractor systems or components can be placed in the project
Skilled draftsmen and other specialized professionals work faster, maintain accuracy, provide complete audit trails with drawing references, approval records
Quicker turnaround time, since overseas firms employ ready and dedicated teams of trained personnel capable of working to continuously changing specifications, helping to complete jobs on schedule
Increased flexibility, as outsourcing allows Western firms to pick 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 approach will save time, increase productivity, ensure increased safety levels and increase profits. Using Revit, AutoCAD and other applications to create modular construction drawings and models helps supply high-quality prefabricated design support for Western companies in the industry.