Since the recession hit in 2007, the construction market seems to be stagnant in terms of productivity and implementing cost-saving strategies; however, modular construction and prefabrication may be the future of the industry, offering many ways to expedite the construction process while saving money along the way.

The ability to manufacture a section of a project before being on the actual job site creates many opportunities to improve safety, efficiency, and predictability.

1. Safety
In terms of safety, the controlled environment of a factory eliminates the need for assembly workers performing in the extreme heat or from towering heights, which often occurs on a construction site. Additionally, transporting partially finished product can alleviate possible work-related injuries caused from operating assembly equipment at the job site.

When assembly takes place in a factory, many of the processes are automated or performed by a person with adequate safety materials, which may not be available), or affordable, on a particular job site

2. Efficiency
The work performed for prefabrication can typically be done on a repetitive basis, making it easier for one worker to master a specific project, as opposed to having an unfamiliar worker assemble the component at a job site and possibly injure themselves. Since a number of skilled construction workers have been on the decline in recent years, being able to keep skilled workers safe and available to work plays an integral role in the success of a construction company.

Prefabrication in the factory allows for many efficiencies to be reached that would not have been attainable if the assembly had taken place on a construction site. As opposed to having smaller, specialized shipments delivered on-site, the site manager can order a larger quantity of parts to the factory that can accommodate multiple jobs. This will eliminate time, money, and product that is wasted when ordering a larger quantity of products to the construction site. The amount of waste is reduced   because unused parts can be housed in the factory until another project comes up that will need the same

3. Skilled Workers
Another positive effect of prefabrication is the wages paid to assemble the product. By mass assembling the product in a large facility, the worker can be taught laborer how to produce one same product over and over again. Skilled construction workers demand premium pay in comparison to factory workers, so it’s important to reduce assembly time on the construction site.

4. Reduced Waste
While implementing the offsite prefabrication, the construction process may require more time in the initial planning phases of construction to ensure the project is completed to reduce waste and optimize the worker’s time. This can provide tremendous cost savings to the construction company.

5. Job Proficiency
Furthermore, offsite construction takes the “guessing game” out of construction. The factory is able to mass produce components, rather than special job-order assemblies that can increase the amount of waste and the likelihood that the finished products won’t all be identical.

When factory workers specialize in particular components and machines, they can capitalize on their special skill set to become more proficient at their job. This will alleviate the difficult task of having to teach new workers on the job to construct the same product, without the same precision or time efficiency.

Summary
Offsite construction is a way to modernize the construction industry, allowing early adopters of the process to benefit from with the efficiencies it can yield. Not only does the offsite component provide cost savings, predictability, and safety measures, it also presents an opportunity to keep the construction site free from the added pollutants and destruction of the surrounding green space associated with on-site construction.

Whether you’re in the construction of wood, steel, health care, or educational, there are many benefits the prefabrication process can bring to your business.