PREFAB vs CONVENTIONAL BUILDINGS
Actualizată în: 8 Mai 2020
The benefits of prefabrication and how the current technology can transform the construction industry
More people, more homes
The world population is growing and consequently the demand for housing, especially in urban areas, where 70% of the population will live until 2050. Conventional construction methods are inefficient in responding to the very high demand, which is why many European countries are facing a residential housing crisis. In addition to the costs and construction time, another problem of the building sector is the environmental impact - building's carbon footprint - meaning the energy consumption during building operation and the construction materials' embodied energy.
But the accelerated technological evolution of the last few years has its say in the construction sector as well.
"Up to 70% of construction projects could be built using off-site manufactured components" Mike Putnam, CEO & President Skanska UK
What is a prefab building
Prefabrication, or "off-site construction", or "modular volumetric construction technique", is a specific method by which much of the building's elements are pre-assembled in a location other than that of the building (usually in a construction hall) being subsequently transported and assembled on the site. The goal is to increase efficiency, reduce assembly time, reduce labor costs and labor intensity, including associated risks.
According to Offsite Construction Hub, there are 3 types of modular construction techniques:
Modular Volumetric Buildings: compact modules that included installations, finishes, furniture, etc., of different structural types (wood, metal, container, etc.) - 50-60% more efficient than conventional construction methods ;
Hybrid Buildings: volumetric elements and prefabricated panels - 30-40% more efficient than conventional construction methods;
Prefabricated Panels: from different structural materials (CLT, Timberframe, Light Steel Frames etc) - 20-30% more efficient than conventional construction methods;
Prefab vs. conventional homes
In addition to the fact that the prefabricated modular homes are built primarily indoors, in a controlled environment, regardless of the season, they also:
reduce construction time by 65%, and because time means money,
the costs decrease by 45% (logistics, labor, unforeseen expenses, etc.)
and this results in 75% fewer defects (source)
A project is much easier to manage from a logistical point of view because during the execution there are far fewer suppliers to manage on the site (masonry team, finishing team, installers, carpenters, etc.), which leads to a better organization and consequently to lower costs. Because it all comes down to costs, a prefabricated house has pre-determined and predictable costs and thus is a great advantage in the relationship between the client-builder/developer, but also in the client-bank relationship, for situations when a mortgage loan is needed to finance the building. Learn more about green finance in this article.
Nidus - Modular Natural Homes
Designing them as prefab as possible indoors, transporting them as efficiently and assembling as quickly as possible, while fulfilling all the requirements of a passive house. Challenge accepted.
We divided each project into 3 stages:
Design: efficient and optimized, as the project is standardized and changes very little. But the technical details make the difference and we constantly work to improve them in order to increase the thermal performance, reduce the assembly times and optimize the costs;
Prefabrication: we divided the house into modules with different functions (eg technical mode) manufactured in Brezoi, Romania; the modules are made of TRAROM structure insulated with TERMOPAIE, finished with clay and wood. The bathroom and kitchen are already equipped and furnished in the technical module, as well as the sanitary, heating and heat recovery ventilation system. The manufacturing time lasts between 2-4 weeks, depending on the work volume.
Assembly: it is done according to a simple and well-developed plan, so that it runs like a puzzle game, without too many additional interventions. The assembly time lasts between 2-4 days, depending on the weather.
As a comparison, a typical masonry house has an execution time of 2-3 months and can increase depending on the construction period, availability of labor, budget planning and unforeseen expenses that can reach up to 30% of the value of the building. We aimed to make every process as efficient as possible and innovate, so as to offer you the possibility to configure your own modular Nidus home (NIDUS Condor model) according to your preferences, having predetermined costs and construction time. You buy a house like a car, fast and without headaches.
Conclusion ... 'Modernise or Die'
This is the title of Mark Farmer's report on the UK construction sector, which he says is "declining", "lacking in innovation and collaboration" and "missing research and development". In addition, it is estimated that the labor force in the construction sector will decrease by 25% in the coming decades, due to the fact that this industry is not attractive to the next generations. And the situation in the kingdom is not unique, it is more and more common in the rest of the European countries and beyond.