Unlike in the sphere of human interactions, popularity is equated with quality in the realm of technology. The development of prefabricated or modular construction in the housing business is an affordable and reliable solution to the challenge of quality home worldwide. Prefabricated housing, sometimes called prefab houses, prefabs or modular homes, are manufactured off site in sections, from only bathrooms to whole floors, that could be hauled, placed or constructed to form housing units. Prefabricated housing can be independent dwelling units for individual families (houses) or single units that have been piled on top of one another to form multi-storey housing or apartment blocks. How useful prefabrication is from the home sector, why it is so and that can provide services essential to accurate prefabrication design are a few of the things we will explore.
So, what exactly are prefabricated buildings?
Prefab buildings can be built from components (for example, panels), modules (in the case of entire modular houses, homes on wheels) or sections (parts of manufactured homes) constructed off site and moved to the site when they’re ready to be installed. A team of technical experts attach the different services to the construction layout. These can include double-storey homes and customised homes. Modular or prefabricated homes can be produced in segments and then transported on site to be placed together within the building process or installed. Whole rooms, such as toilet kitchens or pods, can be created in a factory setting as prefabricated units. Steel frames can be erected on site to’slot’ in the prefabricated components or entire 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 the identical way as for regular homes. Prefabricated houses can also be constructed on manufacturing assembly lines, which can be transferred in complete sections or floors to the website, where these complete home units are connected floor by floor and also connected to the location’s main water supply, sewage system and electrical lines.
They are usually constructed in factories that are some distance away from the actual home site, indeed they could be in another country. These purpose-designed factories efficiently consist of assembly line environments, where different elements and transactions come together at various phases of the assembly line to bring the various components to the building. Starting with floors, walls and ceilings, the construction moves along for internal fittings and MEP elements like piping, plumbing, boilers, bathrooms and whole kitchen fittings, prior to being moved across to completing areas like glazing, doors, electric fittings and even bathroom tiling. Once the home is assembled, it moves through closing QA checks before being handed over to logistics teams for transport to its permanent website.
Plumbing and electric lines are on the city’s water and electrical connections and the prefabricated sections are sealed. Prefabricated homes can have a number of rooms and also be of different layouts. These homes can be set on a permanent foundation, blending in seamlessly with other regularly constructed houses. Repairs on the homes are conducted by the real estate company involved in 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.
Among the driving forces behind a successfully constructed and reliably functioning prefabricated home is the effectiveness of its design. DfMA enables the design team reduce production and assembly costs by identifying, analysing and removing waste and inefficiency from a product’s design. DfMA modelling and drawing is fast becoming synonymous with design for prefabrication.
Construction drawings, or shop drawings, graphically illustrate the details, specifications and data 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 solutions 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 companies specialise in delivering models and drawings quickly, using the most recent software, such as Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks and others, and by employing well-qualified experts. Modular construction drawings provided by these CAD drafting firms are usually accurate and error-free.
Benefits of Prefabrication
Faster completion of projects, therefore reducing costs
Diverse uses – can be used to make high-rises, single-storey structure, villas, townships, and to create ceiling slabs, terrace blocks, wall panels, columns, staircases, bathrooms, light fixtures, etc..
Customisation – specific property specifications can be accommodated easily, resulting in reduced expenses
Durability – prefabrication in the structural feature of construction bolsters structural power, sometimes helping to withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Concrete panels are created with components of high quality at a controlled factory environment and so last longer.
Well suited to certain sectors that have repetitive design elements, such as student housing, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, prisons, police stations and senior housing.
Increased and more efficient quality control in factory settings
Safer and less stressful working environment for labourers at a factory than onsite, especially in crowded areas, as onsite dangers are eliminated for workers
less onsite space is required to assembly elements which have already been assembled off site
Less waste is generated during construction, because 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 occupy less space
Modular construction in the housing industry has expanded its scope for builders and buyers. Buyers have more choices to choose from and builders have more build options for building, changing the general construction landscape. Projects see MEP contractors use an increasing number of modular construction plans during collaboration. Prefabricated construction is cheaper and more green, since such buildings are better sealed against drafts and there is improved quality management systems in factories, thus resulting in improved insulation and better energy efficiency. This will ultimately benefit neighbourhoods and residential and commercial projects.
The various benefits of using prefabricated housing can only be appreciated when the DfMA modelling and drawings are flawless. Since this demands considerable time and resources, a growing number of Western firms are looking overseas for their prefabrication design solutions.
Cost reduction, because skilled labour and cost on resources overseas is significantly less expensive
Use of innovative tools and technologies, such as AutoCAD and Revit, by experienced 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 entire construction project are generated, showing methods and means by which individual subcontractor components or systems can be placed in the project
Skilled draftsmen and other specialized professionals work faster, maintain accuracy, provide complete audit trails with drawing references, approval documents
Quicker turnaround time, since overseas firms employ ready and committed teams of trained personnel capable of working to constantly changing specifications, helping to complete projects 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, improve productivity, ensure higher safety levels and boost profits. Using Revit, AutoCAD and other software to make modular construction drawings and models helps supply high quality prefabricated design support for Western firms in the business.