Of the many developing trends in construction over the past year, prefabrication and modular construction have been some of the most interesting to watch. The construction industry as a whole is relying more and more on these building blocks, and modular construction or prefabricated components can help facilitate the construction process and increase speed. However, like all techniques, they have their drawbacks, especially when compared to custom construction projects. It’s important to understand what those are when you’re approaching a new construction project yourself!
Offsite Prefabrication vs Volumetric Modular Construction
Although they’re similar concepts, there are some technical differences between offsite prefabrication and modular construction. In modular construction, most of a structure is constructed at a different spot from the intended location, and the module is then transferred to its final destination once nearly completed. In prefabrication, certain parts or components of a structure are made or assembled elsewhere and then attached to a building later on.
This distinction is important as it affects the amount of work that can be accomplished offsite, as well as how much of the project is being forced to conform to a one-size-fits-all mold.
Safety and Reliability
Safety and security are things that the entire construction industry knows not to take for granted. While proper safety protocols and compliance may affect the speed and efficiency of a project, they will never affect it as much as the injuries, damage, or other setbacks that can occur if safety isn’t carefully observed. Prefabrication and modular construction, where a great deal of the actual work of building a structure takes place offsite in a highly controlled environment, can be a very safe practice.
However, no type of construction, even prefabricated construction, is able to be completely risk-free. It’s often safer to choose a reputable, reliable construction company with good safety practices implemented in their regular operations than it is to distance your project from the actual construction process. When you’re working with a traditional construction company, you have the control to choose an organization with protocols and history that you trust, whereas with modular construction, you’re simply distancing yourself and your project from any risks that are being taken.
Productivity and Efficiency
Since prefabrication and modular construction are removed from the construction process, they can be very efficient and cost effective in a lot of ways, but so can traditional construction projects as well. Making a careful choice in terms of your contractor and working with a company that is transparent and reliable can offer you just as much efficiency and cost effectiveness as it would to use pop-up types of construction tools like modular units or prefabricated parts. When you’re receiving clear communication with proper planning, your project can be done quickly and at a reasonable cost just as easily.
Quality and Performance
One of the major drawbacks to prefabrication and modular construction is an association with low quality and substandard construction. As the field has grown and developed, this has lessened somewhat, but the quality of these premade components still can’t compete with custom made and built spaces done by expert contractors. Not only will you be dealing with mass-produced modules and parts that are of a lower and more temporary quality by their nature, but you’ll be forced to work with preset designs and styles that may not fit your wants or needs for your space. Working with a more traditional construction company means that the only limits are your available square footage and your imagination. Your project won’t be unnecessarily limited when you choose a contractor like DESCCO!
While offsite prefabrication and modular construction do have their advantages, the advantages of a more traditional construction company like DESCCO can make all the difference in the outcome of your project, especially in applications like industrial construction or commercial construction. If you’re planning a project where you want the upsides that we can offer, talk to the team at DESCCO Design and Construction today! We’ll help you set up a plan.