Preassembly: What lies ahead?

Offsite assembly

Preassembly is on the rise in the construction industry. Its growing popularity doesn’t come as a surprise given the benefits it has to offer including consistent quality, greater flexibility and customisation, and less waste onsite. Preassembly is making everything simple, offering specifiers, contractors, installers and architects a solution that is driving efficiency across a project’s supply chain.

Greater control and productivity

Speed of installation, less labour-intensive, quality control; the benefits of offsite manufacturing to the commercial sector are wide-ranging. According to a paper titled ‘Modular construction: From projects to products’ published by McKinsey & Company, modular construction, also referred to as prefabrication or preassembly, can speed-up construction by as much as 50%.

Modern construction sites feature a number of challenges for contractors, not least of which are increasingly tight margins, quality control and space limitations, especially in built-up urban environments. Manufactured under factory-controlled conditions, every prefabricated system is delivered based on the exact specifications of the project, so there’s no waste and no need for additional labour to undertake assembly – saving even more space, time and money. This is welcome news considering offsite has been tipped to help provide a solution to an industry that has been plagued with low productivity even when project timeframes are getting tighter. 

Offsite can further assist with other challenges within the industry including the labour and skills gap. With the industry experiencing both a shortage of skilled tradespeople and an ageing workforce, it is certainly assuring to rest in the knowledge that the likes of prefabrication can fill an important gap where it is needed. The high costs of skilled labour and hired machinery can be overlooked until they are required onsite. But with offsite manufacturing, these costs can’t be accrued as assembly is taken into a controlled manufacturing environment with rigorous quality control, and health and safety measures in place.

Not only can preassembly provide a remedy to the skills shortage, it can assure the consistency and quality of manufacture that is nigh on impossible to replicate onsite. Offsite construction has an array of advantages over traditional build methods – speed of installation, fewer site workers and, perhaps most importantly of all, a higher quality finished product. Quality control has been a key focus in construction over the past few years. Changing regulations have placed greater responsibility on contractors to install systems that hit the mark on excellence. Creating products in a factory-controlled environment ticks a huge box in this respect; offering the consistent manufacture of systems that comply with and meet the high levels set by British Standards.

Less waste

Sustainability continues to be a key pressure point for the construction and manufacturing industries. To put it simply, offsite manufacturing leaves fewer waste materials onsite, with the likes of Polypipe’s Advantage offering able to reuse and recycle materials that are cast away during the manufacturing process.

Offsite manufacturing and preassembly are making huge differences to construction projects. Not only is prefabrication ensuring contractors and the like can meet ever tighter deadlines, manufacturers can create and supply systems to the highest standard, guaranteeing compliance in the process. All of these products pass through rigorous testing before being delivered to site. Prefabrication is, thus, offering contractors the flexibility and speed they need for projects to excel. It’s streamlining what were once onsite inefficiencies and boosting productivity in key areas too. With such clear benefits on offer, utilising preassembly is simply a no brainer.

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