You might think that a process change that could help solve some of the construction industry’s biggest challenges — including the struggle to find skilled workers, too-high job site injury rates, and the demand to produce ever-more complex projects on exceedingly shorter deadlines — might get pretty immediate buy-in. Prefabrication is touted as a solution to many of the problems hammering the construction industry. Although the number of projects using systems built in a factory environment has grown in the last decade, the industry still struggles to see widespread adoption by general contractors.
Demand for greater project efficiency and the availability of new construction technology are nudging contractors ever closer to prefabrication.
A recent survey conducted by AEC consultant FMI found that the amount of work using prefabricated components nearly tripled from 2010 to 2016 to a whopping 35%. Almost 90% of the contractors using prefabrication reported their prefabrication process as ineffective or in need of improvement.
Demand for greater project efficiency and the availability of new construction technology are nudging contractors ever closer to prefabrication. So what’s holding them back from getting the biggest bang out of the project owner’s buck?
Well, for starters, effective prefabrication demands a complete rethinking of traditional construction processes. FMI notes that it can be made more effective through changes to company culture, commitment to the process, and letting go of the control mindset. By addressing these factors and making the most of the available resources, ready to commit contractors can begin to harness some of the powerful benefits of prefabrication.