Advancing Prefab 2020

Photo: Maria Laguarda-Mallo

This past February, I had the opportunity to chair the session on Design and Planning at the Advancing Prefab 2020, in Dallas, Texas. During this event, a wide variety of subjects were covered from the owner, GC, specialty contractor and manufacturer perspective. At this event, attendees were given platform to network and share knowledge on the latest prefab and modular trends from Delivery Methods to Technology.

Industry leaders with different backgrounds presented their experience on different projects, ranging from hotels and hospitals to data centers and warehouses, where they apply different levels of prefab elements from components such as plumbing assemblies, MEP racks, and wall panels, to full volumetric modular pods and units.

A few of most relevant takeaways from the session I chaired were:

-There is a need to create a collaborative, transparent culture, where all parties play an active role. Off-site work demands a very high level of communication among all stakeholders, from pre-design through construction. In particular, an effective collaboration with suppliers is critical.

-Brining everyone to the table early on in design stage, preferably during schematic design, is essential. This enables to create the best value, instead of integrating prefab and modular principles later in the project.

-A couple of the most pressing challenges are the available capacity of prefab manufacturing facilities, and the high upfront investment in facilities and equipment.

-The off-site construction industry offers an opportunity for growth for many industry leaders. However, constant R&D efforts and adaptability are needed to be at the forefront of this fast-advancing industry.

Prefab and modular construction is not new at VIATechnik. Many of the team members I work with have extensive experience working in prefab and modular projects around the country. I am seeing that this experience positions us well as industry leaders and consultants to help our clients leverage the power of VDC technologies to optimize the prefab process and ensure all elements are manufacture and installed with the precision and accuracy needed.

Let’s work together and share our knowledge and experience to help the industry move towards off site construction!

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