Prefab and VDC are a match made in heaven

Why you should embrace prefab and VDC, and how it could save the industry’s future

When it comes to using prefabrication technology in the industry, we’re facing the same issues we saw during the adoption of BIM.

Namely, the industry is vastly scattered, knowledge is siloed out—designers, engineers, builders, and fabricators all have different expertise and processes that don’t always play well together, especially when insufficient communication is happening. This is all slowing down the uptake of prefab.

As a report from global consulting firm McKinsey put it, “much of construction has evolved at a glacial pace.”

“Where we do see a lot of success, however, is when prefabrication is intended from the start of the project—as early as when an owner decides to invest in it at the beginning of the design of a project and has full control over the project” said Tyler Gancarz, Project Development at VIATechnik.

We think using prefab technology when building projects, especially if you’re already using VDC and BIM, is a no-brainer. We’ve written before about the great ROI that going pre-fab brings to a project, but as a refresher, here are three simple reasons why:

Boost the quality of every detail in a project in record time

A majority of production is done in a controlled environment specifically designed to manufacture and assemble the individual prefabricated components. This allows for quality checks and review–much more thorough than can be done if these components were to be assembled directly at a jobsite.

Unlike a project site, warehouses and factories where prefab components are built aren’t subject to the limitations of geography, so going prefab can be especially beneficial for projects in dense urban areas.

Prefab production lines also allow for an optimized workflow and process, because the objects are being built by the same staff in a controlled line.

And as a bonus point, prefab helps keeps the site safe and organized. Because components were already individually assembled at a separate warehouse, this keeps the actual project site clean and clutter-free, and a tidy working space not only increases productivity, it also reduces the risk of accidents.

Address the labor shortage issue

The prefabricated production process frees up time for field workers (who are generally more expensive) to cover more projects, which can help mitigate the skilled labor shortage issue the industry faces.

We recently visited a project site where workers were in the process of building hundreds of bathroom pods for a hospital using prefabricated technology.

They were able to install the tile in bathroom pods before shipping to site. Imagine the amount of field work avoided, the number of tiles saved from breaking on site, and the amount of time saved from not having to go back and forth because of a small measurement miscalculation (though if you’re already using BIM, this should be unlikely to happen).

Save time and money by standardizing components

Pairing prefab construction with VDC is a intelligent process that limits project variability and allows for one to manage schedule and budgets better.

And what else helps save time? The opportunity to standardize. If more project owners embrace prefab, then the industry together can establish standards, whether its the building components, or the combination of components. With less unique parts floating around, this means more efficiency for more projects in the long run.


Autodesk University

September 27-29, 2022 Autodesk University Get the chance to learn from and network with business leaders who are advancing the fields of architecture, engineering, construction, design, manufacturing, and media and …

BIM Services – What is it and why is it valuable?

What is BIM Services? Building Information Modeling (BIM) software has gained popularity over the past several years as the new standard for the design, documentation, and execution of construction projects. …

Women Speak Out for Inclusion, Leadership, Diversity, Allyship

Women have made great strides in pursuing careers and leadership roles in construction, but there’s more that can be done to boost their numbers in the industry and ensure they …

Accelerating AEC Innovation in a Post-COVID World

About The Event Over the last few months, we’ve witnessed the global pandemic change the way people live, work, and interact with each other. It has forced the acceleration …

Enabling Automation in The Built Environment

Enabling Automation in the Built Environment The building and construction industry is primed for automation. The automatic manufacturing of the “stuff” of a building – the parts and pieces that …

How VIATechnik is Promoting Mass Timber Construction with BIM

The world’s population is booming. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, urban areas will welcome 2.5 billion new residents by 2050. In addition to requiring …