On the international construction stage, the arguments for and against prefabricated technologies are essentially the same as those we face every day in the Australian arena. The recent Offsite Construction Expo in Washington, D.C. provided a stage for such discussions. Here are some of the highlights:
Offsite construction means better decisions
Despite major advances in technology, some areas of prefabrication are still facing challenges when compared to traditional construction methods. This is primarily in relation to the construction process and how prefab fits into the overall schedule. The move toward prefab means that developers, architects, and project teams need to be clear and concise in their decision to utilise the time and cost savings of prefab.
Planning is key
Reiterating the above point, speakers emphasised the need for new approaches for the planning of projects. Some issues that point directly to prefab being the better solution include environmental and logistical challenges of the site, availability of trades, and on-site security.
A 30-storey building in 15 days is possible
This project caused an enormous amount of attention before the event; however the Chinese-based prefab builder Broad Group explained in detail just how they built a 30-storey hotel in the Hunan Province in just 15 days.