How Prefabrication Improves Quality In Construction

March 9, 2023
Construction worker builds prefab structure in a factory

If you think prefab equals low quality, think again. As builders and homeowners strive to reduce project costs while maintaining quality, prefabrication is becoming an increasingly attractive option. So what exactly is prefab? Prefabrication is an efficient way to improve standards while minimising manufacturing and labour costs. With advanced tools and equipment, off-site manufacturing produces more consistent results than traditional building techniques. This helps streamline the entire construction process — from design to installation.

Let's take a closer look at how prefabrication can improve the overall quality of your construction project.

Less Damage To Materials

Moving construction to a quality-controlled factory setting removes multiple variables that could damage building materials or halt the construction process including theft, vandalism and poor weather conditions. As such, prefab systems are a step ahead in quality before construction even starts. 

Better Working Conditions And Equipment

The conditions of off-site construction are better for both the materials and construction workers. Adequate lighting and shelter from the weather provide improved visibility so construction workers and machine operators can do their best work and make it home in time for dinner. They also have access to specialised equipment that can build prefab components to exact specifications. 

With this precision comes improved construction tolerances, which have both aesthetic and functional benefits for homeowners. Minimising gaps in modular homes, for example, reduces air leakage and makes heating and cooling more efficient. All of our Plungies have a variance of 0.5% or less in their overall size.

Improved Quality Control

Factory environments make quality control easy. Prefab structures can be assessed at each stage of production to ensure they are up to standard before they leave the factory floor. 

At Plungie, we have an in-house quality assurance monitoring team that takes care of this. If we find that a pool exterior doesn’t qualify for Class 2 concrete finish, we’ll make sure it is brought up to standard. We also keep a sample from every Plungie and strength test it multiple times in our concrete testing lab to comply with NATA assessment standards. 

This ensures that homeowners and builders receive a safe product while reducing construction errors, and therefore rework required on-site. Rework can reduce productivity by up to 300%, so quality control in prefab construction has important implications for efficiency as well as quality. 

Less Specialist Labour Required

It’s no secret that the construction industry is experiencing a skills shortage, with job vacancies increasing by 80% since 2019. Homeowners and builders are less likely to feel the impacts of this labour shortage with prefab solutions, which can be quickly and easily assembled or installed once they arrive on site. 

The simplicity of prefab systems allows less experienced construction workers or smaller construction teams to achieve high-quality results. Take the pool building process for example. Once upon a time, this required hiring a specialist pool builder — something that can be difficult if you live in a regional area. Now, with the simplicity of a prefab Plungie, builders can handle the home build and pool installation. 

Choosing The Right Prefab Supplier

Unfortunately, a small number of unreliable companies contribute to a ‘cheap and nasty’ reputation for prefab construction. While this is not reflective of the prefab construction industry as a whole, there are certain green flags you can look for to find the right fit for your project.

Prefab Company Checklist

  • Do they have a customer service team? 
  • Is there support available after the project is completed?
  • Have they completed projects on similar terrain?
  • Is your construction site within their delivery radius?
  • Do they have a signature style? Does this aesthetic fit with the project’s vision?
  • What options are there for customisation? 

Although it may seem simple, asking these questions first will help your project run a little smoother. All the information should be easily accessible on their website. Then you can experience the enhanced quality that is possible through prefab construction.

 

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