Precrafted Construction: It’s a Process Not a Product

If you toured a sleek new hotel or beachfront property, would you be able to tell if it was built by a high-end construction company or precrafted by a modular construction manufacturer? If you were looking at a precrafted building, you might notice premium materials or exacting precision in the build quality.

But other than that, you wouldn’t see a difference, because

Precrafted Construction isn’t a product but a Process.

So what is the precrafted building process and what benefits does it offer? Read on to find out.

Step One: Design

As in traditional construction, a new precrafted building project starts with design. Here the process is slightly more complicated than the one used in traditional construction. Modular architects need to consider not only the final product, but also the requirements of the factory and transportation. For example, they take into account that completed modules and panels need to be transported to the job site. The upside is that materials used in precrafted buildings tend to be stronger and lighter than regular construction materials. 

What really sets the design process apart in precrafted buildings is its reliance on vast libraries of modules from past projects. As designers create new plans, they draw on these modules, which they alter as necessary and use in their new designs. This speeds up the design process and ensures that few, if any, changes will be needed down the line.

Step Two: Factory Manufacturing

Next comes the manufacturing process, which for a precrafted building is mostly completed in the factory. Repeatable tasks are automated and difficult tasks are done with precise machine-assisted tools that allow a relatively few low-skilled workers do the work of many high-skilled craftsmen. 

Work in the factory isn’t limited to sequential constraints at the job site. For example, one team can finish a building’s second-floor bathroom while another is working on the structure of that same floor.  

And since weather isn’t a factor, there is little downtime.

All of this leads to faster build times and lower costs than traditional construction.

Step Three: Foundation Work

While workers in the factory are constructing the building, other workers can simultaneously complete the foundation. This saves months of valuable time.

Other than that, the foundation work for a precrafted building is largely the same as it is in traditional construction — with one exception. Since precrafted buildings have to be transported from the factory to the site, they are generally made of lighter, stronger materials than traditional construction. This allows builders to craft a lighter foundation with a smaller footprint, which can also take less time to build.

Step Four: Onsite Assembly

With the foundation laid, the building is transported to the site. If the building is small enough, it can be transported in one piece, secured to the foundation, and hooked up to plumbing and electricity services. 

If it is larger, it is transported in 2D panels and 3D modules, depending on the makeup of the building. Intricate rooms like kitchens and bathrooms tend to be manufactured in 3D modules so that they don’t require additional work onsite. Large rooms tend to be made of 2D panels that can be stacked in transit and pieced together at the building location.  

Once the materials start arriving at the site, a small team of workers assembles the building. This process is much faster than traditional construction and requires a smaller crew with less supervisors, again saving time and money.

Occasional: Rework

Since most work on precrafted buildings is done in the factory and the machines require precision, rework is generally not needed. Mistakes are rare in the factory as automated machines require precision at every step to function and factory workers oversee each step. Thus, the time (and cost) built in for rework in traditional construction is greatly reduced for precrafted buildings.

Benefits of the Precrafted Process

All told, the precrafted process offers:

  1. Reduced costs
  2. Higher build quality,
  3. Accelerated build schedules when compared to the traditional construction process.
  4. Precrafted buildings are constructed in a factory, they bring greater certainty about both costs and build time.
  5. Finally, they cost less to maintain over their life cycle due to energy savings and the need for fewer repairs.

In the end, the question becomes: what do you want, and how do you want it done?

The answer when you choose a precrafted building is that you get exactly what you want, just more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Image Credit: https://architecturenow.co.nz/

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