Prefabrication in construction is on the rise, but it isn’t going to be a flash in the pan–it’s here to stay. The benefits of prefabrication, and especially electrical prefabrication, are many, and we’re only beginning to unlock all the secrets that this method of construction holds.
What are the advantages of prefabrication?
First, we should start by defining what prefabrication is. Electrical prefab is building electrical components in one place, generally an off-site facility such as a warehouse or large manufacturing yard, and then transporting all of those elements to the job site where they can be assembled together like a large puzzle.
The advantages of prefab electrical work are that the construction of the components is done in a controlled environment so that there are fewer unknowns (such as environmental factors–wind, dry grass, rain) and there is all of the essential equipment on site ready to be used with no need to transport the manufacturing equipment to the construction project job site.
These advantages make way for the two largest advantages of prefabricated construction: safety and cost savings. By being able to build a facility that is dedicated to the construction of certain electrical equipment, there will always be the proper safety equipment on site, and it will be a controlled environment where only authorized personnel are allowed in.
Also, it saves money by never needing to transport large equipment, and the economies of scale also kick in: the facility can churn out piece after piece of prefabricated electrical components in an assembly line fashion.
What are the disadvantages of prefabrication?
There are a few disadvantages to prefabrication. Because a prefab shop makes everything in an offsite facility, when the electrical contractors get on the construction site to install the electrical components, they don’t have access to the larger prefab machinery to make changes to the items. This means that they will either have to make do with the materials they have on the job site, or they will have to send the piece back to the modular construction facility to have the part altered.
That said, the safety quality and cost-effective nature of prefabricating materials mean that there will be reduced waste, reduced time, and reduced cost over traditional construction. Construction times will be decreased, and the project timeline will be sped up.
The entire construction industry is moving toward modular construction and prefabrication to take advantage of the benefits of safety, economies of scale, and cost savings. Electrical prefabrication is going to continue along this trend as well, and we will see many benefits come from it.