Why the construction industry should rely on industrialized prefabrication in the future.

Vienna, March 07. 2023
Authors: Dannhofer, Daniel | Hanser, Christoph
Duration: 8 min

The construction industry is sure to undergo a radical transformation going forward. Two of our experts, managing directors Stefan and Robert, are discussing their visions, and pointing out new ways for creating value – by industrialized precast construction. Its impact is already clear as we construct more efficiently, modern building systems are easier to implement, and our use of natural resources has grown more responsible. Our company has managed to apply these innovative concepts and technologies to customers for more than 25 years, creating value for the future.

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Why not continue building traditionally?

It all sounds very ideal and optimistic, but why shouldn’t we continue to use the construction method that has become firmly established already?


One aspect is that we can simply implement sustainable construction methods much more easily in the factory. This is not only about CO2 reduction, but also about dust, dirt, and noise. While this is often ignored, noise does also equal pollution. These aspects are much easier to control on a factory floor. Temperature and volume can be controlled, dirt can be better disposed of, and conventional formwork uses an insane amount of harmful oil on top of this. I do think that this is an important part of why we should prefabricate industrially and not continue to build traditionally.


Another aspect is that prefabrication using computers and IT support allows greater quality and better on-time delivery. That is a huge point. It is just easier to plan the entire cycle better here, monitor it, and then execute it on time.


Digitization is a prerequisite for preparation. We have a planned process on the construction site, knowing when every individual part will be delivered. This way, we can avoid downtimes and uncertainties on the construction site. Intermediate storage, as is known from the automotive industry, permits extreme organization and planning of production and construction alike. Our customers also keep mentioning time-to-market, in the large-scale contractor sector. Building on-site takes a long time to finish the building shell. A lot of time passes from the first moment of setting up the construction site to the moment of payment from the building. Preparation will cut down on this time immensely thanks to the choice of prefabrication. Optimized prefabrication not only shortens shell construction time. Well-planned prefabrication parts virtually allow us to use the building at once after shell construction is complete. Studies show that the construction time could be reduced by 60% since the building part could be used 60% earlier in the timeline. As interest rates are rising again, this may lead to enormous cost reductions.


Another important aspect of prefabrication is considering early on what the building is supposed to look like. How do I want to build it? I can rule out many mistakes that may only occur on the construction site this way, giving me a much better flow in the entire process from the start.


We are also a project-driven company, aiming to prefabricate our products, i.e., our software, in the office as far as possible. Everything we do on-site is twice as expensive. Let me also add that the increase in productivity from prefabrication strongly supports this type of construction as well. If I must accommodate many people quickly, I simply have to take a completely different route than waiting on the construction site to see if I can get my concrete delivered there. I need to plan and build residential buildings as quickly as I can by using prefabrication. I can name plenty of examples there: Singapore has one of the most successful construction sites in the world. They have chosen this path. They have no space, no time, no transport, and an awful lot of people. Things needed to move quickly and be built tall. The default solution then was using 100% precast concrete. Buildings are being erected at a speed that Europe can only stare at and be amazed at in many respects. Whether their results look good or not will remain to be seen, but they are extremely efficient for social housing in any case.


Something similar also happened in Europe in response to the refugee movement. Germany relied on modular construction to produce inexpensive and quick solutions. Prefabrication has quickly created a lot of affordable housing for refugees. It can later be repurposed and converted into schools, a campus, or similar. That has certainly been a driving force in Europe as well.


These modules were even converted into a small hospital. The buildings were completely reusable. Let me also mention two projects in Central and South America that we were able to support: Corporacion Geo in Mexico and Sudeste with the “Mi Casa Mi Vida” initiative, where simple, organized small towns were built from precast modules for people looking for accommodation. That kind of thing must be done in an organized manner. You won’t be able to get the people there without organization and prefabrication.

Together we can transform
the way you build!


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