The Prefabrication and Modularization report was produced by McGraw-Hill Construction in partnership with NIST and other corporate and association research partners. The report shows how prefabrication and modularization is yielding real business benefits to users. Commonly used prefabricated and modular building elements include: mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; exterior walls; building superstructures; roofing; floors; and interior room modules. Out of over 800 architecture, engineering, and contracting (AEC) professionals surveyed, 66 % report improved project schedules, 65 % report decreased project costs, and 77 % report reduced construction waste.
Increased adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is also fueling the reemergence of prefabrication and modularization as a critical new trend. The report shows that BIM and prefabrication/modular construction improve both worksite productivity and overall project ROI.
The Prefabrication and Modularization report provides data and analysis on the impact of this trend on key industry productivity metrics, such as project schedules, costs, safety, quality, and eliminating waste. Significant findings include:
- According to respondents, the main drivers for prefab/modular use are to improve productivity, attain a competitive advantage, and generate greater ROI.
- Productivity improvements include decreased project schedules (66 % report a positive impact—35 % say it’s by four weeks or more), decreased costs (65 % report a positive impact—41 % say budgets decreased by 6 % or more), and decreased construction site waste (77 % report a positive impact—44 % say waste was decreased by 5 % or more).
- Architects cite owner resistance as the primary reason for not incorporating prefabrication/modularization into their projects; while engineers and contractors said they don’t use it because it is not in the architects’ designs.
- By 2013, nearly all AEC professionals (98 %) expect to be doing some prefabrication and modularization on some projects.