2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference
This study analyzes the productivity of prefabricated construction methods with respect to cost and time. In addition, this study explores the main benefits and applications of prefabricated construction methods as well as identifies the major risks that could affect their use in Canada. Several interviews with experienced construction professionals were conducted. Also, surveys were conducted choosing construction managers, tradespeople, and construction workers who are familiar with prefabricated construction. The responses from construction professionals revealed that prefabricated construction methods are more advantageous than conventional construction methods due to reduced construction time, cost, and site waste. The interview results indicated that prefabrication construction methods take about 3 to 4 weeks per townhouse unit and can save around 4 to 8 weeks. Furthermore, the survey results exhibited that prefabricated construction methods decrease the overall project delivery time. The survey results also imparted that faster project delivery time and reduced labourers on site are the two most important factors, which decrease the cost of prefabricated construction. The other benefits of prefabricated construction methods are minimum risk of injury and minimization or total elimination of on-site wet trades, which became obvious from the interview results. Despite having manifold benefits, there are some risks of using prefabricated construction methods, such as fabrication errors, damage during transportation, misfits on worksite, and delays due to the shortage of skilled labourers and changed orders. Yet prefabricated construction methods are being used in Canada in the cases of trusses, exterior wall components, framing elements, and MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) systems.