One of the latest MCGraw Hill Reports is out, and its got the easy to read melodic title of “Pre-Fabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry” Now there is a lot of data out there showing that productivity in the Construction Industry has flatlined over the past decades where other industries have seen 200%+ growth. Why? Well I’m no economist but when there was no incentive to change, no economic shock and banks were handing out money to anyone with a pulse, well, why change? Also during this time and still to a degree when you talk about introducing productivity tools/technology to the AEC Industry, in between people laughing at you they’ll say “good luck.” Times are changing though and the report goes on to state that the two main drivers that were driving the increase in PreFab were “increased productivity” and “competitive advantage”, so generally “money” and “close more deals” or in other words, “money”.
So what is this acronymical jargon stew of BIM, Lean, PreFab mean? How about this, spatial coordination/clash detection of “items” built off site to fit together on site like a model (remember attach Part A to Part B) to reduce waste. And waste means everything, time, materials, etc. Turner Construction reported a metal waste average of 15-25% of total recyclable materials with onsite fabrication but with pre fab that dropped to 5-10%. So let’s call that a 50% reduction. 50%, and that’s just in one category.
So is it no wonder that Pre Fab is shown in a glimmering light in this report when one of the sponsors is the Modular Building Institute, well ummn no, but just like if the Milk Board sponsored a study showing that calcium is good for you is that not true? I blogged earlier about Skanska knocking it out of the park using pre-fab on the Miami Hospital so is it no wonder that it is being adopted more rapidly by the rest of the industry. The report also mentions Turner using it because it makes good business sense and when I say that, I mean that from an economic/dollars perspective, less site waste, less time with your crew on site, quicker installs, less wasted time. And what helps enable all this, to make sure it fits the way it is supposed to? BIM, that is Building Information Modeling. So understand there are all flavors of BIM from clash detection, to spatial coordination, etc. it is whatever it is to help you out.
One of the more dramatic benefits of an integrated Lean/ BIM project mindset is that the scales drop from the eyes and we begin to see the waste that is avoided in all its hidden forms: defects, motion, inventory, transportation, overproduction, processing and waiting. By embracing a Lean mindset we are able to deliver efficient, high quality, cost-effective healthcare facilities by capitalizing on the greatest tool we have: human talent. – James P. Barrett | Turner Construction Company | National Director BIM & Lean Building
Hit it hard somewhere.