USING PREFABRICATION / MODULARIZATION
on Green Building Projects
According to McGraw-Hill Construction’s Green Outlook 2011, green projects comprised nearly a third of all new non-residential construction activity in 2010, with that share expected to grow significantly over the next five years. Given this increase, it is important that the industry recognizes the contribution prefabrication/modularization can offer in meeting green goals.
Though the level of use of prefabrication/modularization in green projects is limited today, most of the industry (88%) is using it on at least one green project, with 19% using it on more than half of their green projects. This suggests that some industry players understand the value these off-site practices can contribute to green goals.
USE OF PREFABRICATION / MODULARIZATION ON LEED PROJECTS
Currently, 31% of the industry believes that use of prefabrication/modularization can help projects achieve LEED credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification program. However, there is still a majority that do not recognize that intersection.
There are several ways prefabrication can contribute to a greener project—and potentially to LEED credits. Savings on materials that can be closely monitored in a controlled environment, resulting in less waste and time. Aside from the waste reduction benefits, off-site work could reduce habitat and disturbance; protect some materials from rain and inclement weather—translating to less exposure to moisture and better indoor air quality; and offer flexibility—contributing to development of more adaptive building. Prefabrication also offers control of working environment and up-close quality control that is not available in areas that are difficult to access on-site. This results in less crane and scaffold time onsite. Prefabrication offers a savings in fuel by eliminating numerous delivery trips to the jobsite to deliver materials for assembly onsite, by combining them into one delivery of a finished product. Waste and shrinkage caused by onsite damage and pilferage to materials lying around is eliminated by having the end product delivered and installed in one continuous operation. Installation time is minimized by installing the entire prefabricated assembly in a matter of hour and/or days, rather than weeks and/or months.
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