What is Prefabrication?

What is Prefabrication?

November 10, 2021

In designing and constructing a building, architects and developers often encounter various challenges, especially in terms of time, quality, and cost. Hence, for a more efficient approach, many of them now implement a practice known as prefabrication. This practice is indeed becoming more common around the world and will only continue to grow in popularity. But, what is prefabrication?

What is Prefabrication?

According to Britannica.com, prefabrication can be described as the assembly of buildings or their components at a particular location other than the construction site. Units that are prefabricated may include doors, stairs, window walls, wall or floor panels, roof trusses, and even the entire building. Prefabrication is now becoming much easier to do, especially with the support of innovative digital tools. 

Prefabrication can be categorized into two main types: modular and panelized. Both methods can be achieved in timber, steel, and concrete, while also mixed within the same scheme. The aspects that slightly differentiate these two are in terms of strength and duration. Either way, both practices generally produce less noise, faster work, and less harmful effects on the environment. 

Prefabricated Wood Construction

Wood, compared to steel and concrete, is essentially more lightweight, easier to work on, and much better when it comes to energy efficiency. This is why wood becomes perfectly suited for prefabricated construction. It has been proven that timber that is prefabricated in a factory can ultimately produce high-quality and precise wood components that are ready for assembly on the site. 

Types of Wood Prefabrication

According to Continuing Education Center, when it comes to industrialized approaches, there are two main approaches of wood prefabrication:

  1. Building Kits (Kit of Parts)

In this method, prefabricated units that have been built in the factory are transported and assembled at the construction site. The prefabrication units may include the roofing package (roof panels, fascia, and gutter), roof structure (ceiling deck and beams), glazing package (windows and entrances), and building structure (wall panel, beam pockets, column and shear paneling). According to some, this practice can reduce framing time up to 90% with on-time delivery and installation by crane. 

  1. Finishing Modules

Unlike the previous method, in this approach, an entire building is built, and then delivered and assembled on-site. After that, the building is stacked or placed side by side, depending on the layout. Through this method, 85% of completion can be achieved, including insulation, plumbing, electrical, cabinets, windows, doors, as well as appliances.

As one of the largest timber companies in Indonesia, Kayu Lapis Indonesia (KLI) also implements prefabrication as an effort to achieve the highest standards and constant innovation to surpass market requirements. Prefabrication at our factory is proven to produce fewer mistakes, less waste, and a higher degree of precision. A faster construction time is also achieved, due to highly trained professional workers, lofty safety standards, a safer construction process, and the use of modern tools. 

Source: Britannica.com; Construction News; Continuing Education Center; EOMF