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Background

The role of prefabrication technology has achieved great emphasis due toits potential inenhancing productivity and efficiency without compromising quality.

However, still this technology is applicable to developed countries only such as USA, Japan and Europe etc and the developing countries like China, India, Africa and South America are untouched with this technology (Chen et al., 2010).

On the basis of this study, it is identified that prefabrication construction system is developed since many years but its awareness and implementation is not up to the mark. Now-a-days, time becomes an important factor for the companies to achieve the desired results especially in the case of construction industry.

The cost and time are the crucial factors in the construction work and based on these factors, the success of the project is identified. So, in that case it is important to conduct the research on impact of prefabrication on the project.

The prefabrication technology is the practice of assembling components of structure in a factory or other manufacturing sites. Basically, it helps to reduce the time of the project through systematically place the components on the construction site.

The time reduction impacts the cost of the project in a positive manner. Likewise, it is identified that if time is reduced then the cost of the project automatically falls. Thus, this practice contributes towards the productivity and efficiency of project in the form of completion on time.

In concern to this study, I will conduct research on analysing the impact of prefabrication on the project quality. This research report will explore the research topic with the help of different Journal articles and critical review method.

By analysing these articles, the pros and cons of prefabrication technology and equipment on the profitability of the projects will be analysed and the best information will be considered so that I can get the relevant research result and outcome.

Problem Research

The construction project takes generally lapping in terms to successfully complete the project within the standard time and cost due to several reasons (Haseeb et al., 2011). Likewise, unavailability of timely components, lack of technology, less quality, high capital investment and inflexibility etc, these concern areas will be addressed through conduct the research on the prefabrication technology and equipment.

This technology is developed quite before but still its implementation is lagging in most of the countries. The reason could be that Precast elements are prepared in a controlled environment which results in proper curing and monitoring and at the same time, prefabrication requires the technology and government supports. This is not granted by the developing countries government because they do not understand the potential of this technology.

So, to this study research report, a researcher will analyse the influences of prefabrication technology for the project quality. Based on this study, the reader can understand the reliability or significance of prefabrication technology and equipment.

Research Gap

Many researchers give the articles related how to increase the efficiency of a construction project. In regard to this, they recommend the sustainable practices for reducing the maximum waste so that cost can be declined.

Other than that, certain technologies also suggest for timely availability of construction equipment such as an installation of ERP, SCM and MIS system etc.

These suggestions prove to be useful for the short-term projects. But for the long-term project like a bridge, road construction projects, a researcher needs to focus on the implementation of innovative technology like prefabrication technology and equipment in order to timely delivery of components on the construction place (Kim et al., 2012).

Thus, the research study of prefabrication will help the researcher to reduce the research gap in the area of the technology field.

Research Aim and Objectives

The main aim of this research study is to understand and analysis the impact of prefabrication technology and equipment on the profitability of the project (Chen and Kamara, 2011).

This report will help in developing the understanding regarding the use of prefabrication technology in the construction industry in future. For accomplishing this research aim, the researcher required to achieve the following research objectives so that researcher can complete its research effectively and successfully.

  • To understand the concept of prefabrication technology
  • To analyse the impact of prefabrication technology and equipment in the construction industry
  • To determine the challenges of using prefabrication technology in the construction industry
  • To recommend the ways that enhance the use of prefabrication technology in future

Research Questions

  1. What are the effects of prefabrication on the deliverables of the construction projects?
  2. What are the issues in using prefabrication technology in the construction projects?
  3. How the prefabrication technology can be used effectively to enhance the effectiveness of construction projects?

Literature Review

Prefabrication is an innovative technology which is widely used for construction purpose and that occurs at the actual site of construction or in a factory.

Prefabrication is also referred as a precast technology that helps in assembling of building parts at a different location rather than building at the same construction site. In the research study of Kamar et al., (2011), it is clearly stated that using prefabrication technology in the construction market is expected to grow high as a result of growth in construction activities, large-scale investment in infrastructure and also rise in urbanization in today’s emerging economies.

The prefabrication concept is a unique concept that is related to manufacturing or constructing a building part at offsite. The use of prefabrication technology in construction industry helps in reducing the cost of construction by economizing the time, materials and wages to the workers.

At the same time, Lloret et al., (2015) also stated that prefabrication required a full assistance or support from the suppliers and builders in order to construct basic modular units of required or estimated size. In respect to this, suppliers of prefabricated units, build a wall frame in different dimensions i.e., 8feet, 16feet, and 24feet. By considering these dimensions, insulation, ventilation, plumbing and windows, etc are constructed to fit within the 4*8 feet modular unit.

The prefabricated building component is produced in massive i.e., produced in an assembly line and that can be developed in short period of time and at a lower cost in compassion to highly paid workers at a building site.

But on the other side, Li et al., (2014) also explained that the concept of prefabrication technology is innovative for manufacturing and construction industry as it helps in changing the style of developing or constructing a building through a sophisticated production process.

Moreover, Azman et al., (2012) also stated that in the construction industry, there is also a requirement of some specialized equipment for the building construction that equipment is not possible to economically move from one site to another for that prefabrication technology facilitates the work operation at a construction site.

Impact of Pre-Fabrication technology and Equipment in the Construction Industry

Prefabrication technology can be described as a practice that is used in assembling components of the structure in the factory and different manufacturing site and also transferring the assembled components to the location of construction where the structure is located (Kofiński and Leśniak, 2015).

The impact of prefabrication technology in the construction industry is most important. To impact of prefabrication technology and equipment, Cao et al. (2015) stated that there are many positive impacts found in the construction industry.

Prefabrication technology helps to speed up the construction by pre-assembling the components and the result is lower labour costs. In prefabrication technology, it provides the assembled components and transfers these components to the construction site. This practice gives the speed in construction work and also reduces the labour costs.

At the same time, prefabrication helps in construction by providing assembled components on time and the work is not delayed due to weather like excessive cold, snow, heat, over rain and so on. All activities related to components are already completed so there is nothing to worry about the time of construction even the weather might be too bad.

Even then, the construction is not affected. According to Li et al. (2016), prefabrication technology uses mechanization that ensures accurate traditionalism to the building code standards and greatest quality assurance. This mechanization also ensures that all the standards are being followed because if these building code standards do not follow, the construction work would be affected and this will increase the project cost.

In contrast to this, Baghchesarae et al. (2015) stated that prefabrication also has some negative impact like increased transportation costs, required heavy duty cranes and a limited number of design etc. This may make it critical for use for every construction company. The other disadvantage is that prefabrication needs to modify indoor space but there is no option with the prefabricated buildings.

Additionally, Hong et al. (2016) it is also described that due to prefabrication; construction industry is served by other advantages like less wastage of material, less theft of material and protection of material from the exposure to the elements during construction.

This prefabrication technology also increases the worker’s safety and comfort level that in site built-construction. Prefabrication technology uses in factories and this allows for the use of automated equipment to reduce labor. Under this technology, the full-time employees ensure that there would be no delay in a project due to unavailability of skilled people.

Prefabrication technology also provides time savings as well as cost effectiveness with its other advantages. Due to prefabrication, construction time is reduced and the buildings are constructed sooner permitting for earlier return on capital investment.

This is the important advantage of prefabrication technology in developed countries like Australia. They consider it a major factor in reducing project costs. In oppose to this, Shi et al. (2017) mentioned that prefabrication will work as a demerit when the prefab factory is located far from the construction site. This will increase the transportation costs and due to this, the project cost will be increased.

In addition to it, Li et al., (2014) also mentioned that prefabrication is not longer considered as a standalone approach for the construction industry because for construction process or approach is decided by the shop foreman who understands the actual requirement for the construction. This no longer approach is being identified by electricians and field people as a way of doing a business efficiently and effectively.

This no longer approach creates a positive impact on the business performance of the construction firm in the competitive market. On the other hand, Chen et al., (2010) also explained that prefabrication also has a social, environmental and economic impact on the construction industry.

Further, Lovell and Smith (2010) also indicated that using an effective tool of a technique of prefabrication in construction industry creates a negative impact in terms of subsequent lack of waste disposal activities and lack of waste generation.

To quantify the impact of the use of prefabrication on construction industry is huge as it helps in waste reduction and handling the waste activities in subsequent and efficient manner. The impact of prefabrication on construction industry is high i.e., impact on the project schedule, project budget, installation cost, safety site and improving project quality, etc.

These all create a positive impact on building an effective and perfect project which helps in overcoming the challenges efficiently and complete the project on time and at a defined project cost.

While studying, it is identified that prefabrication technology also provides an advantage to the construction company in order to improve the quality as well as avoidance in delay of completion of a project on time schedule.

Wen et al., (2015) stated that use of prefabrication will help the construction firm to focus more on worker safety and comfort level for the workers at a construction site because there are high chances of mis happening and this lead to negative impact on the construction work.

However, the use of prefabrication in the construction industry in future will provide the profit and growth in the competitive world as this innovative technology will speed up the construction time and also reduce the labor cost to a large extent.

Challenges of using prefabrication technology in the construction industry

In the views of Li et al. (2016), prefabrication technology and components can greatly *accelerate the construction work if it carried out in an organized and accurate manner.

However, inaccuracy existences give rise to difficulties for the successful implementation of the prefab structures. Thus, preparation of documents or installation of a right system tends to require for execution of prefabrication technology. In favor to this study, Azman et al. (2012) illustrated that company to implement the prefabrication equipment requires for the high investment and this practice also increase the overall budget of the project.

For the small construction company, it becomes quite difficult to incorporate this technology. At the same time, this technology is not meant for the short-term projects. In concern to this, it is stated that small companies face a challenges in adopting the prefabrication technology.

According to Pan and Goodier (2011), prefabrication equipment can’t be customized that’s why it is quite challenging for the project manager to add new design to the project. However, some design in construction sector demands for the changes so to fulfill such alterations couldn’t be possible with this technology.

Thus, for the changes, this technology won’t be suitable enough. In regards to this study, Li et al. (2015) depicted that transportation costs are another challenge for the company if the prefab factory is located far away from the site. Likewise, the company hires the transports to carry components if the factory is far away and such logistic takes the huge cost of company this increase the carrying cost and overall cost to the project.

This creates the situation of break-even analysis where there is no profit or no loss. This is not proving to be efficient for the company success.

In the research of Li et al. (2014), it is identified that developing countries like India, China, and Africa still struggling in adopting the prefabrication technology in its construction projects. There are two reasons behind this; one is that precast elements are prepared in the controlled environment which results in proper curing and monitoring.

But currently, developing countries does not have controlled environment that’s why they face difficulty in installing the prefabrication technology and equipment. Secondly, a government of countries does not support construction companies to install such technology in its long-term projects.

This is because of a political leader. It means that due to an influence of political party, there are various projects are not carried out and at last investment increases. So in such area, there is no significance of installing such technology where the awareness about time and cost does not exist. It mostly occurs in the country like India where political parties have more influence over the long-term construction projects.

Therefore, these are the challenges that occur when it comes to using the prefabrication technology.

Ways to enhance the use of prefabrication technology in future

The lower project cost and project schedule improvement are considered as a driving force that enhances the use of prefabrication technology in future.

In regards to this statement, Lu and Yuan (2013) justified that project quality is the key element for the project manager and it achieves only when manager complete its project on time within the estimated budget. So this desire creates the demand for prefabrication technology in future. But according to Bari et al. (2012), the increasing environmental issues will generate the need to reduce the cost and the time of a project.

It is estimated that construction projects especially dams, bridges project takes so much time to implement and in such duration these project also generate huge noise or air pollution. If this project time gets reduce then the releasing of toxic component tend to declines. This proves to be beneficial for the company as well as environment.

In the findings of Rahman (2013), it is analyzed that waste reduction and safety concern is the factors that drive the use of prefabrication technology. Likewise, the impact of construction on the environment is significant and this is identified through the USA study where it is clear that more than 135 million tons of debris arise from the construction sites.

This waste can be reduced through the use of prefabrication technique. This is the best way to decline the maximum waste related problem. Other than that, project manager knows well that they can reduce the major accidents among workers only with the use of prefabrication and modularization.

The risk of accidents get reduces when construction work is transferred away from the job site and into the controlled manufacturing environment. There are different types of safety address by the prefabrication includes less exposure to weather, heights, hazardous operations etc. Therefore, these are the driving forces that increase the demand for prefabrication technology in future.

Research Method

The main purpose of this research study is to analysis the impact of prefabrication technology on the construction industry in terms of profitability. In this research, a systematic review will be considered by reviewing the findings of previous studies and researches for developing theoretical knowledge or understanding related to subject matter (Kafle, 2011).

In this research study, I will use this method in order to critically analyse the impact of prefabrication technology and its equipment in the construction industry. The use of systematic review research will help the researcher in collecting a relevant and accurate data or information for achieving a reliable outcome or result efficiently.

It will be crucial for reviewing a clearly formulated question that focuses on systematic and explicit methods for identifying, selecting, and critically appraising relevant research, and collecting and analysing data from the studies that are included in the review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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