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Design and Construction Culture is Biggest Barrier to Extreme Modular, Says NIBS Survey

ENR Survey Results - Modular Systems

Mechanical-Electrical-Plumbing Systems Shop vs. Field Labor"Researchers trying to get a handle on trends and benefits of off-site construction say studies are limited by a lack of consensus about what really qualifies as prefabrication. That aside, 93% of 312 responders to a recent online survey indicate they have used, 'to some degree,' off-site fabricated components, with precast concrete the most frequently used.

Technological Revolution Advances in Construction

"Mastering prefabrication is all about gaining more projects to keep more journeymen and apprentices working."

"New methods of construction require new skills and using old skills in new ways."

"'Prefab is an evolution,' says Mills, who employs 110 IBEW members. 'We need buy-in from top to bottom."

"Prefab is not just for large projects...Niche applications are proving nearly as profitable [as large projects]."


Read more in the April 2015 issue of The Electrical Worker.

Labor Shortage May Slow Construction

Electrical Contractor: Power & Integrated Building Systems

"For years, the industry has foretold of the inevitable shortage of skilled construction workers. According to a new survey, the projected labor shortage may be complex and due to a confluence of factors.

Consulting, investment and research firm FMI Corp., in a survey of contruction executives, found that a labor shortage will restrict almost one-quarter of the respondents from bidding more work. Furthermore, the survey found that about one-third of the respondents will experience slow growth without sufficient skilled labor and tradespeople."


Industry Buzz: Craft Labor Gaps Will Slow Growth, Say Contractor HR Chiefs

How Firms Will Adapt to Craft Shortfalls

Craft labor gaps ahead will slow growth for about one-third of large contractors and cause 25% to pass up bids, even as 65% plan to self-perform more work, says a survey of firms' human resources execs by consultant FMI

The study projects a need for 8,500 additional craft workers by 2017, and sees field manager gaps as well.

FMI training expert Ken Wilson says while 40% of respondents have executive succession plans, only 14% have them for project managers and only 7% for foremen and superintendents.

Prefabrication Trends

Modular Representation

"Recently, there has been a rise in the use of prefabrication and modular construction methods, even though both have been used in the construction industry for centuries. After falling out of popularity, it is re-emerging thanks to the rise of building information modeling (BIM) and the influence of green building, according to McGraw-
Hill Construction.

Prefabrication methods are increasingly used in residential and commercial projects and include everything from in-floor and in-wall products to switches, receptacles and other visible components.

Fast-Track Project Demands Labor-Saving Methods

EC&M: Electrical Construction & Maintenance

"Because the construction team was working on such a fast-track project, the contractors had to find innovative ways to improve productivity. Through its in-house prefabrication shop, Interstates was able to slash field installation time while staying on schedule. For example, the prefabrication shop made up 90° conduits rather than having all of its electricians bend the conduit in the field. By working from a 3D CAD model, the shop was able to bend much of the pipe, assemble conduit racks, and then deliver all the materials to the site.

Prefabricated Components

Electrical Contractor: Power & Integrated Building Systems

"Using prefabricated and preassembled electrical components often can bring substantial cost savings, especially on large projects such as hotels and hospitals that have a large number of identical layouts.

Some contractors have used preassembled products for years, others are trying them for the first time, while there are some who have yet to do so.

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