Planning for Success in Prefabrication

March 24, 2021

Prefabrication can yield benefits every construction owner hopes for—increased safety and efficiency, higher quality and reduced labor and material costs—but only if the project is properly planned and executed. Brasfield & Gorrie has a strategy, business plan, and leadership team in place to define our effort in prefabrication and support the expansion of new capabilities.

We know what it takes to plan, manage, and install prefabricated components. Our project teams have completed more than three dozen projects utilizing prefabricated components across market sectors. Because we’ve worked with every aspect of the prefabrication process, we rely on internal best practices and expertise in evaluating which elements of a project are best suited for prefabrication.

Our Approach

Too often, prefabricated elements aren’t considered until design is complete. Turning to prefabrication later in the process can make it cost-prohibitive. We engage with our clients and design partners as early as possible to ensure that we’re making the best decisions for each project. By reviewing the design at the earliest phase, we’re able to identify potential prefabrication options and optimize their value. We then identify trade contractors with the experience and expertise to deliver the best value and quality and evaluate target cost and schedule benefits.

Next, we collaborate to incorporate prefabricated components into design and pricing plans. This allows us to create quality control, phasing and logistics plans, determine metrics and create a data collection plan before the work begins.

Prefabrication in Action

A prefabricated exterior wall panel

We’ve seen great success with prefabrication on several recent projects. On a recent healthcare expansion project in Florida, our prefabrication and preconstruction teams collaborated on an in-depth analysis of several prefabrication vendors. The group identified multiple components—including operating room ceilings, headwalls, bathroom pods, exterior wall panels and more—and then priced them with multiple vendors. Identifying the options as early as possible enabled us to identify what was best for the project, get team buy-in, and then find the right trade partner to provide those components and the best value.

On an integrated project delivery (IPD) job, our prefabrication and preconstruction teams led cluster group meetings with the client, designers and trade partners to consider the many possible prefabrication components and relevant cost considerations. On this project, the team identified prefabricated exterior wall panels as an opportunity to implement prefabrication and maximize its many benefits. In the IPD environment, we evaluate based on shared risk and shared reward incentive. We aim to innovate and build efficiently while maintaining quality and ensuring the team is set up for profitability.

These under-construction projects are seeing success with prefabrication thanks to these early conversations. Prefabrication will succeed only with the right people in place to guide its implementation. Brasfield & Gorrie maintains a knowledge base of best practices we’ve developed to ensure that we provide our clients with exceptional service. Contact our team to learn if prefabrication is a fit for your next project.