Besides moving construction operation towards off-site activities, prefabrication of building components provides a whole new range of possibilities for building professionals, and even more so since the arrival of digital planning methods such as Building Information Modeling. Prefabrication and automate manufacturing allow significant time and financial gains, especially with regard to the industrial production of repetitive elements and modular design components.
Here are three success stories and best practice example of projects where stakeholders effectively combined BIM processes with prefabrication methods.
1. The Brouwerseiland Project – Ouddorp (Architecture)
Situated in the Netherlands, the Brouwerseiland project consists of the construction of 360 prefabricated holiday homes within a period of 18 months. The difficult-to-access and environmental particularities of the site (old port site constituted of many islands with contaminated sludge terrain) predisposed the choice of prefabrication methods for building and mechanical components.
Time, environmental and logistic constraints justified the use of BIM, which constituted the key to the success of this project.
More information: http://brouwerseiland.info/
2. Monte Rosa Hut – ETH Zurich and Swiss Alpine Club (Architecture)
Located in the Swiss Alps, near the iconic Matterhorn in Zermatt, the Monte Rosa mountain Hut was inaugurated in 2009. At an altitude of 2,883 meters, the project presented has its share of challenges. The extreme alpine weather conditions and the very rugged and rocky environment made the prefabrication of all building elements necessary.
Manufactured components were transported to the construction site by means of helicopters, where skilled worker assembled all parts together.
More information: http://www.section-monte-rosa.ch/de/unsere-hutten/monte-rosa-huette
3. Mini Sky City – Broad Sustainable Building (Contractor)
The Chinese contractor achieved the construction of a 57-storey skyscraper in the city of Changsha, in as little as 19 days. The prefabrication of housing entities in modular components allowed the rapid erection of the manufactured elements on the construction site. In this specific case, moving labor to off-site fabrics increased drastically the on-site productivity and reduced the overall construction time.
More information and time-lapse of the construction: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/30/chinese-construction-firm-erects-57-storey-skyscraper-in-19-days