With the amount of complex projects coming up, Robbie Nelson, modular systems division manager, BK Gulf, said that prefabrication, as a method of construction, is catching up.
“Clients and contractors alike are continually looking for more efficient and improved methods for delivering project. Whether that is to increase quality, improve programmes or to ring-fence budgets and deliver margins. Prefabrication has continually demonstrated that it can benefit all stakeholders within a project,” Nelson said.
He remarked that the use of prefabrication in the region is becoming more commonly applied, discussed, or even specified as a method of construction by clients and consultants.
He added: “The concept of prefabrication is not necessarily new in the Middle East. Pre-cast concrete is widely used and other industries, such as oil & gas, are adopting and understanding the benefits of prefabrication for some time.
Prefabrication benefits the MEP sector in many ways, said Nelson. He explined: “The most common benefits are in time, quality and efficiency. These key benefits are achieved by using prefabrication as a parallel construction method.
"By manufacturing off-site, in parallel with the construction of the main building structure, onsite, many of the dependencies and risks associated with traditional construction are eliminated.
"Entire elements of complete MEP services, such as corridor, risers, or even (low voltage) LV wiring, can be fabricated off-site without reliance on proceeding trades or prior clearances. Removing these dependencies reduces the risk of delay or disruption and greatly improves the certainty of the planned project durations.
“A good indicator that prefabrication is proving beneficial to the MEP sector is that contractors, clients and consultants who have used prefabrication in previous project are returning to use prefabrication on their new projects and expand the scope that is covers.”
He went on to explain further that by manufacturing off-site, efficiency and quality can be controlled, reducing the manpower onsite or time spent on re-work and return visits.
In addition, by removing the traditional programme dependencies can increase the certainty of delivery and reduce the cost of extend prelims or lost revenue.
In terms of quality, Nelson said that prefabrication ensures high quality through the control and transparency that an off-site manufacturing environment allows.
He said: “Each step of the process is tracked, monitored, controlled and inspected. Completing work inspection off-site allows for a much deeper and comprehensive inspection of the works, than can be achieved onsite. This inherently increases the quality of the installation and increases the confidence within the completion of project works.”