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10 Common Misconceptions About Prefabricated Building Enclosure Systems

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And how prefabbing your building enclosure system can benefit your construction project

I’m concerned about quality. Can prefabrication be constructed in a quality way and fit in the field?

Prefabrication occurs in a controlled environment, with each sub-assembly built by an experienced team member. Multiple quality checks are made throughout the process. Custom innovative machinery helps build our panels in a weather-resistant factory with strict adherence to manufacturers’ designs and production processes.

I have a complex design in mind. Can unique architectural designs be built with prefab?

Prefabricated panels are designed to support a wide range of aesthetic options. Producers of prefab buildings have made headway by delivering groundbreaking designs. Mammoth collaborates with architects and designers to offer aesthetically appealing prefab buildings with various designs to match different preferences. Panels arrive onsite complete with specialty finishes removing the need for additional trades and providing greater cost savings.

A broad range of finishes can be achieved on a prefabricated building, providing a unique architectural appearance. On Mammoth’s Church + State project, prefabricated panels were beneficial to the architectural team due to design flexibility.  The exterior is clad with unique Spanish slate and white extruding planes planked in white aluminum to emphasize the intricate, multidimensional facade and pop-out window boxes' with varying depths.

Prefabricated building panels Church + State
Mammoth's Church + State Project

My project needs to generate revenue at a low building maintenance cost. Are prefabricated materials durable over time?

Panels are manufactured with precision engineering, higher design standards, and innovations in construction. Prefab buildings are guaranteed to possess structural integrity and timeless design. Strict measures are followed to reduce manufacturing defects, and Mammoth offers a high QA/QC process with traceability for every panel built in our production plant. Craftsmanship is consistent with each sub-assembly made by an experienced crew member.

Prefabricated panels are as durable and functional, and by some standards better than typical assemblies. The fact that panels are transportable and quicker to build makes them an exceptional choice for any owner looking to improve quality and have a long-lasting building.

The project I’m building has a fun design and is only a couple of stories. Can prefab be utilized on smaller projects?

Mass production for large buildings may have been true in the past, but prefab designs are now available to a broader market, despite project size, with a wide range of stylish, upscale, flexible, and long-lasting designs. Myths are meant to be debunked, and prefabrication has evolved over the years and offers excellent quality and value to any building owner no matter the size of the project. Prefabrication looks for replicable standard assemblies and collectively produces them to save time and improve quality.

Mammoth's Gardner School project was only 16,380 SF.

EIFS enclosure systems require a lot of maintenance, and how can you guarantee I won’t have leakage?

Exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) can be a great coating option for your building when installed appropriately. EIFS can be an affordable, yet nice looking design option while also contributing to overall building efficiency. The use of EIFS coating on the building exterior provides thermal benefits and leads to energy-saving costs.  

Proper installation of an EIFS building enclosure system will allow the building to shed water and appropriately seal the building at all window and wall penetrations.  In Mammoth's EIFS panel, a built-in system allows for drainage in the event water penetrates the panel's face.

What are the productivity benefits of utilizing prefabrication compared to stick-framed construction?

Time is a critical component of any construction project.  There is decreased lead, downtime, and build time through prefabrication since building materials arrive onsite just in time and are directly installed.

A stick-framed structure requires construction materials to be delivered to the job site in batches throughout the project. The building begins when the materials reach the site requiring several more steps than prefabrication.

Decreased lead, downtime, and build time through prefabrication since building materials arrive onsite just in time and are directly installed.

I have a set budget in mind. How much does prefab cost when compared with more traditional construction methods?

Prefabrication decreases onsite time. The fast installation of exterior wall panels means the building envelope is closed quicker, so the interior scope can begin sooner and not be affected by weather delays. While the panels are being constructed in the shop, the building's foundation is being built simultaneously onsite. This cuts construction time. A shorter schedules allows general contractors to complete more projects with less manpower, which automatically lowers costs.

Sustainability is important. Can you build sustainably with prefab?

Prefabricated buildings are built from the same materials as traditional construction, making them environmentally friendly and just as sustainable. Prefabrication can make the jobsites greener by reducing onsite material waste since our panels arrive fully finished and customized to your project. Also, heavy equipment use onsite is diminished, making them a more sustainable building option.  Prefabrication means that your building will be extremely energy efficient and benefit those who value eco-friendly practices.

Mammoth Prefab is a part of the Affiliation with Sto Panel Technology. This Affiliation keeps us updated with the latest and greatest moisture protection technology, fully patented, and tested panelized systems. Being a part of this program lets us help you get a LEED Certified building.

Panelized LEED Silver Certified Building
Church + State was built to USGBC’s LEED Silver standards: The development team constructed the building to qualify as a LEED Silver residential building.

Safety is my #1 priority, How safe is building with prefab?

Prefabrication must comply with the same state and local building codes as their conventional counterparts.  With careful planning and coordination, each panel is given continuous inspection by our shop leads, which provides a high accuracy level.. Building Information Modeling (BIM) and thorough communication occur between the design and prefabrication teams before the project begins. The panels are delivered just in time and eliminate extra steps in the workflow, resulting in a less hazardous worksite.

In the field, only a 6 to 8 man crew is needed to install panels onsite—reducing the workforce from about 60 men to 6 men, eliminating onsite safety hazards.

Construction is a highly-skilled trade. What sort of training do prefab personnel in the shop have?

The personnel in Mammoth’s prefabrication shop are held to strict educational standards to remain a StoPanel Affiliate..Each team member follows a predetermined process, including quality checks at every step within production, allowing control over the output.The process is based on lean construction and continuous improvement methodology. We drive continuous improvement with the team, including visual controls, metrics, and team reviews. Quality Management Systems (QMS) inspections at every step give traceability and accountability on every panel.

Take advantage of the benefits of prefabrication on your next project. Contact Mammoth’s team of professionals.

Sources:

http://www.constructionworld.org/7-benefits-prefabricated-construction/

https://www.stopanel.com/

https://www.builderonline.com/building/building-science/prefabricated-wall-panels-save-on-labor_o