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10 Myths About Prefabricated Building Enclosure Systems

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How prefabbing building enclosure system can benefit any construction project, from hotels and housing, to healthcare facilities, to office, retail, or mixed-use development.

Myth 1: Prefab means low quality, poor constructability, and fit.

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 and jigs help build our panels in a weather-resistant factory strictly adhering to manufacturers’ designs and production processes. Prefabrication will help speed up the critical path, which gets other subcontractors onsite faster, and the building completed more quickly.

For prefabrication to be feasible, coordination and collaboration need to happen early on for a project. The design phase is crucial to ensure the building is designed correctly for the panel layout joints to match the exterior finish joints.

Myth 2: I have a complex architectural design in mind that can’t be built prefabricated.

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.

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 façade and pop-out window boxes. The result is a construction concept that breaks the barrier of traditional building design.

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

Myth 3: Prefab is not built to last and has high maintenance costs.

Panels are manufactured with precise engineering, high design standards, and innovative construction techniques. 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 produced at our manufacturing facility.

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

Myth 4: Prefab is for mass production.

Mass production being exclusively available 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. Pre-engineered and manufactured assemblies offer excellent quality and value to any building Owner, no matter the size of the project. Prefabrication looks for replicable standard assemblies and produces them to save time and improve quality.

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

Myth 5: EIFS Systems are high maintenance.

When installed appropriately, exterior insulation and finish systems (EIFS) can be an excellent coating option for your building. EIFS can be an affordable yet nice-looking design option while contributing to overall building efficiency. 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 excellent drainage in the event water penetrates the panel's face.

Myth 6: Prefab is not faster than Stick Framing.

Time is a critical component of any construction project. With prefabrication, you can speed up the critical path onsite. Preplanning, design, and coordination happen earlier in the project, which helps eliminate issues onsite later on the project timeline.

A stick-framed structure requires construction materials to be delivered to the job site in batches throughout the project. Materials are not always ordered to size, and there is much more cutting and measuring, which can slow down speed onsite.

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

Myth 7: Prefab is Expensive

Prefabrication decreases on-site 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 off-site in the shop, the building's foundation is being built simultaneously on-site. This cuts construction time. A shorter schedule allows general contractors to complete more projects with less manpower, automatically lowering costs.

Myth 8: Prefab is not Sustainable

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.

Myth 9: Prefab is Not as Safe as Traditional Construction

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, providing a high level of accuracy. Building Information Modeling (BIM) and thorough communication occur between the design and prefabrication teams before the project begins. The panels are delivered 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 many onsite safety hazards.

Myth 10: Prefab is done without skilled tradespeople.

Mammoth’s prefabrication shop personnel are held to strict instructional 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  we drive continuous improvement with the team, including visual controls, metrics, and process reviews. Quality Management Systems (QMS) inspections at every step provide traceability and accountability on every panel.

Learn more about commercial prefab and Mammoth Systems.

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