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Prefabrication and modular processes offer considerable opportunities for tackling some of the quality issues associated with more traditional construction practices.

Culturally the use of prefabrication is gaining acceptance within the industry and a wide range of techniques are now being used. The extent of prefabrication can vary from entire volumetric solutions to partial modularization of components

The increased demand for prefabricated solutions helps tackle some of the quality and productivity issues associated with construction, but the implications of this for the whole environmental impact of construction is unknown. In light of this the environmental characteristics of prefabrication technology need to be assessed to fully realise the opportunities for its use. In general terms, it is foreseen that prefabrication will offer a different set of environmental costs to that of traditional construction, with some facets being better and others worse. The overall balance requires defining.

BRE are undertaking a DTI-sponsored study to define the sustainability credentials for different prefabrication options. This will involve the development of a range of indicators by which to compare prefabricated techniques with traditional techniques. A series of case studies will provide quantification of the benefits and costs associated with some of these different techniques.

Case study assessment of a range of systems is being undertaken, the following systems are being considered:

  • Seabright Street, London
    Fast-track masonry system

  • Bryce Road, Dudley
    Timber frame and panel system
    with serviced pods

  • Georgian Gardens, Wednesbury
    Steel frame with serviced pods

  • Benmore Estate, Birmingham
    Composite structural wall panels

  • Sheltered Housing, Wolverhampton
    Volumetric system

  • Warren Green, Castle Vale
    Timber composite system

You can now download the first output from the project, Current Practice and Potential
Uses of Prefabrication
as a PDF file


For more information about the project please contact Mark Phillipson at BRE Scotland:

t: 01355 576200