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Prefab Panels Offer Accuracy, Less Waste and Streamline Production

by Nichole Talbot

Traditional construction methods continue to dominate the built environment, accounting for more than 90 percent of all new construction. And while traditional framing is the de facto choice for many, we’re seeing a noticeable shift in the marketplace when it comes to interest in prefab and its many advantages, especially with an ever-increasing shortage of skilled construction labor plaguing the industry.

Can traditional methods sustain or improve outcomes in today’s market that is anything but traditional? While commercial construction is expected to take a modest decline in 2021, the red hot real estate market in most major metros continues to fuel the need for faster production of new homes. Add to that soaring lumber prices and labor shortages, and builders are struggling to keep up with demand and maintain their bottom line.

Panelized construction

Prefab construction can help builders mitigate some of these issues. In a home or building optimized using panelized or prefab construction, wood panels are constructed off site in a closed and temperature-controlled manufacturing facility. A project’s architect will provide structural plans to an SBS project manager, who will run them through specialized software to determine the complete panelized configuration unique to that specific project. Prefab wall panels, roof trusses, and floor trusses are all precision built and are more dimensionally accurate than their traditionally built counterparts.

Reduce jobsite waste and costs

A simple field walk in a production home or commercial site can reveal a disturbing amount of construction waste. A typical home can generate close to 3,500 pounds of wood waste. Its collection and removal can add thousands in costs depending on the project size and logistics, not to mention its negative environmental impact. A panelized system is value engineering that can scale to specific project sizes and requirements, and our manufacturing facility can produce the highest-quality panels from custom homes to multi-family and larger commercial structures, with a typical waste factor of less than two percent. Lumber requirements are more precise and can offer significant savings, especially during times of rising costs like we’re seeing currently. And because panels are delivered by truck exactly when required for assembly, lumber theft on the jobsite is no longer a concern.

Decrease labor requirements

At least 80 percent of construction companies can’t find enough quality skilled trade workers they need to complete their jobs, according to a Construction Association study. The struggle to fulfill roles and trades has a lasting impact on the ability to deliver projects on time and on budget. It’s a place no company wants to be in, which is why the adoption of building technologies is critical to reduce and streamline total labor demand.

Experienced SBS project managers with architectural and engineering backgrounds will train and provide support for your crew to ensure efficient and timely installation of every wall panel, roof truss, and floor truss. Fewer laborers on the jobsite means paying less labor burden, and the use of a panelized system can allow for more projects in less time. Our team can assist you with a point-by-point comparison to determine how panelized construction can optimize your processes and bottom line.

Opportunities to innovate and adopt lean manufacturing methods can help weather cycling challenges of material costs and labor shortages. Systems-built construction offers the cost transparency and quality precision builders need to maintain their project cycle times and profitability. To learn more about how SBS can help your business, contact us at 775-501-9001.


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