Posts Tagged 'pre-fabricated buildings'

New York Embraces Pre-Fab Construction

Prefabricated Inwood Box Building. Image Credit: Peter Gluck & Partners.

Prefabricated Inwood Box Building. Image Credit: Peter Gluck & Partners.

The popularity of pre-fab construction is catching on in many places—and one of them is no less than what is probably one of the busiest and most populous cities in the world: New York City.

On Broadway Street, there currently is a vacant lot that is hardly recognizable and nothing more than a pile of rocks. In a matter of weeks though, it will be transformed into an apartment building—with seven stories, ten terraces, and fully furnished units, thanks to prefabricated construction methods. Called in the Inwood Project, the apartment costs $13 million and will consist of a combination of 28 apartments. And the best part, which will probably appeal most to New Yorkers, is its 28% lower rental rate than the average. The building will be called Broadway Stack, to pay its respect to its innovative form of architecture. The project will wrap up in 9 months—as opposed to the traditional 16 to 18 months of on-site construction. This also means lowered construction costs by as much as 10 to 20%.

Last year also saw the announcement of the construction of the first residential tower in Brooklyn. On top of that, New York also won the Micro Unit Apartment Building Design Contest, and fittingly chose modular design as its construction of choice.

The negative connotations New Yorkers have with prefab construction are quickly going away. It used to be equated with low-cost housing and mobile homes, but prefab is proving to be more than that. Perceptions are quickly changing, inasmuch as prefab has shown itself capable of coming up with fully functional and aesthetically pleasing designs.

That pre-fab construction is becoming popular in New York just shows how flexible pre-fab buildings are. Now that New York is following suit, it will not be a surprise if every other highly urbanized city focuses on modular construction as well.


4 Reasons Why Prefabricated Buildings are the Way of the Future


Time is money. Image Source: Public domain.

There are several reasons why prefabricated construction is the future of the industry. With prefab buildings being a popular choice not only as a commercial building, but also an affordable and sophisticated housing option, there is no doubt that the age of prefabricated construction has just begun.

Still wondering if prefab construction is for you? Let us seal the deal with these four reasons.

1. Prefab buildings are quicker to build.

While regular construction can take months (even years!) to wrap up, prefab buildings take a record time to finish. Consider the world’s tallest prefab building in Brooklyn: the 32-story tower took a record time of 90 days. That is less than a third of a year—you can occupy the building and start reaping your returns right away.

2. Prefab buildings can save a lot of money.

For one, it requires fewer workers. The 32-story tower, in fact, took only 125 workers to work on everything, from the building’s floors and walls to the plumbing and electric lines. With the reduced costs of a prefab building, you have a building that is not only well-built and designed to withstand harsh elements, for a much lower price.

3. Prefab buildings are energy efficient.

The elements of a prefab building are tightly cut, meaning that they fit tightly and allow less room for the escape of energy inside the building. The materials are likewise energy-saving and will therefore reduce maintenance costs.

4. Prefab buildings offer more choices.

Because of the rapid rise of prefabricated buildings, more styles and choices are made available for the layout of your building, be it a commercial building or a house. We, at Norsteel, offer a variety of widths, textures, lengths, that will allow you to customize the perfect prefab building.

The Tallest Skyscraper in the World Will Be Prefabricated

Sky City One. Image Source: BSB.

Another milestone for the prefab construction industry will be attempted by Broad Group, a Chinese Construction Company. The company will attempt to build the world’s tallest skyscraper in as fast as 90 days! The  skyscraper, “Sky City One” will stand 2,750 feet (838 meters) and will take 1/12 of the time that the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, took. Sky City One will be 33 feet taller than the said building. The secret behind the rapid is prefabrication. Before construction on site even begins, 95% of the building will have already been finished.

Broad is also the same company that built the New Ark Hotel—a 15-story building that only took a  week to build. The same modular and prefab construction principles were applied to the hotel building. Taking from its success with the New Ark Hotel, Broad will now attempt to construct a 220-story skyscraper that is supposedly able to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake.

Broad further says that Sky City One is earthquake resilient and can accommodate as many as 100,000 people. It will also have leisure and retail facilities. The 220 floors will be connected by 104 elevators and will cover a total of 10,800,000 sq ft of usable floor space. As for its energy consumption, the skyscraper will consume only 1/5 of the energy of a usual building, thanks to green practices that will be applied. This includes thick quadruple glazing and thick exterior wall that will increase the interior insulation of Sky City.

And the cost of Sky City One? The estimate is around $628 million. That is a lot cheaper compared to the $1.5-billion Burj Khalifa.

The plan to launch Sky City One is a commendable effort to put prefab buildings at the forefront of the construction industry. After all, it highlights everything that’s positive about prefab buildings: economical, inexpensive, fast, and durable.

Strong Demand for Prefabricated Building Systems Until 2015

Pre-fabricated steel building. Image: Norsteel.

According to a recent study by Freedonia Market Research Group, there will be an overwhelming demand for pre-fabricated steel buildings in the next four years.

In fact, the demand for nonresidential prefabricated buildings is set to increase by 7% every year until 2015, bringing to total growth to around $16 billion. While the demand for such buildings was relatively low in 2010, the recovery in the next four years will focus on the need for more prefabricated office and commercial buildings.

There are several kinds of prefabricated building systems: modular, metal, precast concrete, autoclaved aerated concrete, and fabric. Of all these kinds, metal buildings will still take the larger portion of the prefabricated building systems market, taking up about 45% of the total market share. This particular market will also experience an increase of around 6% annually. Meanwhile, other prefabricated building systems will increase by around 8% annually for the next four years.

While metal building systems will remain most in demand for commercial and office buildings, growth in other kinds of prefabricated buildings is also expected. With modular classrooms growing more popular, modular buildings will certainly be more popular. Precast concrete buildings will also experience a rise in sales, with the improvement of design and sound attenuation qualities.

In terms of nonresidential applications, prefabricated metal building structures will be most common in industrial, commercial, and office markets. In fact, the market for prefabricated metal buildings is set to grow by doubt digits annually until 2015, thanks to the improvement in designs and increased demand for them. Naturally, Norsteel will stay at the forefront of such improvements.

With the increased demand for nonresidential construction activity, economic growth, and population growth, the South and West North American will will experience the strongest regional market gains.

Buying a Steel Building in Canada? Protect Your Legal Rights

One of the first pieces of advice I can offer you when you are searching for a  Pre-Engineered Steel Building is to make sure you are dealing with a reputable Canadian company.

It is true that with current exchange rates so favourable to US Manufacturers, the best priced steel buildings, and some of the highest quality steel building manufacturers can be found south of the border. As a Canadian company or individual though, it is easy to be trapped by some of the low quality, or even downright shady operators <!–[endif]–> that can be found south of the border.

Was this the \'Best Deal\'?In my career as a steel building consultant, I have often come across brand new steel buildings sitting in the yard of an auction house , or lying beside a concrete pad slowly rusting away. These buildings are typically supplied by one of the less scrupulous foreign manufacturers, and once paid for and delivered on site they end up not meeting Canadian code, or building standards.

Once you are in that boat, you will quickly discover that under US law, the buyer is responsible for ensuring that the product they purchased is suitable for it’s purpose. Even if the buyer does have recourse under US law, the costs of fighting a long distance lawsuit in Florida, or Colorado are often higher than the value of the building in the first place.

So the first rule of buying a pre-engineered bulding is to find a knowledgable, reliable, and above all honest Canadian company that can shop in the US marketplace on your’ behalf. Of course, Norsteel buildings has been fulfilling this role for decades now, and has supplied hundreds of happy Canadian businesses with a top quality pre engineered steel building to safely house their assets.

Author: Matthew Day, Building Consultant. 1-866-822-4022 EXT: 351