Using Prefabricated Elements In Structure Building Practice

Using prefabricated elements is an efficient choice, especially in the cases of eventual rearrangement or extension of the building. There are numerous reasons for this efficiency. The benefits that come with factory manufacturing are: energy efficiency, speed of erection, and low cost. The prefabrication takes place under controlled manufacturing conditions and follows specified standards, hence the sub-assemblies of the structure will be built to an excellent quality. Construction site-built structures, on the other hand, are dependent upon varying skill levels and the time schedules of given contractors. These all contribute to the craftsmanship and overall quality of the structure being erected. The construction sites that implement prefabricates are definitely much less noisy and busy, eliminating a lot of truck traffic and reducing the amount of required workers on the site, which significantly boosts productivity. The flexibility of design and size of a modular building are virtually endless. It allows the kinder garden to be transformed into a facility of other character and allows expanding the building by adding additional compartments whenever needed. Installation is quick and simple, which makes it very cost efficient, as the building process doesn't take long and demands less workers on the building site, hence the huge saving on the building phase. The costs of the installations are approximately 20% of the total production cost in the case of dwellings, including all the piping for water and sewage, ducts for ventilation and the electrical cabling.

Now, for the material that is being prefabricated, let us consider traditional wooden prefabs and clash it against the concept of using CLT materials. CLT material stands for cross laminated timber and it comes in the measurement of a maximum of 3, 25m x 16m which can be produced in various depths. The glues being used in these panels don't contain E240, they are completely eco-friendly, which I think makes a big case in a building that regularly contains huge amounts of children. In case of traditional wooden materials commonly used in prefabrication, I don't see a problem with ensuring such safety measures purposely for the case. As for the fire resistance, CLT is exceptionally dependable and definitely outstanding compared to other competing materials. All wooden components are recyclable. In today's world I find it a great responsibility, especially for us - builders. The planet pollution raises loud warnings across all the relatable research institutes and it is truly incredibly foolish to continue this human faultiness by constructing with synthetic materials.

Wood is proven to be a top-notch building material in most fields, like energy efficiency, wonder like health benefits for inhabitants (i. e. preventing heart attacks or naturally regulating interior humidity) of a wooden home or stability, which I'll explain in a moment. It's true that CLT are relatively lighter than glulam or solid wood, but that doesn't make them less durable or stable in mechanical properties. That's because the layers being cross laminated ensure a great dimensional stability, which makes for the very static structure. Even diagonal or point-supported structures can be realized in outstanding quality with CLT. Cost to other competing materials is comparable, no huge differences here, with an exception of the fact that CLT may take a significant less installation time, because it eliminates the need for additional fills to the structure, which is a money-saving feature. For example, a building with area of 150m2 is usually built in 3 days. It is extremely energy efficient, it is significantly cheaper to isolate, yet still an U-value of 0, 9 W/m²K is achieved with just the minimal thickness of 110mm containing 5 layers.

There is a lot to praise in this material, although we still had our reasons to push it away in this project. First of all, we really want to implement sea weed insulation in our components and CLT makes it impossible (or at least obsolete). Second, it is much more difficult to check cross laminated timber for fungal decay, because a building built with this method has evenly distributed importance across all its compartments and levels, and regular control checks don't apply in their case.

15 April 2020
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