The benefits of prefabricated piping vs building onsite

3 August 2020

PrefabricationWater Treatment

The benefits of prefabricated construction have been recognised for thousands of years. 

In fact, around AD 43, the Romans used prefabricated building elements to quickly and efficiently construct forts in freshly conquered Britain. 

Fast forward to 1889 and the concept was still popular, with Gustav Eiffel designing a ‘temporary’ tower for the 1889 World Fair in Paris, assembled out of prefabricated iron elements! 

It’s clear that while prefabricated, or modular,  construction is not a new concept, it is attracting a fresh wave of interest and investment on the back of changes in the technological and economic environment.

And it’s easy to see why. 

In its report ‘Modular construction: From projects to products’, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company identified that modular construction can speed-up construction by as much as 50 per cent, and cut costs by 20 per cent. 

With a fully equipped workshop and team of qualified welders to complete plastic pipe and sheet prefabrication, at Advanced Piping Systems we’ve been offering prefabricated piping solutions to our clients for years. 

This is why we think prefabricated piping outweighs building onsite, every time.

 

SAVE TIME AND RISK

Two key benefits of prefabricated piping are that they save both time and risk on projects, explains Advanced Piping Systems’ Director, Caleb Craig.

“If clients choose a prefabricated solution over building onsite, they’re guaranteed to save time, as it’s a much shorter process for them,” said Caleb. 

“All they need to do is send us a drawing or batch of drawings, and from that, we’ll quote on a full prefab option.

“That includes supply, welding, quality assurance, testing if required, delivery of a fully-flanged product to site ready to be bolted into position, and documentation.

“The pipes can then be installed in a matter of days, which cuts down a huge amount of onsite time.” 

Risk is also reduced when purchasing a prefabricated solution.

“We’re experts in HDPE pipes, know our fittings inside-out, and are fully-accredited welders. 

“We provide expert advice, and will come up with  better ways of doing things accordingly,” said Caleb.

 

LABOUR FORCE

One of the greatest costs involved in any infrastructure project is labour, and managing labour.

With prefabricated piping solutions, the amount of onsite welding required is significantly reduced, compared to building onsite. 

“When you’re building onsite, you’ll need to arrange qualified welders – either by paying to train your own labour force, or by using sub-contractors who charge by the hour – and take care of their daily management,” explains Caleb. 

“With prefabricated pipe solutions, you won’t need to do any onsite welding or use any onsite contractors – you just need three or four staff to bolt it straight into position. 

“This takes the risk out of having a contractor on site, reduces the amount of management and takes a lot of stress off your staff, as they won’t need to do welding training,” he said. 

 

ACCURACY

Days can be lost onsite when there are inaccuracies with materials ordered for a project. 

“One of the difficulties of delivering an onsite welded solution is that you have to create a bill of materials for what you need,” said Caleb. 

“It’s really hard to nail the quantities – most people find they either order too much, or not enough. There’s usually a big rush at the end, and a wait for the extra parts to arrive. 

“On top of that, when you’re ordering from multiple suppliers, there’s always the chance that not all fittings and materials are the same.

“When it comes to installation, this can cause issues when you’re trying to weld everything together, with the end result not made to the same tight tolerances like they are in prefab.” 

Prefabricated piping delivers greater accuracy in both the design and construction phases. 

“Here at Advanced Piping Systems, our team works closely with estimators to find the best way of doing things, and guarantee accuracy.  

“Combined with our technical and shop drawing service, we’ll make the prefab solution to the drawing exactly, and will always advise you on how to achieve the best results possible for your project,” said Caleb.

 

DOCUMENTATION AND QUALITY ASSURANCE

The fourth and final benefit of prefabricated piping vs building onsite is that all quality control and quality assurance documentation is provided in a single package. 

“When we deliver a prefabricated piping solution for a client, we take responsibility for all the welding.

“At the completion of a project, our client will receive all the material certificates, weld map, welder qualifications and weld catalogues in one file, delivered to them. 

“This removes the headache of having to do it all themselves on site.”