The off-site manufacturing of building elements, while site preparation and traditional building activities take place at the project site, shortens the construction schedule, potentially reduces construction costs, and allows for quality assurance in a controlled environment. Blum Construction used state-of-the-art prefabrication techniques when building Dogwood and Magnolia residence halls at Wake Forest University and Hilltop South apartment building in downtown Winston-Salem.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used to produce 3-D drawings of two mechanical rooms which were then manufactured in a controlled off-site environment. This enabled close monitoring of the integrity of welding, fittings, and other mechanics, while offering the end users and design team opportunities to make adjustments to improve functionality of the system with little impact on cost. The mechanical rooms were installed on-site in less than three days each, with almost no punch list work.
Load-bearing, cold-formed metal wall panels were prefabricated off-site with production controls similar to the mechanical systems. The panels were then erected on-site, shaving weeks off the construction schedule and saving significant costs over traditional structures. Additional benefits included reduced risk for building settlement due to the panels being constructed in compression at the facility, and increased sound transmission ratings between floors with the companion Epicore Floor Deck system.
This apartment building is being built with one floor of conventional on-site construction and four floors of modular units being prefabricated in a climate controlled production facility. The units will contain more wood framing than a comparable unit constructed on-site to provide rigidity during the shipping process, and they will match the constructed units in fit and finish of the interiors. This process allowed the four floors to be erected in three weeks, shaving months off the project’s construction schedule.
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