Monday, 25 January 2021

What is a Prefab build? 

There are so many types of buildings, materials and methods in construction and these can sometimes be confusing. What will suit your needs best? Is it worth spending the extra money? One question that has come to light in more recent times is “What is a prefab build?” 

There was once a time when the name ‘prefab’ filled people with mixed emotions; not all of them good. But, times have moved on, things have changed and the world of prefab has come a long way. 

Why prefab?

The prefab option fits many people’s needs. It is often cheaper than conventional methods and the actual construction time on site is much less. A lot of the construction is completed in the factory, the design and cutting for example. The physical construction will, obviously, be done on site.  Depending on what suppliers you use will depend on exactly how much is completed in the factory. For example, some suppliers will fix all windows and doors and others will even go as far as the plasterboard. Either way there are options that will fit all of your needs. 

The design of a prefab

The design needs to be thought out carefully, there is very little room for error. Assuming all the measurements are correct then this is a relatively easy and stress-free method of construction. You really must sit down with your architect and make sure that every area is covered. 

Can a prefab home be energy efficient?

What you have to remember is that as long as you have spent the time planning there is no reason why your prefab build can’t still be green. As you know, a lot of the detail for green construction is in the design. That coupled with some decent systems is a winning combination. You can talk with your energy assessor and get their advice as soon as possible. The design of the build can really impact the energy efficiency results.   

How easy are prefabs to construct?

Most of the construction time on a prefab build is completed in the factory. Once you have got to that stage it is relatively quick. Most of the time will be taken on the planning and the design because as I have stated above, this really does need to be perfect. There is no reason why you can’t have a home designed to your exact needs and specification, but there is no room for error. Once the factory starts to make your materials there really is no turning back. So, put the effort into the planning and try and get as much help from the experts as possible. 

Will a prefab home be cheaper?

Honestly, this is often the pull that gets people invested or at least initially interested, in prefabs. The cost can vary but, if you’re having a ‘run of the mill’ design and spec, then yes, more often than not it can cost less than the traditional construction methods. But, if you’re having a totally bespoke design, utilising all possible green methods and you have focused and got the help needed with the design, then the price can really vary. It really is what you make it. 

Prefab builds aren’t for everyone but it really is good that we are at the stage where we have so many options for various types of construction.

Friday, 15 January 2021

 Tips for starting a business

Now, I am not suggesting that I know everything, I have the belief that, regardless of age or experience, you can always learn something new; I love to surround myself by people who can teach me things.

Starting your own business can seem a daunting thought, but you just have to remember that you can do this. The main thing that you need is confidence; I will, for the benefit of this, assume you have the business idea already. 

The first thing you’re always told is to make sure that you have all your ducks in a row. Yes, that’s important, but, you need to also not talk yourself out of it. Prepare of course, but there will always be a reason why now isn’t a good time. Change is always difficult, especially if you have a lot on the line already but, you need to realise when you’re just finding excuses to put it off because you’re scared. Don’t look for reasons why you shouldn’t start a business but look for the reasons why you should! Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t be sensible, plan and research everything and know what steps to take, but, don’t talk yourself out of a good idea; it’s easily done. 

You need to know what your business is about and I don’t just mean what it does for you, but what it does for your clients? What are they going to get out of it? If, like me, you’re into construction, then you could have an answer similar to mine. I love construction, this is where my passion lies, which is a good start, but I also want to be able to help with the future of construction in terms of the ecological aspect. I want to be able to provide energy efficient homes across the board and make them accessible and understood by everyone. I want eco builds to become seen as the ‘norm’ and I want my clients to have a taste of what construction can achieve. You can see from that, that what I want to achieve and what actually do marry up well. It is simple and you should keep it that way but deciding where you want this business to take you helps to define your audience. 

Keep an eye on the pennies, they will likely get spent quickly. There are quite a few set up fees in a business, but don’t let this stop you. Throw yourself into the business, build it up in every way possible and take chances, educated chances, but don’t get distracted. You do need to be able to earn money while you set up; get used to living on the bread line but don’t expect to stay there. Businesses, in the first few years, don’t always make money, in fact some of them are in negative equity. Keep your eyes on the prize. To be able to get to the top, you have to start at the bottom. 

You need to know your worth and to be able to sell yourself. If you wouldn’t buy through you, then you can’t expect anyone else to. Practice your sales pitch, you’re going to need this to get anywhere. Whatever your business, someone will need to be buying, whether it is the general public or other companies. You must work to sell your ‘product’ Promote yourself, promote your business and products and don’t worry about what other people think. “Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter” 

Friday, 8 January 2021

 What are BIM, PIM and AI and how are they beneficial to the construction industry?

BIM, aka Building Information Modelling, allows for digital planning, construction and management and is often used by architects and others. The best part of this technology is that it can locate potential problems as early as the planning stage. This is the most important stage of all construction and if you’re able to iron out any problems here then you will have an excellent start; this is invaluable to all types of builds. As I have always said, get the help at the design stage, either from this software or an expert. Ironing out any issues here really will allow for a smooth running project. 

BIM can also accurately estimate the correct materials to complete your build. These are just a few of the things this software can do but the extent to which it can help is endless really; trust in the technology. We shouldn’t be fighting the use of this, we should be grateful for the help. Technology isn’t there to ruin our industry, it is there to enhance it. We must understand the importance of technology and realise it is the combination of software such as this, with actual people, that really makes the power couple. 

PMI can be integrated into the BIM system and allows for customer and supply management. Together this can really help transform any construction site. The ease of use and the day-to-day management will be taken out of your hands. The use of this type of software won’t necessarily replace your workers but it will make their lives easier and with fewer mistakes and a faster turnaround. 

AI can explore a construction project and can do it much quicker than we can. Not only is it faster than us, it also doesn’t make mistakes as we do; unfortunately we are only human. The mix of these technologies can really up your construction game. They are fast becoming the norm on site and we can see why. 

To get more information about these check this site for an in-depth look as to why BIM, PMI and AI are so important within our industry.

Technology in our industry is advancing and, as you can see, it really is proving invaluable. To have the ability to pinpoint possible problems before they happen doesn’t just save time, but also money. This technology allows you to think outside the box and perhaps be a bit more ambitious with your project. The unknown becomes the ‘known’ and with the use of AI you don’t even have to visualise anymore, you can quite literally have a 3D model if you so wish. Technology is pushing forward and the construction industry is thriving under its reign. 

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