As a modular manufacturing and construction company, Ramtech’s customers often refer to our buildings as being prefabricated. When a customer was referring to one of our permanent modular buildings, that made sense. However, when they were referring to relocatable modular buildings, that was surprising. As I did some research by visiting various websites and blogs, the results were even more interesting. Many people feel that all residential and commercial modular buildings are outside the definition of prefabricated. They associated prefabricated with panelized wall sections, piping racks, or switchgear components that were manufactured inside a plant, delivered to the site, and became component parts of the building. Others felt that prefabricated merely referred to steel building systems. In either case, the impression was that virtually all the work is completed onsite. After giving this a lot of thought, and researching the websites of many different construction companies, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are many different meanings to what constitutes “prefabricated construction.”
Prefabricated can include the manufacturing of structural components as simple as a panelized wall section or all the component parts of a complete steel building system. The definition also extends from just the structural fabrication of modular sections to the production of complete buildings in a manufacturing plant where the individual modules are then shipped to the site and installed. To make it clear what the differences are to the end user, it is critical that a design-build construction company like Ramtech properly define what our definition of prefabricated is through all of our marketing channels.
So how does the term prefabricated fit with Ramtech? When talking about our Accelerated Building System (ABS) permanent modular construction approach, it refers to our proprietary process which utilizes wood or steel prefabricated modules that include interior and exterior walls, a roof, but no floor. The modular sections are also manufactured in the plant with most of the electrical wiring, plumbing, and HVAC in place. The prefabricated modules are then shipped to the construction site, crane set onto a typical concrete slab foundation, then quickly secured and weathered in. This prefabricated system then allows for the remaining interior and exterior finishes to be completed on-site. The advantages of using Ramtech’s ABS prefabricated permanent modular building system is it has all the appearance, structural foundation, and curb appeal of a comparable site constructed building, but with a faster construction timetable and lower design and building costs.
Yes, there are many definitions to prefabricated construction, but Ramtech’s approach is hard to beat.