Construction productivity is a much talked about topic in the industry. For many years, construction has been a labour intensive industry where workers are required to do steel fixing, erect formwork, cast concrete, lay bricks, plaster and paint walls, install tiles, install sanitary and plumbing pipes, install electrical wiring, fix doors and windows. With the advance in new technology, construction has slowly transformed into a lesser labour intensive industry with the availability of machinery and new technology. We see tower cranes, concrete pumps, system formworks, excavators, material hoists and etc deployed into construction sites to increase work efficiency.
What is productivity in construction industry?
A straight forward answer would be using lesser manpower on site to get the same amount of work done. By using lesser manpower on site, prefab units and precast components became the immediate solutions to this difficult problem. Precast components are cast in precast yards then transported to project sites for hoist and installation into the designated position. The prefab units are also assembled or semi-assembled inside the yards and then transported to sites for hoisting and installation. This workflow has reduced the demand of manpower on site and shifted the demand of labour into the fabrication yards. The transport and installation process have created a need for bigger trailer fleets and tower cranes with higher safe working load (SWL) capacities if bigger size prefab units or precast components were to further improve the productivity figures.
Will there be a breakthrough in construction technology to allow bigger prefab units or PVVC with lighter weight, higher strength, hazard free and better durability in near future? The industry awaits.
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