Expect the Unexpected | PCL

Expect the Unexpected

8/1/2013
As more and more partners and potential clients get wind of Permanent Modular Construction (PMC), interest in it has soared. Many want to know what Permanent Modular Construction is all about. Is this technology new? What is PCL capable of doing with it?

Prefabrication work being done at one of PCL’s Industrial facilities.
You may be surprised. In a
previous blog, I wrote about how today’s Permanent Modular Construction isn’t about cheap, flimsy, or temporary structures that can sometimes seem more like outhouses than useful buildings. It’s high-quality, efficient prefabrication of almost anything that is needed at most project sites. PMC is a solution that enables us to meet extremely tight deadlines without losing an inch on lasting quality.

Lots of Experience

PMC may be a new name, but it's not a new concept, and we can do incredible things with it. PCL has been gaining broad and deep experience for many years while taking full advantage of what this technology can do. Here are just a few examples of how we’ve built projects using off-site techniques:
  • Our Industrial group has been using off-site techniques for years at our fabrication shop and module yard in Nisku, Alberta. Studies in the industrial sector have shown that the total number of on-site hours required can be reduced by 65%, and the overall project hours by up to 35%, which speaks to the efficiency improvements this approach can bring.

  • PCL has brought this construction solution to remote sites over the years, prefabricating portions of, if not whole, buildings. Projects such as diamond mines in Canada’s Northwest Territories have used off-site methods to solve the labor and material challenges faced by teams in association with remote locations.

  • More recently, our project team at St. Joseph's Hospital in Hamilton, Ontario, has used prefabrication to speed up construction to meet and beat aggressive schedules. We worked with our mechanical and electrical trade to develop corridor racks that allow a much faster installation of the intense building systems required in a hospital. We also found ways to integrate panelized wall systems into the penthouse structure so mechanical rooms could be enclosed significantly faster than would be possible with a stick-built approach.

  • In Vancouver at the Surrey Pre-trial project, our use of pre-cast cells meant we were able to install 280 prison cells in a little over two weeks, saving significant time and cost.

PMC is About Solutions

These are just a few examples of the wide variety of ways in which we can apply a PMC approach on our projects. This different approach to finding solutions to new construction challenges has been creating great excitement for all the project stakeholders involved.
We’ve got the passion, the expert team, the facilities, and the equipment (which I’ll talk about in a future blog post) to truly make a difference on our projects. Can you imagine all the ways PMC could help you?

COMMENTS

  • Allan, thanks for your comment. The studies I refer to in the blog are actually internal PCL studies from our industrial division so are not openly available. Having talked to our industrial group, they are seeing percentages of off-site work increasing - the numbers quoted are for the latest generation of modules that are also starting to incorporate more enclosed space for facility management etc.. On a recent project 85% of the structural steel for the site was fabricated and erected (in modules) off-site, so this sector of the construction market has avidly adopted off-site techniques and shown what it can do - we just need to apply the same logic and focus to the rest of the industry.

    Mark Taylor
    10/18/2013
  • "Studies in the industrial sector have shown that the total number of on-site hours required can be reduced by 65%, and the overall project hours by up to 35%, which speaks to the efficiency improvements this approach can bring." Great article! Can you please link us to some of those studies ? I would like to read more about the methodolgy.

    Alan Abbas
    09/27/2013

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