The construction industry has been moving towards the adoption of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) where most of the work is done off-site in a controlled manufacturing environment, and are then transported and assembled on site. With more prefabrication, manpower and time needed to construct buildings are reduced, worksites are safer and more conducive, and there is less impact on the surrounding environment.
Prefabricated Mechanical Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) modules is one of the game-changing technologies that can significantly improve productivity. It adopts the DfMA concept where components in MEP services and equipment are integrated into a sub-assembly off-site, for easy installation on site.
This guidebook helps developers, consultants, builders, subcontractors and MEP prefabricators have a better understanding on prefabricated MEP modules, its benefits and good industry practices on such systems.
Figure 1: DfMA continuum for MEP services
1.1. Benefits of prefabricated MEP modules
Increases productivity significantly
•Construction is faster as the production of prefabricated MEP modules/systems in the factory is done concurrently with other activities on site
•Installation of prefabricated MEP modules/systems on site is easier and quicker, and leads to significant manpower and time savings of up to 60%, depending on the complexity of projects
Improves workplace safety
•Construction sites are safer and more conducive as most work is done off-site, and less time is spent working at height
Reduces impact to the environment
•Dust and noise pollution, as well as other dis-amenities to the surroundings are minimised as more activities are done off-site
•Less construction waste is generated as there is less rectification work
Enhances quality control
•Higher quality control is achieved as most work is done in a controlled factory environment
•Sequence of work can be planned more efficiently with better logistics co-ordination
1.2. Types of prefabricated MEP modules/systems and their applications
MEP technologies at the higher end of the DfMA continuum such as advanced prefabricated systems and integrated sub-assembly systems can achieve higher productivity improvement. Examples of the types of prefabricated MEP modules/systems and their applications are illustrated below.
1) Flexible water pipe 软管
2) Prefabricated pre-insulated aircon duct 预制件预绝缘空调管道
3) Plug and play cable 即插即用电缆
4) Flexible sprinkler dropper 柔性洒水喷头
SUB-ASSEMBLIES (INCLUDING MEP SERVICES ONLY)
1) Prefabricated horizontal or vertical ceiling modules with pipes, cable trays, trunking etc.
2) Prefabricated plant modules with pump, compressor etc.
SUB-ASSEMBLIES (INTEGRATED WITH ARCHITECTURAL/STRUCTURAL COMPONENTS)
Photographs courtesy of Laing O’Rourke, United Kingdom (Picture 1 and 2) and Balfour Beatty PLC, United Kingdom (Picture 3)
照片由英国Laing O ‘Rourke(图1和图2)和英国Balfour Beatty PLC(图3)提供
1) Prefabricated MEP modules integrated with catwalk
2) Riser module with platform
3) Prefabricated horizontal module with ceiling board (and even lighting, exit signs etc., where practical)
FULLY INTEGRATED ASSEMBLIES
Examples: MEP systems integrated into Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction systems
Did you know?
To recognise the consultants’ initiative to adopt prefabricated MEP modules with higher productivity gains, the Buildable Design Appraisal Framework (BDAS) was enhanced in May 2017. Additional points will be given for a minimum 65% coverage of prefabricated MEP modules/systems in a project.
Figure 2: Comparison of points allocated for prefabricated MEP modules/systems(for coverage of 80% and above) between Code of Practice on Buildability 2015 and 2017