Impact of epidemic COVID-19 on prefabricated construction industry

We have to admit that the epidemic COVID-19 has a profound impact on the prefabricated construction industry, and people may have more demand or a higher awareness of the construction and housing itself. After the epidemic, a large number of projects may be launched soon. The tight construction period, shortage of labor force, and rising prices of raw materials will definitely directly affect the progress and cost of the project. But from another perspective, the epidemic also brought us some opportunities. It is an unprecedented challenge to individuals, businesses, and society. At the same time, it is a golden opportunity for the prefabricated construction industry.

During the epidemic prevention and control period, the world saw China’s speed. The two hospitals, Fire God Mountain H and Thunder God Mountain Hospital, within ten days, with 1,000 beds and are close to more than 30,000 square meters, they can be built so quickly, actually relying on our technology like BIM. Many countries are already following our model to build hospitals, which should be the opportunities brought by this epidemic to this industry. After the epidemic, everyone will have a more sober or deeper understanding of the entire construction industry, which will promote the improvement of building quality requirements, including the popularization of our building information and the application of new building components and building technologies. Below, this article will explain the impact of the epidemic on the prefabricated construction industry from six aspects.

First, in terms of government, top-level design should be done, including strengthening policy guidance, and actively promoting interdisciplinary research mechanisms. In the process of fighting the epidemic, we found that healthy housing, healthy buildings or green buildings are not something that can be achieved by a single discipline or a single field. It is necessary to upgrade the technical standards and implementation guidelines of various buildings. Judging from the epidemic situation, everyone has higher demand for architecture and residences. At the same time, we also found that many of our current standards and implementation guidelines are actually low. With high demand, a large number of standards may be revised or re-edited in a period of time. It is necessary to promote the new organization mode of engineering construction. This can fully release the core value and advantages of prefabricated buildings and turn it into an industrialized demand, which can be more effectively controlled from cost, schedule, and quality.

Prefabricated building

Second, in terms of developing enterprises. Developers need to think about how to provide buyers with better living products, including quality, intelligence, experience, and industrialization. The prefabricated building technology we mentioned must form good building products, so that more social groups can buy houses from developers. A good building should have three characteristics. First, the system is more perfect; second, the function of the space is more practical; third, the component technology is more excellent. All of these must be supported by component technology to be called an all-round building. Recently, everyone has looked at the popular types of anti-epidemic situation. From the plan view, it is more reasonable,  wider and shallower, to maintain good natural ventilation. The interior can be individually isolated, and also meet the needs of decontamination and isolation at the door. We need to improve the versatility of the entire space, including a more efficient exhaust and drainage system. This has also prompted developing enterprises to introduce better units and use better building components.

Third, it is the responsibility of every designer or design company to propose a design that can respond to a crisis or disaster. The design should be standardized, systematic and informational, through the design to reflect the generalization, humanity, integration. The design should be of the whole process, from the early stage to the components, and even to the post-operation and maintenance. The design process will also undergo some transformations or reconstructions. This is also something that forced us to do during the epidemic. During the epidemic, everyone could only work at home and could not communicate face-to-face. The value of BIM technology becomes apparent. It better integrates our design, construction, management, Party A, Party B, Party C, etc. on one platform, which greatly improves the efficiency of the entire work and breaks the original island of information.

Fourth, from the perspective of component companies, it is necessary to improve the component system. In Japan, many types of apartments are small, but people live very comfortable and very healthy. In fact, the system of a large number of interior components and construction components in Japan is very complete and very sufficient. Looking back at China, from the perspective of interior or the entire construction industrialization, our components system is relatively imperfect, especially the core parts industry is relatively backward and our overall bathroom and overall kitchen are actually still in line with advanced countries., which to a certain extent also restricts the development of prefabricated interiors. At the same time, we can also see that in fact our community’s demand for such components is still very strong. Like the healthy components, disinfection and bacteriostatic components, and intelligent components with variable spatial functions components, etc. The practical realization of this real function, including the improvement of the performance of the house, ultimately depends on the improvement of the components.

Fifth, from the perspective of construction companies, we have good planes, good designs, and good products, but we still need good construction and good installation. We need to use better technology, better construction methods, better organization methods, and optimize the overall construction organization method of the whole project. From the traditional series-type disordered organization to a more efficient parallel organization, it truly embodies the advantages of assembly construction or assembly-type decoration schedule and cost advantages. The informatization method should become the core of the management capability of the entire process. The cost and material supply, the schedule and dispatching, can be fully controlled by the informatization method. We need industrialized workers as a guarantee to improve the overall construction quality. This must not be the traditional talking about plumbers and bricklayers, but more professional installation workers, who need specialized training, including humanized management, including the use of tools, to be professional in order to truly guarantee the construction quality.

Finally, the social groups. This actually refers to each of us, because buildings, occupants, and users interact with each other. Through this epidemic, everyone will really pay attention to the way of life and choose a healthier way of life, which may be more in pursuit of returning to our original life. Desire is a minimalist way, and material is also a minimalist way. Together with our own home, the building where we live, and the working environment constitute a truly healthy way of life. There is a good building, there must be good users, that is the real good healthy lifestyle.

Building a house not only provides shelter for our residents, it also assists us to find the key points of our own lives. Every practitioner in the construction industry, including every user, is pursuing a good house and even a good lifestyle.