With the ever evolving technology of today, it is not surprising that the future of construction will be relying on 3D printing, prefabrication and modulation. These concepts are gaining traction, and becoming more viable in the construction industry. These new construction approaches will improve accuracy and efficiency on large scale projects.
Prefabrication and Modulation
Prefabrication is defined as a process where building components are manufactured off-site and assembled on-site. Modulation is a larger version of this, where an entire part of a building may be constructed off-site. These practices are expected to achieve better precision, simplicity and customised in building with reduced costs.
Modulation is already able to construct sound buildings for permanent or relocatable use for various different construction types and purposes.
Using a 3D printer in construction practices involves a series of steps. First the printer needs to be transported to site where it will automatically construct the building using mechanically cut bricks or concrete. Compared to traditional methods of construction, 3D printing is an effective way of reducing human error. It can also substantially reduce energy consumption used in the building process.
Currently 3D printing technology is limited in providing construction materials that are compatible with the process. Further research and development is needed before 3D Printing can be used commonly in architecture.
Amendments to Existing Contractual Arrangements
As always, new technologies bring about new contractual issues and considerations. The same risks are applicable to every form of contract used for a particular project. These need to be carefully considered to ensure risk allocation is accurate under the contract.
- Subcontractors to supply technology and maintenance.
- Transfer liability and risk of loss.
- Timing of payment for offsite materials.
- Control of quality over off-site production and with other construction materials.
- Security and WHS.
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