What are prefabricated panelized systems? What is the difference between this and modular systems?
Prefabricated panelized systems consist of sections of continuously fitting wood-framed panels manufactured in a warehouse. The benefits of this process are many: they provide a controlled environment during construction without the challenge of changing weather; they minimize waste of wood and lumber during fabrication; they maximize the efficiency of the construction schedule; and they give precision and stability to the fitting and framing of individual panels by using technologically advanced equipment – fitting and framing otherwise done in the field by subcontractors (read more under “prefabrication”).
The panelized wall system is essentially a kit of parts, providing useful flexibility when modifying the prototype floor plans to suit the client’s needs. In addition, the panels arrive onsite with more structural stability and less risk of damage in transit because of the simpler requirements for shipping.
A modular system, by contrast, involves wall sections being built together in the warehouse to form a “box.” Unlike in a panelized system, the panels cannot be stacked on top of each other when shipped to the jobsite. Also, because the walls are closed up during manufacturing, they cannot be locally inspected, so permitting for modular construction must take place at the state level.
Can we make modifications to the prototype?
Absolutely! The prototype is a work in progress that can be “tweaked” for specific client preferences such as exterior and interior finishes. The design of the base building model is meant to accommodate a building-block system that can be configured for multiple layouts and functions.
We have consulted with structural engineers on seismic requirements and with Title 24 engineers on energy requirements in order to ensure that code requirements have been met –and in many cases exceeded. We have gathered pricing quotes for building components (windows, millwork, plumbing fixtures) to verify the price point for construction cost.
The materials specifications constitute a base model for an affordably priced unit with ecologically sound materials and quality construction. Size, materials, and configuration can vary according to the client’s preferences, the site conditions, and other factors.