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Prefabrication is the assembly of components off-site in a factory and then moving complete assemblies to the construction site. Prefabrication first came to be popular after the war due to a shortage of houses, and contractors used prefabrication to meet demand. The finished products, however left much to be desired and over the years several design changes have been implemented in order to make them a more looked-for finish. Prefabrication has become more and more popular for a variety of reasons over the recent years, mainly being influenced by emergence of BIM. Having whole parts of the build being delivered ready-made has huge advantages for the buildings industry. Prefabrication is used on a variety of different stages of a build including in-floor and in-wall, as well as items such as switches.
The most common building types to use prefabrication are those that have a high level of repetition in their design, such as high rise flats, or hotels. It's also commonly used for circumstances when time is short, therefore having more importance than cost, as prefabrication allows for working on different aspects at once. It is often the case that quality can be higher from a prefabricated design, this is particularly the case with welding jobs and mechanical services.
The idea of items and components arriving ready-made has spread across to electrical design recently, and this is the particular area we will be looking at. As with any process there are many advantages and disadvantages to using prefabrication with electrical design.