A shift from field construction to field assembly
The DPR Advantage
At DPR, we take a smarter approach to prefab:
- We offer room for creativity. DPR is not constrained by a standard grid. Our experts can help you determine the best prefabrication products, means, and methods for your projects. Our customized approach allows architects to design buildings without the one-size-fits-all stigma surrounding prefabrication.
- We are a technical builder first. Using industry-leading software developed by DPR's strategic partner Digital Building Components, projects can go straight from digital design to digital fabrication, as we transform Revit models directly into precise-to-spec products.
The DPR Advantage
- We’re a start-to-finish provider, offering complete integrated solutions and services from off-site manufacturing to self-perform installation. Our digital fabrication allows for advanced customization to meet owners’ expectations.
- We inspire confidence in expectations without rework. DPR’s prefabricated components are manufactured with the right balance of automation and human expertise in well-organized facilities following 5S methods—and we expect the same from our network of supply chain and trade partners. We know how to provide design model intelligence for prefabricated scopes with the right level of detail, and our turnkey approach allows qualified personnel to install the end product.
As prefab experts, the DPR team can better control costs by avoiding component price fluctuations between the proposal and delivery phases. Our digital component libraries, proven prefabricated products, and engineered-to-order (ETO) system costs can inform the design early on, providing predictability through the design and engineering process.
With a collaborative approach to prefabrication, project schedules have seen reductions of 50% compared to the traditional field-assembly approach by:
- Giving us a head start when compared to the traditional project delivery method timeline. Our design teams can model to a high level of detail (LOD 400+) very early in the process, allowing us to manufacture well-coordinated spaces off site while shovels break ground on site.
- Enabling more efficient on-site assembly. Issues can be anticipated and managed earlier in preconstruction through our virtual design and construction (VDC) process. This enables more efficient planning and logistics, streamlining installation at the same time.
- Avoiding weather delays. Due to the controlled environment, free of inclement weather challenges, prefabrication results in a faster timeline no matter what mother nature brings.
Access to Qualified Expertise
DPR leads the way when it comes to injecting lean manufacturing principles into the construction process. With our self-perform team of experienced and qualified installers, we can not only ensure quality installation but can also provide helpful insight early on. Our teams evaluate how products will be assembled both in manufacturing settings and onsite to inform project designs. We leverage automation to streamline workflows and reduce waste. This allows us to continuously improve overall manufacturing processes via design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) techniques, which improve the overall quality of the prefab product’s lifecycle.
Our prefabrication process optimizes the architect’s design concept model, while using that model to fabricate to precise manufacturing tolerances.
Prefabrication is good for the environment. It cuts down on material and labor waste by leveraging material nesting, so there’s a significant reduction of scrap removal from job sites.
Fewer people and vehicles on the job site reduce a project’s carbon footprint, and less waste means less dumpsters and less manual labor for clean-up, improving site logistics. As offsite manufactured components are unloaded, debris is loaded on the same truck for removal. This is just one more way we’re committed to sustainable construction.
Our prefabrication approach is eco-friendly, with earlier planning leading to less waste, re-work and material usage. This helps control how waste is handled on site to maximize recycling.
Prefabrication is often more cost-effective and efficient because the availability of local labor can vary widely by geographic location. Manufacturing components off site also means less on-site activity and community congestion for projects in densely populated urban areas.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, prefabrication allows DPR to reduce the amount of labor on site, decreasing health risks and face-to-face interaction. Manufacturing building components in a controlled environment allows us to implement processes, personnel flow and safety measures to ensure the health and safety of workers and subcontractors.
Prefabrication isn’t a yes-or-no decision, it’s a continuum: There are various iterations and degrees of prefab that can be implemented into your next project, depending on your goals and needs. The spectrum ranges from customized structures with little to no prefab elements, to mass-standardized facilities that are mostly built offsite. There are also projects that don’t lend themselves to full-scale prefabrication.
What can be prefabricated?
- Single-system components (e.g., sub-assemblies, structural steel, precast concrete, windows, valves, ductwork)
- Multi-system components (e.g., prefabricated stairs, preassembled canopies, pre-framed doors with electrified components, finished exterior wall panels)
- Fully integrated building components (e.g., complete bathrooms, elevator cores, operating rooms, complete clean rooms)
- Fully integrated volumetric modules (e.g., modular multi-family spaces, modular energy plants, ganged bathrooms)
Our team of prefabrication experts can help you decide what is right for your project.
National Prefabrication Strategy
Gaining experience since 2005, Ray Boff is a trusted advisor for all things prefabrication—from product identification to installation and optimized use. He currently leads DPR’s National Prefabrication team with executive leadership in…