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Advancing Prefabrication 2022

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The North American premier thought leadership conference, Advancing Prefabrication took place in Phoenix from April 26-29th. Experts dedicated to revolutionizing the AEC industry with industrialized construction (IC) came from all over to discuss prefabrication, modular, and IC approaches.

"It's a place where like-minded individuals can really get down and dirty on the innovation; on what prefab is all about. We really go deep on exciting new things in the field and different ways of doing things. You learn from all different types of companies."
- Jody Seubert, Prefabrication and Detailing Manager, Suburban Enterprises Inc.

(Watch the full pre-conference interview here.)

At the Booth

We had a lot of traffic at our booth. We spoke with a lot of people with a wide range of prefabrication journeys, including:AECInspire-Advancing-Prefabrication-2022___-768x576

  • Outside vendors who try to solve the logistics problems for prefabrication looking to partner with other vendors.
  • End-users looking for ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper.
  • Contractors looking to improve their prefabrication and potentially sell it.
  • Contractors looking to understand and adopt prefabrication.

End-users, contractors, and vendors want to have the most efficient assembly options available, ranging from in-wall assemblies to standardized modular electrical rooms and everything in between.

Our conclusion from all these great conversations is that everyone seems to point in the right direction, but the industry, as a whole, has not fully cracked the code of prefabrication yet. There are a lot of forward-thinkers and productization work in motion. It was truly amazing to see how our messaging resonated with everyone we spoke with, whether they were trying to start or scale their prefabrication journey.

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Workshop on Enabling Ambitious Productization

First, AECInspire’s Senior Director of Industrialized Construction Lonnie Cumpton, delivered a workshop on “Expanding Your VDC Department to Enable More Ambitious Productization,” joined by Senior Innovation Specialist Mike Quella. The team shared strategies designed to help kick off and advance the prefabrication-to-productization journey of any company. Some of the key topics they covered include:

  • Prefabrication levels and how they impact BIM. Also, who drives the productization process?
  • The flow of information from designers to BIM to PREFAB. Also, assemblies and working “data magic.”
  • Which skills do your BIM/VDC and prefabrication teams need?
  • What additional training can you provide in-house to quickly upskill staff?
  • What mix of technical and field experience should your BIM/VDC team possess?
“Even though it doesn’t address one of the biggest challenges in the industry, it indirectly does. What I am referring to is the skilled labor shortage that is found everywhere in the construction space right now. Knowing that Prefabrication is one of the only proven ways we have to address the skilled labor shortage. Makes Advancing Prefab and its hyper-focus on prefabrication an ideal conference for addressing the skilled labor shortage.”
- Lonnie Cumpton, Senior Director of Industrialized Construction, AECInspire

(Watch the full pre-conference interview here.)

Presentation on Utilizing Data to Inform Future Design

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Later, Lonnie carried the workshop content further in his next presentation on “Utilizing Data & Insights From Projects to Inform Future Design.” Here, he covered key topics on how data can ramp up the productization process like:

  • Who drives the productization process?
  • The “love triangle” between VDC, Field, and Prefabrication.
  • The importance of field feedback for productized assemblies.

Then, there was an active discussion when he asked the audience,, “Do Design Teams Want Your Productized Assemblies?” Afterward, the audience from both the design and trade contractor sides actively participated in the discussion,, and there were multiple opinions on the table. Some designers were very vocal about absolutely loving the standardized assemblies contractors provide for them. However, some of the trade contractors had a different point of view. For instance, some mentioned they were not aware that designers would work with them on standardized components that can be used in a project’s design phase.

On the whole, the conversations were eye-opening. In fact, there should be more round-table discussions on prefabrication and standardized assemblies between the stakeholders in order to achieve efficient productization. Above all, it was a testimony to how important it is to get together with like-minded professionals. Namely, to share ideas and have such enlightening conversations at venues like the Advancing Prefabrication Conference.

"They create the environments and the topics that have some meaning. So that when you're going to an event like this, when you go to a specific session, you come out with action items. I think that's the essence of our community."
- Paul Doherty, President & CEO of The Digit Group

(Watch the full pre-conference interview here.)

Overall, Advancing Prefabrication was a blast. Attendees left the Phoenix Convention Center with actionable, cutting-edge strategies and techniques to build faster, better, and safer. Of course, we are already looking forward to Advancing Prefabrication 2023!

“Attend. Keep attending. Keep sending more people.”
- Steve Rose, Corporate Director of Prefab & Packaging at Rosendin Electric

(Watch the full pre-conference interview here.)