Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Prefabricated Construction Seen as Growth Opportunity

The commercial modular or prefabricated construction market has been considered a growth opportunity for the construction industry by FMI Corporation, the largest provider of management consulting, investment banking and research to the engineering and construction industry.

According to FMI's fourth quarter 2010 NRCI  report, more contractors are thinking lean and looking for ways to build for less. The recession and new technologies are set to increase the use of manufacturing process and environments for construction. The NRCI report indicates that prefabricated construction is becoming more popular due to the growing use of BIM and owners wanting projects faster and for lower cost, safety, quality and the shortage of skilled labor once markets return to more normal growth.

Gate Precast has seen an increased interest in using BIM in the early design stage of projects giving owners the ability to visualize their project before it's built. Designing systems that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also act as structural walls and support floor loads, reduces material redundancies in the structure and project costs. Gate Precast BIM Experience

Watch our Video BIM Fly-through on St. Joseph's Women's Hospital in Tampa, FL.

Prefabricated precast concrete systems offer sustainable, efficient building practices. A revolutionary transition from traditional hand-set masonry construction to Brick Inlaid Precast Concrete Exterior Panels are rapidly becoming the preferred building choice among architects, contractors and owners. The panels are manufactured in a controlled plant environment where many features can be added such as encapsulated insulation which offers higher R-Values, electrical boxes and wiring, and paintable troweled finish interior walls, which eliminates the need for metal studs and sheet rock. The integration of windows into panels is an innovation in precast that is in its infancy but sure to be in high demand once markets gain momentum. Among the many benefits, this prefabricated, unitized system offers accelerated occupancy, and less jobsite disturbance with the reduction of a trade.

Owners have more than two years' worth of pent-up demand for design services. Bring Gate Precast into the design and construction process in the early stages of your new projects to provide input and offer value engineering suggestions to maximize precast concrete's many benefits on your complete structure.

For More Information on Gate's Pre-fabricated Concrete Systems:
Woodlawn Elementary School, OH: Exterior features a pre-insulated load-bearing, non-composite brick inlay architectural precast wall system.
NAS Fitness Facility & Rescue Swimmers School, Pensacola, FL: Features a total precast building system that is designed to withstand both external (hurricanes) and interior (indoor pool moisture) elements.
CitiGroup Citi Center, Jacksonville, FL: The exterior of the five-buildings in the 530,000 sq. ft. campus features 15'x32' solid precast concrete panels which met the structural integrity requirements for a hurricane zone and an aggressive construction schedule. 

Register for Continuing Education Course on BIM and Total Precast  - Earn AIA credits

Related Article
Demand for Precast Concrete Products On the Rise...
US demand for precast concrete products is forecast to rise 6.1 percent annually to $11.3 billion in 2015.

Monday, April 11, 2011

PCI Launches eLearning Center -- Continuing Education Credits on Demand

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has launched the PCI eLearning Center, a free 24-hour online education resource providing an opportunity for architects and engineers to earn continuing education credits on demand. The PCI eLearning Center is the first education management system dedicated to the precast concrete structures industry. Individuals can create a PCI eLearning Center profile and have access to a number of online courses.
All courses offered through this system provide continuing education credit to engineers and architects. Each course includes a webinar presentation recording, pertinent reference materials, and a quiz. All courses on the PCI eLearning Center offer continuing education credit in all 50 states.

Gate Precast Company is proud co-sponsor this new program for design professionals who are interested in sustainable design and LEAN building practices. Prefabrication construction is a means of increasing quality, improving schedule and minimizing site disruption. Several of the courses offered through PCI's eLearning
Center focus on Sustainable Precast Concrete Systems.

Seven courses are now available through the PCI eLearning Center, with new courses being added frequently. The courses are free and can be completed in one hour.

Below is a list of current course offerings:
• Designing with the 7th Edition PCI Design Handbook: An Introduction (1 PDH)
• Life Cycle Assessment and how it can Contribute to Sustainable Design (1 GBCI CE/1 PDH/1 LU)
• Parking Structures: Best Practice to Design, Build and Maintain (1 PDH/1 LU)
• Quality Assurance - Your Lifeline to a Better Project (1 PDH/1 LU)
• Precast Concrete - Providing Aesthetic Versatility in Color, Form, and Texture (1 PDH/1 LU)
• Designing Building Envelopes to Meet Sustainable and Aesthetic Goals - Part I (1 PDH/1 LU)
• Designing Building Envelopes to Meet Sustainable and Aesthetic Goals - Part II (1 PDH/1 LU)
• Get in front of your current and potential customers by using a course as a lunch-and-learn.

You can access the site at any time from your computer, tablet or phone with an Internet connection.