Archive for August, 2011

Miletus Group’s new Chicago office featured on Inside Indiana

Inside Indiana featured Miletus Group’s expansion to the Chicago area and quoted president James Guthrie stating, “The move is a good fit because of its proximity to the company’s headquarters and history of architectural innovation.”  For more on the move, please link to the article here to read on.


Modern Construction Lexicon

Words are powerful conveyors of information – but only if we are all on the same page as far as what the words we use actually mean. And words can change in their meaning over time. Look at the phrase “pre-fab” for example. Pre-fab comes from prefabricated. This word can be applied to just about everything made these days (except most buildings). In the context of buildings it has roots in home building, as in “Prefabricated Homes.” This phrase was first used a few decades ago and commonly referred to mobile homes. To many people this reference invokes connotations of cookie cutter shapes and cheap construction methods. More recently “prefabricated” has been shortened to “pre-fab” and its meaning also has shifted to be applied to a new breed of house that is cleverly designed, manufactured, sustainable, of modern style, and of high quality. We hope our new glossary helps to clarify the meaning of words that are defining Modern Methods of Construction today.

Link below to see the new glossary page! We will update this frequently with new words. Please feel free to add new words you would like to see in the glossary in our comment area.

Link to Glossary Page

© Miletus Group, Inc. 2011


McGraw Hill: Prefabrication and Modularization

McGraw Hill Construction’s recent publication of Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry provides a deep look into current thinking and trends surrounding off-site construction in the US. Overall, the report is very good and worth taking the time to read and ponder the implications of its contents.

While it is a bit disappointing that McGraw Hill did not tackle the important but less tangible aspects of architecture and design, the contents do provide the reader with a broad understanding of the benefits of this method of construction. Architects who read it won’t walk away with an immediate or complete tool set for how to design buildings for off-site construction, but, and this is also important, they will have a few more heavy duty tools for talking to their clients about it as an option for their upcoming architectural projects. According to the report, the number one reason that off-site is not used on more building projects is because “the architect did not design it into the project.”

Why should architects care? The report does a very good job of answering this question. According to McGraw Hill’s research, prefabrication and modularization offers the building process many improvements in a number of key fronts. These include:

  • Improved Project Schedules
  • Reduced Cost and Budgets
  • Site Safety
  • Green Building and Waste Reduction

The report goes into great detail about its findings in these areas. If you want some tools to learn about and be able to talk to the issues of increasing construction productivity, we invite you to read the report for yourself.

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The Modular Building Institute Educational Foundation is offering a limited number of full color printed editions this report in exchange for a $100 or more tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. You can contact us through the comment area if you would like to make a donation and receive a copy/copies of the report.

© Miletus Group, Inc. 2011

 


McGraw Hill: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry

McGraw Hill Construction recently published a document called: “Prefabrication and Modularization: Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry.* This is the latest in their Smart Market Reports, a series they publish on construction industry trends.

A lot of research went into the report and it contains many interesting sub-topics. However, it only takes a quick look at the cover to find the first item of note. The report’s sub-title is: “Increasing Productivity in the Construction Industry.

Most people who work in the construction industry are keenly aware that traditional site-built methods of construction have a bad reputation when it comes to efficiency. Likewise, most building owners and developers are keenly aware that those efficiencies hit the pocket book hard as they manifest themselves as poor quality work, change orders and completion delays. That McGraw Hill chose to include off-site construction in the general discussion of how we build all buildings is a huge step in the right direction of understanding that there is a better option in the way we create and assemble buildings.

This is a significant notion. Most non-industry discussions about prefabrication tend to see it as an anomaly, a mere curiosity for small scale players. They relinquish ‘prefab’ to the sidelines of the greater discussion of how we build all buildings, big and small. Those of us who currently practice in the off-site industry understand how efficient this method of construction really is and generally have a large vision of how important a role it can play in curing the productivity woes found with on-site construction. That McGraw Hill decided to take this on with an in depth analysis is in itself worthy of mention.

* While primarily researched and published by McGraw Hill, this Smart Market report included a number of partners. One partner was the Modular Building Institute Educational Foundation, of which James B. Guthrie, AIA, President of Miletus Group, is the Chair.

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The Modular Building Institute Educational Foundation is offering a limited number of full color printed editions this report in exchange for a $100 or more tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. You can contact us through the comment area if you would like to make a donation and receive a copy/copies of the report.

© Miletus Group, Inc. 2011