Industrialized construction is not a fad, it’s a necessity

With these words, Begoña López, the Managing Director of The Prototipo Company, summarised her vision of how industrialised construction has come to the Spanish market to stay during the Advancing Built-Tech Programme online round table.

This prominent event, organised by the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid, was attended by Begoña López, along with Lucas Galán, Director of Products and Innovation at Neinor Homes, and Roberto Molinos, Academic Director of BuilTech.

During the event, various topics of interest to the construction sector were addressed, including the differences between traditional and industrialised construction, the role of the architect in new designs, and why Spain is taking longer than other countries to embrace this new model.

The group of experts agreed that “although industrialised construction is growing in Spain, albeit slowly, countries such as Japan, the United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are leaders in this new construction model thanks to their more highly developed industrialisation in general, as a result of more extensive government and financial support”.

Our country has always had to contend with administrative and regulatory brakes that have slowed the uptake of this new reality in construction. These factors, together with the absence of a trained workforce, limited industrial capacity, a lack of public investment and the lower cost of traditional construction, continue to create barriers that need to be overcome.

But everything indicates that there are clear reasons for changing towards a model that “requires different thinking, taking advantage of technology and innovation in order to build more effectively and efficiently”.

Industrialised construction guarantees certainty about costs and deadlines, and comprises perfectly defined and detailed design engineering as well as manufacturing with highly accurate process management. In short, it provides absolute control over all elements and better final quality.

How can costs, which remain one of the key aspects, be lowered? Begoña López has a clear answer: by serialising components. “It’s not a question of making buildings that are the same, but rather of using shared components to assemble different realities.”

For Lucas Galán, “Industrialising is much more than prefabrication. It involves a holistic change that includes technology, logistics, new procedures and a transformation of the entire value chain. Architects have to change the rules of the game in order to develop projects that are much better defined”.

Finally, the participants agreed that “industrialised construction is here to stay, and little by little, the barriers will be overcome. However, a change of mentality is required, both in the training of tomorrow’s professionals and in current decision-makers”.