NY Times- Raghi Iyengar quoted

NY Times- Raghi Iyengar quoted

Article By Julie Weed, April 26, 2022 : ...Labor shortages are another reason prefabricated components are gaining momentum, said Raghi Iyengar, chief executive of ViZZ Technologies in Peachtree Corners, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. The company makes software that helps manage off-site construction, and it has been used in about 2,000 commercial buildings.

During the pandemic, many older, skilled construction laborers left the work force, exacerbating an existing shortage, he said. Some construction managers were left scrambling to find specialists for job sites.

Prefabrication can help alleviate the worker shortage because building elements can be ordered from anywhere rather than requiring local expertise. A small factory could be created in a strategic area; for example, “a facility in Pueblo, Colo., could easily supply Denver and other nearby cities,” Mr. Iyengar said.

Bringing together skilled workers at manufacturing facilities, rather than at individual job sites, is also more efficient. “Try finding five pipe fitters when your schedule changes,” Mr. Wegworth said.

He added that the prefabrication method offered safety benefits as well: If you can “thin out the quantity of activities on site, people aren’t tripping over each other, and fewer bodies improves safety.”

Some skilled laborers prefer the factory setting, where they can work indoors with a predictable commute, Mr. Iyengar said, versus site work, where they might experience harsh weather, early hours and inconvenient locations.

Mr. Iyengar predicts that the prefabrication trend will be adopted more widely after the pandemic, regardless of supply chain and labor conditions. “It’s becoming more of an expectation now, rather than aspirational,” he said.

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