Pre-Fabricated Pre-Finished Volumetric Construction (PPVC) For Residential Projects

Over the last 2 years, in response to BCA’s roadmap for construction productivity, the industry has seen an upsurge of game-changing technologies and the adoption of innovative building methods. Perhaps one of the more talked about is PPVC (pre-fabricated pre-finished volumetric construction), or more commonly known as “Lego” building. The perceived benefits are well documented, but a common misconception about PPVC is the overall time savings that it can achieve. Generally, construction on-site takes comparatively lesser time because many wet trades are shifted off-site where the modules are constructed, but consideration of the additional time required up-front for detail planning and co-ordination are often overlooked. PPVC do come with its own set of challenges and at a cost premium; however, the additional cost can be off-set by a reduction in construction time and savings on labour cost.

With PPVC modules manufactured and fitted-out off-site, majority of the cost are up-front and contractors may have cashflow issues if a payment mechanism for materials off-site is not in place. As each PPVC supplier works with their own Professional Engineer, issues pertaining intellectual property might arise. There are cases where contractors engaged their own QP and this might affect the novation of consultants in modified Design and Build projects. As with most systems, there is no ‘one size fits all’ and PPVC is still at a very infant stage. This article will further look into the pros and cons of PPVC, the element driving PPVC costs, and the challenges from a procurement perspective.

Threesixty Cost Management Pte Ltd is a subsidiary of Surbana Jurong which specialises in cost management and contractual administration from project inception to completion.