Chair: Brandon Searle, Innovation Director, Off-Site Construction Research Centre, University of New Brunswick

What is the driving purpose for the Prefabrication, Off-site & Modularization Think Tank?

The POM Think Tank’s driving purpose is for prefabricated, modular and offsite construction to become a common construction method in the Canadian construction sector and, eventually, transform the industry to a more industrialized, manufacturing type mindset. The POM Think Tank will do this by raising the profile of prefabricated, modular and offsite construction methods and identifying and solving barriers and constraints for the construction industry through the use of BIM and related technologies.

What immediate industry challenges is your Think Tank currently addressing?

Prefabrication, modular, and offsite construction are not a new phenomenon, but still have several barriers to overcome, one of these barriers is the knowledge gap that exists in the industry. Our POM Think Tank is hoping to advance these methods of construction by sharing knowledge about these types of projects, and identifying tools, guides and standards available to bridge the knowledge gap in the industry.

What needs to happen for your Think Tank to address these challenges?

To address the knowledge gap, the POM Think Tank needs to focus on the “decision-makers” in construction projects. Key project decisions are often driven by owners or designers who are adhering to existing standards or codes. The POM Think Tank must engage these decision-makers to understand their needs, constraints, and barriers that are impeding the use of offsite construction in the industry. Once these stakeholders have been engaged, the POM Think Tank can create an action plan to move the needle. To do this, it is important that we do not reinvent the wheel; there are a variety of international organizations that are working towards the industrialization of construction. It is important for the POM Think Tank to identify these organizations and recognize what they are doing and bring these best practices and benefits to the CanBIM membership. The POM Think Tank will host an event that covers industrialized construction, thus connecting the CanBIM membership with useful resources to learn and grow in this space.

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