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Video: Prefabrication Down To The Last Detail
At Dach + Holz, Inthermo Managing Director Stefan Berbner explained why, in his opinion, prefabrication in timber construction is becoming increasingly important. For painters, however, this could mean losing facade areas in this segment.
What are you presenting in Stuttgart this year?
Stefan Berbner: First and foremost new thinking! And a fairly precise idea of which trends will determine the construction of wooden houses in the foreseeable future.
Please explain what you mean by "new thinking".
Stefan Berbner: In timber house construction - especially in prefabricated timber construction - it is primarily a question of assembling as many components as possible within a short period of time at competitive conditions to large components; The primary business concern is increasing efficiency. At Inthermo we continue to deal with the requirements for prefabrication of wall elements in large series precision! This is particularly useful for medium-sized timber construction and prefabricated house providers who are operating in an increasingly competitive environment and who have to position themselves through special quality features.
What does that mean in practical terms?
Stefan Berbner: We have to learn to see all operational processes from the desired result and to align the necessary planning and production steps in such a way that buildings made exactly according to the client's wishes with the highest production efficiency become the highest measure of success. The tailor-made machine-supported production of increasingly complex and complete building parts or elements is on the rise in modern wooden house construction with seven-mile boots. For Inthermo as a developer and supplier of wood fiber-based facade insulation systems, it is important to identify the docking points that match the degree of automation and the depth of prefabrication of a house manufacturer. Our goal is to hook us into production with sophisticated system products or complete insulation systems as precisely as possible. That is why we offer our customers sophisticated detailed plans that they can easily adapt.
What does this mean for the construction process?
Stefan Berbner: Instead of relying on traditional craftsmanship or carpentry, as before, the aim of the woodworkers should be to create fully insulated and, if necessary, even plaster-coated wall elements together with powerful suppliers such as Inthermo.
What exactly is the challenge?
Stefan Berbner: For home manufacturers as well as for their suppliers, the new way of thinking has the consequence that the planning of complex building parts and the associated information and data exchange are increasingly networked. This requires the earliest possible coordination between house building companies and us as a supplier. That means the house manufacturers and we will work even closer together in the future.
So you see planning freedom and prefabrication advantages?
Stefan Berbner: Right. We strive to be involved in the planning and production process of every timber house manufacturer in order to offer facade insulation systems that are specifically tailored to the company and its various customer projects. Of course, it makes a difference whether a house construction company insulates its wall elements in the hall and primes it for the subsequent plastering there, or whether the facade is still coated in the wind and weather on the construction site.
How is the increasing trend towards prefabrication likely to affect the personnel situation in timber construction?
Stefan Berbner: Production in wooden house construction has been moving more and more from the outdoor construction site to the dry hall for several years. There, prefabrication of ever more complete wall elements is increasingly carried out mechanically or program-controlled. In view of the rampant shortage of skilled workers, which is particularly difficult for small and medium-sized businesses, it is a blessing and contributes directly to securing the future if operational processes can run largely or even completely under program control.
In doing so, they are designing the image of a serial production of a wide variety of building parts on machine lines with robots, which previously performed manual work under program control.
Stefan Berbner: Shortage of skilled workers will sooner or later lead to capacity bottlenecks in medium-sized companies; this is also the case in timber construction. House manufacturers as well as their suppliers are therefore doomed to consistently invest in machine technology and automation. Small and medium-sized carpentries in particular currently have some catching up to do, but sooner or later this development will also catch up with the large manufacturers.
Do you see a lack of skilled workers as an existential danger for traditional handicrafts?
Stefan Berbner: If you look without blinkers, you can see what's coming: On the one hand, the occupancy rate of the timber construction companies is pleasingly high; on the other hand, the waiting time before a commissioned timber frame construction or a prefabricated house can be delivered has rarely been as long as it is today! Against the background of the unmet need for around 400,000 apartments in Germany and the increasing demand for wooden buildings, this is a real industry problem that can be most effectively countered by program-controlled prefabrication. Machines are now ready for use without interruption, can run their program almost continuously and make hardly any mistakes. Why should modern timber construction forego these advantages?
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