Water & Wastewater Treatment

WWT February 2018

Water & Wastewater Treatment Magazine

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12 | XXXXX 20XX | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk 12 | XXXXX 20XX | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk Factory Thinking The Works much in the minority. So how can the in- dustry make the most of this concept and embrace the best of factory thinking? The first thing to note when talking about offsite build is that it is not all or nothing: there is a sliding scale in the ex- tent to which factory construction is used, starting with relatively simple products and components and finishing with entire assets (e.g. a treatment works) at the top end. The more complex the item, the more difficult it is to prefabricate, but the more that these complex items can be standard- ised – with repeatable designs – then the greater the potential gains. "By doing an offsite build in a factory environment, we can drive up to 20% out of the cost of that work just by the ef- ficiency of producing it in a factory," says Andy Culshaw, Preconstruction Director at Nomenca. "But if we can produce a standard repeatable product, so that it's a standard package that is replicated time and time again, then in our view we can drive another 20% out of the cost. So in addition to the quality and safety benefits of offsite build, there is a real capital cost commercial benefit as well." Nomenca currently has a catalogue of more than 200 items that can be made using what it calls its Skilled Assembly in a Factory Environment (SAFE) approach, and it assesses all of its projects to see Offsite manufacture of water assets in a factory environment is widely seen as a step to greater efficiency, especially if it is combined with product standardisation. So what's the key to making this business as usual in the sector? By James Brockett Caption if needed O ffsite manufacture of water assets is a concept which makes intuitive sense. If an asset such as a pumping station or a treatment works can be designed in a modular way, such that it can be assembled in a factory environment and then transported to site where it is installed quickly, then the situation should be a win-win for everybody involved. Projects should be cheaper and quicker, with a reduced chance of being affected by bad weather or site conditions. Construction contractors get to work in a safer, controlled indoor environment which is more conducive to doing their job correctly, while water customers and the public experience less disruption because of the much-reduced time spent on site by the project team. Moreover, if offsite construction can be developed along with designs and products that become standard in the industry, then not only can the whole process be conducted with maximum efficiency, but ongoing innovation can be facilitated as the supply chain understands and seeks to improve upon these standards. That's the theory. However, while significant progress has been made by water companies and their contractors towards this approach, projects which are predominantly built offsite are still very 12 | FEBRUARY 2018 | WWT | www.wwtonline.co.uk

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