Novartis: Offsite MEP prefabrication

A 700,000-sq-ft research facility is being built for Novartis in Cambridge, Mass.


While slabs are being poured and steel is being fireproofed on Building 608 (one of the two lab towers), MEP prefabrication is well underway in the offsite facility. Courtesy: Cannon DesignWork for Novartis has begun implementing an innovative construction technique – off site prefabrication combined with Building Information Modeling (BIM). While the steel is still going up, MEP systems are being assembled as coordinated modules at an offsite construction facility, located a short distance from the site of the new 700,000-sq-ft high-end research facility in Cambridge, Mass. The modules themselves are assembled at the offsite facility, ranging from 10 to 60 ft long. Once completed, they will contain ductwork, HVAC piping systems, plumbing piping systems, air terminal units, and conduit. Systems are able to be pressure tested and fully insulated before even leaving the facility.

The multi-trade prefabrication effort has allowed for cost savings seen by the client, compressed construction schedules, and improved safety. Large scale buildings with similar floor plans and programs create an ideal opportunity for prefabricated modules. Skanska Construction has recognized these benefits, and is implementing MEP prefabrication in construction projects all over the world. Prefabrication techniques similar to the ones being used for Novartis are becoming more and more prominent in the industry, paving the way for the future of construction.

While slabs are being poured and steel is being fireproofed on Building 608 (one of the two lab towers), MEP prefabrication is well underway in the offsite facility. Courtesy: Cannon DesignThis portion of the well-organized facility is designated for riser fabrication. Courtesy: Cannon DesignPrefabricated exhaust riser arrives on site. Shown above is the riser being raised by crane and lowered into the shaft. Courtesy: Cannon Design

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