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Prefab has us fooled - it is time to get organised

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Matthew Wood (AJ 6.11.03) rightly questions whether prefabrication is all it is made out to be if it costs so much more than conventional construction, and whether the idea that costs will fall is merely a pious hope.

In the '60s, almost every local educational authority signed up to one of the schools systems consortia: Scola, Clasp, etc. The maverick exception was Bucks under Fred Pooley, who contended that traditional methods were as cheap and as fast if properly designed and managed.

Prefabricated methods were only faster because they forced better site organisation - the threat of half a dozen lorry loads of large prefabricated components arriving on site next Monday concentrates the mind of site management wonderfully.

This surely remains as profitable an approach to achieving effective construction processes as it was then.

Alan Kennedy, via email

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