Amid the chaos and uncertainty caused by the unfolding Covid-19 situation, PBC Today published an interesting article entitled:
‘New report quantifies benefits of offsite construction’.
You can read the full article here: https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/modular-construction-news/offsite-construction-benefits/73527/
The article refers to a new industry report ‘Methodology for quantifying the benefits of offsite construction’, which is the result of a collaborative effort from CIRIA, Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology and the University of Cambridge. The full report is available for download at www.ciria.org/c792.
Here at Horizon Offsite, we preach regularly about inherent benefits of offsite construction. These include, but are not limited to: superior build quality, consistent quality, fast delivery, certainty of programme, greater predictability of budget and dramatically improved health and safety record. As a premium industry offering, offsite construction is not necessarily the cheaper option, however, cost savings are achieved through all of the other benefits. It is important to point out that all of these programme benefits are contingent upon specialist delivery from start to finish. This means designers designing for offsite from initial concept stage. It also means working with an expert manufacturing team and having those experts coordinate component delivery and installation on-site. When it comes to understanding the scope of offsite construction and the full range of potential benefits, there is still an education of the industry that needs to happen. This is true for Ireland and for the UK marketplace.
This is why we welcome the publication of this latest report. Critically, it proposes a framework for comparing different construction approaches, making it possible to keep consistent records across projects and take advantage of all the possible benefits available.
Last month we shared a thought-provoking opinion piece by Mark Farmer of Cast Consultancy and MMC Advisor to the UK government, ‘Is low-cost obsession stalling offsite procurement?’ (you can read the full article here: https://www.horizonoffsite.ie/is-low-cost-obsession-stalling-offsite-procurement/). In this article we shared the view that despite rumblings and positive sound bites about innovation and the importance of offsite construction, this has yet to translate into any sort of real action or firm policy-making here in Ireland. It appears that in the UK, policy-makers have stepped up but, despite this, uptake of offsite construction remains slow. One of the reasons given for this previously was the lack of a method for assessing the benefits of offsite techniques. The new report provides guidance around this and highlights the challenges that can be expected when assessing the performance of construction projects, including robust benchmarking protocols. It provides a framework for evaluating project performance that can be used by clients, construction management teams and designers to assess the value and benefits achieved on projects.
In the PBC Today article, Professor Lord Robert Mair, Emeritus Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering and director of research at the University of Cambridge is quoted as follows:
“The process outlined in this excellent report provides an invaluable guide for industry professionals, such as contractors and project managers, as well as those who are influential in decision-making on construction projects, including clients, advisors and policymakers.”
Well done to the organisations involved in this important piece of research and reporting for the offsite construction sector, and indeed for the wider industry.
About Horizon Offsite Ltd: Established in 2017, the team at Horizon Offsite have decades of combined experience pioneering non-traditional or modern methods of construction (MMC). The company currently employs 22 people at a 35,000 sq ft. facility in Cahir, County Tipperary and is involved in projects across the private rented sector (PRS) in Ireland and the UK.