Offsite construction has been becoming more prevalent in the construction industry, as it brings many advantages over traditional on-site construction methods. It refers to planning, designing, fabricating, and assembling building elements at a different location from where they will be permanently installed. Offsite construction usually occurs in controlled conditions, like factories specifically designed for this type of process where standardized individual components of the building structure are constructed and then transported to the site and put together.
Also known as modular construction, or prefabrication, it allows for the rapid and efficient construction of the permanent structure. This revolutionary approach to construction is being used in various sectors, including but not limited to housing, healthcare, offices, retail, and leisure. So what makes offsite construction a growing trend among many construction companies today? Let’s find out 7 of its top benefits over traditional construction methods.
Quicker Project Completion Times
Perhaps one of the top benefits of offsite construction for developers as well as clients is that it leads to faster project completion times. As off-site construction happens simultaneously with site foundation work, it speeds up the whole build process significantly. Projects can be completed in half the time as compared to traditional construction. That is because lesser time is needed onsite as the bulk of the building elements have already been pre-made in the factory, leading to faster installation.
Since most of the manufacturing happens inside a controlled environment like a factory, it also eliminates the risk of weather delays to the construction process. Consequently, buildings get occupied sooner, yielding a faster return on investment. This time-saving aspect of modular construction keeps the project on schedule and speeds up the build process time while remaining efficient.
Fewer Site Disturbances
The offsite construction process greatly minimizes the disruption to clients and the residents within the vicinity. With a large proportion of the build and fit-out completed in the factory, there will not be a convoy of lorries and other heavy machinery carrying workers and materials to and from the construction site regularly. That would help avoid traffic delays and blocking parking spaces and access routes, which could be a real pain, especially if there are schools or hospitals in the surrounding area.
While it would be impossible to do away with the need for delivery vehicles and other equipment altogether, the reduced onsite time means that the residents will not have to put up with disturbances, if any, for too long.
Reduced Environmental Impact
The construction sector is one of the major contributors to air, water, and noise pollution today. Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of offsite projects is that it is good for the environment and helps reduce our carbon footprint, unlike site-built construction. There is a significantly lower impact of construction activities on-site like reduced carbon emissions from jobsite travel and noise pollution. There are minimal vehicles and machinery pumping pollutants into the air, leading to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Besides, off-site construction helps generate less solid material waste that ends up in landfill sites. Materials can be ordered more accurately calculated requirements in a factory environment, and it is easier to handle and recycle the waste in a controlled manufacturing facility.
Greater Safety and Working Conditions
A factory is a way more predictable environment than a physical building site, which helps eliminate the risk of accidents and fatalities due to various causes. While the construction industry’s safety record may have improved in the past couple of decades, there are around 150,000 construction site accident injuries annually as per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Moving construction work from a site to a factory offers safer conditions for workers to work in, as it significantly diminishes the risk of dangerous onsite construction hazards like poor weather and visibility, slips and falls, falling from a height, and equipment-error related accidents. Surely, indoor construction environments reduce the risks of accidents and related liabilities for workers and expose them to fewer health hazards.
Better Manufacturing Precision and Quality
As fabrication and assembly of building components occur in tightly controlled factory settings, off-site construction allows for better quality assurance and control, resulting in a high-quality final product each time. It is easier to precisely meet design specifications in a factory environment than on a building site, which means that the design does not have to allow the margin for error necessary for onsite construction.
Besides, off-site construction also leads to improved indoor air quality. As a building’s structure is created inside a factory using dry materials, the likelihood of high levels of moisture being trapped in the framing materials is eliminated, which helps prevent mold, dust mites, and other organisms that exist with it.
With lesser waste, faster production, and fewer mistakes in a factory setting, offsite construction is likely to end up being less expensive than traditional onsite construction. There is also less labor required to build in a factory that can lower costs quite significantly due to fewer wage costs involved.
Off-site construction helps save on-site skilled labor costs as the prefabricated pieces are designed to fit together easily without needing any special expertise. That also enhances productivity because the assembly requires less time and labor.
Flexibility of Use
Modular buildings are very flexible, thanks to their bespoke design. Whether you need extra space for creating a modular kitchen, office, studio, or gym, these designs can meet your requirements since they allow for re-use and restructuring of the components making up the final structure.
Whereas a traditional building offers little flexibility requires a lot of hassle in terms of expanding your space, a modular structure is easy to extend due to its design and materials. Modular buildings are also easy to transport from one site to another, which serves as a real advantage for construction companies needing site offices.
Offsite construction is quickly becoming the construction method of choice across various industries worldwide, and for good reasons. A fast, efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly technique, offsite construction is in higher demand than ever and is revolutionizing the construction industry, and it is easy to see why!