An Overview: Offsite Construction

The worldwide housing and construction market has gone through significant changes over the past few decades. New technologies and methods of modern construction have allowed for homes to be built more efficiently, a need that first emerged in this market in the late 1940s.

Today, governments and businesses alike are searching for alternatives to traditional construction practises to improve business productivity and predict delivery timescales. One proven method of doing so has been offsite construction. In this article, we’re going to explore off-site manufacturing and planning in more detail, diving into the following sections to ensure we cover all the bases:

  • What is off-site construction?
  • What is the difference between off-site construction, modular construction, and prefab construction?
  • What involves off-site construction?
  • What are examples of off-site construction?
  • What is modular building construction material?
  • Is off-site construction sustainable?
  • What is the difference between off-site construction and on-site construction?
  • Why do people choose off-site construction?
  • When do people use off-site construction?
  • How much does off-site construction cost?

What Is Offsite Construction?

Offsite construction is one example of a modern construction method. Offsite construction involves the planning, manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly of building elements like roofs, walls, and floors at a place that is not the final location for rapid assembly and installation.

Assembling building components at another location speeds up the process while also reducing waste and noise pollution. Offsite construction also involves modular architecture, which utilises 3D technology to design modular building elements.

Today, offsite manufacturing is used for several purposes, such as commercial, residential, educational, and health care applications.

What Is The Difference Between Offsite Construction, Modular Construction, and Prefabrication Construction?

Modular construction and prefabrication construction are also alternatives to traditional construction methods, but they differ in a few ways from offsite construction. Though under the same umbrella, one of the main differences between offsite construction and modular construction is that offsite construction tends to focus on permanent construction. However, modular construction can be temporary or permanent. In modular construction, structures are built into modules and transported from the manufacturing site to the installation site.

Likewise, prefabrication (“prefab”) construction is a branch of offsite manufacturing, where building components are made offsite and then transported to the site of installation to create a structure.

Over the years, prefabrication construction has become increasingly popular in places like Arizona and Los Angeles. This method of modern construction helps reduce environmental impacts caused by construction projects, such as water, noise, and air pollution.

What Does Offsite Construction Involve?

As mentioned, offsite construction involves the planning, design, manufacturing, fabrication, and assembly of building elements at another location before going to the final site of installation. For example, offsite construction could involve manufacturing, designing a few small building elements, assembling an entire structure or building and then delivering it to the installation site via a convoy of trucks.

In addition to modular construction and prefabrication construction, there are other methods involved in offsite construction, such as the use of volumetric systems.

What Are Examples of Offsite Construction?

Some examples of offsite construction include prefabricated bathroom modules. Prefab bathroom pods are a modern construction system that focuses on design and assembly details to generate cost savings and reduce construction delays.

Some prefabricated bathrooms include all the components of a bathroom’s interior finish with a structure that is made of either metal, ultra-lightweight materials or concrete. Prefabricated bathrooms have several benefits, such as waste reduction and quality control from the beginning of the manufacturing process to final delivery at the installation site.

What Is Modular Building Construction Material?

Modular building construction materials are similar to traditional construction. The most common include concrete, steel, and wood. Each material has a unique role, such as concrete offering a solid structure best used for permanent buildings. Modular architects that want more creative freedom like using steel as this material can be easily shaped. Lastly, wood is used for modular building construction because it is one of the most sustainable building materials available, and carpenters are better able to craft and manipulate wood-framed modules.

Is Offsite Construction Sustainable?

Sustainable construction has been on the rise, especially in the hotel construction industry, and offsite construction has been found to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste. By reducing waste, developers are in a better position to meet their sustainability goals.

Offsite construction sustainability characteristics also include using less energy as it doesn’t require heavy machinery, which creates a safer environment for developers. Using sustainable materials like bamboo and timber to build also helps keep the planet healthy and habitable.

What Is the Difference Between Offsite Construction and Onsite Construction?

Even though offsite and onsite construction uses similar materials, the two processes are different. As we know, offsite construction involves designing and pre-fabricating building elements in a different location than the installation site. Onsite construction is more traditional, where structures are built at their permanent location. Typically, there are two phases in onsite construction, the design and the build phase.

Why Do People Choose Offsite Construction?

There are several reasons why developers, designers, and architects choose offsite manufacturing. Sustainability and speed are the most common reasons, as offsite projects reduce waste, use less energy, and allow teams to work faster and in a more streamlined way. Offsite construction also creates a safer environment for workers and reduces noise pollution for surrounding residents.

Each branch of offsite construction, such as modular and prefab construction, brings something new to the table and has unique advantages. For instance, the advantages of modular construction include construction optimisation, cost reduction, and quality standardisation.

When Do People Use Offsite Construction?

Offsite construction offers shorter building times, higher quality, and lower costs and risks, which is why more and more industry executives are starting to use this modern method of construction rather than traditional onsite methods. For instance, according to the National Institute of Building Sciences, in 2018, nearly 90% of survey respondents indicated that they had used offsite fabricated components.

Today, offsite construction is being adopted for various projects, from commercial and industrial construction to healthcare and education construction. 

How Much Does Offsite Construction Cost?

Offsite manufacturing is not only faster, safer, and greener than traditional construction, but it is also cheaper. In traditional construction, many costs add up, such as material, labour, and installation costs. However, prefabricated structures provide an all-in-one solution, which drives costs down. For instance, the prefabricated pods price starts from around £1,000, which is cheaper than most custom solutions. 

If you are interested in offsite construction or you want further information about our process to see if it matches with what you are looking for in your new project, please don’t hesitate to contact us.