Offsite: quantifying the benefits

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With all the talk about offsite construction and the savings it can offer, how in practice does a project team actually realise these benefits? Gavin White and Andrew Mather of Ramboll look at the data

01 / Why offsite?

The construction industry is undergoing some dramatic changes and is in the spotlight more than ever before. Numerous reports and news articles have highlighted poor productivity, low quality standards, lack of co-ordination, and dependency on an ever-shrinking and fragile talent base. 

The industry is in the cross hairs for improvement by end users on one end of the spectrum and under scrutiny by governments, lenders and regulators on the other. Standards everywhere are rightly increasing – whether health and safety, quality, construction time or customisable standardisation – while the pressure for cost reduction is ever-present.

Offsite construction and digital design methods have proved to be the main response to these pressures. They have the potential to not only meet all the expected standards, but also to create other opportunities, as innovative mainstream suppliers as well as new disruptors are proving. 

One current example is the world’s tallest volumetric steel modular development, the 44-storey and 38-storey towers of HTA-designed 101 George Street, in Croydon, set to be built in record time. Another is the new volumetric cross-laminated timber (CLT) offering pioneered by Swan Homes in Basildon and Laindon in Essex, and Watts Grove in east London. 

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