Out of site...

Is offsite construction the perfectly timed solution for the construction industry?

The call for a quick and sustainable solution to the current housing shortage has created an opportunity for offsite construction to become a key building method to meet the demand in the housing industry.

By 2030 we will be looking at a shortage of around two million homes in the UK, if current factors such as population growth remain the same. In order to prevent this and rectify the current shortfalls, modern and innovative methods such as offsite construction must be adopted to provide quick, sustainable and energy-efficient homes.

The construction of a house maximising offsite technology typically takes four-six weeks, which is nearly a quarter of the time taken by traditional methods with an average timescale of around 20 weeks, providing weather conditions permit. Offsite construction methods reduce the potential impact of bad weather on build-times and swift weather-proofing of the structures diminishes delays for follow on trades. This makes offsite construction the most viable option when working to meet the recommended increase from 100,000 homes per annum to 230,000.

Kingspan Timber Solutions' business unit director, Ian Loughnane, says: "Offsite construction means that there is a predictable performance level, with fewer construction defects or wasted materials.

"We are able to provide a marked decrease in the build time with a marked increase in the standard of the build.

"This combination of requirements plays to the strengths of timber technology which offers a low-energy design as standard."

It is not just the housing sector that is looking to exploit the benefits of offsite construction to meet current demands.

The education sector is also facing a shortage of almost 900,000 school places and the government has pledged an investment of circa £2 billion to refurbish and rebuild 277 schools.

The speed and ease of onsite build that offsite construction provides is crucial to it becoming the choice method of building in the education sector, matching similar requirements to the housing industry.

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