Quantifying the benefits of off-site construction (RP1073)

The Government has long set out its strategy for change in Construction 2025 (2013) and in the November autumn budget 2017 with the announcement of a construction sector deal which included ‘a presumption in favour of offsite construction by 2019 across suitable capital programmes, where it represents best value for money.” 

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee July 2018 report: Off-site manufacture for construction: Building for change states that off-site manufacture (OSM) ‘can help to increase productivity in the construction sector while reducing labour demands, improving the quality and efficiency of buildings, and reducing the environmental impacts associated with traditional construction.

However, take up of OSM is varied and somewhat limited across the sector because it is working with out-dated and unsustainable business models that are not conducive to OSM for construction. OSM requires collaboration between clients, designers and contractors from an early stage…’

Project aims
- develop a methodology that will allow key stakeholders to make evidence-based decisions about the use of off-site manufacturing solutions as an alternative to traditional construction practices. 
- undertake case studies and collect data in a format that will enable comparison in sectors where data sets are available.
- enable clients, designers, specifiers, contractors and others to quantify the benefits of off-site construction.
- enable industry to move towards greater productivity and realise the goals of Construction 2025.

Project key outputs

- a summary report on a methodology for quantifying the benefits of off-site construction including data rich case studies.
- industry dissemination.

Research contractor
University of Cambridge have been appointed as the research contractor.

Project funders
Arup, BAM Nuttall, Berkeley Modular, Building Design Consultants, Costain, Enterprise Ireland, Kier, Laing O’Rourke, Meinhardt, Polypipe, Sir Robert McAlpine, Willmott Dixon

Project status
CIRIA is seeking additional engagement with industry and funding support for the project.

Download the full proposal.

Further information
To find out more contact Kieran Tully at CIRIA.