So, we are in what history may remember as the Covid-era, with its many changes to our way of living and doing business.
One area of the built environment which has certainly benefited is, without doubt, offsite construction. It was already gaining share at the beginning of the year but like some other aspects of life, lockdown has accelerated its growth.
The offsite proposition is compelling so it’s not surprising. Those who have been working with offsite products for many years must be amazed that their developments and arguments are finally becoming mainstream!
The benefits of offsite construction are far-reaching, particularly in a world gripped by a surface-based virus. Products are manufactured in a controlled environment, unhindered by weather conditions, and now with socially distanced, safe working practices in place; this leads to efficiences across the supply chain and project delivery team, alongside consistent and accurate products. It’s easy to see why some specifiers and developers are embracing Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).
Yet this is far more than a reaction to COVID. Offsite construction provides the solution to many modern concerns across the built environment. It is a method that should be embraced by the entire building and construction industry.
To truly take advantage of the growing demand for offsite, investment should be made into producing appropriate and relevant technology and products; information should be readily available for specifiers and decision makers; and lastly, the products should be underpinned by the right services and skills.
Estimates see significant, double-digit growth for the offsite market over the next four years due to public sector procurement, BIM and the Government prioritisation of construction as a recovery tool and in aiding the UK housing crisis.
Yet it isn’t just down to UK housebuilders, developers and contractors to embrace this sea change, building product manufacturers need to address their product offerings, lead-times and service levels to stay relevant in this age of fast-paced construction methods.
The same can be said for existing offsite manufacturers and businesses – you have a receptive audience, the likes of which you have never seen before. Now is the time to revaluate your proposition and products to ensure you are ready and able to maximise this once in a generation opportunity.