Offsite construction is safer, faster, greener and cheaper, according to ECA survey

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Whether it’s prefabricated homes or modular hotels, the construction industry is embracing the process of constructing buildings offsite, and it seems there are some significant benefits associated with going offsite vs traditional construction methods. In fact, a new survey by the ECA, CIBSE and SELECT has found that offsite construction is safer, faster, greener and cheaper. 

The electrical sector can benefit massively from working offsite as they can work in a clean factory environment where there shouldn’t be any surprises. In fact, the survey found that thanks to offsite construction, 61% of people saw increased productivity, while 47% reported enhanced employee safety. Additionally, the quality of work was supposedly higher, according to 57% of respondents, while 55% said project downtime was lower and operational costs were reduced in 59% of cases. 

Many respondents (43 per cent) also experienced a reduction in their carbon footprint – an increasingly important performance indicator for UK businesses following the Government’s commitment to ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2050.

ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented, “Offsite construction has the potential to become a key mechanism for delivering projects of all sizes in the present and future. Early-adopters in the industry who have embraced this way of working are already reaping the rewards, so it will be important that the rest of the sector considers its response, or they could face being left behind.”

However, the biggest barriers to carrying out offsite manufacturing were identified as a lack of suitably skilled staff, a high level of ongoing investment, and installation onsite. Additionally, the number of clients specifying offsite was lower than expected and maintaining a stable flow of work for offsite facilities was therefore challenging its viability.

Despite these barriers, the 81% of businesses agreed that offsite manufacturing will offer them new commercial opportunities in the future.

Significantly, 42% of larger businesses (those with a turnover of more than £5m) said that they would be using offsite construction within five years, in part due to requirements from their buyers.