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Ready ot not: Offsite construction is now mainstream in the UK

- Off-Site Hub

   Business Opportunities

"Offsite construction methods are increasingly being used in all sectors of the UK, providing excellent business opportunities."

Off-Site Hub reports this as the view of Ian Pannell from Build Offsite, a company which has been advocating the intelligent use of offsite methods for almost 13 years. Ian argues that this view is increasingly being seen in the market and provides his thoughts on the use of offsite construction methods.
 
 

   Not New

The shift towards the use of offsite methods to deliver buildings and civil engineering structures is not new; it has been underway for decades, led by highly experienced serial clients. In many cases these clients work closely with offsite suppliers to develop the solutions they require and to support innovations in order to bring about new solutions.

   Overcoming Inefficiences

Offsite construction can resolve some of the current inefficiencies within the construction industry. Some of these include:
 
  • Increased levels of site productivity
  • Improved construction processes (which are currently complicated and involve many trade contractors)
  • Reduced waste of onsite materials
  • Reduced time and cost

   Solutions & Risks

Although offsite construction methods will address some of the current inefficiencies within the market, consultants and the supply side itself will recognise that a shift in favour of offsite solutions can still involve uncertainties and therefore risks. These risks will likely be different to many of the risks involved with traditional construction but they will be real enough. These risks are associated with:
 
  • The project delivery team having a clear understanding of how to incorporate offsite components into a project that in other respects may involve traditional construction methods
  • How to handle logistics and site handling/storage of expensive components
  • Ensuring a competitive offsite supply side, financial resilience of suppliers
Building Prototype in Factory - Benfield ATT

   Constant Innovation

These are legitimate considerations that require understanding and informed advice from professionals. However, simply because offsite solutions involve risks does not mean they should be avoided. Innovative thinking and emerging client requirements has resulted in the requirement to consider different approaches from traditional construction methods.

   Costs & Certainties

One of the most cited claims about offsite methods is that they are more expensive than traditional methods. However, factory made components are more predictable in terms of cost, quality and performance. At the outset you will have a good idea of how things will end up. Factors such as time to complete which may matter hugely to a client are also likely to be more certain with a project enabled by offsite solutions. At the end of the day it is about value and. with respect, it is the client's view of value that matters most.

   It's Time to Change

Well, we think it would be timely for the profession to look at how they individually approach the opportunity to make use of offsite construction methods. How the use of offsite and for that matter traditional forms of construction fits alongside innovative practices, such as the almost ubiquitous use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

   Professional Challenges

To ask those challenging questions about how they can genuinely offer best advice to their clients where construction solutions of all types are increasingly becoming globalised and there are sources of information available to all that didn't exist just a few years ago.

   Tools for Change

Information on COMPARATOR, a software tool to compare the cost of traditional cost of construction with the cost of onsite construction, is available by contacting Prof Bernard Williams.

   Your 'Off-Site' Partner in Development                      

Whether you want a 'Granny Annex' or a full house in a back garden, we've been doing this for years. While Craig White has addressed many large scale issues, it's not, as Young claims particularly 'new' or 'innovative'.  However, we do have people who can understand and deliver new ideas and new projects. So, whether you have a scheme for just a few houses, or  flats up to 6 storeys, we're interested in hearing from  you, your architects, builders and landowners. Almost certainly you are becoming aware of changing approaches, systems, and designs, as well as homeowner preferences and aspirations - all things that we know a lot about.
 
Working with our teams we believe will help you to provide you're your clients want and more readily marketable homes.

   Better all-round Savings

Our specialist services and CUSTOM homes division deliver best value and  protect the interests of land owners, house-builder developers, professionals and private individuals seeking to build their dream home. Our off-site construction systems also reduce the amount of material that gets wasted on site, helping to avoid land fill, hazardous waste separation and handling, They also deliver better value for you and your customers.
PLEASE CONTACT US FOR AN INFORMAL DISCUSSION AS TO HOW WE MIGHT WORK TOGETHER
 
Call us to arrange a factory visit and discuss your ideas and needs with our in-house team of professionals for your next project. You'll be glad you did!
 
 
• Timber Frame   • SIP Frame   • Post & Beam   • Traditional Feature Trusses   • Glulam Structures  
• Hybrids   • Low Energy Components
 
For really attractive, flexible, affordable and HEALTHY Low Energy Homes, call, send us your drawings, or visit our manufacturing plant now.
Some of our previous weekly insights:
 
 
 
We'll have more information for you next week. In the meantime, head to Build News for your daily insight into the construction industry.
 
 
 
 
"Technical Timber Frame Designers & Builders of UK's 1st Amphibious House"
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Benfield ATT Group
5 - 6 Castle Way
Severnbridge Industrial Estate
Caldicot
MON. NP26 5YG
 
T: (0)1291 437050
E: info@benfieldatt.uk
W: www.benfieldatt.uk