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33 INDUSTRY SURVEY


Hot Topic: Exploring current thinking in offsite construction


ffsite construction is hailed as the answer to many of the construction industry’s problems. In particular it aids speed of delivery, given the 300,000 new homes per year target by 2022, but can also drastically reduce the defects that are impeding performance relative to design. ADF magazine partnered with Edge Insight to survey readers, and discover more about architects’ views on the offsite sector, and how it’s affecting them. The results provided a revealing picture of their opinions on the pros as well as cons which are being demonstrated in practice. While the majority of the respondents (75 per cent) agreed with the statement that ‘Modern DfMA methods have transformed the reputation of offsite construction from


O


the stigma of poor quality prefabs to the ‘predictable quality answer to meeting demand,’ they said architects are not doing enough to drive forward the profession’s proactive engagement with these new methods.


The survey unearthed positives as well as challenges which remain to be resolved for designers, the latter ranging from more technical issues such as warranties, to issues of client acceptance of the necessary changes in approach.


Offsite benefits


In terms of the benefits of offsite for delivering on construction’s key aims, there were some fairly conclusive findings. The most popular benefit for our respondents was the ability to provide ‘precision


construction that supports design quality.’ In fact 71 per cent of respondents picked this as a ‘main benefit.’


In second place was speed of construction (69 per cent), and the ability to ‘ensure as- designed performance’, and thereby potentially close the Performance Gap between design efficiency aims and building performance once constructed. In total, 53 per cent picked this attribute as a ‘main benefit.’ Further down the list was ‘Safety’ (36 per cent), and ‘Driving collaboration’ (22 per cent).


Design changes


Our survey found that there were as many positives as concerns when it came to offsite construction’s effect on architects’ work. Respondents ‘strongly agreeing’ that it had


BENEFITS “What do you regard as the main benefits of offsite construction?”


ADF NOVEMBER 2020


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