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INDUSTRY SURVEY


37


BARRIERS “What are the biggest barriers to offsite construction currently – with 1 being no barrier at all, and 5 being a serious barrier?”


views – while 42 percent ‘slightly agreed,’ 33 per cent were ‘unsure,’ and 21 per cent disagreed, believing that the supply chain was a long way behind the curve. Whether the industry was best left to resolve its own challenges when it comes to fostering collaboration and improving procurement to benefit offsite, was a moot point, with 54 per cent of respondents vs 46 per cent saying yes and no respectively. Objections centred around the fact that only those in the industry are likely to be fully aware of the ins and outs of offsite requirements, and government involvement “would likely cause more complexities.” One commenter said that “external influence is mostly for total standardisation and lower cost; it’s anti-innovation.” Respondents were asked what government should do more of to help support offsite construction however, and responses ranged from commenters urging it to “demonstrate [offsite] works on [its] projects,” to a call to “make sure Building Regulations are fully checked by local authorities.” Another went further, saying government should “legislate to enforce a higher percentage of MMC, update building standards to acknowledge it, and accept European standards/certificates.” A more specific suggestion to help improve local delivery of projects was that


“38 per cent of respondents said contractors were embracing the required level of collaboration”


government should “ensure planning departments are made aware of the possibilities so they can demand high quality design regardless of offsite or onsite.” One comment advocated “revising the RIBA plan of work to reflect different types of projects.”


Clients & contractors


When it came to those that hold the purse- strings, it was not clear that clients, for example, were absorbing the extra costs required to go offsite, suggesting that they are demanding more from their supply chain. Only 15 per cent of architects agreed that they were absorbing those costs, with a similar number (14 per cent) ‘strongly disagreeing.’


On the need to complete and freeze designs much earlier in the process than on some traditionally built constructions, clients were accepting of this new requirement, according to 24 per cent of respondents. However, 18 per cent strongly disagreed with this.


More respondents (42 per cent to 25 per cent) disagreed than agreed with the statement that clients ‘understand and embrace the collaboration required with offsite,’ and a similar ratio (46 per cent to 24 per cent) disagreed that clients ‘understood the requirements of offsite supply chains.’ Again, respondents were not convinced that clients ‘understand the merits of different types of offsite methods,’ with 44 per cent disagreeing. Contractors generally fared better, with 43 per cent of survey respondents agreeing they accepted the need to freeze designs early, and 38 per cent saying that they were embracing the required level of collaboration. Unsurprisingly, more respondents thought contractors also understand the merits of different offsite methods (37 per cent), as well as the requirements of offsite supply chains (45 per cent).


ENGAGEMENT


Question: Is the architectural community engaging proactively enough in the move to offsite? Yes: 34% No: 66%


ADF NOVEMBER 2020


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


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