The Benefits of Offsite Construction
The construction industry can be demanding. With tight deadlines and a continual progression into an emphasis on energy efficient and sustainable buildings, more and more organisations are looking into the advantages of off-site construction. This gives construction companies the ability to move a building process away from the construction site and into a controlled environment. This brings with it a plethora of benefits and advantages to the build process as highlighted below.
Working in a controlled environment brings a range of benefits regarding site safety. Onsite there is an array of issues that can arise in relation to safety such as falling from a height, equipment errors and the general nature of the uncontrolled environment. External and uncontrolled issues that can impact safety on a build such as weather events are also mitigated with the use of a controlled settings.
It is difficult to quantify the cost benefit of the safety aspect of using a controlled environment. However, within construction there is always a strong emphasis on the importance of being properly equipped to avoid potential accidents and this is an excellent way to continue to improve health and safety standards within your organisation.
Building offsite can become a largely repetitive task but this comes with the added benefit of time reductions each time a process is completed in a controlled environment. Each time a process is completed the time taken is reduced. Work is also more likely to be completed on time and in the construction industry where deadlines can be tight this can be a huge benefit.
To use the age-old phrase “time is money” having a more time efficient process is of benefit to any project. It directly impacts the success of a project and can mitigate any additional costs of onsite labour after they were due to have the project completed.
Working offsite does not only mitigate the cost of onsite labour, time and around safety but also creates a more predictable cost. Labour cost is prone to fluctuation which can have major implications for the cost forecasting of a project. This is positively impacted by offsite construction where the costs are largely fixed.
Labour is not the only cost saving as material savings are made too. You only pay for the materials required to complete the job (roughly 70%) and the rest is issues toward labour (30%). There is no requirement for a contingency of materials when working in a controlled setting.
The cost of labour is one of the highest costs factored into a build. It can fluctuate when deadlines aren’t being met and is largely dependent on the efficiency of the team. Taking a moment to think about the efficiency of one labour hour on a construction site can put this into context. One labourer requires a hammer. Maybe they left it on the truck? Maybe it is on the top floor where they were last using it. How much of his hour is truly productive in this instance? These types of incidents are not infrequent or unusual on a construction site and it all adds up to a less efficient process.
In an offsite setting efficiency is amplified. There is less training involved in an offsite process. Each member of staff need only know the skills required to complete their aspect of the task. This is also cost reducing and time saving. A reduction in labour costs also has the benefit of reducing the overall costs of builds and can make building prices more affordable.
When you think of a construction site, you can see the trucks and transport options bringing materials too and from site on a round the clock basis. The emissions with this are removed in a factory setting where the carbon footprint is minimised. There is also a reduction in material waste. In a factory environment, materials are maximised and any waste material is monitored by software with the potential of being reused for another project.
From a quantitative perspective this can reduce the costs of materials as they can be calculated with greater accuracy in a controlled environment. It will also continue to reduce your costs as time progresses and the process is repeated. Each time becoming more efficient, more sustainable and more cost effective.
Onsite builds don’t just test the patience of those waiting for the build to be completed but also neighbours and other businesses in the area. With noise pollution, air pollution, added traffic congestion and access to areas often being impacted; offsite construction is welcomed by many. It gives you the opportunity to spend a large portion of the required time onsite offsite and the onsite schedule can be reduced to avoid as much disruption to the area you are working in as possible.
Being an efficient, timely and sustainable construction company also has the added benefit of improving your brand perception to clients and local residents. All while reducing your cost, keeping standards high and improving your reputation as a sustainable and efficient construction company.