Traditionally, when we think of construction, we can imagine a team of men and women in hard hats showing up early to a site in their cars or pick-up trucks, coffee in hand, ready to work. Sometimes, that’s the requirement. Today, the process of construction has changed. There’s another way. It’s called offsite construction.
First, let's talk about the process of offsite construction.
Ryan E. Smith outlines eight steps in Prefab Architecture: A Guide to Modular Design and Construction. Predesign. Design. Develop. Detail. Order. Fabricate. Deliver. Assemble.
WBDG explains in more detail here, but in summary, when designing offsite, most of the planning, designing, and fabrication happens offsite in a safe, secure, and controlled environment. This lets architects, designers, planners, and builders test, and prototype in one location. As much as 95% of the process can be completed off-site before shipping to the site location for assembly.
Which leads to the benefits of offsite construction. Some of the key benefits are as follows:
When construction takes place onsite, the project is subject to more risk. Weather delays, planning challenges, and simple human error, like workers leaving key tools at home, can cause hiccups in the production of a process.
When designing offsite, the project happens in a controlled environment. Controlled environments are more likely to produce consistent results. Workers have what they need in one place without having to trek materials from site to site. Construction can be completed indoors, too. This prevents project delays and blown timelines.
Additionally, the communities you’re building in have less foot traffic and congestion as the site isn’t as chaotic before delivery and installation begins.
Safer and orderly working conditions
Not only are workers subjected to more predictable, controlled working conditions, but designing offsite makes the installation process smoother. Onsite construction risks people stepping on each other's toes, and generally a much more elegant tap dance to get things done.
Developing offsite ensures that only the necessary materials will be delivered to the job site, making for a smoother, more organized installation process.
Quality of work
Designing and building in a factory setting increase the likelihood of quality products. Quality can be checked before products are delivered to the site. If something goes wrong on the site, it may get brushed under the rug, or the project gets delayed. Developing in a controlled environment maintains a tighter process. Repeatable processes are streamlined, and it’s reflected in the quality of work.
Interested in learning more about modular construction? Contact us today.