Nearly 90% of construction management and general contractors, engineers, trade contractors, architects, and owners/developers indicated they had used off-site fabricated components over the past 12 months, results of a National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council (OSCC) survey found. More than 80% of respondents indicated they expect to use off-site construction more often or the same amount over the next year.
The survey polled 205 participants from across the country, representing a diversity of stakeholders involved in the decision making and implementation of off-site construction. The OSCC initially conducted a similar survey in 2014. The council’s 2018 report compared the most recent results to those of the initial survey.
The survey found that off-site techniques increased in single-family and multifamily construction projects between 2014 and 2018. In the initial survey, 8% of participants involved in single-family construction indicated using off-site construction processes. That share increased to almost 18.5% in the 2018 survey. Likewise, the share of multi-family construction projects using off-site construction techniques increased to 38.46% from 24% between the two surveys.
Respondents identified the reduced overall project schedule and shorter duration of the construction phase as the primary benefits of off-site construction. Secondary benefits included quality of product and cost effectiveness.
Respondents indicated that transportation, specifically how far away an off-site facility was located from a job site, was the most significant barrier to off-site construction. Additionally, the 2018 survey found construction culture and late design changes to be major barriers to off-site construction not identified in the 2014 survey. Respondents also indicated that some projects, particularly those with long spans, may not be suited for using prefabricated elements.
According to the OSCC survey, construction managers or general contractors are most likely to implement off-site construction compared to other construction-related professions.
The OSCC survey complements a similar recent survey of builders conducted by the Home Innovation Research Labs. The Home Innovation Research Labs survey found that the popularity of off-site construction increased more broadly during 2017. Additionally, the survey found that larger builders, who account for 75% of all new housing construction, were more likely to adopt off-site construction than smaller builders.
This article originally appeared on ProSales.