“While some procurement systems will need to evolve post-Covid in order to allow project owners to take advantage of all of the core benefits that offsite construction has to offer, the MMC genie is well and truly out of the bottle…” 

Demand for offsite construction and other modern methods of construction has increased significantly over the past 12 months across Ireland and the UK. This sharp increase in demand has been attributed in part to the frustration caused by repeated shutdown of construction activities. Ireland, in particular, has had the longest industry shutdown of any country, as a result of Covid-19. However, this does not tell the full story. In real terms, this increase in demand was starting to show over the past number of years. The pandemic simply accelerated the rate at which enquiries or ‘explorations’ turned into fully-fledged MMC projects.

In the expectation that pandemic restrictions, including social distancing on site, will remain in place for the rest of the year, a more structured, reliable and manufactured approach to construction delivery will continue to be sought out by project owners and contractors. By its very nature, offsite construction requires fewer personnel, can safely accommodate shift working and social distancing is easily achieved. 

The public sector was already making the move towards offsite construction, however, the urgent need for new and extended healthcare facilities over the past year meant that offsite construction methodologies and technologies offered the most rapid and reliable delivery possible. While some procurement systems will need to evolve post-Covid in order to allow project owners to take advantage of all of the core benefits that offsite construction has to offer, the MMC genie is well and truly out of the bottle. By moving to a more manufactured approach, and by streamlining the procurement processes to reflect this, capital projects (social housing, schools, hospitals etc) need not face delays and cost overruns as an inevitability. 

The pandemic has unquestionably accelerated the digitisation of the construction industry and there will be many beneficiaries to this including project owners, funders, insurers, end users and, of course, the State itself through certainty of programme. The traditional industry and supply chain will have some critical upskilling to do in order to fully leverage the sizable opportunity before them. Those who do will see the benefits, and quickly. 

Have your project needs assessed as early as possible by the expert design and manufacturing team at Horizon Offsite for maximum benefit. 

About Horizon Offsite

Horizon Offsite Ltd is one of Europe’s leading players in Offsite Construction and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), providing a fully accredited structural light gauge steel system to the residential, industrial, commercial, healthcare and educational sectors. Contact the Horizon Offsite team at https://horizonoffsite.ie