This headline from US industry portal Construction Dive caught our attention earlier this month. While written from a US perspective, the author raises some points that are equally relevant for contractors operating in Ireland and the UK. You can read the original article in full here: https://www.constructiondive.com/news/modular-monitor-what-contractors-should-be-telling-owners-about-shifting-t/584557/
The author starts by pointing out that there has already been plenty of successful offsite construction projects delivered “under the construction industry’s collective belt”, and this is particularly true across Ireland and the UK. And still, many project owners and developers have yet to explore the range of offsite construction technologies and methodologies as a feasible alternative to more traditional construction methods.
Interestingly, the article suggests that the strength of the relationship between the contractor firm and the developer, and the trust built up in that relationship, determines when the conversation about exploring a new method of building can take place. However, waiting for the ‘right time’ may result in opportunities being lost. By lost or missed opportunities, we are referring to the benefits – readily available through offsite construction and other modern methods of construction – not being availed of. Specifically, the inherent benefits of quality and consistency that can only be achieved in a manufacturing setting, together with the programme savings that a high level of certainty ensures. You can read more about the benefits of offsite construction here: https://horizonoffsite.ie/obenefits-of-offsite-construction-march-2020/
Also, the Horizon Offsite team has written extensively about the benefits of light gauge steel framing for building and you can read more about this here: https://horizonoffsite.ie/offsite-construction-structural-benefits-of-light-gauge-steel-lgs/
So, assuming a relationship of trust exists between the contractor and developer, it is clear that a conversation needs to happen about different construction methodologies and the article mentioned above outlines the key points that contractors should cover when communicating the benefits of offsite construction to project owners who are unfamiliar with modern methods of construction.
The author recommends starting this conversation by addressing the cost savings reality and dispelling any myths. Offsite construction, when done right and executed by an experienced expert team, will generally result in cost savings; however, this savings might be achieved through a shorter build programme. It is important to point out that offsite construction delivers a consistently higher quality or premium product in a reliable manner, and that will generally be reflected in the costs. The overall savings are achieved through the overall programme efficiencies.
The article also highlights some of the “hidden advantages” of MMC, including reduced reliance on labour, a reduction in general conditions costs and of course the developer gets to market faster, which cuts the financing time and “jump starts the revenue stream”. This does not even touch on the superior safety record.
The gist of the article is that – for contractors – it is always the right time to have a conversion with developer clients about offsite construction. If you need help starting this conversation, contact the Horizon Offsite team.
About Horizon Offsite
Established in 2017, the team at Horizon Offsite have decades of combined experience pioneering non-traditional or modern methods of construction (MMC). The company currently employs 22 people at a 35,000 sq ft. facility in Cahir, County Tipperary and is involved in projects across the private rented sector (PRS) in Ireland and the UK.