Survey Analyzes Evolution and Perception of Off-site Construction

Four years after the Washington, D.C.-based National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council (OSCC) conducted an initial survey to gain an understanding of how the U.S. construction sector is using off-site construction techniques and technologies, the council issued a follow-up survey to see how the industry’s use has changed. At NIBS’ recent annual meeting, OSCC released “Report of the Results of the 2018 Off-Site Construction Industry Survey”, compiling the 2018 industry survey results.(Read the full report here.)

A total of 205 participants from around the country responded to the 2018 survey. The respondents came from across the building industry, representing the diversity of stakeholders involved in the decision-making and implementation of off-site construction. They included construction management and general contractors, engineers, trade contractors, architects and owners/developers.

The following are some key findings from the report:

  • Most respondents (87.62 percent) indicated they had utilized off-site fabricated components to some degree during the past 12 months while 81.63 percent expected to utilize off-site construction more often or the same amount in the next 12 months.
  • The participants (who could select multiple categories) are using off-site elements for commercial construction, industrial, health-care, education, multifamily, hospitality, single-family and data-center construction.
  • Respondents indicated that although off-site construction requires moderately or significantly higher levels of engagement, the increased
  • integration and collaboration throughout the delivery process can result in higher quality and reduced changes throughout construction.
  • The respondents identified the primary benefit of offsite construction to be a reduced overall project schedule and, specifically, the duration of the construction phase. Other realized benefits included quality of the product and cost effectiveness.
  • Construction culture and late design changes were the most significant barriers recognized.
  • The survey also pinpointed the construction manager or general contractor is the one most often to implement off-site construction.
  • The survey indicates additional education is needed for current decision-makers and owners, who have the potential to demand the use of off-site construction.

OSCC plans to distribute more industry-based surveys to obtain additional data about the state of prefabrication in the construction sector.

Learn more about OSCC, including how to get involved.

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