Saturday 23 October 2010

Offsite Production overview - Buildoffsite (industry wide campaign organisation prompting greater uptake of offsite technique in UK construction)

Richard Ogden, Buildoffsite Chairman and 'the man who built a McDonald's in two days', gave a seminar on 'how the construction industry can capitalise on offsite efficiencies' (October 19 BEST Residential Hub, NEC Birmingham).

Key question he suggested we ask : Why make a project out of a product?
Examples of some of the many advantages of offsite construction are:
  • risk reduction; fewer people on site (manufacturing has significantly fewer accidents), controlled environment (quality control, wind and weather protection)
  • lower costs in some areas; prelims, car parking
  • speed of construction; GSK has reduced construction time for some mobile/temporary manufacturing units from 36 months to 3 months
  • areas of buildings with complex services (e.g. science labs and washrooms in schools) have greatest advantages 
He noted that there were three main types of offsite construction
  • 2-D; panels
  • 3-D; corridor modules for BAA reducing requirement to work airside
  • Hybrid; houses
Other points picked up

  • Retrofit in domestic housing  is more difficult but there are opportunities that ought to be explored but require a change in perception; e.g. replace complete roofs built offsite
  • Japan is world leader in offsite manufacturing - people aspire to live in highly engineered offsite manufactured housing units
  • In the UK Laing O'Rourke (LOR) has invested heavily in their Design for Manufacture and Assembly' (DfMA) apporach and their Explore Industrial Park in Steetley. LOR claim this to be 'the most advanced facility of its type in Europe'. Others in the UK such as Carillion have said that the amount they do offsite is increasing every year.
  • Offsite Powerpoint on Teachnet


Offsite Production in the UK – prepared by HSE - June 2009

A Brief Overview
Report Prepared by Stephen Taylor: Construction Engineering Specialist Team: HSE
This paper discusses the historical and current application of modern methods of construction using off-site production techniques. The paper gives an overview of the various types of off-site construction; specific case studies illustrating current practice; and, the primary benefits to health and safety on construction sites through its implementation.