Builders Turning More Attention Toward Offsite Construction

Originally published by: LBM JournalSeptember 30, 2020

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During the National Association of Home Builders’ Building Systems Week last week, the group highlighted a number of key themes going forward for the offsite construction industry: education, access to resources, and opportunities to help builders overcome challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

iStock photo of a construction worker on a structure built offsite

Builders are recognizing the benefits of offsite construction as they look for cost-effective alternatives to minimize the number of workers onsite, but the learning curve for offsite construction can present some challenges of its own. That’s why organizations such as NAHB, the Structural Insulated Panel Association (SIPA), the National Ready Made Concrete Association, the Modular Home Builders Association and the Structural Building Components Association focus a significant amount of attention on educations and outreach.

“A fundamental barrier is this idea of timing, planning, attention to detail, really looking over the drawings and making sure they’re set so that people can make that robotic equipment and routers and all of that, to deliver [the materials] to you on the job site,” observed Jack Armstrong, director of SIPA. This includes not only building in adequate time to develop and order components, but also the capabilities of these building systems to provide more resilient solutions, such as tighter building envelopes and better ventilation to minimize the impact of wildfires.

Resiliency and efficiency were two of the key benefits touted by Armstrong and his fellow panelists during State of the Offsite Construction Industry, the culminating webinar for Building Systems Week.