Top six benefits of offsite construction
Offsite construction is a growing trend, with many companies growing wise to the advantages of moving the building process away from the physical site and into a controlled factory environment. Here, we take a look at some of the reasons why offsite is the next big thing.
Efficiency and predictability
By building offsite, the process is the same every time, meaning that each time the process is performed, the time taken can decrease. Work can be guaranteed to be delivered on time and to the highest quality, as the mitigating circumstances such as bad weather do not delay the project.
The factory is a far more predictable setting than the physical construction site, which eliminates the variables of weather and visibility. Having the conditions be the same every time makes errors much less likely. Most of onsite construction’s most dangerous hazards: like fall from height and equipment accidents, are not an issue in the factory.
Offsite construction requires less heavy machinery and less energy. Transporting the finished product to the site also uses minimal vehicles, and wastage is minimised, as material requirements can be more accurately calculated, allowing the company to make savings by buying in bulk.
Studies have shown that far less labour is required to construct a building in a factory setting. The Steel Construction Institute (SCI) has claimed that hands required could be reduced by as much as75 percent on a four-storey residential development, savings that are similarly large in other kinds of build. Less workers of course means less wage costs for the company.
While training to be an expert in onsite construction is a lengthy process, teaching workers to perform their role is an offsite build is much simpler and faster. Transferring the construction process to a factory setting essentially turns building into a manufacturing process, and each worker need only learn their own small role in the production line. Less training means faster delivery and money saved.
No disruption to residents
An onsite build can severely test the patience of those unfortunate enough to live in the vicinity. Apart from the noise and air pollution of heavy machinery and equipment, construction and delivery vehicles travelling to and from the site can cause traffic delays and block parking spaces and access routes. This is a particular problem in constrained urban areas. Furthermore, construction works and cranes never look pretty and can be an eyesore for a long time. Moving construction away from the site and into a factory will be a great relief to local residents.
Skanska invests $225m in Houston office project
Skanska is investing US$225m in an office development project, 1550 on the Green in Houston, with construction expected to begin in June and scheduled to be completed in 2024.
The construction contract is worth US$125M, which will be included in the Q2 order bookings. International law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has signed a 15-year lease for about 30 percent of the building.
Located at 1550 Lamar Street, adjacent to Discovery Green, in downtown Houston, Skanska plans to develop and build a 28-floor, 34,800 square meter office tower.
1550 on the Green will be the first part of a three-block master plan by Skanska, which will transform the parcels into a distinguished district known as Discovery West and consist of 3.5 acres of mixed-use development full of restaurants, retail and lush green space. The project will target LEED and WiredScore Platinum certifications.
Since 2009, Skanska has invested a total of US$2.8 billion in commercial and multi-family projects, creating more than 1 million square meters of sustainable and community focused developments in select U.S. markets. Skanska USA had sales of SEK66 billion in 2020 with 7,600 employees in its operations.
Skanska’s flagship London office has set the standard in sustainable workspaces by becoming the first in the UK to achieve WELL Platinum under the new v2 pilot scheme.
The accreditation from the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) was awarded through the v2 pilot, the newest version of the WELL Building Standard. It looks at all building features and management processes – from air and water quality to lighting, acoustics, nutrition, thermal comfort and mental wellbeing. It’s widely recognised as the industry yardstick for measuring how workspaces can contribute to the wellbeing of occupants.
The offices – which span three floors of the newly developed 51 Moorgate – contain floor-to-ceiling windows for extensive natural light, dedicated wellbeing and quiet spaces, as well as stringent air and water quality monitoring, among a range of other features that have helped earn the standard.
The company has also been exploring drone flights for use in industrial environments.
Peter Cater, Development Manager, said it was invited to carry out trials because of its use and knowledge of drone capability. "The trials have benefited everyone involved: sees.ai get to test their equipment and remote use of the drones and we get access to accurate, real-time data on our construction activities which benefits us and our customer, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation."
“Projects like this – at the forefront of innovation – go to show what an exciting industry construction is to be involved in. We are always looking for innovative ways of working, ways to be more sustainable so we can find better solutions for our customers. These trials are just one small part of our digital transformation journey.”