The benefits of offsite construction

You might have heard of the phrase ‘off-site manufacturing’ or ‘modern methods of construction’ when looking into a self-build project – but what does it really mean, and what are the benefits?

Image of an SDC Kit-Home being constructed using off-site manufactured panels

SDC Kit Home off-site manufactured panels, being lowered into position.

Understanding the basics

Offsite manufacture and offsite construction fundamentally describe pre-manufactured structures designed to allow for quick onsite assembly. The exact levels of prefabrication can vary depending on your specific build’s needs – for example from factory fitted insulation panels to panels that come with windows and doors already installed. Offsite manufacturing is increasingly a preferred method for house building, with over 56% of the 22,000 planned homes by some of the UK’s largest housing associations will be constructed using offsite manufacturing methods (Survey conducted by Inside Housing Magazine).

The benefits of offsite manufacture

Offsite manufacturing hosts a whole range of benefits to you as the end user, from highly energy efficient specifications and rapid manufacturing. Below we explore some of the major benefits.

Speed and predictability – offsite manufacture benefits from highly specialised production methods carried out in controlled environments. This means they are less subject to potential complications such as adverse weather conditions that you may experience with traditional construction methods. Therefore, you can reliably predict the timeframe for production and execute your build accordingly. Install times are drastically reduced often with the erection of whole homes in a matter of hours – see our SDC kit home build process in action.

Quality – with offsite manufacture, buildings are subject to stringent factory-quality control and are built to exact energy specific specifications. This means you benefit from getting high-quality energy efficient builds that are thermally insulated and air-tight – reducing future energy consumption – less likely to have defaults and more likely to perform as designed.

Build cost – due to these highly efficient production methods, offsite manufacture is a cost-effective option for your self-build. Despite being cost-effective, offsite manufacture also provides some of the highest quality modern building methods. You save time onsite, have fewer deliveries and thus reduce many fixed costs.

Sustainability – all Structural Timber Association members, including our kit homes use timber from PEFC or FSC certified sources, meaning the materials are obtained in an environmentally sustainable way. Offsite approaches reduce waste, vehicle movements and other environmental impacts. Equally timber frame approaches such as SDC’s range of kit home build methods allow much greater integration of energy efficiency and low carbon energy solutions, when compared to conventional build methods.

Reduced disruption and build time – one of the key benefits of offsite manufacture is the reduced disruption it causes to residents near the site. Due to most of the work being carried out off-site, the only disruption comes with delivery and installation – a fraction of the disruption traditional methods can cause. Build time can also be drastically reduced, in one example from our work a 2-4-month conventional build time was reduced to just one week.

You can read more about Sustainable Design Collective’s use of offsite manufacture here. Our 35 years of experience and considerable expertise allow us to deliver the most cost effective, sustainable and unique solutions that match the requirements of our clients – for more information about how we can help your next project, don’t hesitate to contact us.