Last edited 14 Feb 2021

Main author

ECA Institute / association Website

Survey shows offsite construction is safer, faster, greener and cheaper


[edit] Introduction

Offsite construction leads to a range of benefits to industry and society, according to a new ECA survey of businesses in the electrotechnical and engineering services industry.

Broadly, these benefits include improved health and safety outcomes, increased productivity, a smaller carbon footprint and reduced operational costs.

[edit] The survey

Almost two thirds (61%) of survey respondents reported increased productivity, and nearly one in two (47 %) reported enhanced employee safety. More than half saw improved quality of work (57%), reduced operational costs (59%) and less project downtime (55%).

Many respondents (43%) also experienced a reduction in their carbon footprint – an increasingly important performance indicator for UK businesses following the government’s commitment to ‘net zerocarbon emissions by 2050.

ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented:

Offsite construction has the potential to become a key mechanism for delivering projects of all sizes in the present and future. Early-adopters in the industry who have embraced this way of working are already reaping the rewards, so it will be important that the rest of the sector considers its response, or they could face being left behind.”

[edit] Barriers

However, the biggest barriers to carrying out offsite manufacturing were identified as a lack of suitably-skilled staff, a high level of ongoing investment, and installation onsite. Additionally, the number of clients specifying offsite was lower than expected and maintaining a stable flow of work for offsite facilities was therefore challenging its viability.

Despite these barriers, the vast majority (81%) of businesses agreed that offsite manufacturing will offer them new commercial opportunities in the future.

Significantly, 42% of larger businesses (those with turnover of £5m plus) said that they would be using offsite construction within five years, in part due to requirements from their buyers.

[edit] About the survey

Offsite construction refers to the planning, design, fabrication and assembly of building elements at a location other than their final installed location to support the rapid and efficient construction of a project. It is sometimes also referred to as ‘offsite manufacturing’.

This ECA survey was held in partnership with CIBSE and SELECT, to establish the extent to which the electrotechnical and engineering services sector is engaged with offsite manufacturing and the future opportunities which may exist in the industry.

Respondents to the survey work across the multi-billion-pound electrotechnical and engineering services industry. The survey received 135 responses and was held earlier in 2019.

[edit] About this article

This article was provided by the Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA). It previously appeared on its website in December 2019 and can be accessed HERE.

Other articles by the ECA on Designing Buildings Wiki can be accessed HERE.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki


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