Construction Challenges & Offsite Manufacturing

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BREXIT, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have all led to the perfect storm for the business world, and the construction industry is not immune. Supply chain disruptions, skilled labour shortages and spiralling energy and material costs have led to unprecedented challenges for the sector. It has arguably never been more difficult to deliver projects on time and within budget.

According to the Linesight Construction Insights and Commodity Report (February 2022), Irish builders will have to increase the prices at which they bid for contracts by at least 9.5% to cover further likely rises in their costs. And many builders and sub-contractors are already facing the arduous task of trying to deliver projects they tendered for over the last 6-12 months within budget, amidst such market volatility.

The construction industry has traditionally been slower to adopt radical changes and innovations, when compared to other industries. However, these environmental pressures have acted as a driver in the growth of modern construction methods and, in particular, offsite manufacturing (OSM). 

Here are some of the reasons why.

1. Faster Project Completion

Unlike with traditional methods, where project stages must take place concurrently, OSM enables project stages to happen simultaneously. This can be the case for building services too. A parallel processing approach means mechanical and electrical systems can be fabricated in the factory, while the building is being constructed onsite. The plug-and-play infrastructure that gets delivered to site is installed in a fraction of the time, leading to significant programme savings and a faster project completion.

2. Lower Costs

Factories gain and deliver far greater economies of scale. This coupled with the requirement for less skilled labour onsite, means OSM has the potential to address the current industry challenge of rising costs, helping contractors deliver projects within budget.

3. Higher Quality

Fabricating building components in factory environments that are stringently controlled and audited will always deliver a higher-quality final product. When OSM involves production facilities with precisely calibrated machines, production systems and testing procedures in place to monitor quality, failures and snags at final project stages are eliminated.

4. Improved Safety and Working Conditions

Safety standards have dramatically improved in the construction industry over the last couple of decades. However, a factory will always be a far more predictable working environment when compared to a building site. OSM exposes workers to far less risks as elements such as poor weather, reduced visibility, and working at heights for extended periods are taken out of the equation. This leads to improved safety and greatly reduces risk of injuries and fatalities.

5. More Sustainable Approach

Sustainability is now more sharply in focus than ever before. And, as the construction sector is a major contributor to air, noise and water pollution, it is imperative the industry does all it can to reduce its impact. OSM is better for the environment and helps to reduce our carbon footprint, when compared to site-built construction methods. Fewer people onsite mean less vehicles travelling to and from construction sites, pumping carbon emissions into the air, with less noise pollution for local residents too. OSM also means there is zero waste onsite. Materials are calculated more accurately, and the recycling of any waste is easier to manage in a factory-controlled environment.

MODULA specialises in the offsite manufacturing of electrical services for buildings. We provide market leading ‘plug-and-play’ electrical distribution systems, designed and supported by our team of qualified electrical engineers. While your project is being constructed onsite, the electrical system is being assembled offsite in our controlled factory environment. We work with a variety of builders, design engineers and M&E contractors in delivering all the above benefits, helping to meet the unique set of challenges the industry is currently facing.

If you would like to discuss how we could deliver value to your next project, please get in touch by emailing info@modula.ie or calling +353 (0)1 4559472.

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