How to Use Off-site Construction to Revolutionize Your Projects – LBM Research Associates

Amazing! How to Use Off-site Construction to Revolutionize Your Projects – LBM Research Associates

Information about How to Use Off-site Construction to Revolutionize Your Projects – LBM Research Associates

Phil Puccio

If you are in the construction industry, you likely have experience of off-site construction. Indeed, a recent study is the National Institute for Building Sciences (NIBIS) found that in 2018, more than 87 percent of respondents used some degree of off-site construction.

What is driving this trend – and will it continue? How can this approach change the way you approach future projects? In this article, we’re going to share the answers to these questions based on our expert knowledge of off-site manufacturing and design.

What is off-site construction?

Off-site construction refers to the design, manufacture, and assembly of items in a location other than the actual location where they will be installed. The process involves the prefabrication of various construction elements, such as walls, panels and other structures, which, once completed, are transported to the construction site for installation.

According to the NIBS study, the most common off-site techniques used are precast concrete, HVAC and plumbing assemblies, curtain wall assemblies, and metal construction systems.

Historically, off-site construction has been used for large projects – the Empire State Building and the Eiffel Tower are two mammoth examples – but technology, as well as innovations in construction materials and processes, have led to this construction being used on all types of projects.

With building material costs rising and skilled workers dwindling, the use of prefabricated construction is becoming even more attractive for many building contractors. Some contractors are even building factories (both temporary and permanent) dedicated to pumping out prefabricated structures that can be quickly transported and installed on site.

What are the advantages of building off-site?


When building is done in a controlled environment, production goes faster. Employees don’t waste time looking for tools or waiting for space. Everything they need is accessible in an organized environment.

You also don’t have to put up with the weather, which can slow down construction on site. Better still, different components can be built at the same time, which is faster than the sequential approach that often comes with building on-site.

Enhanced Security

Prefabricated structures are easier to install and require fewer personnel and fewer machines. This means safer working conditions for those who are on site.


More than 70 percent of those polled in the NIBS study cited planning benefits as one of the main benefits of working off-site. Having multiple items pre-fabricated off-site will shorten the overall project schedule. Once on the construction site, prefabricated elements are quickly reproduced, which saves an incredible amount of time.

Reduced costs

There are many contingencies when building on site. They don’t know how much the weather is going to slow you down, and how it can affect the number of hours it will take you to complete the project.

These eventualities will all but disappear with off-site construction. They know exactly how much material, time and labor it takes to complete the job because it is done in a controlled environment.

This makes budgeting and estimating project costs more predictable. Less waste of material and shorter production times (which reduces total labor time) reduce the total cost of construction projects.

Constant and improved product quality

The off-site factory setting, whether temporary or permanent, creates better quality structures due to the controlled environment. Consistent surfaces on perfectly sized items are easier to install and result in a higher quality end product.

Reduced environmental impact

Less construction work on site reduces the traffic jams that are typically associated with this. In addition, prefabricated elements are perfectly tailored in the factory, which reduces errors and associated waste of material.

Both of these side effects of building off-site reduce the negative environmental impacts projects can have.

Is off-site the future of building?

Despite the prevalence of off-site building, there are a few barriers to even greater adoption:

  • Culture– Contractors and builders are slowly but surely adopting the off-site approach. Given the productivity, quality and cost savings, we’re seeing greater adoption, so it’s only a matter of time before a complete change in culture and mindset takes place.
  • Design restrictions—Off-site construction can limit design options somewhat, making it difficult to meet the unique specifications of some projects.

These barriers are slowly being removed as the need to increase productivity with a less skilled workforce continues to challenge the industry. New technologies and innovations also make off-site more attractive and easier for construction companies to adopt.

UHPC and off-site construction

Ultra high performance concrete (UHPC) is an innovative concrete technology that is not only stronger and more durable than conventional concrete, but is also thinner and weighs less. In fact, concrete wall panels made with UHPC are 25-33 percent thinner, which makes it even easier to transport and install on site. UHPC is also more flexible than regular concrete, so even complex structural elements can be made outside of the construction site.

In addition, UHPC is very adhesive, which makes it an ideal candidate for use in prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PBES). With this type of off-site construction, certain elements of the bridge are constructed outside the construction site, such as deck and beam elements, abutments and superstructure systems.

Using PBES has all of the aforementioned advantages for off-site construction, but requires strong joints cast in-place. Previously, joints were expensive, difficult to construct, and lacked in durability. UHPC has changed all of this with its superior adhesive quality. UHPC connections are easy to use, require less material and maintenance, and can be completed in less time than conventional concrete.

The adhesive quality is so strong that PBES pieces can be joined together with minimal disruption to the finished parts. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) even has UHPC connections for PBES as one of the Every day counts (EDC) Initiatives that demonstrate government support for this new material and its benefits in off-site bridge construction projects.

Nineteen states and Washington, DC are currently demonstrating and evaluating the use of UHPC links in bridge construction. Four other states – Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island – have made UHPC connections a standard practice on bridge projects with PBES.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software

Offsite planning must be integrated from the start and requires collaboration and communication between all project participants. BIM software enables construction companies to take a proactive role in the planning process, which makes off-site construction more manageable and more successful.

Improvements in the software allow project and team members to manage quality, reduce risk and keep team members connected to critical project data in real time.

3d printing

This may be a glimpse into the crystal ball of building, but 3D printed concrete walls are there. Even the US marines 3D printed a concrete bridge within just three days, so this technology will surely add to the speed and ease of construction off-site.

Takeover by large companies

Big names like Google and Marriott are banking on off-site construction, which will encourage more construction companies to follow suit.

Marriott could have one $ 168 million hotel project two months early thanks to off-site construction methods. We expect more hotel operators to move to the off-site process.

The future of building lies outside the site. As technology and materials advance, more and more construction projects will rely on the off-site method. Better quality, shorter project times and cost savings are just a few of the reasons for this postponement. Contractors and contractors who move away sooner rather than later are in a better position when it comes to winning jobs.

Breaking Story – How to Use Off-site Construction to Revolutionize Your Projects – LBM Research Associates

The Latest News on How to Use Off-site Construction to Revolutionize Your Projects – LBM Research Associates

Original Source:
Category – Concrete

© 2021 - WordPress Theme by WPEnjoy