Construction’s Latest Trend – Are you Ready for it?
Over recent years we’ve been following news on off site construction methods so that we can be sure to keep our readers up to date with this major new trend in our industry. This is quite a radical change in the construction process and brings with it a reduction in the requirement to work at height, a welcome development for all of us who work in construction, especially roofing contractors.
As manufacturers of work at height access equipment, the team at Safety Fabrications is more aware than most of the risks involved when working at height and we believe that any development that reduce the need to do so will result in a decrease in the number of incidents and accidents which can only be an improvement.
According to a survey of 31 executives form the UK’s top construction companies, two thirds (of them revealed that they expect to double off site manufacturing (OSM, or prefabrication) in the coming five years. However, the survey also disclosed that 59% of these executives believe that investment costs are the main factor delaying the implementation of off-site manufacture, closely followed by a lack of expertise within their organisation. Right now, OSM is only being used in a small percentage of the work undertaken (between 1% and 20%).
The survey also divulged that the majority of respondents plan to invest a lot more in OSM in the coming years, with the government currently actively encouraging the use of OSM in many of its projects. This means that construction is likely to undergo some more basic changes in the coming years.
Whilst many SME construction company owners may view this development as an unwelcome change, those who will benefit the most will be those with the foresight to see this as a great business opportunity. OSM brings with it an improved level over control of two of construction’s most pressing problems – delivering projects on time and on budget.
Off-site manufacture of some kind is already used in more than 90% of UK construction projects and some of the processes involved are familiar enough that we don’t even think of them as OSM – for instance preformed timber roof trusses, pre-insulated hot water cylinders. Any construction company owner or manager will need to be fully up to date with this approach in order to thrive in the coming years.
Over the coming weeks, we’re going to be bringing you some advice on how you can prepare your company for the changes that are expected and make sure that the increase in off site manufacture benefits your business. You’ll need a practical overview of the use of OSM for a range of different applications and different types of projects. This should enable you to make informed decisions on future projects and also equip you with the knowledge and understanding necessary to offer advice to your clients on these new methods.
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