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Ajayi, S, Brinklow-Harris, J Alaka, H A and Dauda, J A (2019) Managing the benefits and impediments to offsite construction in the UK construction industry. In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, 2-4 September 2019, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 577-586.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: Prefabrication; Off-site Construction; Productivity
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/d2b86b9aee1945ba2a6815e5085ea4be.pdf
The use of offsite methods of construction has long been recognised as a suitable method for increasing the supply of housing and addressing productivity in the construction industry. Whilst the literature is rife with the many benefits of the modern methods of construction as well as barriers to its implementation, its adoption remains relatively low. This study contributes to the discussion by investigating the strategies for further harnessing the benefits of the increasingly important method of construction as well as the measures for mitigating its challenges. In line with the tenet of phenomenological research, which seeks to explore the phenomenon from the perspectives of the industry experts, 12 interviews were carried out with construction professionals. The data were analysed using thematic analysis, thereby unravelling the emerging themes that emanated from the interviews. After identifying such benefits of offsite construction as increased built quality, waste mitigation, and time efficiency, among others, the strategies for maximising these benefits were presented. These include enhanced training, use of digital tools, standardisation of building components and more efficient pre-planning activities, among others. Similarly, impediments to the use of offsite construction techniques such as its high initial cost, negative stigma, non-supportive project delivery models and clients’ resistance could be addressed through some measures. These measures include the development of new supply chain management model, training and education, enabling legislation and vertical integration within companies. This study will help to identify the measures for enhancing the adoption and implementation of offsite technologies in the UK construction industry. Future research is recommended to assess the government’s role in being the driving force behind implementing prefabrication-specific policies and incentives to encourage its future use.