Why early engagement is key in modular and offsite construction

16th September 2021
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Why early engagement is key in modular and offsite construction

Although the benefits of modular and offsite construction are numerous, the uptake is still slow. Main benefits include a reduction in construction time, high performance buildings, a reduction in on-site issues, a whole life reduction in cost, less disruption on site for those in the surrounding area, and finally improved sustainability. Put simply, offsite construction is faster, cheaper, better quality and better for the environment!

So why is it not used more widely? There are still misconceptions and companies are still having to answer questions from developers, councils, local authorities and housing associations. All questions ultimately focus around one main issue; that early engagement is essential, from the very beginnings of a project. 

The main issue is that not enough businesses focus on these benefits in RIBA stage 0, conceptualisation. If you engage early and ensure that you are thinking about each benefit during the design stages then you’ll most likely have a smooth journey. If your building is designed for traditional construction, then you won’t be able to enjoy any of these benefits. You need to come to a company with your idea and then the design team can come up with the overall design, ensuring high quality, environmentally-friendly buildings. 

In traditional construction, your building is drawn out and then built on site, with structural design and finishing all done gradually on site. This means that any issues could arise at any point, disrupting the entire process and costing you a lot more. In offsite and modular construction, everything is required to be designed in and planned from the very beginning before going to the production line. Moreover, buildings don’t leave factory’s unless they’ve been quality checked by a full team. This standardisation helps to reduce overall construction time, design issues and costs going forward and means that buildings will meet the original design exactly. 

Ben Treleaven, Managing Director, said,

“MMC and modular provides all stakeholders with a lot more clarity throughout a product. We’re able to use systems that keep clients updated throughout the entire process, improving collaboration and meaning that any issues that do arise, if any, can be dealt with early and fixed before the building leaves the factory. It also means that stakeholders gain much more control of both the project journey and the final building.” 

“MMC requires early engagement and a more open, collaborative, upfront design approach. This way to build a project can be difficult for those in traditional construction to get their head around but the more understanding there is, the more uptake you’ll see.”

Whatever size your project is, if you want to maximise the benefits of offsite, then early engagement is vital from all stakeholders. If you want a high-quality, beautiful, sustainable and more cost-effective building, don’t wait until you have your design before going to a modular provider. Make sure you utilise the modular provider and their design team and collaborate throughout the entire project.

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