Opinion

Changing the industry starts with offsite

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Comments

  1. The shopfitters and bridge builders have been doing it for years get over yourselves

  2. Charles – maybe it is a ‘conservative’ industry, but I don’t think it is always linked to things that work, and fear of unproved ideas (“…wants to see if something will work first, before doing it..”).

    There are many things the industry does that don’t really work well at all, but they seem to be continually repeated. And making as much as possible off-site is hardly a high-risk innovation – the Empire State Building used these ideas in the 20’s, as well as other approaches that we call “modern” methods of construction today!

  3. Robert, you are indeed correct, some construction industry areas already do embrace offsite manufacture. The bulk of the construction industry do not however.

    I suggested on the project I’m working on for example, that we should really consider whether prefab elements could be used in certain parts of the job. Nothing new in suggesting bathroom pods, precast stair flights, and possibly concrete planks for floors, you might think?

    Wrong.

    I was roundly lectured about how, 3 years into a project that has (at its current rate of progress) another 3 years to go, it should have been thought of 4 years ago.

    But then again, I suggested it 3 years ago and it was too late then! How much time does something that is tried and tested need before it is accepted?

    And that is the problem, the industry is very, very conservative, and wants to see if something will work first, before doing it. Often enough, golden opportunities sail by, while the powers that be wait for the right moment…knowing the no one will say boo to them about it.

  4. It could be the house buying public that is more conservative than the developers. How can they be confident that a new type of construction will last as long as bricks and mortar? I think it will have to be social housing that leads the way.

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