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Offsite Manufacturing for Construction

House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology launches a New Inquiry

The Committee, under the Chairmanship of Lord Patel, has put out a call for evidence from interested individuals and organisations as they conduct an inquiry into offsite manufacturing for construction in the UK.

Current position

The UK construction industry contributed nearly £100 billion to the UK economy in 2016 and is considered vital to solving critical issues around housing affordability and scalable infrastructure; however, as an industry, it suffers from poor productivity and has failed to keep pace with improvements seen across other traditional sectors.

Potential solutions

A new approach to the traditional building process using emerging technologies is considered to be a solution, at least in part, to the productivity problem. Offsite manufacturing is leading the charge. This involves bringing together a range of construction processes, components, elements or modules in a factory before installation onsite.

It is believed that offsite manufacturing could help to significantly improve productivity within the industry.

This House of Lords inquiry will consider both the benefits of offsite manufacturing for construction and any drawbacks, together with potential obstacles to its wider use. The findings of the inquiry will likely shape future Government policy, particularly around public procurement.

The Committee invites submissions, with practical examples where possible, on the following topics:

  • What are the opportunities offered by offsite manufacturing for construction? What are the drawbacks to offsite manufacture for construction?

  • What factors are likely to influence clients, architects, design engineers, contractors and the supply chain to choose or not to choose offsite manufacturing?

  • Can the benefits of standardisation and factory manufacturing be realised without hampering architectural ambition? If so, how?

  • What R&D is needed, and by whom, to fully realise the potential benefits of offsite manufacturing?

  • What changes could be made to public procurement processes to encourage more sustainable practises in the construction industry and to facilitate offsite manufacturing?

Also, if there are any crucial issues not considered by the questions above, interested parties are invited to highlight what those are and to explain the relevance of same.

The team here at Evolusion Innovation welcomes this opportunity to get involved in such an important conversation. We will be monitoring the progress of the inquiry and we urge interested parties to do likewise. Details on how to submit evidence is set out on the website below. The deadline for receiving written submissions is Thursday April 26th and public hearings will be held in April and May 2018, with recommendations expected in summer 2018.


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