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What Is Offsite Shipping Container Construction and Why Is It Important?

two men assembling two stacked shipping containers with stairs

Offsite construction is a rapidly growing industry that has turned the construction world on its head. According to the Modular Building Institute in 2018, the offsite market was valued at USD 8.9 billion and is projected to reach USD 157.19 billion by 2023. But what is offsite construction exactly?

What is Offsite Construction and is it Faster Than Traditional Construction?

Most large construction projects take 20% longer to finish than planned—an unfortunate trend spanning the entire construction industry. Offsite construction, on the other hand, helps avoid scheduling errors by cutting the construction schedule nearly in half. How? By working onsite and offsite simultaneously.

Offsite construction is often defined as the process of building with prefabricated materials that are manufactured at a separate location and later assembled on site. In traditional construction, no structure can be built until the site has been prepared. Offsite practices instead allow manufacturing teams to create a structure in a controlled environment while another team sets up the site. The assembly process begins immediately once the modules arrive at the destination.

 What is Offsite Construction? Download The Industry Guide. 

How Can Offsite Construction Be Utilized?

There are two types of modular construction practices frequently built offsite: volumetric and non-volumetric. Volumetric construction consists of single units such as shipping containers, and non-volumetric construction often describes smaller, prefabricated elements such as frames, beams, and wall panels.

In both volumetric and non-volumetric construction, modular elements help builders create many kinds of structures. They can be permanent or relocatable, single unit or multi-unit, and they function as offices, apartment buildings, stadiums, military housing, equipment enclosures, and more.

What is Shipping Container Construction?

shipping container construction by stacking

When a manufacturer modifies repurposed shipping containers to later use as building elements, they are participating in offsite and modular construction practices. Shipping containers present a great opportunity to create structures in a controlled environment and then ship them to the site ready to be placed on firm ground, pre-poured foundation, or stacked to create a larger building.

If you’d like additional information about offsite construction, take a deeper dive into Falcon’s Offsite Construction Industry Guide to learn more about this emerging industry. We’ve created this guide to be the perfect one-stop shop for all things offsite and shipping container construction. Otherwise, browse our resources page for more information about modified containers.

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