What Is Offsite Construction and Why Is It Important?

2 minute read
Jan 15, 2020
What Is Offsite Construction and Why Is It Important?

Offsite construction – or modular 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 construction market was valued at USD 8.9 billion and is projected to reach USD 157.19 billion by 2023. But what exactly is offsite construction? As a part of the larger construction industry, offsite construction is defined as the process of building with prefabricated materials that are manufactured at an offsite location and later assembled onsite – but there’s a lot more to it. Here’s a glimpse into what we know about offsite construction:

 Offsite Construction | The Industry Guide 

Offsite Construction Is Often Faster Than Traditional Construction

Most large construction projects take 20% longer to finish than planned – an unfortunate trend which spans 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. In traditional construction, no structure can be built until the site has been prepared. Offsite construction instead allows the structure to be built in a controlled offsite location while the site is set up. The assembly process begins immediately once the modules arrive on site.

Offsite Construction Can Be Utilized to Build Almost Anything

There are two types of modular offsite construction: volumetric and non-volumetric construction. Volumetric construction consists of single units that are built offsite and combined upon arrival. These include larger, three-dimensional units – like shipping containers – that can be stacked to create a structure. Non-volumetric construction describes smaller, prefabricated elements, or sub-assemblies, that are connected on site, such as frames, beams, and wall panels.

In both volumetric and non-volumetric construction, modular elements are used to build 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.

Offsite Construction Includes Repurposed Shipping Containers


Repurposed shipping containers that are modified in a manufacturing facility are a form of offsite construction. Shipping containers present a great opportunity to build structures in a controlled, offsite 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.

Take a deeper look into what makes offsite construction an important and emerging industry with this Offsite Construction Industry Guide. We’ve created this guide to be the perfect one-stop-shop to all thing’s offsite construction. You’ll discover what offsite construction is, why it’s important, and what to expect as the industry grows. It’s helpful and packed full of informative resources to aid your understanding of this growing industry.

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