Today’s worldwide capital projects are getting evermore complex and larger in scope, with many of these projects facing chronic cost overruns and schedule delays. In fact, as an industry, engineering and construction almost just accepts the fact that nothing ever gets built on time or on budget. These conditions, combined with the ongoing exodus of industry knowledge due to retiring baby boomers, have pushed industry stakeholders around the world to take a step back and re-examine the status quo.
While offsite construction—including prefabrication, modularisation, preassembly or offsite multitrade fabrication—has been around for decades, it is emerging as a critical method for delivering projects faster, safer and cheaper in today’s labour-constrained engineering and construction environment. In fact, according to one of recent industry studies, two-thirds of engineering and construction owner organisations acknowledge that today’s offsite construction environment is much different than it was just three years ago—a shift that’s due mainly to labour shortages and increasing cost and schedule pressures.
While change is happening in pockets across the country—in different market sectors and across a range of project types and sizes—there is no doubt that an underlying transformation is happening and gaining momentum each day.