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Perspectives of UK housebuilders on the use of offsite modern methods of construction


  • Wei Pan
  • Alistair Gibb
  • Andrew Dainty


Despite an increasing demand for housing and wider concerns over the need to improve performance, the industry seems to be reluctant to adopt offsite technologies. Many studies have attempted to scrutinize the barriers and seek ways forward, but the perspectives of housebuilders remain unclear. UK housebuilders' views on the use of offsite modern methods of construction (offsite MMC) have been investigated. This investigation was carried out through a combination of personal interviews and a questionnaire survey of the top 100 housebuilders by unit completion. Results suggest that the traditional drivers of time, cost, quality and productivity are still driving the industry in deciding whether to use offsite technologies. Nearly two-thirds of the firms believed that there needs to be an increase in the take-up of such technologies. However, current barriers relate to a perceived higher capital cost, complex interfacing, long lead-in time and delayed planning process. Strategies recommended are centred on changing peoples' perceptions, improving procurement, providing better cost data, tackling planning and regulations, encouraging political levers and providing practical guidance. The suggestions present a model for encouraging the take-up of offsite MMC in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Wei Pan & Alistair Gibb & Andrew Dainty, 2007. "Perspectives of UK housebuilders on the use of offsite modern methods of construction," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(2), pages 183-194.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:25:y:2007:i:2:p:183-194 DOI: 10.1080/01446190600827058

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xing Wu & Zhihui Zhang, 2005. "Input-output analysis of the Chinese construction sector," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(9), pages 905-912.
    2. C. Y. Yiu & X. H. Lu & M. Y. Leung & W. X. Jin, 2004. "A longitudinal analysis on the relationship between construction output and GDP in Hong Kong," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 339-345.
    3. Wolff, Edward N, 1991. "Capital Formation and Productivity Convergence over the Long Term," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(3), pages 565-579, June.
    4. Polenske, Karen R & Sivitanides, Petros, 1990. "Linkages in the Construction Sector," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 147-161.
    5. Alex R. Hoen, 2002. "Identifying Linkages with a Cluster-based Methodology," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 131-146, June.
    6. Wolff, Edward N., 1994. "Productivity measurement within an input-output framework," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 75-92, February.
    7. Junning Cai & Pingsun Leung, 2004. "Linkage Measures: a Revisit and a Suggested Alternative," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 63-83.
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    5. Fred Edmond Boafo & Jin-Hee Kim & Jun-Tae Kim, 2016. "Performance of Modular Prefabricated Architecture: Case Study-Based Review and Future Pathways," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-16, June.
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