Could Off-Site Construction Help the Industry's Labor Issues?

September 10, 2020
Construction workers preparing site for pouring foundation
By IDCreative

Construction labor shortages are only one of the issues the industry faces today and one of the most important. Could off-site construction be the key to solving this problem? Home Innovation conducted a survey of more than 450 home builders this April to see what they thought. It became clear that builders are not considering offsite construction due to a resounding 73% of respondents saying recruiting and training the next generation of workers will be the best long-term solution for labor shortages. As of now, most builders see offsite construction intensifying labor shortages. Read more to see how Home Innovation imagines offsite construction helping the industry.

With regard to offsite construction, some respondents believe it could actually exacerbate worker issues — the current workforce may be resistant to retraining for offsite methods, like panelization, particularly when the workforce is currently rife with work. More details of this survey will be featured in the September/October 2020 issue of Professional Builder magazine, which will be available online October 1st – be sure to check it out.

While there may be other ways around the skilled labor shortage than offsite methods, it doesn’t discount the fact that offsite construction potentially solves many other issues the industry is experiencing, such as the housing availability and affordability crises. Perhaps offsite is the best way to gain back the month of construction cycle time builders have lost in recent years. Or it may be the answer to the, “how do we create better homes and have fewer quality issues?” dilemma. Or, “how do we make the construction process more manageable?” Or, “how do we best address the growth of regulatory hurdles to building?” Or maybe even, “how do we contain runaway costs in light of the increased cost of building materials?” 

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