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Learning From Japan's Off-Site Construction Experience

Off-Site Construction

Learning From Japan's Off-Site Construction Experience

Insights into how the U.S. might learn from Japan in overcoming barriers and challenges to off-site construction 


April 18, 2023
Japanese manufacturing production line
Image: Maksym Yemelyanov / stock.adobe.com

To help assess the U.S. government’s potential role in the future of off-site construction in the United States and how industrialized construction can advance a nation's housing industry, a U.S. delegation, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the National Institute of Building Sciences, and off-site construction consulting company MOD X, travelled to Japan to glean insights from that nation's development of off-site construction. The findings were released in February this year in the "Offsite Construction for Housing: Research Roadmap" report.

The managing director of investment bank Whelan Advisory Capital Markets was also among the delegates and offers a variety of takeaways.

Initial government support was key to launching the Japanese offsite industry

  • National competitions for better quality home designs
  • An efficient certification system for manufacturers and factory-built homes
  • Mortgage incentives for homes with certain qualities
  • Encouraged the formation of relevant trade associations
        —These initiatives were similar to the U.S. Government’s support of offsite construction in the 1960’s via HUD; efforts which were largely stopped in the recessionary period of the 1970’s

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