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More Builders Want to Use Off-Site Construction Methods, Survey Finds

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Off-Site Construction

More Builders Want to Use Off-Site Construction Methods, Survey Finds


May 10, 2021
Roof truss
Photo: 1jaimages | stock.adobe.com

A survey of 300 builders found that more are interested in increasing their use of off-site construction practices within the next five years, such as roof trusses and factory-built open wall panels. Home Innovation Research Labs conducted the survey in two rounds: once in August 2019 and then again in September 2020. In 2019, results found builders are most interested in using pre-manufactured roof trusses and pre-cut framing packages, with 15% of respondents and 12% interested, respectively. Second wave results found 23% of respondents were interested in using pre-made roof trusses and 16% were interested in pre-cut framing, turn-key framing, and factory-built open wall panels.

There has been a lot of attention devoted to off-site construction technologies over the past decade. Many builders share the opinion that off-site construction is the way homes should be built, but not as many are willing to adopt the practices themselves. Over that same time, our Builder Practices Survey shows that little growth has occurred in the use of these off-site practices listed, with the exception of wall panelization, which has seen growth in multifamily construction.

In our 2021 Builder Practices Survey, however, a surge of market acceptance of some off-site practices was measured among new single-family homes. Just as the September 2020 survey indicated, Trusses and Wall Panels were seeing the highest increase in interest year over year. The 2021 Builder Practices Survey revealed that Wall Panel share of SFD construction grew from about 5% to 8% of installed volume of walls, and Structural Insulated Panels grew from about 0.5% of the market to 0.9%. Roof Trusses also grew from 62% to 65% of SFD roofs, and floor trusses grew from 20% of floor joists to 22% of SFD homes.

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