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More Home Builders Favor Off-Site Construction Due to Pandemic


More Home Builders Favor Off-Site Construction Due to Pandemic

September 23, 2020
Home constructed from SIPs
By bilanol

Although building systems claim to have a plethora of benefits, such as decreased time and labor, home builders are mainly reluctant to use them. But how many builders actually use them? What percentage is hesitant and why? Home Innovation Research Labs tracked the use of off-site housing for the past 20 years and found that the multifamily market is much more willing to use off-site methods, according to NAHB. Both single-family and multifamily markets saw an uptick in off-site building methods in recent years. Builders say uncertainty is the key barrier. While supply chains are disrupted, supplies are less reliable, the last thing builders seem to need right now is more uncertainty. Yet, amid the pandemic, more builders have been considering off-site construction.

A survey by Home Innovations Research Labs last week points to uncertainty as a predominant factor among builders who are leaning away from offsite construction.

“There is a high degree of uncertainty in home building right now,” shared Ed Hudson, MBA, director of Market Research at Home Innovation Research Labs. “Construction times are lengthening, supply chains have been disrupted, and labor supplies are less reliable than they had been in the past. With all that uncertainty, introducing offsite would be another big uncertainty to add to their business.”

Last week’s survey incorporated three additional questions related to COVID-19 and how the impact of the pandemic on builders’ operations may have altered their attitudes about offsite. The majority — 72% — responded that their attitudes had not changed, while 9% said the current environment had caused them to lean away from offsite construction. Those whose attitudes leaned more favorably to offsite construction represented 19% of respondents.

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