Is Offsite or Modular Construction by its very nature a Sustainable Methodology for Construction?

The answer is yes according to Alistair Gibb, Professor of Construction Engineering Management at  Loughborough University.   Loughborough University is located in Leicestershire, England.   It is a leading research school consistently ranked among the top 15 in the UK.

 Professor Gibb supplied the following article to the website Buildoffsite, which is one of our favorite web spots.  Buildoffsite is the trade organization representing the Offsite Construction Industry throughout the UK.

 We at Capsys are often asked about the Sustainable Construction aspects of our fabrication system.  I think the following article by Professor Gibb very clearly and succinctly points out the most important and relevant  aspects of the discussion and comes down clearly on the site that volumetric modular construction will have numerous positive impacts on any typical construction program.

 Please read what professor Gibb has to say in the following:

 

Is offsite sustainable?

 Offsite manufacture, sometimes called prefabrication, modular or industrialised building, is an approach to constructing the built environment that has been at the leading edge of innovation for a number of years. Put simply, offsite is manufacturing and assembling whole buildings or substantial parts of buildings prior to installation into their final location. The work almost always takes place in a factory environment. The offsite spectrum includes non-volumetric units such as panels and building services modules; volumetric units such as toilet or kitchen ‘pods’; and whole building solutions, often known as ‘modular buildings’. Offsite is a strategy that affects the whole project rather than just the application of ad-hoc products or technologies. Government-prompted reports have extolled its virtues, manufacturers have publicised its benefits, developers have worried about its cost and architects have debated its worth. Notwithstanding, offsite is here to stay as a valuable part of the built environment.

 But, is offsite sustainable? The vision of many of the early exponents fits the sustainable culture very well: Buckminster Fuller’s goal in the middle of the last century was to ‘touch the earth lightly’ and his Dymaxion Dwelling Machine – or Wichita House1 was his realization of this ambition. However, like many such experiments, the Wichita house was ultimately destined to become a museum exhibit. Kieran Timberlake’s Loblolly House2 sees the minimum impact of the construction process through offsite as part of its sustainable credentials, along with the widespread use of recycled and local materials, such as locally quarried stones and sustainably harvested wood windows.

 1 www.designmuseum.org/design/r-buckminster-fuller

2 www.treehugger.com

3 WAS 003.003 – Offsite Construction Case Studies

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