CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



AbstractAlthough some researchers and practitioners have perceived that the current reliance on offsite construction methods is high, other studies have hypothesized that the use of offsite construction techniques is still considered to be somehow limited. To this end, this paper aims to quantify the state of practice of offsite construction in terms of current trends and future prospects for the overall industry as well as the following main sectors: industrial, building and commercial, and infrastructure. First, a questionnaire was formed, pilot-tested, distributed, and completed by 100 construction practitioners. Second, the questionnaire’s internal and external validity and reliability were examined using statistical analysis. Third, the research findings were validated. The results showed that the future offsite construction operations will be different from the current operations by shifting from single-trade fabrication to modularization, shifting from customized offsite construction components to standardized offsite construction components, shifting from permanent offsite construction structures to relocatable or portable offsite construction structures, and shifting the reliance on single-skilled labor to multiskilled labor. In addition, 87% of industry practitioners perceive that the future offsite construction growth rate in the coming decade will be higher than that of the previous decade. This research also showed that offsite construction will become the norm rather than the exception because (1) the current average offsite construction percentage of 33.64% will substantially grow to reach an average of 54.9% in the future, (2) the offsite construction industry will grow 4.33 times, on average, in the coming decade, (3) companies are planning to increase their offsite construction utilization rate by an average of 5.03-fold, and (4) the offsite construction automation percentage will increase by 7% in the future. The research outcomes also provided guidance on the key technologies that the industry shall currently invest in and consider leveraging in the future.



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