Off-site construction refers to structures built at a different location than the location of use. Off-site construction occurs in a manufacturing plant specifically designed for this type of process. Individual modules of the building are constructed in the factory then transported to the site on specially designed trailers. Concrete foundations are dug into the earth allowing the building to be set at grade level, eliminating the need for ramps and stairs. Once on site, the building will be installed onto a permanent foundation by fastening it to the ground and to other modules and covering and sealing the seams. These buildings meet all applicable building codes and are indistinguishable from traditional site-built construction.
Off-site construction ( like on-site construction) can be used for a variety of purposes including residential, educational, health care and commercial applications. Buildings can range from a few modular units to several hundred. They can be arranged in architecturally pleasing configurations and can be many stories in height.
The off-site construction process reduces project construction time as the buildings are manufactured concurrently with site preparation. In addition, the amount of site disruption is decreased as less work is performed on site. The process is well suited for projects where local labor is expensive or scarce. As most of the work is performed in the factory, manufacturing efficiencies can be gained and materials purchased in larger quantities.
Due to greater accuracies that can be achieved in the factory based manufacturing process, higher sustainability levels can be achieved, from reduced thermal loss. Additionally, factory manufacture of composite materials such as SIPS panels (Structural Insulated Panel) can add to building performance efficiency.
Rural locations and sites with limited open space are well served by off-site construction. The process has also been used very successfully in suburban areas as well.
Off-site construction is similar to modular construction, but it is focused primarily on permanent construction; modular construction can be either permanent or relocatable. Also known as offsite construction, or OSC, and also incorporates many MMC - or Modern Methods of Construction
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