Learn how to save time and money with volumetric construction

How will the Government meet its pledge to deliver one million new homes by the end of 2020?

Even as investment is ramped up the construction industry must overcome low productivity, uncertainty and a chronic skills shortage that could become critical if the UK triggers a hard brexit.

Fortunately, the answer is already here.

As we explore in our new report, offsite volumetric construction offers several compelling advantages over traditional construction that could help the industry overcome the housing crisis…

You can also see Oliver Lowrie, director of Ackroyd Lowrie speak at Ecobuild on the benefits of offsite construction.


  • Simplify the supply chain

Offsite construction reduces the numbers of suppliers required onsite and keeps construction in a controllable environment. There’s less to keep track of and less to wrong—reducing developers’ time and management costs.

  • Preempt and proactively resolve issues

On-site re-designs can comprise 70% of the total amount of rework on construction projects. Offsite construction enables early engagement to mitigate any buildability issues upfront—and validate changes with BIM.

  • Secure cashflow and lockdown final costs

The simplified supply chain and ability to preempt design issues leads to more transparent delivery timescales and makes quoting and forecasting costs easier and more accurate.



  • Complete construction in days not months

According to Cogent Consulting, volumetric modular construction offers 50–60% construction time savings over traditional methods of construction.

The principles of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), streamline the process in the factory—while the amount of work done in unknown conditions on site is minimal. After drainage and foundations are laid the entire building can simply be lowered into place in modules.



  • Reduce construction costs and unlock revenue earlier

Offsite construction can deliver savings of up to 60% compared to conventional construction.

This represents the cumulation of less on-site inspection, less maintenance, a shorter borrowing period, and crucially, an earlier revenue stream.

KPMG suggests the speed of offsite can deliver savings equating to £36m on a 50-storey central London office building. This is without factoring in additional savings from loan interest, improved project predictability, and improved quality.

For smaller infill schemes, construction costs are similar to traditional methods—but the speed and reduced management deliver overall project savings, as in our Knaphill development.

  • Save more at scale

The speed and reliability of offsite construction presents the opportunity for significant cost savings when implemented at scale.

Early procurement mitigates inflation and standardised manufacturing processes lend further efficiencies while avoiding damage to materials exposed to the elements onsite.

  • Tackles skills shortage

Volumetric construction makes it possible to build up to four times as much using the same onsite labour—reducing dependency on onsite contractors while streamlining the construction process in more efficient factory environments.



  • Playing to strengths

Volumetric construction allows architects and manufacturers to focus on what they do best.

The architect can have greater control over the early design stage, where they excel, safe in the knowledge that manufacturers can take care of the technical details (e.g. junctions, waterproofing etc).

  • Precision manufacturing

The use of controlled factory conditions, together with BIM, reduces the potential for error and ensures a higher level of quality. This results in up to 75% fewer defects, which are a significant drain on developers’ and contractors’ time.


So what’s holding the industry back? It’s a good question—and one we delve into in depth in our free report:

Download 'Can offsite, volumetric construction solve the housing crisis' 



Jon AckroydComment