Precast: The Best Offsite Construction Product

When it comes to offsite construction, the question isn’t...why? The questions is...why not? Between the struggle to find skilled workers and the increasing demand to complete projects faster and at less cost, the building industry has turned an eye toward offsite construction as the solution.

In 2017, the National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council conducted an industry survey and published a report about offsite construction. Out of 205 participants, they found 87% were already using offsite fabricated components and 81% expected to use the same or more in the next year. Precast was the number one method of off-site construction

Photo via the National Institute of Building Sciences Off-Site Construction Council

The most requested technical support was design resources to assist contractors with deciding on the best offsite construction methods.  PCI Northeast has a variety of manuals, designer notebooks, and other technical resources to help you determine if precast is the right fit for your next project.  Visit our Technical Resources page to review these documents.

You can also request a Learn@Lunch continuing education program on a variety of topics.  All programs are free and you can earn AIA HSW and PDH credit. Mixed-Use Applications for Precast is one our our most popular. Click here to learn more or sign up today! 

Also consider visiting PCI Northeast’s Solution Center which will help you get answers to your technical questions in six short steps. Once you fill in your project info and submit your questions, PCI Northeast producers receive your information and will quickly respond.

Make It & Take It

Although there are several types of offsite construction, the precast concrete industry provides the best example of how an offsite manufactured product brings value, style and durability to your project.

Regarding current trends in offsite manufacturing, the following points deserve consideration.

  1. Allows for a reduced number of personnel in the field. An estimated 40 - 60% smaller workforce is necessary on the jobsite using offsite manufacturing. With the ongoing struggle to attract and retain a skilled workforce, prefabrication is a clear and cost effective solution to the crunch.
  2. Structure components are manufactured in a strict, quality controlled environment following industry standards for excellence and shipped to the jobsite ready to erect. This type of environment helps to mitigate error, reduces project timelines and provides cost effective use of resources.  
  3. Utilizing factory produced precast concrete building components also allows for erection of the structures in tight spaces. New structures can be built in cities and urban areas in a quick manner with minimal disruption to surrounding structures as compared to a structure being built using traditional building practices. Product is not shipped to the jobsite until is it ready to be erected therefore allowing the jobsite to remain free of clutter.
  4. New technologies and manufacturing robotics have added both speed and accuracy to the offsite manufacturing environment that are not possible in the field with traditional building practices. These types of modern advances minimize error and allow designs to be viewed through various design software options well before they are manufactured thus alleviating the need to make changes after the fact which can be both costly and untimely.

PCI Northeast Project Examples of Offsite Construction

Stamford Integrated Care Pavilion (combined building, parking structure bottom, medical building on top, all precast solution, up in 3 months)

Prospect Plaza (in Brooklyn, all precast solution, modular bathroom pod (built offsite) put in on site, building up and bathrooms done in 30 days)

Offsite construction is one of the fastest growing trends in the building industry today due to the realization that many of the struggles plaguing the construction arena can be solved or greatly improved with the adoption of this common sense approach to building. Architects and designers are celebrating the successes of creating with precast concrete components.