HUD: U.S. Lags in Affordable Offsite Construction
It’s cheaper to build homes in a warehouse and put them together at the job site – and the U.S. needs to improve that process, according to a new HUD report.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. needs more affordable housing, and one way to achieve that is to build more homes offsite and finalize construction later. Offsite construction has the potential to deliver affordable single- and multifamily-housing because it’s efficient thanks to economics of scale.
Even with the current housing challenge, however, the U.S. lags in offsite construction compared to more mature international offsite-construction industries in countries such as the United Kingdom, Japan and Sweden.
The U.S. faces several challenges when trying to increase uptake and adoption, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It studied the issue in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences and MOD X, and released the Offsite Construction for Housing: Research Roadmap this week – a strategic report on the key knowledge gaps and research needed to overcome the barriers to offsite construction in the U.S.
“We need an all-of-the-above approach to housing, and offsite construction represents a unique and underused opportunity to help meet the needs of America’s working families,” says A.C. Powell, president and CEO of NIBS. “We applaud HUD for undertaking this research effort.”
The report’s Research Roadmap was developed by a committee chaired by MOD X and composed of national and international stakeholders. The report was created as a roadmap for HUD so it can align its programs and partnerships. However, HUD says it also works as an industry-wide roadmap so governments, universities and offsite companies can come together to advance offsite construction and boost the U.S. supply of affordable housing.
The Research Roadmap’s six topical areas:
- Regulatory and Policy Framework
- Standards and System Performance
- Capital, Finance, and Insurance
- Project Delivery and Contracts
- Labor and Workforce Training and Management
- Business Models and Economic Performance
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