“Off-site construction refers to the making of components of a certain structure which are built at a different location to where they are permanently installed. Once the item or project is complete, it is then transported to site and erected.
There are specific buildings where this type of construction takes place often in factories or other manufacturing facilities. It is also known that occasionally temporary facilities are created for this purpose only and then taken down once they have fulfilled the brief.
Many different types of buildings have been created in an off-site facility, such as, schools, houses and apartments but there are many possibilities. To build off-site requires a range of materials and systems, digital software and production and manufacturing procedures.
Digital software such as BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a process of creating technologically enabled information systems which can then be used to construct a 3D digital model of a building – including all components and is an extremely effective tool for acoustic soundproofing to provide specifiers with targeted data sets so that they can design the right acoustic solutions for any project.
Within the conventional construction industry there are recognised problems such as inefficiency, poor delivery times and delays in building as working on site brings around the day to day problems faced when working in the multifaceted environment and to build off-site brings significant benefits.
The pros of building off-site massively outweigh the cons and the challenge with this is being able to educate the developers or decision makers that to build off-site is cost effective.
The effects being a reduction in labour costs, reducing the time of the build using a quicker process and therefore delivering the developments on time.
Other benefits include consistency in build as well as backing the wider issues that the industry faces of bridging the gap of labour shortage, delivery of more houses to assist in the reduction of the housing shortage and the ability to deliver new schools to the education sector.
A disadvantage of building offsite, is that teething problems can occur when it comes to installing the structure on site. When the components are built in a factory it can be harder to identify how the structure will work realistically when it is all put together.
However, with the right advice and guidance for the design, manufacture and assembly and the move towards more of a production system for the manufactured components, off-site could quickly become standardised, contributing to a more sustainable industry through opportunities of increased value, improved quality and productivity.
Hush Acoustics have worked with off-site providers for many projects such as residential buildings, Isolating bathroom and other pods and Offsite schools and have supplied the following products for these; Hush Panel 37, Hush Cem 28, Hush Rubber membranes, Hush Absorbers and Hush Slab Sound Insulation.
It is important that we work with the design team at an early stage to determine how the components are constructed in the factory and at what point the acoustic materials will be installed.
We need to determine how the components will be installed when they arrive on site to ensure there are no structural failures. It is also essential that the correct overall specification is being used for the separating walls and floors and imperative that the Building regulations are achieved (Document E for Residential or BB93 for Acoustics in Schools).
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