The concept of using off-site construction techniques as a tool to boost the cost-effectiveness and productivity of the housing delivery system has been recurring in the industry for decades. Generally, the national conversation on off-site construction has focused on how this construction strategy could completely reshape the housing delivery system by replacing traditional construction techniques.
Rather than taking a holistic look at how off-site construction techniques function within the broader delivery system and what can be improved, many efforts have sought to show how off-site construction promises to be a one-size-fits-all solution, solely able to address all cost- and productivity-related challenges in development. Writing from a policy-driven perspective focused on regulatory and financing systems, we aim to shift the conversation toward understanding how off-site construction techniques can function within the housing delivery system. To that end, we explore:
- where the use of off-site construction techniques can boost the creation of subsidized housing and create cost savings for market-rate developers, which can help expand the supply of homes and ultimately enable homeowners and tenants to benefit from these benefits by lowering their housing costs, and
- What kinds of changes to the regulatory and financing systems could scale the use of off-site construction? We will also identify the challenges that have been constraining efforts to bring off-site construction techniques to scale for years toward identifying ways to overcome those challenges.