INTRODUCTION

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:

  1. 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
  2.  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.
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