Offsite Construction For Housing: Research Roadmap
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research
The United States is facing a housing crisis with increasing costs making it unattainable for many Americans. Offsite construction, a manufactured approach to housing design and delivery, holds the potential to provide more affordable and accessible housing. The Offsite Construction for Housing Research Roadmap is a report that presents the key research needs to overcome the challenges in the adoption of offsite construction for housing.
The report was created by HUD in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and MOD X, through a three-phase industry consensus process. The resulting report highlights six priority research topics that industry experts consider to be the most pressing concerns and opportunities for research in offsite construction for housing, including:
- Regulatory Framework
- Standards and System Performance
- Capital, Finance, and Insurance
- Project Delivery and Contracts
- Labor and Workforce Training and Management
- Business Models and Economic Performance
The first research topic, Regulatory Framework, focuses on identifying and addressing the legal and regulatory barriers to the widespread adoption of offsite construction. This includes exploring ways to streamline the building permit process, reduce barriers to entry for new offsite construction companies, and ensuring that offsite construction is recognized as a valid method for building homes.
The second research topic, Standards and System Performance, focuses on establishing performance standards for offsite construction and improving the overall quality of offsite homes. This includes exploring ways to enhance the durability and longevity of offsite homes, and ensuring that offsite homes perform as well as site-built homes in terms of safety, energy efficiency, and other critical performance criteria.
The third research topic, Capital, Finance, and Insurance, focuses on the financial challenges of offsite construction, including the availability of capital, financing, and insurance for offsite construction projects. This includes exploring ways to make offsite construction more attractive to lenders, investors, and insurers, and identifying ways to reduce the costs and risks associated with offsite construction.
The fourth research topic, Project Delivery and Contracts, focuses on the challenges of delivering offsite construction projects on time, on budget, and to the required quality standards. This includes exploring ways to improve the project management processes and contracts used in offsite construction, and ensuring that offsite construction projects are delivered efficiently and effectively.
The fifth research topic, Labor and Workforce Training and Management, focuses on the human resource challenges of offsite construction, including the availability of skilled labor, workforce training, and management. This includes exploring ways to attract and retain skilled workers, provide ongoing training and professional development opportunities, and ensure that offsite construction companies are managed effectively.
The sixth and final research topic, Business Models and Economic Performance, focuses on the economic performance of offsite construction and the business models that support it. This includes exploring ways to make offsite construction more economically viable and sustainable, and identifying the best business models for offsite construction companies.
In conclusion, the Offsite Construction for Housing Research Roadmap provides a comprehensive guide for the development and growth of offsite construction for housing. It highlights the key research needs and priorities that need to be addressed to overcome the challenges and barriers to the widespread adoption of offsite construction for housing.
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