Assessing project suitability for offsite production

Implementation of off-site production on construction projects is often hindered by a number of specific process and procurement constraints. These constraints are largely influenced by decisions within the control of construction clients, suggesting that they have a significant influence over the adoption of off-site production into construction projects. However, an appreciation of the effect of these constraints has been lacking. Addressing this need, an offsite production Implementation Assessment Instrument that resides within a larger toolkit (IMMPREST) was developed using questionnaire survey data and a series of industrial workshops. IMMPREST is an interactive electronic toolkit developed by Loughborough University (UK), in conjunction with eleven industrial partners, which facilitates the evaluation of benefit arising from use of off-site production within construction. It identifies the factors that need to be considered for an evaluation, the data required to assess the effect of these factors, and where the required data resides within the supply chain. Development of the Implementation Assessment Instrument is discussed, whilst also making reference to the role that clients can play in creating the process and procurement conditions that promote rather than constrain the adoption of off-site production.