Loughborough University
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Are housebuilders' production strategies a barrier to offsite construction uptake in the UK?

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-02-03, 12:23 authored by Aaron Lang, Jacqui Glass, Chris GoodierChris Goodier
More than three-quarters of all new UK housing is currently delivered by the private sector using predominantly traditional, site-based, construction methods. Recently, the house-building industry has found itself under increasing pressure to raise production output to alleviate a shortage in housing supply and reduce house price inflation. Within this setting, there has been much interest in the potential offered by off-site construction (OSC). The production strategies employed by private house-building firms however, are a direct response to their operational environment, and the adoption of OSC would arguably alter the way that they deliver their developments. Hence, there is a clear need to understand the relationship between production strategy and construction methods. Based on a case study of one of the largest private house-building firms in the UK, the potential impacts of OSC on current production strategies have been explored. The results indicate that the adoption of OSC approaches may alter the manner in which house-building firms are able to manage their production process, reducing their control and restricting the very flexibility on which their own success relies. The findings have implications for the housebuilding industry, OSC manufacturers and construction research, given the ongoing interest in OSC as a means to address the UK’s housing supply issues.


The research reported here was funded through an Engineering Doctorate, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, via the Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering at Loughborough University.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Association of Researchers in Construction Management


1245 - 1253


LANG, A., GLASS, J. and GOODIER, C.I., 2016. Are housebuilders' production strategies a barrier to offsite construction uptake in the UK?. IN: Chan, P.W. and Neilson, C.J. (eds). Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference (ARCOM 2016), Manchester, UK, 5th-7th September 2016, pp. 1245-1253.


Association of Researchers in Construction (ARCOM)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This conference paper was presented at the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference held on the 5th-7th September 2016, in Manchester.




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