Loughborough University
CIB Paper-OSP.pdf (195.78 kB)

Encouraging appropriate use of Offsite Production (OSP): perspectives of designers

Download (195.78 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2010-07-02, 11:57 authored by Wei Pan, Andrew Dainty, Alistair Gibb
The construction industry is being challenged to be more innovative in order to better satisfy the needs of clients and to enhance business competitiveness. Off-site production (OSP) offers significant opportunities for achieving improvements in process and productivity performance, especially in terms of delivering high quality, defect-free construction. Indeed, OSP is increasingly seen as a key part of the solution to improving the quality of construction and addressing skills constraints. However, many industry stakeholders have not realised that OSP requires systematic and strategic integration if these benefits are to be realised. In addition, many remain sceptical of the potential of OSP technology, particularly given the past failings in OSP practices. There is also an apparent lack of knowledge how to appropriately integrate different OSP techniques into the design process. After reviewing the concept of innovation, different levels of OSP techniques, and the current practices of UK architects and designers, this paper explores the drivers and barriers inherent in integrating OSP into the UK housing sector. This was examined through a range of interviews with architects and other designers. The findings reveal that barriers to the acceptance of OSP are centred around human perceptions grounded in the historical failure of off-site practices to deliver improved performance, technical difficulties (e.g. site specifics, delivery issues, interfacing problems, cost), lack of opportunities for benefiting from economies of scale, and the fragmented structure of the construction supply chain. This paper also discusses traditional and improved design processes (DFMA) in which major changes in the design role and the composition of the design team are called for. The findings of this study form part of a three-year ongoing study which aims to explore the successful integration of OSP in the UK housing sector.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


PAN, W., DAINTY, A.R.J and GIBB, A.G.F., 2004. Encouraging appropriate use of Offsite Production (OSP): perspectives of designers. 2nd CIB Student Chapter International Symposium, 30-31 Oct 2004, Beijing, China, pp.125-36.


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date



This is a conference paper.




  • en

Usage metrics

    Loughborough Publications


    Ref. manager