Offsite building methods – the building practitioners’ perspective in real estate development

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November 2015
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Offsite construction involves the process of preparation, scheming, manufacture, moving and assembling building elements for fast site assembly. Although the use of offsite methods of construction provides several significant advantages and it can help solve problems associated with duration of work, quality and further reduce cost when compared to ‘traditional construction’ the use of these methods are hardly practiced in the Ghanaian building industry. In an attempt to address this, the study was to help simplify the Ghanaian construction industry’s’ perception on offsite construction methods and establish how it would help improve real estate development. To achieve the aim, the objectives were to find the extent of utilization of the offsite methods of construction, find the factors that limit the use of this method of construction and find solutions to the factors that limit the use of these construction techniques. Through the snowball method of sampling 115 architects and 96 general contractors were selected as research subjects. The study adopted the survey method, data was collected through the administering structured questionnaire and site visits. The data was then statistically analysed and found that offsite methods of construction reduce material waste, improves product quality, improves safety on site, increases profits and helps reduce construction duration. The challenges that were dominant were transportation restraints, the rigid nature inhibiting changes on site and restricted design options. Recommendations such as; forums and teachings about the changing and the use of construction methods should be held periodically for building practitioners in major firms. Comparative value analysis should be done for both traditional and offsite methods of construction especially on cost for the clients’ consideration.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, College of Art and Built Environment, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science in Construction Management,
Offsite construction, Building practitioners', Construction industry