HUD releases new guidelines for the building method
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the National Institute of Building Sciences and MOD X, has released the Offsite Construction for Housing: Research Roadmap, a strategic report that presents "the key knowledge gaps and research needs to overcome the barriers and challenges to offsite construction."
High prices for buyers and renters are often forcing Americans out of their homes and making housing unattainable. This crisis is, "to a large extent", driven by supply constraints, according to a NIBS email received by Electrical Apparatus.
Offsite construction, which includes the planning, design, fabrication, and assembly of building elements at a location other than their final installed location, has the potential to deliver more affordable and accessible single and multifamily housing at scale. However, offsite construction for housing in the U.S. faces several challenges to increase uptake and adoption. This stands in considerable contrast to more mature international offsite construction industries, such as those in the UK, Japan, and Sweden.
“We need an all-of-the-above approach to housing, and offsite construction represents a unique and underused opportunity to help meet the needs of America’s working families,” said AC Powell, JD, CPS, President and CEO of NIBS. “We applaud HUD for undertaking this research effort to overcome barriers and level the playing field for all construction methods to help alleviate the housing crisis.”
What’s in The Offsite Construction for Housing: Research Roadmap
The Research Roadmap was developed by a Project Technical Committee chaired by MOD X and composed of national and international stakeholders and cross-sector experts. It is intended as a roadmap for HUD to align its programs and partnerships, while simultaneously offering an industry-wide roadmap for governments, universities, and offsite companies to come together to advance offsite construction for housing.
The Research Roadmap covers six topical areas in need of coordinated research efforts, with sub-topics and specific research questions listed to help answer the knowledge gaps:
Research Topic 1: Regulatory and Policy Framework.
Research Topic 2: Standards and System Performance.
Research Topic 3: Capital, Finance, and Insurance.
Research Topic 4: Project Delivery and Contracts.
Research Topic 5: Labor and Workforce Training and Management.
Research Topic 6: Business Models and Economic Performance.