Embracing MMC & Offsite Construction in Ireland
Ireland is facing a massive shortage of housing. This shortage has led to high rents, a higher number of evictions and homelessness. The population of Ireland is set to grow to 6.7 million by 2050 as compared to 4.84 million in 2018. The population is believed to be growing at a rate of 1.2% per annum. This rapid expansion brings into focus the increasing importance of the construction sector in Ireland. Especially in bigger cities like Dublin, where rents are higher due to the limited supply. Read on for more on the significance of MMC and offsite construction in Ireland
The need of the hour
The recent pandemic lockdown has certainly not helped the construction industry. With the limit on on-site workforce and extra health precautions on-site, the rate of construction is bound to slow down, especially for those following traditional methods of construction. The other major issue posing a threat to the industry is a shortage of workforce induced by Brexit. These issues bring to light the increasing demand and need for more modern methods of construction.
Modern methods of construction including offsite construction can be a great way to boost the industry and speed up the processes. In Ireland, where the demand for housing is urgent, MMC can help reduce costs and to combat homelessness. We believe that firms that adopt more offsite construction will be able to reduce build time and cater to push for more sustainable methods.
Modern Methods of Construction in Ireland
We believe that this shortage crisis in Ireland can easily be rectified with the increased use of modern methods of construction. Shifting of construction processes offsite can be vital in speeding up build time and meeting the increasing demand. Use of MMC can reduce construction time by 30-50% as compared to traditional methods.
Offsite construction is also highly sustainable as it eliminates waste through recycling and protecting building material. Shifting to more offsite activities will be vital to boost the construction sector in Ireland post-Brexit. According to CSO figures from 2016, it has been estimated that the manufacturing and construction sector imports add up to more than 6 billion euro per annum. A considerable portion of these imports includes the import of raw materials from the UK. Post-Brexit, imports from the UK may require additional customs checks (Gov.uk, 2019) and payment of higher tariffs which would increase the cost of importing raw material. In this scenario, modular buildings will be vital in reducing demand for raw materials and minimising the energy usage as each module of these modular buildings can be re-used.
Weather conditions like heavy rain, fog and dust are known to disrupt construction processes and cause harm to workers and hardware. These weather conditions can lead to delays, additional damage and increase in construction costs. According to Irish Building Magazine, the expansion pace in February 2020 in Ireland slowed down due to stormy weather. In the future, this can be easily avoided by adopting more modern methods of construction. With most of the offsite construction taking place indoors within factories, vast sections of the construction process can be weather-proof and can ensure smoother functioning.
The construction industry in Ireland has proven to be incredibly adaptive to newer ways of doing business. Their fast response to modern methods of construction and further innovations in the sector will be essential to boost construction in the country. With Brexit followed by the pandemic lockdown, the construction industry has been faced with an increased urgency to adapt to more modern methods of construction and digitisation in the construction process. It is more important now than ever for Irish businesses to harness newer ways of doing business to eliminate risks posed by Brexit and the pandemic lockdown.