Benefits, constraints and enablers of modular offsite construction (MOSC) in New Zealand high-rise buildings

Purpose: The ascendancy of modular offsite construction (MOSC) over traditional construction methods is well known. Despite the known potential of this construction approach, its adoption is minimal in New Zealand construction industry. This article investigates the potential benefits of using MOSC for delivery of high-rise buildings in New Zealand, underlying factors responsible for its low uptake and the measures that can facilitate its improved uptake. Design/methodology/approach: This study utilised a mixed research approach. An empirical questionnaire survey was carried out with New Zealand construction industry professionals with expertise in MOSC. Factor analysis of survey data was carried out using SPSS software. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with subject matter experts to get further insights and expand the survey findings. Interview data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: Study identified benefits of MOSC, thus establishing potential of its uptake for high-rise building construction. Constraining factors were investigated, most pronounced being low level of skills in construction industry to design, manufacture and integrate supply chain of MOSC, high initial investment, high cost of importing modules and negative perception about offsite manufactured buildings. This study also highlighted the enablers to improve uptake of MOSC. These enablers included; loan and mortgage policies to suit MOSC paradigm, building regulations to support OSC industry, increased support from the government and awareness and acceptance of standardised building designs among the clients. Originality/value: Originality of this paper harps from little to no research carried out to investigate use of MOSC for high-rise buildings in New Zealand context.
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 2023