Barriers to offsite construction adoption: a quantitative study among housing associations in England

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Housing associations (HAs) play a pivotal role in the delivery of affordable homes and, therefore, offsite construction could be beneficial in alleviating the crisis. Existing literature has focused on the perceptions of the housing sector at large towards offsite construction (OSC), particularly private housebuilders. This research addresses this gap in the literature. This paper explores the perceived barriers of using OSC through a survey of the largest HAs in England [n = 69], and how these compare with the perceptions within the wider housing sector. The evidence from this research indicates cost-related barriers are perceived to be the most significant barriers to OSC use for HAs, followed by the capacity of suppliers and end-user preferences for traditional construction. The perceived barriers of those with experience are aligned with the OSC literature, whilst the responses of those without direct experience suggested heightened concerns towards the key barriers. A conceptualised feedback model is proposed to monitor, capture knowledge and share best practice as HAs commit to accelerating project delivery through strategic partnerships with offsite manufacturing firms, local authorities at a local/regional level, that leverage the high-value, high-impact transformation of the housebuilding sector in tangible terms of efficiency, cost, and material savings.
Original languageEnglish
Article number283
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Early online date2 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2022


  • barriers
  • housing associations
  • offsite construction
  • perceptions


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