The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 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 off-site construction.

High prices for buyers and renters are forcing Americans out of their homes and making housing unattainable. This crisis is to a large extent driven by supply constraints.

Off-site construction has the potential to deliver more affordable and accessible single and multifamily housing at scale. However, off-site construction for housing in the U.S. faces several challenges to increase uptake and adoption. This stands in considerable contrast to more mature international off-site construction industries, such as those in the U.K., Japan and Sweden.

“We need an all-of-the-above approach to housing, and off-site 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 road map for HUD to align its programs and partnerships, while simultaneously offering an industry-wide road map for governments, universities and off-site companies to come together to advance off-site 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.

The NIBS Off-Site Construction Council

In 2013, the National Institute of Building Sciences established the Off-Site Construction Council to serve as a research, education and outreach center for relevant and current information on off-site design and construction for commercial, institutional and multifamily facilities.

NIBS staff and members of the OSCC have supported federal and private off-site construction research projects, including tool kits, road maps and reports for the off-site industry. NIBS and the OSCC encourage OSCC members and other off-site stakeholders to submit reports or projects of interest that can help in the furthering of the council’s goals. For more information, visit the OSCC’s website.