Photo © Laing O'Rourke

A holistic approach to sustainability is about much more than simply reducing levels of waste produced by construction activity and reducing levels of embodied carbon and carbon in use.

Possibly the most important aspect is ensuring that the investment of resources has resulted in a building or civil engineering asset that delivers best value to the client and which will perform effectively over the intended design life. In this context performance in use is fundamentally important and to get this right it is necessary to ensure that the performance requirements embedded into the design are accurately delivered through the construction and commissioning processes.

What happens during the design and construction process is also very important in terms of the efficiency of the construction processes, the use of materials and in terms of environmental factors such as the overall construction time on site, the impact on the local environment and on health and safety on site. Decisions taken at this stage can have a significant down-stream impact on the sustainability of the construction.

The use of precision manufactured offsite components can have a significant impact on the efficiency of the construction process and in ensuring the quality and performance in use of the completed construction project. The latter is likely to be of particular importance to those clients who have a long term commercial interest in the ownership and use of the construction.

Through its website, publications and events Buildoffsite shares information on projects which have demonstrated a more sustainable approach to the delivery of built assets through an approach to design and construction that has made use of offsite construction solutions to ensure right first time quality, to minimise waste of materials and ensure performance in use. It is increasingly recognised that comparable performance can not be achieved through traditional construction methods.

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