Research reveals greater demand for volumetric modular buildings

modular buildings

Research from AMA Research has shown a 6% increase in prefabricated volumetric modular buildings and portable accommodation in 2017

The report, Prefabricated Volumetric Building Systems Market Report – UK 2018-2022’, shows that demand for these buildings is a significant improvement since 2016, when there was a dip in market value possibly due to the EU referendum.

The market value includes factory-made, fully assembled 3-dimensional modules, but excludes bathroom and kitchen ‘pods’. Products are broadly split between permanent and semi-permanent buildings and temporary or portable accommodation.

Since the construction industry began to recover in 2013, demand for volumetric construction has improved, in part due to increased demand for site accommodation on major infrastructure projects e.g. the Crossrail and Thameslink railway construction programmes.

Sectors benefiting the most from volumetric products are the construction industry which uses temporary accommodation on construction and industrial sites as well as event hire.


The products vary in use from sector to sector, with operating theatres and wards being the largest application in the healthcare sector.

In education, semi-permanent school classrooms benefit from modular buildings and in some cases these buildings can end up as permanent structures.

A number of established construction and housebuilding companies have begun to diversify into offsite housing in recent years, with more established players including Laing O’Rourke, Berkeley Homes, Mace, Barratt Homes and Crest Nicholson.

Over the next few years, there are several factors that are likely to underpin steady growth in the sector, probably over and above the forecast for the overall construction industry.

These include an increasing number of public sector procurement frameworks several of which are specific to offsite construction, and increasing use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Studies have shown that there is now plenty of possibility that the use of volumetric and other types of offsite construction methods will help meet the chronic housing shortage and aid the lack of traditional construction skills within the construction industry.


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