For most commercial construction jobs, a majority of the building process occurs on-site. Sometimes, however, components for a commercial construction project are built offsite—either in a removed location or factory. In this piece, we’ll look at the definitions of off-site construction, on-site construction, and the pros and cons of each. 

What is On-Site Construction? 

As its name implies, on-site construction involves the construction or assembly of building components at the site where it will reside. Due to the logistics and materials used, most commercial construction projects are built primarily on-site. This includes welding, masonry, plumbing, electrical components, and the like. 

Pros of On-Site Construction

  • On-site construction allows for greater adaptability of building components. When changes are necessary, they can be made and designs adjusted. 
  • The logistics of transporting materials are significantly less complicated with on-site construction. The transportation of unassembled building materials is almost always less challenging than shipping, moving, and placing preassembled components. 

Cons of On-Site Construction

  • Because on-site construction typically occurs outdoors, weather conditions play a significant role in the speed of a project’s completion.
  • On-site construction has significantly more hazards than off-site construction. Any time safety protocols must adapt to a location and not a location to safety protocols, this dramatically increases the likelihood of an accident. 

What is Off-Site Construction?

Off-site construction, also known as “modular construction,” is the process of building or assembling components of a construction project at a removed location, such as a factory, to be transported to the site and installed. Though limited in scope in the past, modern technology has greatly increased the amount of building components that can be constructed or assembled off-site and transported to their intended location. 

Pros of Off-site Construction

  • Off-site construction means that workers and materials are assembled or built within a factory—removing most of the limitations of the elements or other weather conditions.
  • The increased efficiency of the manufacturing process of specific construction components rather than on-site construction dramatically reduces the price of said components. 
  • Off-site construction factories and manufacturing centers may reduce the number of hazards for workers or damage to materials due to a carefully controlled environment. 

Cons of Off-Site Construction

  • Components built or assembled within an off-site factory may prove unadaptable to site conditions or design revisions. 
  • The logistics involved in moving fully-assembled or partially-assembled components rather than simply building materials often proves to be more complicated. 
  • Off-site construction or manufactured components may not allow for a significant level of necessary customization.

Which Should You Use?

Both off-site/modular construction as well on-site construction have their benefits for your commercial construction process. The skilled construction specialists from Cowen Construction in Tulsa, Oklahoma can help your organization leverage the benefits of each of these styles of construction.